No. 5 Squadron RNZAF
No.5 Squadron RNZAF is a squadron of the Royal New Zealand Air Force formed during November 1941 in Fiji. It remains on duty and logged 2,300 hours flight time in 2007. Initially, the squadron was equipped with Vickers Vincents, from the outbreak of hostilities with Japan, the squadron operated the Short Singapore Mk. These types were superseded by Consolidated PBY Catalinas, which aided the air-sea rescue capability, the Squadron moved from Fiji in late 1944 to operate between Espiritu Santo and the Admiralty Islands. During this time the conqueror of Mount Everest, Edmund Hillary, in November 1944 the squadron moved to Luganville Seaplane Base on Espiritu Santo to carry out anti-submarine patrols and escort duty In August 1945 the squadron was withdrawn to Fiji. Following the war the squadron was re-equipped with 16 Short Sunderland MR, from 1965 the squadron relocated to Whenuapai, Auckland, to re-equip with five Lockheed P-3B Orions in the anti-submarine role. The squadron withdrew its last flight of Sunderlands from Lauthala Bay in 1967, the P-3B fleet was upgraded in the mid 1980s with a more modern radar, an IRDS camera, a digital computing bus and electronic displays/information management system.
A sixth aircraft was purchased from the RAAF during the Project Rigel upgrade, the aircraft have been deployed to assist international efforts on several occasions. From May 2003 to February 2004, a detachment operated in support of Operation Enduring Freedom by patrolling the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman. In October 2004, a contract was signed with L-3 Communications Integrated Systems, of the United States, to upgrade the aircraft’s communication, surveillance, the contract included an upgrade of crew training, software testing and integration facilities and mission preparation and analysis systems. In 2005 the first of the six P-3K Orions began being upgraded to the new P-3K2 standard, modernising the avionics, in January 2006 No.5 Squadron conducted trials to prove the aircraft could operate from Antarctica. In 2006 an Orion was used to photograph Raoul Island after a volcanic eruption killed a Department of Conservation worker. On the 2 May 2011 the RNZAF accepted the first upgraded P-3K2 Orion from the Ministry of Defence, the aircraft is due to undergo a period of Operational Testing and Evaluation before commencing active use.
Following the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH-370 in March 2014, as of March 2015 all six RNZAF P-3K2 Orions are fully operational after their comprehensive upgrades. Combat Codes, A Full Explanation and Listing of British, paraparaumu, New Zealand, Kiwi Air Research. RNZAF Web site 5 Squadron page Culpan, Pete
No. 486 Squadron RNZAF
486 Squadron was a New Zealand fighter squadron of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. It was formed under Article XV of the Empire Air Training Scheme, the squadron formed on 7 March 1942, initially at RAF Kirton in Lindsey, Lincolnshire, as part of RAF Fighter Command and equipped with Hawker Hurricane IIs. For a while 486 Sqn. was a unit tasked with working in conjunction with No.1453 Turbinlite Flight. The radar-equipped but unarmed Turbinlite were to locate and illuminate enemy aircraft at which point an accompanying Hurricane could make the attack, the squadron was re-equipped with Hawker Typhoons starting in July 1942 and continued the experiments with the Turbinlites. In September 1942486 became a day fighter unit flying standing patrols, standing patrol missions were meant to counter The Fw 190 and Bf 109 fighter bombers that flew at high speed and very low altitude. Because of this there was very little radar warning. To counter such attacks Typhoon squadrons kept at least one pair of flying continuously, with another pair on readiness to relieve them.
