I came across this 1958 film of RNZAF history and not sure it had been posted previously.
Though first established at Wigram in 1923, it wasn't until 1937 that the Royal New Zealand Air Force became an independent military command. This NFU documentary marks the 21st anniversary celebrations in 1958. It looks back at the RNZAF's early days and its battle-hardened contribution in World War II, then follows cadets working towards their ‘wings’ — Top Gun training Kiwi-style. The RNZAF's jets are also seen in action in Malaya; and its search and rescue role is covered. At a celebration dinner, an officer muses that one day planes may be pilotless.
Post by Dave Homewood on Oct 16, 2021 9:49:36 GMT 12
If I am not mistaken, the scene of the Dining In at Wigram Officer's Mess around the 3 minute 25 second mark, the chap speaking is Theo MacLean de Lange, who led No. 25 Squadron in the Pacific, and around the table are Sir Len Isitt, Keith Caldwell (I think next to Isitt?), Fred 'Popeye' Lucas, Sir Richard Bolt. Some real legends. I wonder who all the others were.
Post by Dave Homewood on Oct 16, 2021 10:00:24 GMT 12
Not at 07.05 mins where the Boy Entrant cadets are learning to weld at Woodbourne, in the background is a Mustang. I thought that it must be an instructional airframe - either NZ2401 (INST162) or NZ2405 (INST164) which I think were the only two instructional airframe Mustangs, both at 4TTS, Woodbourne. However NZDF Serials says NZ2401 went to the base dump in 1955-56 and NZ2405 was broken up in 1955-56, but this film was made in 1957-58. So is this earlier footage spliced into the later film? Or is the date of at east one of the INST Mustangs incorrect on NZDF Serials?
Love the "high-speed delivery" of pilots to the Venoms of 14 Squadron (near end of film). I wonder if any of the pilots ever got it a bit wrong and wrenched his ankle, disabling himself for a week or two?
If I am not mistaken, the scene of the Dining In at Wigram Officer's Mess
Funnily enough I'm having a bit of a dining in at this very Mess today to help Don Simms celebrate his birthday over a few quiet beverages. Doubt we will get the same level of service.....hope Don remembers his best mess kit!
The Auster should be recognised for what it is: a gentleman's aerial touring carriage and a nice aeroplane.
Baz you are very lucky. Up in the "Queen " city meeting up with mates for a few quiet ones needs 007 stealth. Sad really , we went for a Sunday drive along the whole Viaduct area , home to masses of bars , cafes etc . All we saw was a man and two dogs .Pleased I am not trying to pay the rent. So enjoy the beers and shout Don one from me .
I lived in the Wigram Officer's mess on several occasions during my career and one of the most outstanding memories is sitting with Hamish Mccaddie (The guru who located most of the aircraft for the 1968 Battle of Britain film) and discussing with him the merits of early WWII RAF bombing techniques and the abysmal success rates with early navigation and night bombing techniques; not resolved until the Pathfinder Squadrons were established.