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Remembered Today:

Capt J J Hammond RAF


Guest bonza
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Would be very interesting to know how he ended up in Indianapolis. It also appears that he was a Kiwi by birth.

Details from CWGC

Name: HAMMOND, JOSEPH JOEL

Initials: J J

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Captain

Regiment: Royal Air Force

Age: 31

Date of Death: 22/09/1918

Additional information: Son of Mrs. Mary Hammond; husband of Ethelwynd Hammond, of Airdale House, Seaford, Sussex, England. Born at Gonville, Wanganui, New Zealand.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Carl Fisher's Mausoleum. L.42. S.13.

Cemetery: INDIANAPOLIS (CROWN HILL) CEMETERY

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Yer jist wouldnt believe it!

That J J was a Kiwi, rang a very faint bell! The odds are that it would be him, but the AWM has a pic of J J Hammond flying a Bristol Box Kite to Point Cook where the AFC/RAAF was founded. The awm ref is on the picture if anyone cares.

post-1-1095839342.jpg

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I noticed that our man is in Carl Fisher's mausoleum. Carl Fisher was the founder of the Indianapolis speedway, which gave a clue. A quick search of t'interweb found the following:-

"Carl began to drink heavily, and by 1938 had cirrhosis of the liver. The man Will Rogers said had done “more unique things even before I heard of Florida than any man I ever met” died on July 15, 1939. He had only $52,198 to his name according to an article in the Miami Herald the next day. He was cremated and the urn stayed in Miami until 1943, when it was placed in the family mausoleum at Crown Hill, though not in the space originally reserved for him. On September 22, 1918, a Captain Robert Hammond of the British Royal Flying Corps crashed during a war bond celebration at the Speedway. Since the family lived in England, Carl temporarily donated his place in the mausoleum until they could come and claim the body. They never did, and to this day, Captain Hammond is in Carl’s original place in the building."

Not sure why the name is entered as "Robert", though.

Carl Fisher was also the developer of Maimi Beach, Florida.

SN

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Another thread asked why today's Remembered Serviceman is buried in the USA.

It is now known he was born in New Zealand, and appears that he flew for or to the Australian Flying Corps. So he is truly "international".

Anyone know the full story?

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Steve,

That's amazing.

I'm off to buy a lottery ticket, 'cause now I just don't believe those laws of probability.

I had just posted the same question on "War in the Air" thread, and was cross-referencing this thread when I read your info.

Pat

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Just to dot an 'i' but, unfortunately not also cross a 't' here, Capt J J Hammond of the British Aviation Mission was flying a Bristol F2B when he crashed, but the serial number of the machine in question isn't recorded in my references.

Gareth

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A little more info:-

The following is an extract from Volume One (Fates: 1915-1942) of the trilogy ' For Your Tomorrow - A record of New Zealanders who have died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services since 1915':

Sun 22 Sep 1918 United States of America

Returning to Indianapolis from Greenfield British Air Mission, RAF (USA) Bristol Fighter F2B (serial?) - returning to Indianapolis at about 1730, after giving a flying display at Greenfield in support of the Fourth Liberty Loan War Bond Drive, entered a right hand spin from 600 feet, its left wing striking a tree before crashing in a cornfield of the Marion County Poor Farm near its boundary with the Indianapolis Speedway.

One of the passengers, civilian J L Kinder, was killed on impact, while the other, Lt R W Pickett of the US Army Air Service, was seriously injured but recovered. The pilot also died in the crash and was buried at Indianapolis on the 26th.

Pilot: Capt Joseph Joel HAMMOND, RAF - Age 32. Approx. 6000hrs(?) Believed to have served operationally in France in 1914. At the time of his death Hammond was the longest serving New Zealand pilot in the British Air Services. He had been flying regularly since 1910 and much of his career was spent as a test pilot. The 6000 hours is mentioned in an Indianapolis newspaper report of the accident, but no log book or official document has yet been located to corroborate this figure. "

SN

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Our man was obviously a bit of a character. I've just found this on him at www.nzfpm.co.nz

"The type (Blériot XI )also represents a significant portion of early New Zealand aviation history. .......

One of the more colourful pilots to fly the type was Fielding born Joseph Hammond. Appointed New Zealand’s first official government pilot in late 1913 he was to fly a Blériot XI-2 (two seater) that had been presented to the New Zealand government. Dubbed Britannia, it was destined to become our first military aircraft. After several proving flights Hammond was ready to take a passenger, and as officials vied for the opportunity, the pilot elected to take a woman member of the Royal Pantomime Company instead. Miss Esme McLalland surely enjoyed the flight but officialdom was not amused. Hammond was sacked and the aircraft was placed in storage - to be returned to England in January 1915."

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and he is not on the NZ WW1 CD

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