While flying patrols over the South coast against these raids in early 1943. Other enemy aircraft encountered and shot down included Do 217 night bombers engaged in mine laying missions, from June 1943,486 Sqn. flew mainly as a fighter bomber unit. In September 1943, with 197 Sqn 486 Sqn became part of the RAF Tangmere Hawker Typhoon Wing commanded by Wing Commander D J Scott. As a fighter bomber unit 486s targets included shipping and airfields, and an attack on one of Hitlers secret weapons, several escort missions were provided for RAF light and medium day bombers. While mounted on Typhoons 486 Sqn claimed 22.3 enemy aircraft shot down, re-equipped with Hawker Tempests, initially in January - February 1944, and again in April. Although 486 Sqn was the first unit to receive Tempests,3 Squadron was the first unit fully equipped, the unit was changed back to fighter defence after D-Day and claimed 223½ V-1 flying bombs, the second highest number of any unit. At the end of April 1944 the 486 squadron became part of No.150 Wing RAF, under the command of Wing Commander Roland Beamont.
Apart from the operations,150 Wing undertook several night-time, as well as the more usual daytime. On 28 September 1944 with the V-1 threat over,150 Wing became 122 Hawker Tempest Wing, trading places with three Mustang III squadrons. Later additions to 122 Wing included 80 Squadron and 274 Squadron,41 Squadron,122 Wing was attached to the Second Tactical Air Force, and moved through Belgium, Holland and Denmark. The wings role was low-medium altitude fighter operations, although ground attack missions were undertaken
No. 488 Squadron RNZAF
488 Squadron was the name given to two distinct Royal New Zealand Air Force squadrons during the Second World War. Both were formed under Article XV of the Empire Air Training Scheme and served under the operational command of the Royal Air Force. 488 Squadron was formed on 1 September 1941 at Rongotai, New Zealand under Squadron Leader W. G. Clouston, a veteran of the Battle of France and Battle of Britain with nine victories to his credit. Kallang was shared with a Brewster detachment of the 2-VLG-V of the Royal Netherlands East Indies Air Force, there were problems getting spares and with the peacetime red tape and restricted flying hours laid down by the British High Command in Singapore. As the Buffalo squadrons lost men and machines, several were amalgamated into 488 Squadron, Clouston had presented a plan Get Mobile to provide daylight air cover off the coast to Admiral Phillips Force Z, but this was rejected by the Navy. Clouston handed over command to Squadron Leader MacKenzie and stayed with remaining staff to become a prisoner when Singapore fell.
On 23 February, the squadron evacuated Tjililitan, to Fremantle in Australia where it disbanded on 2 March,488 Squadron reformed on 25 June 1942 at RAF Church Fenton, Yorkshire, as a night fighter intruder unit equipped with Beaufighters. The squadron aircraft carried the code letters ME, when it switched to a defensive role in August 1943 it re-equipped with de Havilland Mosquitoes. In November 1944 the squadron moved to France, and was based in Belgium and it disbanded on 26 April 1945. In its night fighter incarnation,488 Squadron flew 2899 sorties, shot down 67 aircraft and, in its intruder role, destroyed 40 trains. In December 2010, the new headquarters formed to command the RNZAF units stationed at RNZAF Base Ohakea was named No.488 Wing RNZAF in honour of No.488 Squadron
No. 1 Squadron RNZAF
No.1 Squadron RNZAF was a New Zealand reconnaissance and patrol bomber squadron operating in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. After the war the squadron served in the transport and VIP role and it was formed as the New Zealand General Reconnaissance Squadron in March 1940 with Blackburn Baffins, Vickers Vincents, and Vickers Vildebeest. The first commanding officer, Squadron Leader G. N, due to the threat of German surface raiders against New Zealand shipping, these were replaced with Lockheed Hudsons during 1941. The squadron was based at Kukum Field on Guadalcanal during October and November before moving forward to New Georgia in November 1943, in August 1944 the squadron returned to Guadalcanal, before serving at Green Island in October of that year until again returning to Guadalcanal in March 1945. From May to June the squadron was based at Emirau, the squadron was disbanded, following VJ Day, in September 1945. The squadron was active as a reserve Territorial Air Force squadron in Auckland, flying Harvards and North American Mustangs and it was re-formed in 1972 to provide a medium-range transport squadron within New Zealand, at Whenuapai and equipped with six of the RNZAFs Bristol 170 Freighter Mk 31s.
