THE PRO PATRIA PROJECT
ABERCROMBY David John
73138, Master Engineer, RNZAF
569523, Flight Engineer, RNZAF

CITATION
Air Force Cross
Master Engineer ABERCROMBY joined the RNZAF in 1950 after thirteen and a half years service in the Royal Air Force and was accepted for secondment to aircrew in October 1950.  Since then he has served continuously as a flight engineer in the Maritime and Transport roles.  His present tour with No 40 Squadron commenced in February 1957 and terminated with his retirement from the Service on the 14th February this year.  Master Engineer ABERCROMBY has a total of 6436 flying hours, 3688 of which have been flown during his present tour with No 40 Squadron and 251 in the past six months.  Throughout his Airforce service MEng ABERCROMBY has constantly demonstrated his devotion to duty, his cheerful acceptance of the most difficult and demanding tasks and his willingness to assist others less experienced than himself.  He has maintained a qualification on Bristol Freighter aircraft and has always been the first to volunteer when overseas flights have necessitated the carriage of this aircrew member for en-route servicing.  For some time past he has carried delegated responsibility for the majority of categorisation tests and route checks for Hastings engineers; a task in which he has displayed absolute thoroughness and impartiality

British Empire Medal (Military)
As the original citation is not avaliable.  The award of the BEM was made paricularly for outstanding service as a Sergeant in Charge of ground engineering at RAF Gatow, Germany, during the Berlin Airlift.  Sergeant ABERCROMBY joined the RAF as an aircrafr apprentice in January 1936.  He gave superior service throughout WW2 on the ground staff of 77 Squadron RAF on Whitley and Halifax aircraft.  Following VE Day he was flown to India for service on Dakota aircraft.  The record shows that a the start of the Berlin Airlift Sergeant ABERCROMBY, together with a small party of Airmen, was flown into Germany in the first British aircraft to Berlin.  His duties were to organise the arrival, marshalling, parking and departure of all British and Commonwealth aircraft.  This he did most successfully for four months.  With aircraft landing or taking off every ninety seconds, from dawn til dusk each day, he and his team worked extremely long hours with minimum time off.  His devotion to duty throughout was most commendable

AWARDS
Air Force Cross
British Empire Medal
Defence Medal
War Medal 1939-45
NZ Armed Forces Award
NZ Defence Force Medal

NOTES
Born 23 August 1919, Culloden, Scotland
Died

Enlisted into RAF 29 January 1936 to 23 August 1949
Enlisted into RNZAF 14 February 1950 to 15 April 1964