As Dave says, they were all ex RAF machines. 75 were shipped, but only 60 arrived, 15 having been lost at sea due to enemy action. The last 3 serials, NZ1561 -63 we believe were built up from spares and crashed other Hinds.
Dave, I have not been able to find out the names of the ships that actually had Hinds aboard that were sunk en-route to NZ. However I did research this many years back at the Auckland War Memorial Museum library and found the following records. Armed Services Collection D770. (1) British Merchant Vessels lost by enemy action during World War 2. (2) British Vessels lost at sea, 1939-45. They would no doubt come from this list. Port Gisborne, 11 October 1940. Hurunui, 14 October 1940. Port Brisbane, 21 November, 40 Port Hobart, 24 November 1940. Rangitane, 26 November 40. Port Wellington, 1 Dec. 1940 Rotorua, 11 December 1940, Napier Star, 18 December 1940. Waiotira, 26 December 1940. Zealandic, 16 January 1941. Piako, 18 May 1941. And on a different list I have;- Turakina, 20th. August 1940 (Raider) Remuera, 26th. August 1940 (Aircraft). These latter two are probably the most likely.
Post by Dave Homewood on Jul 18, 2011 11:14:17 GMT 12
Thanks Jim. The Turakina is the one that was crossing the Tasman when the German raider Komet (or was it Orion?) caught it and the crew fought to the last rather than surrender. I never realised it was carrying any aircraft though.
This photo shows Hinds in crates on board a ship coming to NZ in 1940. The photo was taken by John Lawrence who was on board coming to NZ as an instructor for the Central Flying School at Tauranga. John was ex-RAF and I interviewed him back in the 1970s.
Thanks for that info Dave, I was told originally that the Turakina was sunk off New Plymouth but did not believe the location was correct. Now you have confirmed my source was right. My note also states that Hind spares were being carried.
The New Zealand Shipping Company freighter Turakina, en route to New Zealand from Australia, was sunk by the Orion nearly 500 km off the Taranaki coast after a brief gun battle – the first ever fought in the Tasman Sea. Thirty-six (some sources say 35) of its largely British crew were killed. Twenty survivors, many of them wounded, were rescued from the sea and taken prisoner.
The Orion was one of nine German ‘auxiliary cruisers’ (merchant ships converted into armed raiders) that stalked the world’s oceans from 1940, laying mines and preying on Allied merchant vessels sailing without naval escort. Altogether the raiders sank or captured more than 140 ships. But by 1943, as Allied sea and air power grew in strength, all the raiders had been sunk or confined to German ports.
The Turakina’s captain had earlier promised that he would fight to the last if intercepted by an enemy raider. But the freighter’s solitary 4.7-inch defensive gun was no match for the six 155-mm (5.9-inch) weapons of the German warship.
Earlier, in June, the Orion’s mines had claimed the trans-Pacific liner Niagara off the Northland coast. Soon after sinking the Turakina, the Orion was joined in the South Pacific Ocean by another raider, the Komet, and an unarmed supply ship, the Kulmerland. Operating together, this small flotilla was responsible for the destruction of 10 Allied vessels in the Pacific. One of their victims, in November 1940, was the New Zealand Shipping Company liner Rangitane – the biggest merchant vessel sunk by a German warship during the war. In early December, during a raid on the important phosphate-producing island of Nauru, the raiders sank five merchant vessels in quick succession, including the New Zealand freighter Komata.
Post by Dave Homewood on Jul 18, 2011 14:00:11 GMT 12
You've seen these Jim but others probably haven't. A couple from Tim Murray's collection.
ZG-G of No. 20 (AC) Squadron at RNZAF Station Onerahi
ZG-F NZ1546 on the edge of the Onerahi airfield following the first night landing attempt made by P/O Murray Gray on the night of the 7th of September 1942, with Tim Murray in the back seat. The airfield had no lights or flares, and Gray was told to use the red light on top of the local town hall as a guide for approach. However instead of spotting the red light on the town hall there happened to be one on the porch of this farm house! They were much lower than they thought, and kablammo. Tim was slightly injured, the aircraft was badly damaged indeed.
NZ1528 Hind Trainer with Camo. top and either silver or Training Yellow undersurfaces.
Another Hind Trainer undergoing maintenance.
NZ1550 after its crash in the Whau creek. Official report says testing boost pressure at low level, but rumour has it that test pilot Peter Jury was forced down into the water by a P40 making a mock attack on him. It seems unlikely that an experienced test pilot like Jury would crash testing low-level boost. True or false? Perhaps we will never know.
Hind XX-M of No 6 AC Sqn.
NZ1548 with pilots and all the covers on to keep out the weather.
Unidentified Hind of No 21 AC Sqn. with Matilda Tank.
Post by errolmartyn on Jul 19, 2011 10:39:52 GMT 12
"NZ1550 after its crash in the Whau creek. Official report says testing boost pressure at low level, but rumour has it that test pilot Peter Jury was forced down into the water by a P40 making a mock attack on him. It seems unlikely that an experienced test pilot like Jury would crash testing low-level boost. True or false? Perhaps we will never know."
This event occurred at 1015 on "Waitemata harbour Hobsonville" on 22 Mar 41. I think you'd be hard pushed to find a P-40 in New Zealand skies at that time!
Accident card has: ". . . conditions of dead calm sea caused pilot to misjudge his height & port undercarriage struck water causing a/c to crash." Unit was 1 Repair Depot, Hobsonville.
Jury was certainly a very experienced pilot at the time - with 3605 hours solo.
Author: Swift to the Sky – New Zealand’s Military Aviation History Author/publisher: For Your Tomorrow - A record of New Zealanders who have died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services since 1915 & A Passion For Flight - New Zealand aviation before the Great War. Publisher of Gp Capt C M Hanson’s By Such Deeds - Honours and Awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, 1923-1999