Post by Dave Homewood on Oct 16, 2005 9:15:23 GMT 12
Here are some I took in February 2005 of the Oxford owned by Don Subritzky at Dairy Flat
The Airspeed Oxford, which is almost completely in its original wartime form including paint, had been dismantled and stored till the mid-1990's when Don heard about it, and bought it. Now the Subritzkys are poiecing it back together for static display and a replica is being constructed at the same time which is hoped to fly in the future. Great idea.
Apologies for the grennish tinge to the photos, caused by the tinted skylights in the hangar which our eyes adjust to but the digital camera does not.
It makes you appreciate the amazing story behind the Subritzsky Oxford - and proves the point never disregard "Aircraft in a Barn" stories! The machine is an absolute time capsule - I hadnt realised how good it was. Thanks for posting the pics Dave.
If it was supposed to be easy. everyone would be doing it...
Post by Dave Homewood on Oct 16, 2005 14:01:14 GMT 12
Not a worry. On the day I visited and took these photos, the man responsible for the recovery was actually there at the Subritzky's and I heard how this recovery occurred first hand from him. He was none other than Bill Billings, who I had known in a past life as he had been an RNZAF Safety and Surface Sergeant and my boss at Hobsonville for a very short period. It was great to catch up with him, and also to learn his part in the finding of the Oxford.
As I rememebr it, Bill told me an old chap was visiting Dairy Flat where Bill used to work with the CAF. The old man was up from Wanganui for a funeral and visited the aerodrome to have a look round while killing time. He casually mentioned to Bill that his nextdoor neighbour had an old aeroplane in his shed. Bill quizzed him with great enthusiasm, but could get no details as the man didn't know any more. But he gave his word he'd find out on his return home.
Sure enough he wrote to Bill a few days later confirming it was still there and was a dismantled Oxford. Apparently in the 1950's the neighbour had secretly been a Communist and had bought the plane cheap and dismantled it to photograph and send the photos to Russia to prove his devotion to the party somehow, according to what Bill told me. Something to do with convincing the Russians he was helping to dismantle the non-Communist regime.
Bill went straight to Don Subritzky with the info and within a few days they'd driven down with a station wagon and trailer (not really knowing what to expect), and they soon bought it and drove it north on the trailer. I remember when the news broke there was an air of disbeleif, and then joy to realise one of the 299 Oxfords had been saved virtually complete.
They originally announced they hoped to get it flying, but then reconsidered as it is so original, and have decided to build the replica to fly instead as they have a great example to copy. I'm looking forward to the day when both are finished, although it may be some way away as they are concentrating on the Hinds at the moment they said.
I love that photo of the low-level beat up by the Oxford. I hope the Soviets were happy with the previous owner's attempts to prove his loyalty to the cause. This would be about the only time that I could say "Thank God for the communists" - because they saved one of our Oxfords!
Post by kiwiwreckdiver on Jul 15, 2013 22:52:35 GMT 12
Was speaking with Ron Bergersens daughter over Facebook the other day asked her about the aircraft and she said "which one , there were 2 of them he brought them to use parts to build up his house", so even if he did use to produce a house I imagine that the old house is full of Oxford bits. I doubt that the Subritzky lads left any stone unturned and this might have been looked into before, but just thought I would mention this in passing to see what turns up.
That very last photograph is a beauty! Have never seen it before - it would be taken at 1 SFTS (Wigram) in about late 1942 or early 1943, more likely the latter. Note that NZ1325 is one of the later models (delivered to NZ in November 1941, issued to 2 FTS at Woodbourne, later to 1 SFTS at Wigram) and has the shorter aerial mast (located just behind canopy) and also lacks the pilot gunsight on the nose, compare to next aircraft in line. Its fuselage code number is 39. After the changeover of 1 SFTS (Wigram) from Oxfords to Harvards in period August to November 1944, NZ1325 was allotted to Whenuapai. My guess at the approximate dating of this photograph is based on the colour scheme; from about March/April 1942 Wigram Oxfords had black code numbers, changed to while later in year (as in this photo),and from early in 1943 large yellow side panels were painted on the fuesalge, from roundel forward. Also noticeable is that turrets are still fitted; these were removed shortly afterwards except for aircraft used for gunnery training at Levin, New Plymouth and Ohakea. David D
Is there any other mention on this Board of the incident involving the house at Ashurst? I've searched including Google without success.
I'd like to know where to find the house. It was built by my great-grandfather.
Thomarse, The aircraft you are referring to was R6226 (no RNZAF serial number) which came to grief on 30th December 1940. It was from No. 3 FTS at Ohakea and was on a cross country exercise, and in fact was flying on intruments at the time of the accident. The destroyed house was the property of one C M Kebbell. The trainee pilot who was actually at the controls of the Oxford was LAC T A H Hughes, aged 26, while the qualified pilot (NOT an instructor, but acting as safety pilot) was Pilot officer Rex Brook-Taylor, aged 25. For additional information, see Errol Martyn's "For Your Tomorrow, Vol 1", page 104, from whence the above information was extracted. David D