Post by phasselgren on Mar 19, 2006 3:36:44 GMT 12
In the book An Illustrated Guide to Bombers of World War II by Bill Gunston New Zealand was mentioned as a user of Douglas Boston/Havoc. I can not find any confirmation for this in other books. I know that RNZAF never used Bostons in the Pacific but was it used by any New Zealand unit in RAF? Probably not as an operational aircraft but mayby as a squadron-hack or as a trainer during the forming period by a squadron like No. 487 or 488. Another possibility is of course that the author had wrong information. Can anyone help me to find the thruth about this?
Post by Dave Homewood on Mar 19, 2006 11:52:25 GMT 12
Certainly not in 487 or 488 Squadron. In the book 'Ventura Couragious' by James Sanders about the career of Leonard Trent VC, DFC, he talks about how Len flew the first Boston to arrive in Britain from the USA. It was W8363. It was also the first tricycle undercarriage aircraft they'd seen in the UK.
Len was then OC of an Operational Training Squadron at RAF Warboys, and he got to have a fly. In the book, in his own words, you can read how on the takeoff the engine failed, and he nearly lost his life.
Despite this fright he and other Kiwis got to love the aircraft type and when 487 Sqn was forming the rumours were they'd get Bostons, which they really looked forward to. But instead they received Venturas, a huge disappointmentto them. It seems there was a lot of anger at being given second rate aircraft when all the other squadrons being formed were getting Bostons.
After the Venturas 487 went onto Mosquitoes and stayed with them till the end. No Bostons.
No. 488 Sqn only flew Blenheims, Beaufighters and Mosquitoes as far as I'm aware.
No. 489 Sqn only flew Hampdens, Beaus and Mossies too I think. I don't think the Boston was ever used in the Coastal Command role was it?
And the type was certainly not used by 485,486, 490 or 75 Sqns.
The type was not used by the RNZAF in the Pacific, nor at home in NZ. There would have been RNZAF personnel who flew the Boston in RAF squadrons of course, in the European and African campaigns, but no specific squadrons.
On the other hand, the RAAF did use 69 Bostons. Perhaps this is where he got confused. I'd be very surprised if anyone now comes up with evidence that New Zealand used Bostons or Havocs.
But when you click on the 487 Sqn link, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No._487_Squadron_RNZAF no mention of it. I always believed that after the Sqn lost all but one Ventura on the raid in which Trent won his VC and most of the Sqn was captured or killed, they were re-equipped with Mossies which they had right through. So i don't know where the Bostons come into it.
Could there however have been a short interum period between the Mossies being issued after the Ventura disaster that Bostons were loaned to the Squn to fill numbers perhaps?
I mean, not everything in RNZAF history is written in the well known books. It was only last year I discovered 489 Sqn used Mosquitoes.