Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   www.SilverHawkAuthor.com   
 
Warplanes of the Second World War preserved in New Zealand

Warplanes of the Second World War preserved in New Zealand

The aim of this website is to locate, identify and document Warplanes from the Second World War preserved in New Zealand.  Many contributors have assisted in the hunt for these aircraft to provide and update the data on this website.  Photos are by the author unless otherwise credited.  Any errors found here are by the author, and any additions, corrections or amendments to this list of Warplane Survivors of the Second World War in New Zealand would be most welcome and may be e-mailed to the author at hskaarup@rogers.com.

Data current to 20 Nov 2016.

Warplanes of the Second World War preserved in New Zealand by aircraft type, serial number, registration number and location:

 (RNZAF Museum Photo)

Auster Mk. 7c (Serial No. NZ1707), ex-RAF (Serial No. WE563). This aircraft was manufactured by Auster Aircraft Ltd at Rearsby in November 1950 as a dual-control air trainer for the RAF. It served until 1955 (possibly in the Middle East) before being returned to the factory for modifications. In November 1955 it was allocated to the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition along with Auster (Serial No. WE600). WE563 was purchased from the UK Air Ministry at a cost of £8696 for the use of the NZ Antarctic Expedition.  It arrived in Lyttelton, via the SS Rangitikei, on 28 May 1956. The aircraft was left in the paint scheme it arrived in, except for the addition of "NZ1707" on the rear fuselage. During cold weather training for the Expedition in 1956, the aircraft was damaged while landing on the Tasman Glacier. It had to be hurriedly repaired before traveling to the Antarctic with the Expedition for the summer season. The aircraft had two tours of duty on the ice, the first from December 1956 - March 1958, and then from December 1959 - March 1961. After returning to Wigram the aircraft was overhauled and put into service as a trainer. It served at Hobsonville as part of an Army unit in 1963. In 1965 it was transferred to No. 3 Battlefield Support Squadron and in August 1966 it crashed into Kaipara Harbour and was written off. Eventually disposed of to the Museum of Transport and Technology in Auckland, NZ1707 was later returned to Wigram.  Air Force Museum of New Zealand, Wigram, Christchurch.

 (111 Emergency Photo)

Auster Mk. 7c (Serial No. NZ1708), BWH. Museum of Transport and Technology, Sir Keith Park Memorial Aviation Display, Western Springs, Aukland.

 (Oren Rozen Photo, left, MoD UK Photo, right)

Avro 626 (Serial No. NZ203). This aircraft is one of four bought by the RNZAF in 1935 and shipped to New Zealand aboard the ship Middlesex.  It arrived in Lyttelton in September 1935 and was allocated to Wigram where it served with No. 1 Flying Training School.  It was withdrawn from flying in 1943 and converted to instructional airframe (INST90) and issued to the Hastings Air Training Corps squadron. It remained there until being disposed of by the War Assets Realisation Board and purchased by Mr J Frogley and registered as ZK-APC in 1948. In 1965 the registration was cancelled (although it had not flown since 1958) and the aircraft put into storage at Havelock North. Purchased by the Museum in 1980, NZ203 was restored to flying condition at RNZAF Base Ohakea where its first post-restoration flight took place on 8 July 1985. Moving to Wigram the aircraft became a part of the RNZAF Historic Flight until an engine malfunction grounded it.  Air Force Museum of New Zealand, Wigram, Christchurch

 (Oren Rozen Photo)

 (L-Bit Photos)

Avro 652 Anson Mk. I (Serial No. MH120), Reg. NoZ. K-RRA, BV-X, Airworthy. Bill and Robyn Reid, Nelson.

