Post by Dave Homewood on Mar 11, 2006 15:03:41 GMT 12
Apart from the planes 'Britannia" and "Nottingham" that NZ was gifted in 1913/14, which were gifted back to the UK when WWI broke out, according to Wingspread by Leo White, NZ'ers also raised money to present six more gift aircraft.
Does anyone know what the types were? And did they have presentation names? I wonder if anyone knows where they went - squadrons, battlefelds, etc.
One other query, Britannia was sent to Mesopotamia (Iraq) and according to White's book "performed valiant duties in the service of the Empire."
Does anyone know what became of it? Which squaron did it go to? What action did Britannia see? Was she in an Indian squadron like many of our pilots sent there? I wonder if any Kiwis flew her in action?
Sorry for the delay in answering your query Dave but what I have been able to find out (which isn't much) Under the auspices of the "Overseas Club" a total of six aircraft were given and marked. These were 1 Henri Farman biplane. Presented by the Poverty Bay district 2 Type not known. Named "Maori". presented by the Union Steamship Co. Ltd. 2 Vickers biplane. Named "Auckland". Presented by the Auckland district. 4 Type not known. Believed to have been presented by Otago province. 5 Airco DH 5 B 378. Named "Christchurch Overseas Club" 6 Type not known. Presented by Mr E R Jackson, Wanganui.
In 1921 a specially embroidered flag was presented to the Prime Minister, Mr Massey, as a rememberence of the of the presentation of the Imperial Gift Aift Aircraft . This was displayed for many years in the original Officers mess at Wigram, at least until 1938. Anyone know anything about this? Was this to do with the aircraft mentioned or was to do with the aircraft we received?
If there is a highway to hell and a stairway to heaven is that an indication as to the expected traffic flows?
Hi guys No 3 type was a Vickers Gunbus presented by the Auckland provincial aeroplane committee No 4 type was an Re 8 (A3070) presented by the people of Otago and called Otago ( Known as Harry tate by the RFC) Hope this helps Shane
Post by Dave Homewood on Dec 10, 2008 17:42:57 GMT 12
Did the late Henry Boot include WWI aircraft in his book on presentation aircraft or were they just WWII aeroplanes he focussed on? I've never seen the book but he helped me directly by email with some data just before he passed away.
'' The History of New Zealand Avation '' says that the donation by Union Steamship of an aircraft TO BE named '' Maori '' was met with some controversy at the time . It says a cheque was eventually forwarded to England , but no mention of wether an aircraft was actually purchased , or what type it was . ( ie money was donated for the purchase of an aircraft in England )
I would suggest the publication "Cross & Cockade (Great Britain) Vol 14 No 2 (if you can find one) which shows two RE8 aircraft were allocated the name Nottingham, these being B6504-crashed & written off 31 March 1918 with 59 Sqdn RFC. The second was RE8 D6797 with 9 Sqdn RAF. Still in RAF service January 1919.
Post by errolmartyn on Dec 3, 2018 11:06:30 GMT 12
The Air Force Museum of New Zealand holds a copy of the commemorative booklet that was published in connection with the christening and presentation of the Nottingham on 27 October 1917.
The souvenir flag mention earlier in this thread is also held by the Museum. This was presented in London by the Imperial Air Fleet Committee to the Rt Hon. W. F. Massey, Prime Minister of New Zealand, on 23 August 1921, to commemorate the presentation to New Zealand of the aeroplanes Britannia (in 1913) and Nottingham (1917).
Photos of both of the above items appear in my Swift to the Sky on pages 53 and 18 respectively. In the book I also wrote briefly about presentation aircraft as follows:
One of the most remarkable individual civilian contributions to the war eﬀ ort was that of fervent Imperial patriot Alma Baker. Born in Otago in 1857, Baker settled in Malaya and made his fortune there in surveying and mining and as a rubber planter (as well as from other investments elsewhere). In early 1915, he set up the Malayan Air Squadrons’ Fund and the Australian Air Squadrons’ Fund, which resulted in a staggering 94 aircraft being presented to the RFC and AFC. Baker personally paid for four of the Malayan machines and covered all the organising expenses of the campaign. The story is told in a handsome, privately circulated, handcrafted volume edited by Baker and entitled Souvenir of Ninety-Four Gift Battleplanes Which Helped us to Victory, August 4th, 1914 to November 11th, 1918.
Campaigns were also run in New Zealand, resulting in the presentation of a total of eight machines by various organisations, with another, The ANZAC, being presented by members of the Overseas Club of Australia and New Zealand. Meanwhile, in Britain in 1917, the Nottingham Chamber of Commerce, through the Imperial Air Fleet Committee (of Britannia distinction), donated a Royal Aircraft Factory RE8 biplane ‘to New Zealand’.
The aircraft was christened Nottingham on 27 October at an official function in Nottingham attended by a crowd of 40,000. During the ceremony, a bronze mascot bearing a representation of a kiwi, together with the New Zealand motto ‘Onward’ and the motto of the Imperial Air Fleet, ‘Heaven’s light our guide’, was attached to the side of the fuselage, and a number of New Zealand ﬂags were presented to various dignitaries. Strangely, however, the large offcial party lacked even one New Zealand airman.
Nottingham never came to New Zealand but operated on the Western Front for the next five months. Damaged beyond repair, it was replaced, as was common practice with most presentation machines that were written oﬀ (the name Britannia eventually appeared on eight diﬀerent aircraft of four diﬀerent types). In this instance, the name Nottingham was transferred to another RE8, which survived until January 1919, after which its fate is unknown.
(An account of the 1913 presentation of the Bleriot Britannia appears on pages 18-19 of the same book).
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