New Zealand Airmen in WWI Mar 23, 2016 21:12:43 GMT 12
Post by errolmartyn on Mar 23, 2016 21:12:43 GMT 12
Harkness was the fellow who was killed in the Dornier Libelle when it crashed off Milford beach in Auckland 1929. He was at that time a lecturer at Auckland University.
Yerex founded an airline in South America after spending some time as a stunt pilot in the USA.
Peter, you are correct re Harkness. His family recently published a 562-page bio of him. He was not actually a PoW but an internee in Holland where, as is detailed through his letters in the book, he met a wide range of most interesting people.
Yerex's nephew, journalist and author the late David Yerex who wrote extensively about deer farming, wrote a bio about this amazing man - Yerex of TACA - A Kiwi Conquistador. Yerex with his TACA airline became a legend in Latin America during the 1930s and 1940s where he operated the, or one of the, largest fleets of Ford Trimotors and for a time ran the largest air cargo operation in the world. The battles he had with devious British and American bureaucrats who set out to destroy his enterprise makes running an airline like Air NZ seem like child's play by comparison. Interestingly, he was good friends with Robert Gray who was also involved in the airline industry, in the US, until his untimely death in a flying accident in 1929. Both WWI fighter pilots, they first met in a PoW camp.