 (RNZAF Museum Photo)

Avro 652 Anson Mk. I (Serial No. LT376), (Serial No. NZ415), painted as (Serial No. NZ406).  23 Ansons were supplied to the RNZAF in 1942-43 and were used in New Zealand for general reconnaissance and advanced navigational training. The last of the Anson fleet was retired from the RNZAF in 1952.  The aircraft on display is a composite aircraft made from many different Anson aircraft parts, although the fuselage is largely NZ415 (LT376).  Parts of NZ410, NZ422 and VL352 are also used.  The metal centre section, mainplanes and tailplane are from VL352, a late series Mk. 19.  For display purposes the aircraft is shown as NZ406 "G" of the School of General Reconnaissance, RNZAF Bell Block (New Plymouth), 1943.  Air Force Museum of New Zealand, Wigram, Christchurch.

  (Nick-D Photo, left, Pseudopanax Photo, right)

(111 Emergency Photo)

 (Pseudopanax Photo, left, Richard Dietrich Photo, right)

Avro Lancaster Mk. VII (Serial No. NX665). This aircraft served with the French Aeronavale as WU-13 from 1952 until the 1960s, when it was presented to the museum. The airframe originally lacked the mid-upper turret, having been built with the mountings for a Martin 250CE. An earlier FN50 was retrofitted in the late 1980s which required modifications to the aircraft's structure, as the turret mounts had to be moved rearwards. The aircraft is equipped with H2S radar.  Sir Keith Park Memorial Aviation Display, Museum of Transport and Technology, Western Springs, Aukland.

 (RNZAF Photo)

Consolidated Catalina 0A-10A-V1, RNZAF (Serial No. NZ4051), KN-H, taxiing on the water.

 (RNZAF Museum Photo)

Consolidated Catalina 0A-10A-V1, USAAF (Serial No. 44-34081), C/N CV-592, Reg. No. VR-HDH. The RNZAF operated a total of 56 Catalinas between 1943 and 1954. During the Second World War they were used in anti-submarine, maritime patrol, transport and air-sea rescue roles. The Catalinas were operated in the South West Pacific by No. 5 and 6 Squadrons during the War, before returning to Fiji and New Zealand for post-War use.  Short Sunderland flying boats replaced the Catalinas in 1953-54. Manufactured under licence in Canada by the Vickers Company at Montreal for a US Air Force contract, the service career of the aircraft is unknown. The aircraft was purchased from the Foreign Liquidation Commission in Manila in November 1946 by Cathay Pacific. Registered as VR-HDH and operating out of Hong Kong, the aircraft served with Cathay Pacific for two years before being sold to MATCO. Sold in 1962 to Trans Australian Airlines for its service to Papua New Guinea (as VH-SBV) the aircraft made its last flight in January 1966. After languishing at Port Moresby for two years, it was taken to the fire dump at the airfield for crash-rescue practice. In 1975, in a very sorry state, she was recovered by the Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT), Auckland. After an agreement between MOTAT and the Air Force Museum was reached in 1983, the aircraft was transferred to RNZAF Base Auckland where a small team of volunteers made considerable progress on the restoration of the hull. The hull was transferred to Wigram in 1990.  Air Force Museum of New Zealand, Wigram, Christchurch.

Consolidated PBY-5 Canso A USAF (Serial No. 11054), RNZAF (Serial No. NZ4017), Reg.No. ZK-PBY, The New Zealand Catalina Preservation Society, Aukland.

Curtis P 40E Kittyhawk (Serila No.0, Reg. No. ZK-RMH, The Old Stick and Rudder Company,

Curtiss P-40 Warhawk (Serial No.). Some RNZAF pilots and New Zealanders in other air forces flew British P-40s while serving with RAF squadrons in North Africa and Italy, including the ace Jerry Westenra. A total of 301 P-40s were allocated to the RNZAF under Lend-Lease, for use in the Pacific Theater, although four of these were lost in transit. The aircraft equipped 14 Squadron, 15 Squadron, 16 Squadron, 17 Squadron, 18 Squadron, 19 Squadron and 20 Squadron. Museum of Transport and Technology, Sir Keith Park Memorial Aviation Display, Western Springs, Aukland.