In 1977,1 Squadron re-equipped with six Andover C. 1s, the No 1 Squadron Standard was presented to the Squadron at a parade at Base Auckland on 17 February 1984. The parade was inspected by Sir Geoffrey Roberts CBE, AFC, the squadron was again disbanded on 7 December 1984 and its Andovers taken over by No.42 Squadron. Roberts May 1940 – August 1941 Squadron Leader G. H. Fisher August 1941 – July 1942 Squadron Leader F. J. Lucas July–December 1942 Squadron Leader C. L. Monckton December 1942 – March 1943 Squadron Leader E. W. Tacon March–May 1943 Squadron Leader H. C, walker May 1943 – April 1944 Squadron Leader K. C. King April–July 1944 Wing Commander A. N. Johnstone August 1944 – January 1945 Wing Commander A. A. N, breckon February–June 1945 Squadron Leader P. R. Adamson – August 1972 Squadron Leader C. F. L. Jenks – December 1973 Squadron Leader G. A, oldfield – April 1976 Squadron Leader R. S. Holdaway - August 1976 Squadron Leader G. A, oldfield – February 1977 Squadron Leader I. J. Roberts - July 1977 Squadron Leader K.
A, skilling - September 1977 Squadron Leader R. S. Holdaway - February 1978 Squadron Leader K. J, wells DFC - January 1980 Squadron Leader I. W. Collins - January 1982 Squadron Leader K. L. Crofskey - July 1984 Sanders, James, a Long Patrol, An Illustrated History of No 1 Squadron RNZAF
Pilot Training Squadron RNZAF
The Pilot Training Squadron based at RNZAF Base Ohakea trained RNZAF pilots from 1966 until 2015. A single two seat Gloster Grebe provided conversion training on that type, in anticipation of the delivery of Vickers Wellington bombers, twin engine monoplane training began on the first of 229 Airspeed Oxfords in 1938. Due to the Commonwealth Air Training Plan, other schools were under construction at Taieri, a large number of additional FTSs followed with the first few years of the war, while from 1939335 de Havilland Tiger Moths manufactured in Wellington provided the main primary trainers. After the second war, primary flying training was conducted by No.1 Flying Training School at Taieri. The Tiger Moths were phased out, Harvards being used for ab intio training, de Havilland Devon,1 FTS became the Pilot Training Squadron in 1966. The squadron received a number of AESL Airtourer in 1970 and re-equipped with Pacific Aerospace CT-4B Airtrainers in 1976. No.3 Squadron undertook basic training with the Bell 47.
When Wigram closed in 1993 the squadron shifted to Ohakea, some Malaysian and Singaporean Air Force pilots are trained. The Squadron motto is ab ovo usque
No. 26 Squadron RNZAF
No.26 Squadron RNZAF was a squadron of the Royal New Zealand Air Force. Formed in October 1943, during World War II, from C Flight, No.25 Squadron at RNZAF Station Seagrove to be equipped with Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bombers, reformed in March 1945 at RNZAF Station Ardmore, equipped with Chance-Vought F4U-1 Corsair fighter bombers. The squadron was based at Kukum Airfield on Guadalcanal and Piva Airfield on Bougainville before being disbanded in June 1945, Squadron Leader G. A. Delves Owen, R. E. Official History of New Zealand in the Second World War 1939–45, Government Printer, New Zealand 1955
No. 75 Squadron RNZAF
No.75 Squadron RNZAF was an air combat squadron of the Royal New Zealand Air Force. It was formed from the RAFs World War II bomber squadron, No.75 Squadron, the squadron was created when, in a unique gesture, the squadron number and battle honours were transferred to the RNZAF in 1946. It had flown more sorties and suffered more casualties than any other in the European theatre, the squadron ceased to exist on 13 December 2001, when the RNZAF Air Combat Force, comprising Nos 2,14, and 75 Squadrons, was officially disbanded. No.75 Squadron Royal Flying Corps was formed as a home defence unit on 1 October 1916. The squadron operated Handley Page Harrows which were replaced by Ansons in 1939, the New Zealand government had ordered 30 modern Vickers Wellington bombers to replace its Vickers Vildebeests in New Zealand. Aircrew were sent to England to train on these new aircraft before flying back to New Zealand. In August 1939, with war seeming increasingly likely, the New Zealand government offered to both men and machines at the disposal of Britain.
