Post by Dave Homewood on Oct 21, 2020 11:03:00 GMT 12
Some RNZAF pilots I have met actually flew the Wirraway in Singapore with No. 21 Squadron RAAF. They would get attached to that squadron prior to going onto the Buffaloes (in 1941), because they needed experience in flying a low wing, enclosed cockpit, gear-retracting type before moving onto fighters in those days before the RNZAF replaced Vincents and Gordons with Harvards.
One of the chaps I met even got attacked in his Wirraway by a Zero, and managed to outfly it enough till the Zero ran out of ammo, and then the Japanese pilot flew up beside him, smiling, and waved before peeling off back to Thailand or wherever he'd come from.
Also several Kiwi pilots flew in the RAF's special X Flight, or was it Y Flight, or something like that, flying Wirraways in combat in the desperate defence of Singapore.
Y Flight Dave. I have actually seen a B & W pic of one of their aircraft which seemed (from memory) to have carried some type of nose art below the cockpit. Two great reads from the period detailing the mess that was....."Bloody Shambles" and also "Buffalos Over Singapore/Malaya (Just now cannot remember which)"