 (Oren Rozen Photos)

Curtiss P-40F Kittyhawk (Serial No. NZ3000), ex-USAAF (Serial No. 41-14205), restored as a P-40E. The P-40 Kittyhawk was the backbone of RNZAF fighter squadrons from 1942 to the middle of 1944 when they were replaced by Corsairs.  Equipping eight squadrons and two training units, Kittyhawks of various marks (E, K, M and N) were used to train fighter pilots at home in New Zealand and on operations in the South-West Pacific during the Second World War.  A total of 297 Kittyhawks were operated by the RNZAF.  By the end of the War, there were only 124 Kittyhawks remaining, 20 having been lost in combat, 76 in accidents overseas and another 76 in accidents in New Zealand.  During their time at the front, RNZAF Kittyhawks accounted for 99 Japanese aircraft destroyed in air combat, with a further 14 probables.  This aircraft was built for the USAAF in New York in 1941 as a Rolls-Royce Merlin- powered, short fuselage, P-40F.  It served with the 44th Fighter Squadron in the South- West Pacific and belly-landed on Erromango Island in the New Hebrides (now Vanuatu) on 23 December 1942 after running low on fuel.  The aircraft was recovered from where it lay in 1989 to Australia for restoration.  In 1996, 41-14205 was acquired by the Air Force Museum of New Zealand.  As the RNZAF did not operate P-40Fs it was decided at that time to restore the aircraft as an Allison V-1710-powered P-40E.  After 16 years and the completion of 22,319 hours of restoration effort, the work was completed in May 2013.  The aircraft is painted to represent a generic RNZAF P-40E Kittyhawk in Pacific theatre colours, and has been given the display identity of NZ3000.   Air Force Museum of New Zealand, Wigram, Christchurch.

 (Phillip Capper Photo)

de Havilland D.H.82A Tiger Moth Mk. II (Serial No. NZ775), built in Wellington in 1940 and to the RNZAF. To Auckland Aero Club 1945, to topdressing 1952. Museum of Transport and Technology, Sir Keith Park Memorial Aviation Display, Western Springs, Aukland.

 (Oren Rozen Photo)

de Havilland D.H.82A Tiger Moth Mk. II (Serial No. NZ1481), painted as (Serial No. NZ825), C/N DHNZ 161. The RNZAF operated a total of 335 Tiger Moths from 1939 to 1956.  They were used almost exclusively for basic flying training.  Typically, pilot trainees would spend 40-50 flying hours on Tiger Moths before moving on to other aircraft types.  In the early post-War period a small number of Tiger Moths were operated by the RNZAF in the central North Island in support of the Forest Service on fire patrols during the summer months.  NZ1481 was manufactured by the De Havilland Company of New Zealand at Rongotai in 1943-44 and taken on charge on 25 January 1944.  It saw service with No. 2 Elementary Flying Training School at Ashburton during 1944, and was subsequently stored at Wigram before conversion to an instructional airframe (INST150) and allocated to No. 1 Technical Training School at Hobsonville.  On the 20 August 1965 the aircraft was passed to the Air Training Corps at Invercargill and recovered for display at the Museum in 1977.  Rebuilt by a team of volunteers (the Moth Doctors), the aircraft is displayed as NZ825.  Air Force Museum of New Zealand, Wigram, Christchurch.

 (Design Plane Photo)

de Havilland D.H.82A Tiger Moth Mk. II (Serial No. ZK-CDU), C/N 3581, Ashburton Aviation Museum.

 (L-Bit Photo)

de Havilland DH.94 Moth Minor (Serial No. 94012), Reg. No. ZK-AKM, Ardmore Airport.

 (Pseudopanax Photo)

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito FB.40 (T.43), (Serial No. NZ2305), ex-RAAF (Serial No. A52-19), converted to a T.43 on the line and renumbered (Serial No. A52-1053). Museum of Transport and Technology, Sir Keith Park Memorial Aviation Display, Western Springs, Aukland.

de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito FB.VI, composite of (Serial No. NZ2328), and Serial No. 2382), Ferrymead Aeronautical Society, Ferrymead Heritage Park, Christchurch.