They were allocated the 75 squadron number and the squadron officially became No.75 Squadron and it was one of the first of the bracket squadrons. Ultimately, six other New Zealand units, as well as many other countries, were formed within the RAF. These squadrons were formed around aircrews from the named nation, replacement aircrew where possible coming from that nation as well. Some have claimed that No 75 Squadron it to be the squadron engaged constantly against Germany from 1939 to VE day. However, as the 75 Sqn only stood up in April 1940 and it flew more sorties than any other RAF heavy bomber unit, suffered more casualties than any other squadron, and dropped the second-largest weight of bombs. No 75 Squadron RAF saw action early over France and most other European nations, the squadron was part of the first major bombing raid on Germany, a night raid on oil infrastructure in the Ruhr on 15 May 1940. In September that year the took part in the first large-scale bombing of Berlin. A Lancaster, a Mark III captained by Squadron Leader N A Williamson, RNZAF, an unusual sortie for 75 Squadron was the high altitude run over The Hague in March 1945 by a lone Lancaster piloted by Flight Lieutenant H W Hooper.
He dropped thousands of leaflets containing an apology from the British government for the earlier Allied bombing of the city which had been an error, in recognition of their wartime record, in October 1946 the RAF officially handed over the 75 Squadron title and badge to the RNZAF. The post-World War II squadron reformed at RNZAF Base Ohakea from No.2 Squadron RNZAF and it was initially equipped with twin-engine de Havilland Mosquito fighter/bombers. In 1950 and 1952 the squadrons Mosquitos sank two ships, the barque Lutterworth with bombs in 1950 and the Arahura with rockets in 1952, the unit operated de Havilland Vampires from 1951 to 1970 out of Ohakea
No. 490 Squadron RNZAF
490 Squadron was formed from pilots of the Royal New Zealand Air Force under RAF Coastal Command as an anti-submarine and reconnaissance unit. 490 Squadron Royal Air Force was formed 28 March 1943 with Royal New Zealand Air Force aircrew at Jui near Freetown in West Africa under Wing Commander D. W. Baird, equipped with PBY Catalinas, the squadron was tasked with maritime patrol and search and rescue. Its first operation was convoy escort on 2 July 1943, in August the squadron rescued its first seamen, and damaged its first U-boat. Wing Commander B. S. Nicholl took over in November 1943, gill was its last commander, taking over in October 1944. The squadron flew its last operation on 6 May 1945, and when it became obvious that 490 would not be needed in Japan, of all New Zealand squadrons of the RAF,490 saw least action, but nonetheless flew 463 operational sorties, totalling 4853 hours. One Distinguished Flying Cross was awarded, the squadrons Māori motto was Taniwha kei runga which translates as Taniwha in the air.
