Dave H, As 75 (NZ) Squadron was basically a standard RAF squadron (with a strong Kiwi flavour) all eligible members would have been entitled to an issue of battledress, but in 1941 this did NOT include non-flying personnel, only aircrew. Over half of the aircrew would have been RAF with a thin smattering of RCAF and RAAF to make up the numbers. There were a very few New Zealanders in the technical staff. I think we are still missing something here, but cannot add anything to explain this apparent rumpus.
Incidentally, it has become very clear to me after reading all the relevant documents on the early days of 75 Sqdn, and the Article XV discussions, as well as general Empire Air Training Scheme talks, that it did become a de facto Article XV squadron, although few people realize this and continue to believe that only 485 to 490 were actually units of this type. Almost all the rights and obligations of Article XV squadrons were extended to No. 75, and that was before any of the 485/490 units were even formed! As the arrangements evolved through 1940 and into 1941, 75 Squadron was always included, and the seven squadrons were thereafter indistinguishable one from another in these arrangements. However each squadron evolved in its own peculiar way. For instance it seems that the two single seat fighter squadrons were alone in having only Dominion pilots posted to them throughout the entire war (apart from the odd CO?), apart from one Canadian actually posted to 486 (in about 1944 I think) who was promptly posted somewhere else, don't think he even arrived before he was re-posted. However all the early discussions proceeded on the assumption that ALL Article XV squadrons would eventually become fully manned by nationals from their respective Dominions, including all ground staff. However this (with a couple of notable exceptions) never happened with the Australian and New Zealand squadrons for various reasons, although 75 Sqd DID finally become 100% Kiwi aircrew in July 1945, but had to rely on 100% RAF technical staff. The main reason for not fully implementing the "Dominionisation" of the Australian and NZ Article XV squadrons was the entry of Japan into the war, necessitating these two Dominions to devote a much larger proportion of their total resources to local defence, which required a very large technical organisation. The RNZAF, for instance, increased its local defence force (including air transport) from five to 22 squadrons (12 fighter, 6 bomber, 2 flying boat, 2 transport) over a three year period, although even this required that quite a number of Canadian-trained aircrew had to be diverted back to their homeland.
No. 487 was supposed to have formed at Singapore in late 1941 and was to have been equipped with Baltimores, but that never happened. 489 had a very unsatisfactory build up period with constant changes of aircraft type, and precious few New Zealanders to be seen anywhere - at one stage I think they had just two! And 486 was also to have been a long range night fighter squadron, but that quickly changed to the Turbinelight scheme. And the second 488 also had a shaky start with the highly unpopular Merlin Beaufighter, and was told that no NZ Observers (Radio) were available because all candidates for this new trade could only come from existing flying trades who had been recommended by their present CO without regard to their nationality, only their suitability and potential. The NZ Govt was rather distressed about this, but it was later rectified as more Observer (Radio) types were converted or trained as such from the start. David D
Possibly would have fared about the same as the Aussies with their Beauforts - the Baltimore just was not yet ready for war, and in fact the reason 487 did not form up at this juncture was that shipments did not start till about October 1941 to UK, and it was subsequently decided to ship all future production to Middle East rather than Far East. David D
Thanks David for all the interesting information. I wish now I had paid more attention to that particular comment made by my Grandfather to better understand what he meant. At the time it was just a comment made in passing as we were looking through his old photos and I didn't go into it any further.
Got a photo of dad a LAC Radar mechanic, on leave in Scotland with his wife and mother in law, he's wearing NZ issue battle dress(with the top three buttons open). Mum was a WAAF Cpl, Radar Operator/ Instructor at Cranwell. isc
My Grandfather Flt Sgt Alexander (Alec) Rowe (later Flt Lt), 75NZ squadron next to his turret. His aircraft was Wellington Mk1C AA-H serial R1038.
The crew of AA-H were lost on a raid over Kiel, about six weeks after he left the squadron. I don't know how many of the other men in the photos below were part of the crew when it was lost.
Alec went on to do another tour with 218 Gold Coast squadron, then came back to NZ and was gunnery leader of 2BR squadron, with another tour in the Pacific - I'll post some photos of that separately.
This photo is when the NZ High Commissioner came to settle the dispute about the RAF requiring the NZ crew to change their RNZAF uniforms - Alec is the one in to the left of the Commissioners head - with the cheesy grin.
With the rest of the crew, please let me know if anyone can identify them:
Unfortunately I live on the other side of the ditch in Oz, which was why I was hoping it might be available electronically. I'll keep it noted though for the next time I'm in NZ.
I'm very interested in seeing it, unfortunately my grandfather didn't talk much about his war-time experience, so anything that provides a little more insight would always help.
You commented on my photogtaph of your grandfather I posted the on backtonormandy site. You mention that you have other photos, perhaps of Alec's days in 218 squadron. I would love to see these as we have so very few of Bill McCarthy or his crew during those days. The fact that Alec left the crew the day before the aircraft HA-G 9160 was lost is a great story, both of good and bad fortune, and I would wish to include it in a novel I am writing that includes the fate of the crew. I hope you can pick up on this post and have time to respond. Selwyn Morgan (I am to be found on facebook)
these photos are fantastic that have been posted here. I have wanted to comment on this site for some time and throw in my penny's worth. The High commissioner Jordan was a friend of my Grandfather and had written to him that he had been at his son's 21st at Feltwell and had a piece of birthday cake. Now that was the around the 4th August 1941. Jim's log book says "16th Operation to Hanover quiet trip 10/10 cloud most of the way. Tonight I begin my 21st birthday". He was a NZ pilot flying for 57 Sq. and is the "navigator" in the photo with P/O Parker. G
Hi gray1, Thanks for that info. I'm very interested in your father(?) and his presence in that photo as "Nav". I've been in a four-way conversation with family members of three of the Parker crew, and have dug up quite a bit of information. If you want to email me at email@example.com, I would be keen to have a chat, and show you what we've put together so far. Cheers, Chris
I am looking to tap into the collective knowledge of members. Throughout my father's Air Gunners Logbook covering both 75 & 37 Sqdns, he recorded a 15 to 30 minute flight labelled N.F.T. prior to each night raid. There is also reference to N.F.T.s throughout the book "Popeye's War". Can someone please tell me what the crew did on these N.F.T.s?
Post by Dave Homewood on Apr 11, 2017 16:21:59 GMT 12
N.F.T. stood for Night Flying Test, which was usually done in the afternoon in daylight and was a shortish flight to ensure the aircraft was fully serviceable, the engines were running nicely, the navigation aids were working and the guns were serviceable, etc, so they had confidence it was all good for the raid later in the night.
Hi ianj, I am also very interested in your father's time with 75 (NZ) Squadron, and potentially at 37 Squadron (they shared a base at RAF Feltwell for a time). If you want to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I would be keen to share some information that I've got access to, and to learn about your Dad's experience. Cheers, Chris
Hi Dion , Your Grandfafher was my Uncle and if you have,nt guessed already I am Clive, so that makes you a cousin !.
Tried to open the photographs without success, so maybe they have been deleted, or more likely my system is so ancient it Won,t open the files.I did have a CD with some photos on it but seem to have misplaced it in our recent shift. We visited Uncle Alex and Auntie Terry often when we lived in Auckland and yes he did ,t say much about the war.
This site is very interesting and you seem to be getting good feedback , if you can shed any light on why the pics are unavailable let me know. Cheers for now Sport(an expression Alex said quite often)
Last Edit: Apr 7, 2019 23:06:40 GMT 12 by chocksaway