 (Oren Rozen Photos)

Douglas C-47B Dakota (Serial No. NZ3551), C/N 16963, ex-USAAF (Serial No. 45-960). No. 40 Squadron (and later No. 41 Squadron) operated C-47B transport aircraft from 1943 in support of RNZAF operations in the South and South-West Pacific theatres. The C-47 remained in RNZAF service until 1977. It was replaced in its transport role in 1951-52 by the Bristol Freighters and Handley Page Hastings. The RNZAF retained two C-47s for VIP transport with No. 42 Squadron during the Royal Tour of 1953-54, and subsequently four ex-National Airways Corporation DC-3s (originally RNZAF C-47s) were obtained for general duties including drogue-towing and parachute training. Manufactured in July 1945, NZ3551 was delivered by the RNZAF Pacific Ferry from California to No. 1 Aircraft Storage Unit, Hamilton and brought on charge on 14 August 1945. It was allocated to No. 40 Squadron on 29 August 1945 and then in October to No. 41 Squadron. With No. 41 Squadron it made many flights to Japan in support of J-Force. On 17 April 1953 it went into service with No. 42 Squadron. However, this was short-lived as the aircraft was transferred to De Havilland Ltd, Rongotai, for conversion to the flagship of the Royal Flight. On the 13 November 1953 it was returned to No. 42 Squadron at Ohakea as a VIP aircraft. In its VIP role it was well known as it carried Royalty, Governors- General, Prime Ministers, Ministers of the Crown and visiting dignitaries on its various flights around the country. Records show that the aircraft operated with either No. 41 or No. 42 Squadrons for a continuous period in excess of 32 years. The aircraft was retired from operational flying in late 1977 and flown to Wigram for display in the Museum. NZ3551 is displayed exactly as it was when it left VIP service in 1977.  Air Force Museum of New Zealand, Wigram, Christchurch.

 (US Navy Photo)

Douglas SBD-4 Dauntless (BuNo. 06766), RNZAF (Serial No. NZ5034) assigned to the Royal New Zealand Air Force receives the attention of ground personnel on Espiritu Santo, in 1944.  This aircraft was one of 27 SBD-4s obtained by the RNZAF and operated in the Solomon Islands by No. 25 Squadron RNZAF in 1943/44 until being replaced by Vought F4U-1 Corsair fighters. The SBD-4 BuNo 06766 (c/n 1611) to was returned to the U.S. Marine Corps in March 1944.  None have been preserved in New Zealand.

 (US Navy Photo)

Grumman TBF-1C Avenger (s/n NZ2510) from No. 30 Squadron, Royal New Zealand Air Force on the Turtle Bay strip at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides.  This aircraft had been assigned to the RNZAF on 25 October 1943 and assigned to 30 Squadron (identification letter "J" for "Joker").  It was ferried from New Zealand to Espiritu Santo on 24 January 1944.  It was then ferried to Bougainville and operated from Piva North airfield beginning in March 1944.  It was damaged by flak on 25 March 1944 and made an emergency landing at the Green Island airfield.  After repair it was returned to 30 Squadron on Bougainville. It was finally turned over to the British Fleet Air Arm at Hobsonville, New Zealand on 7 September 1945.

 (Oren Rozen Photo, left, Winstonwolfe Photo, right)

