Brilliant pictures of the veterans pjw 4118. ! Great to see Bunny Burrows as I was talking to his son a month ago about this forum and gave him the link, so that he could show his Dad the photos from his Bomber Command trip to the UK. Apparently he had not seen that many at that stage?? But I guess he has now Oh he also said that he was really looking forward to the mossie, well I would say he was NOT disappointed !!
Soem fantastic shots on here but well done to nuuumann and pjw for the images of the veterans. I wonder what they were thinking about? A mixture of admiration and remembrance I guess. Well caught gentlemen.
Luxury Guesthouse owner from North Wales GB. If I could Live anywhere else it would be.....go on guess!!
Great to see the current Officer Commanding (OC) of No 488 Wing (Ohakea) Group Captain Darren (Digby) Webb with the veterans group along with the Air Component Commander (ACC) Air Commodore Steve Moore. (GPCAPT Webb 2nd from left - AIRCDR Moore 2nd from right)
Post by Dave Homewood on Oct 3, 2012 19:29:52 GMT 12
Yes great that the current 488 Wing C.O. could make it for what will surely be the last time the last three No. 488 Squadron aircrew veterans in NZ are reunited, Reg Mitchell, Des Hyland and Murray Richardson.
Post by Dave Homewood on Oct 3, 2012 19:42:58 GMT 12
Superb. A pity that's not Murray in the old photo with Reg. Murray was RNZN, an Observer, posted to No. 488 (NZ) Squadron when his Fulmar squadron converted to Seafires and there was no back seat for him.
Great photos and good to see that you took the time and trouble to ascertain and include the veteran's names. I have uploaded a document of potential interest, being a combat report of the late, then Squadron Leader Frank Davison, who at the time was flight leader of 149 Wing, 488 Squadron. This report is significant, because it records the very last of the squadrons victories and took place on the night of 24/25th April 1945, one day after news of pending disbandment was given to members and one day before actual disbandment took place. Rostered patrols took place until the end! Frank was a life long friend of my own late father and I was privileged to be given by him a copy of his personal life story, written for his family and never published. This report and many other interesting stories and items forms part of his story. I felt it would be a great tribute to Frank and his squadron colleagues if this report could be read out in the course of activities on launch day for KA114, especially as I thought there could well be one or two veterans present for the occasion who would have known Frank. I emailed Avspecs, giving Warren Denholm a synopsis of it and asking if this could be arranged but I never got a reply, I guess he gets 100's of emails and just didn't get to it. I took Frank's "Letter to my Family" with me and tried the direct approach at the commentary box. it took a bit of getting past the security people, one of whom was very disdainful, because I did not have a VIP pass but eventually I was asked to come back at 1.30 and one of the commentators, the Aussie guy from the Temora museum had a look at this and agreed it would be good to read it out. In the event, he just picked out a few bits of it and I doubt many people would have heard because he spoke at a low pitch. I also wish he had thought about if there might be any actual 488 vets present because it would have been great to have met up with them and shown them "Frank's story", particularly as I doubt any of then would have seen Frank since 1945 - he returned to the UK to take up an RAF commission in 1946, left the RAF in 1966 following his last posting to RAAF Woomera. He enjoyed a successful civilian career thereafter and retired to Adelaide, passing away in 2009. I see one veteran of 488 in the photos, Reg Mitchell. He would have been sure to have known Frank, who served in 488 from the day of its (Church Fenton) formation until the end. I am sorry that I was not able to meet him. If I had been able to read out Frank's report myself, and put some real spirit into it, this may have occurred.
Post by Dave Homewood on Oct 3, 2012 21:43:14 GMT 12
Welcome Allan. It is a pity that I was not made aware of this before the event. As the veterans co-ordinator for the airshow I could have arranged for you to meet with all three No. 488 (NZ) Squadron veterans who were present.
Unfortunately on the day all the organisers and people directy involved in the event, including the commentary team, were exceedingly busy, and things that came up out of the blue like that would have had to be squeezed in somehow into the already prepared workload.
Even half the things I had planned and hoped to do simply didn't get done because there simply wasn't enough time in the day, not to mention lots of unforeseen things coming up where loads of people had things they wanted done that we'd not heard about beforehand, such as your reading.
Also the security staff were right to be vigiliant, a lot of idiots were jumping the barrier trying to crowd into where the VIP guests and Veterans were, when they had no right to be there. I was getting a bit annoyed by it, and also by people who were jumping the rope and walking onto the flightline to take picturres because the thought they had the right to join the accredited media pass holders there.
So please don't be upset if you didn't get what you'd hoped, we were all trying to do our best to make the event a successful day for everyone but it is impossible to cater to every single request.
Thanks David. In hindsight, I should have tried to get someone's attention sooner. I live in Christchurch and the links for the launch that I tried took me to Avspecs home page and from there I obtained Warren's email address, but this was Tuesday of last week and I guess he just didn't get to the email. Maybe when Glyn Powell's machine is launched, we could try again. But the clock is ticking for our veterans... Kind regards, Allan