Taniwha are mythical intelligent monsters in Māori legend, occasionally but not particularly accurately translated as dragons and they are often associated with water, but a flying taniwha is relatively unusual
No. 4 Squadron RNZAF
No.4 Squadron RNZAF was a Royal New Zealand Air Force patrol bomber unit that served in the South Pacific during World War II. In the 1950s it served as a Territorial Air Force unit flying Harvards, due to activity by German surface raiders, the squadron was hurriedly formed in Fiji in October 1940. Squadron Leader G R White was the first commanding officer and stayed with the squadron until October 1942 and he was replaced by Wing Commander B M Lewis who served with the squadron until May 1943. Squadron Leader Ernest W Tacon replaced him and was in command until December 1943, the final commanding officer was Squadron Leader G S A Stevenson until the unit was disbanded in September 1945 at Los Negros. The squadron was based in Fiji assisting No.5 Squadron RNZAF. It took over obsolescent Vickers Vincent biplane torpedo bombers and re-equipped with modern Lockheed Hudsons, when war with Japan broke out in December 1941 the Squadron remained in Fiji operating as a reconnaissance unit, and for training crews to reinforce units in the forward area.
The squadron re-equipped with Lockheed Venturas in 1944, in May 1943 three American liberty ships, the William Williams and Vanderbilt, were torpedoed by Japanese submarines. On 25 May a squadron machine sighted a submarine while escorting an American convoy. An oil slick appeared – after the war it emerged a Japanese submarine was lost at this time in the area, on 7 September a squadron Hudson damaged a second submarine while escorting the American ship Saugatuck. 5 other sightings and attacks were made by the squadron without result, on 27 June 1943 Hudson NZ2025 went missing while on an anti submarine patrol. The crew were Flying Officer Tane Parata, Sergeant Albert Moss, Warrant Officer Egbert Willis, Flight Sergeant George Billson, the patrol had been hastily prepared by Squadron Operations following a report of a Japanese submarine stalking a supply ship north west of Viti Levu. During the patrol the crew encountered bad weather and electrical interference that caused navigation problems, the aircraft ran out of fuel and ditched in the sea without a position fix.
Subsequent searches failed to find any trace of the aircraft or crew who were posted Missing in Action - believed killed, the subsequent investigation and highly critical report by the RNZAF Staff Officer Navigation led to changes in mission planning and application of navigational aids and procedures. On 20 August 1944 seven of the Lockheed Hudsons, which had just been replaced by Lockheed Venturas, were back to New Zealand from Nausori. During the flight heavy weather was encountered and in accordance with practice the flight broke up. Two of the disappeared and were never seen again. No distress signals were received either, there were 14 men on board the two aircraft. Flying Officer Waugh was the former Private Secretary for the Hon Bob Semple and he was employed in a Ministers office when he was still in his teens having joined the Public Service as a cadet
No. 15 Squadron RNZAF
15 Squadron RNZAF formed 1 June 1942 at Whenuapai, Auckland under Squadron Leader A. Crighton. It served in Tonga, New Georgia, Espiritu Santo, the squadron was equipped with Kittyhawk and, later, F4U Corsair fighters. Re-equipment with the P-51 Mustang was abandoned at the cessation of hostilities, the Squadron was disbanded in November 1945. No.15 Squadron flew more sorties than any other New Zealand Fighter Squadron in the Pacific theatre of World War II, the Commonwealths leading ace in the Pacific, Geoff Fisken, scored approximately half his victories with the squadron, mostly flying P40 Wairarapa Wildcat. 15 Squadron was deployed to Kukum Field on Guadalcanal in April 1943, the Squadron was deployed to Green Island from February–April 1945
No. 30 Squadron RNZAF
No.30 Squadron RNZAF was a New Zealand light bomber squadron which saw service against the Japanese in the Pacific Theatre during the last two years of the Second World War. 30 Squadron of the Royal New Zealand Air Force was formed from pilots of No.8 Squadron RNZAF at Gisborne, the squadron initially flew Vickers Vincents and the very similar Vickers Vildebeest, North American Harvards and finally Grumman Avengers. It moved from home defe The Squadron flew 1,432 hours on operations dropping 330 tons of bombs, six 30 Squadron aircrew were lost on operations, the last of which was flown on 22 May 1944. A30 Squadron Grumman Avenger is preserved by the Gisborne Aviation Protection Society