Grumman TBF-1C Avenger (Serial No. NZ2504), painted as (Serial No. NZ2521), C/N 5219.  The RNZAF received 48 Grumman Avengers in 1943-44 to equip two torpedo bomber squadrons, No. 30 and 31, both of which carried out operational tours in the South and South-West Pacific theatres.  In late 1944 sixteen were returned to the US Government, and at the end of the Second World War nine were transferred to the Royal Navy for use in Australia.  The RNZAF retained 12 Avengers; six were sold for scrap in 1948, and the remaining six were used for drogue towing and general duties with No. 42 Squadron at Ohakea until 1959.  NZ2504 was received by the RNZAF on 21 September 1943 as one of the first shipment of six Avengers.  After assembly at Hobsonville it was issued to No. 30 Squadron at Gisborne on 5 October 1943 and was used by No. 30 and later No. 31 Squadrons for crew training.  As it was an early model it was not designated for overseas operational service.  On 21 September 1944 the aircraft was converted to a target tug and used by the Target Towing Flight at Ardmore and with the Fighter Gunnery School at Ohakea. The aircraft went into storage in September 1945.  On the 15 August 1948, it was removed from storage and issued to the General Purpose Flight Ohakea for conversion to a top dresser for the Government-sponsored aerial top dressing trials.  NZ2504 continued in this task until November 1949 when it was issued to No. 42 Squadron, Ohakea, for target towing duties in support of the RNZAF, RNZN and NZ Army units.  NZ2504 was flown for the last time on 30 June 1959 to Hamilton and was towed to RNZAF Te Rapa.  It was allocated the identity INST 182 and was then used as a gate guardian.  In November 1978 NZ2504 was towed to the Devonport Naval Base and shipped to Christchurch on the flight deck of HMNZS Waikato.  By 4 November 1978 the aircraft was on the charge of the Air Force Museum where it was subsequently restored.  Its display identity is NZ2521, a No. 31 Squadron Avenger which was lost during a strike on Rabaul on 31 May 1944 with the loss of all three crew members.  Air Force Museum of New Zealand, Wigram, Christchurch.

Grumman TBF-1 Avenger (Serial No.), being restored, Museum of Transport and Technology, Sir Keith Park Memorial Aviation Display, Western Springs, Aukland.

Hawker Hurricane Mk. I, RAF (Serial No. P3351), Mk. IIa (Serial No. DR393), TP-K, Reg. No. ZK-TPL.  This aircraft is a survivor of the Battle of France, Battle of Britain and Battle for Russia.  Alpine Fighter Collection, Wanaka.

 (Winstonwolfe Photo)

Hawker Hurricane (Serial No. P3854), replica, one of the static aircraft used in the 'Battle of Britain' film, mounted on a pylon, Museum of Transport and Technology, Sir Keith Park Memorial Aviation Display, Western Springs, Aukland.

Lockheed Lodestar (Serial No.), Museum of Transport and Technology, Sir Keith Park Memorial Aviation Display, Western Springs, Aukland.

Lockheed Lexington (Serial No. NZ4600). One of 19 well-worn aircraft received from the USAAF in 1944, used as an instructional airframe. Museum of Transport and Technology, Sir Keith Park Memorial Aviation Display, Western Springs, Aukland.

Lockheed Hudson Mk. III (Serial No.NZ2031), C/N 3854, Museum of Transport and Technology, Sir Keith Park Memorial Aviation Display, Western Springs, Aukland.

Lockheed Hudson Mk. III (Serial No. NZ2035), Ferrymead Aeronautical Society, Ferrymead Heritage Park, Christchurch.

Lockheed Hudson Mk. III (Serial No. TBC), Bill Reid, Wakefield.

Lockheed Hudson Mk. III (Serial No. NZ2084Ù), Nigel Wilcox, Christchurch.

Lockheed Hudson Mk. III (Serial No. NZ20XX), ex-RNZAF, fuselage section under long term static rebuild, (Private Collection) near Ardmore Aerodrome, South Auckland.

 (RNZAF Museum Photo, left, Winstonwolfe Photo, right)

