Post by Dave Homewood on Jun 26, 2019 0:19:42 GMT 12
Here is a challenge, does anyone recognise these airmen?
TO MAKE THEIR HOMES IN NEW ZEALAND: Dominion airmen photographed after meeting their wives and fiancees, some of a party which arrived from the United Kingdom and Canada recently. NEW ZEALAND HERALD, 5 MAY 1945
Post by Dave Homewood on Jul 20, 2019 23:26:13 GMT 12
That reads: PASSING-OUT DAY AT WIGRAM.- The passing-out inspection of officers ad airmen pilots of No. 13 Course of No. 1 Flying Training School at Wigram was carried out yesterday by Wing Commander G. S. Hodson. The group passed out. Back row, Sergeant-Pilots J.F. Carrick, G.V. Key, R.H. Clifford, G.G. Davis, D. L. McGregor-MacDonald. J. M. S Ross, W.D.A. McLeod, and R.H.Alington. Front row: Sergeant Pilots G.T. Kimberley, H.N. Goodall, C.H. Douglas, J.A. Neiison. Acting-Pilot Officers C. Stewart and N. L. R. Cowan. Sergeant Pilots N. F. Dixon, L. R. Hewith, H. T. Francis and M. M. Shand. PRESS, VOLUME LXXVI, ISSUE 23031, 28 MAY 1940
Some things that strike me about this photo are this: - Sergeant-Pilot J.M.S. Ross was John Macaulay Sutherland Ross, later Squadron Leader, and author of the Official History volumes Royal New Zealand Air Force and Chaplains.
- Sergeant-Pilot M.M. Shand was Michael Moray Shand, later a Battle of Britain pilot and a Great Escaper.
- What is the little four bladed propeller looking thought seen in the background attacked to or near the Vickers Vildebeest/Vincent's port wings? Was that part of a drogue towing add-on?
- And what is the dark looking aeroplane in the left rear of the photo, sans wings? I cannot place it.
The little 4-bladed prop is part of a drogue winch, and this type of winch in NZ service was usually attached to a Fairy Gordon, or a Vickers Vincent/Vildebeest. Higher speed aircraft usually had an electric winch (Hudson, Catalina, Avenger). Single seat fighters, etc, normally used "banner" targets (think Mustang, possibly Vampire), or was equipped with a simple drogue attached to rear fuselage without any winch being necessary (think Kittyhawk). A special launching technique was used with last-mentioned method, with towing cable being layed on ground in such a way that the drogue was yanked into the air from a standing start, to avoid damage to drogue, and could be released near airstrip prior to landing. One of 42 Sqdn's Dakotas (NZ3546 I think) from the early 1960s was equipped with what looked like JATO bottles on its rear fuselage, I think these could be wound in and out at will by internal winch. Skyhawks and Strikemasters were also capable of towing targets so far as I know, possibly from underwing units; no doubt our local experts will put me right on this!
I think the dark-looking aircraft in rear of photo (left rear) is a Vincent/Vildebeest, the rather widespread upper wing centre section seems distinctive to me, as well as shape of nose curving down, just to left of Sgt Pilot Carrick's head. Pilot's cockpit is partially disguised behind some inner interplane struts. What appears to be a windscreen on extreme left may be the dual-control conversion incorporated in may of these aircraft. David D