Airforce

PODCAST: WONZ 266 Vampire Month Jim Barclay

November 2022 marks 50 years since the RNZAF’s de Havilland Vampire fleet retired from service. The Air Force operated 58 Vampires within New Zealand, and at least 44 more leased Vampires in Cyprus and Singapore. In this episode of the WONZ Show, Dave Homewood talks with......

My Final A4 Skyhawk Flight

My final RNZAF flight as an aircraft captain was on 11th December 1987 from RNZAF Base Ohakea, wherein I flew a two-seater Skyhawk TA4K NZ6251, with passenger LAC Glen Edwards in the back seat. The purpose of my flight was to be a ‘Red Air......

Flying the Strikemaster Mk88 in RNZAF Service: Part 1 the 1970s

In late 1972, after phasing out from service the De Havilland Vampire, the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) began to introduce to service the first ten of what eventually became a squadron of sixteen British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) Strikemaster Mk88 dual-seat training aircraft.  The......

75 Sqn Vampires at Ex Golden Kiwi 1969

75 Squadron RNZAF – Exercise Golden Kiwi/Cook Bi-Centennial, Gisborne, September/October 1969 ‘Exercise Golden Kiwi’ was the name given to 75 Squadron support to New Zealand’s 200th year commemoration of the landing at Gisborne, New Zealand, by Captain James Cook in 1769. Supporting the ‘Cook Bi-Centennial’......

Joanie Barclay’s F4 Phantom ‘Burner Bust’

In early 1981, Joanie Barclay, wife of the then Squadron Leader Jim Barclay, a Royal New Zealand Air Force exchange pilot with the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing (31 TFW) at United States Air Force (USAF) Homestead Air Force Base (HAFB), located near Miami, Florida, was quick to respond to an invitation from Jim’s 308th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron (308 TFTS) to experience a ‘Burner Bust’. Like a number of other USAF squadrons, the 308 TFTS annually invited the wives of squadron aircrew to experience an overview of what their husbands did while away at work. ...

The Last Battles of Hastings: 1969 and 1971, at RNZAF Base Ohakea

RNZAF Hastings in service – The RNZAF operated four Handley Page (HP) Hastings (serial numbers NZ5801 to 5804) CMk3 four-engined transport aircraft from 1952. These aircraft were flown initially by No. 41 Squadron, but they were transferred to No. 40 Squadron when it reformed on......

Flying Vampires with 75 Squadron 1969 – 1970

My introduction to flying in Vampires with 75 Squadron (Sqn) began when I was posted to Ohakea in April 1966 as an 18 year old Secretarial Officer.  At that time 75 Sqn aircrew were located in the north western corner of No 2 Hangar at......

Skyhawk stories – Drop Tanks and a Flash-fire

A4 painted drop tanks – what some may think is ‘useless’ information – a photo of Skyhawk A4K NZ6208 at Ohakea carrying the first set of drop tanks with camouflage paint applied to the top part of the tank. Since we had had the Skyhawks......