Many of you are aware of the various helicopter posters we do. Well I am working with some friends at 3 Squadron to do a poster of all 3 Squadron aircraft - Past and Present.
Trying to collect images of all the aircraft they have had since the beginning so if anyone has any images please post them here - any help would be appreciated. The aircraft they have had are as follows:
Seems to be a fairly comprehensive list kiwined. However "Vildeebeast" should be spelled in the proper Afrikaans as Vildebeest, as used by the RAF (and RNZAF). Incidentally very few Vildebeests were used by 3 Squadron, just three in fact, and let's face it, for most purposes Vildebeest and Vincent aircraft were all but identical. There were more differences between various versions of the Vildebeest than there were between the Pegasus-powered Vildebeests and the standard Vincent. The RNZAF differentiated between the types when it suited them, but employed them more-or-less as interchangeable operationally. No. 3 Squadron also had a single Airspeed Oxford (NZ1345) on strength at Whenuapai alongside its Hudsons, between June and beginning of October 1942, at which point the squadron transferred overseas, to PDG (New Caledonia), Espiritu Santo, and thence to Henderson Field, Guadalcanal by late November 1942. Unfortunately I have never seen a photograph of that particular Oxford with 3 Sqdn, but it was almost certainly painted up in the camouflage of the time.
The three Vildebeests with 3 Sqdn were NZ111 (one of the original 12 aircraft delivered to NZ in 1935) plus NZ130 and 132 (both ex-RAF, arrived in NZ well after outbreak of the War). NZ111 in service at Harewood and Taieri from late August 1941 till about April 1942, when all the Vincents and Vildes were withdrawn. NZ130 and 132 were only on strength in period January till April 1942. A total of up to 18 or 19 Vincents were in service at Harewood/Taieri between late July 1941 and early May 1942, when the final 12 were allotted away, the squadron henceforth being entirely Hudson-equipped (apart from the sole Oxford).
I am including both types as they are on the aircraft types as operated by 3 Sqn and to make the poster accurate am going to include them both. Will just have one of each type on there and not worry about the various versions within that family.
Thanks for your help and love to see any photos you might have of any of them.
One really good way to search for photos on the forum is go to Google Image Search, and put in what it is you're looking for (such as Baffin 3 Squadron), and add rnzaf.probards as it then searches the forum photos.
Dave H, re your message of 3/8/20 (above), on allocation of Oxford 1309 to 3 Squadron at Whenuapai: can you be more specific on the period this aircraft served with this squadron? According to my notes, 1309 was on strength of 1 Squadron (then NZGR Sqdn) at Whenuapai from October 1940 right through to (approx.) January 1943, when it turned up at Wigram (1 SFTS). Is it possible that your record of 1309 with 3 Squadron was during the period when both 1 and 3 Squadrons were at Whenuapai together (April - beginning October 1942)? Dave D
Post by Dave Homewood on Dec 8, 2020 10:07:28 GMT 12
Yes, at the period when No. 3 Squadron arrived at Whenuapai from Harewood and they began transitioning from Vildebeests and Vincents onto their new Hudsons, the squadron used NZ1309 to convert the pilots who'd not yet flown multi-engined, enclosed cabin aircraft before they moved onto the Hudsons. It's quite possible the Oxford was still on the strength of No. 1 (GR) Squadron, but it was certainly used by the 3GR pilots for the period they were based in Auckland before heading to the Pacific.
Many thanks for that Dave. I think your last explanation would be right, as 3 Squadron did definitely have one on strength from early June 1942 through to the time of their departure for PDG and then Espiritu Santo, which I am presuming was NZ1345, so prior to this they could have called on 1 Squadron's aircraft when required, and for that matter even after 1345 arrived. However the presence of 1345 with 3 Sqdn cannot be disputed really as the documentary evidence for it is pretty strong, as is the evidence for 1309 with 1 Squadron over this period. Main evidence is the Mayfly pages (which of course only show the NUMBERS of aircraft on charge of each unit, but not their actual SERIAL numbers, plus other files used to show the allocation of Oxfords at this time which DO include serial numbers of aircraft concerned, and allotment from one unit to another, and usually date of the movement. David D