Post by Dave Homewood on Apr 16, 2008 21:25:31 GMT 12
I discovered this week that King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV of Tonga, who died in new Zealand last year and was transported home by RNZAF Hercules for his funeral, actually served in the Royal New Zealand Air Force himself in WWII.
As a Crown Prince, Taufa'ahau Tupou IV apparently served as an RNZAF Catalina pilot. This was told to me by a chap who was himself on Catalinas in the RNZAF. he said he was a very good pilot.
Does anyone else know more about his service, how he came to be in the RNZAF and if he served on other aircraft operationally too?
I wonder if any other royals have served in the RNZAF at any time, apart from the British royal family members who hold token appointments.
Prince Edward used to fly the C421 at 42 SQN while he was at Wanganui Collegiate. Prince Charles flew the Andover on Royal Tours - prior to his bingle in a 146. That is about as close as it gets, I think.
Post by Dave Homewood on Apr 16, 2008 22:35:07 GMT 12
I never even realised Prince Edward was a pilot. Interesting.
So, how was it he got to fly our aircraft while working as a scholl tutor? Did he have the right as royalty to use the Cessnas as VIP transport for himself at his will? Or does the collegiate have some aviation scheme like the University Air Scheme squadrons in Britain or something? I know that school has certainly turned out many top aviators and RNZAF men over the decades.
I wonder if any other Pacific royalty has served in our Air Force.
The Tongan prince served in the RNZAF from 1943 - 1944. He was being trained as a Catalina pilot at No.3 FBOTU in Fiji when the then King of Tonga decided that he should return to Tonga. Consequently he never saw operational service. An interesting sidebar is that he was a Flight Sergeant pilot, but when recalled to Tonga the New Zealand Government insisted on an instant promotion to Flying Officer !