Lockheed Hudson Mk. III (Serial No. NZ2013), ex-RAF (Serial No. V9241), C/N 3826. The RNZAF received 94 Hudsons in 1941-42 as part of measures to counter the threat of German raiders around the New Zealand coastline.  Subsequently they formed a major part of the RNZAF's operational capabilities to counter the Japanese threat.  They were operated by No. 1,2,3,4 and 9 Squadrons until replaced in 1943-44 by the more powerful Lockheed Venturas.  The Hudson performed the roles of maritime search and strike operations. NZ2013 was manufactured in 1941 by the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation at Burbank, California.  It was part of a diverted RAF order and was shipped directly to Auckland from Los Angeles.  It was brought on charge 18 September 1941 and was issued to No. 1 Squadron at Whenuapai following assembly at Hobsonville.  The aircraft later served with No. 4 Squadron, Fiji.  It also served briefly in New Caledonia in August/September 1942.  The aircraft suffered a major accident in Fiji in early 1942 and was out of commission for several months. NZ2013 returned to New Zealand in July 1944 and served with the School of Navigation and Reconnaissance at New Plymouth.  After the War, the School moved to Wigram where the aircraft continued to serve until July 1948.  It was then sold to Mr Clarke of Oamaru on 2 May 1949.  It was used as a shed and chicken coop on Mr Clarke's farm until being purchased by the Museum Trust Board and No. 26 Squadron, Air Training Corps in 1985.  Restoration of this aircraft was completed by the Museum in July 1996 and it is finished in the colour scheme that it would have been in when serving with No. 4 Squadron in Fiji in 1943-44.  Air Force Museum of New Zealand, Wigram, Christchurch.

 (AWMM Photo)

Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero-sen 22 (Serial No. TBC), was intended to be flown on a kamikaze mission.  Technical problems prevented it from fulfilling its mission.  This Japanese warbird, the Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero-sen 22, was damaged and rebuilt during the last few months of the Second World War, which ended before it could fly its final mission.  The kamikaze pilot's mission was to crash into the target, causing great damage to the enemy and certain death to himself.  Auckland War Memorial Museum.

 (Nick-D Photo)

North American Harvard Mk. II (Serial No. NZ944), 44, Museum of Transport and Technology, Sir Keith Park Memorial Aviation Display, Western Springs, Aukland.

North American Harvard Mk. IIa (Serial No. NZ1012), c/n 88-9269.  Ashburton Aviation Museum.

 (Chris Finney Photo)

North American Harvard Mk. IIa (Serial No. NZ1014), privately owned.

 (111 Emergency Photo)

North American Harvard Mk. II (Serial No. NZ1015), privately owned.

 (Chris Finney Photo)

North American AT-6C Harvard Mk. IIA (Serial No. NZ1050), 50, mounted on a pylon.  Air Force Museum of New Zealand, Wigram, Christchurch.

North American Harvard Mk. III (Serial No. NZ1058), composite aircraft, Ferrymead Aeronautical Society, Ferrymead Heritage Park, Christchurch.

 (Oren Rozen Photos)

 (Oren Rozen Photo)

North American Harvard Mk. II (Serial No. NZ1076), Reg. No. ZK-ENF, privately owned.

North American Harvard Mk. III (Serial No. NZ1087), painted as (Serial No. NZ948), C/N 88-16326, ex-RAF (Serial No. EZ331). The Harvard was supplied to the RNZAF in 1941 to 1944 for advanced pilot training on single-engine aircraft. The RNZAF obtained additional aircraft and operated a total of 202 Harvards throughout their service until they were replaced in 1976 by the CT/4B Airtrainer and BAC Strikemasters. Manufactured by North American Aviation in Dallas, Texas in 1944, this aircraft was diverted to New Zealand under the Empire Air Training Scheme. Brought on charge at Hobsonville on 5 July 1944 it served at No. 1 Service Flying Training School, Wigram from 1944-45, and from 1950-57 was on the strength of RNZAF Base Ohakea. It was modified to Mk.III* status at Woodbourne by 29 November 1957 and was allocated to long term storage until 1962. On 4 October 1962 it was returned to service at RNZAF Base Wigram as a pool aircraft serving the Flying Training School (later Pilot Training Squadron), the Central Flying School, and was also used by the Red Checkers Aerobatic Team. Withdrawn from service on 26 June 1977, it was flown to RNZAF Base Woodbourne and was allocated to No. 4 Technical Training School as instructional airframe INST 213.  It was allocated to the Museum in 1981, and is displayed as a Harvard Mk. II NZ948 of No. 2 Service Flying Training School, Woodbourne, 1943.  Air Force Museum of New Zealand, Wigram, Christchurch.

 (L-Bit Photo)

North American T6 Harvard 3 (aka Texan), (Serial No. NZ1078, Reg. No. ZK-ENG, ex- RNZAF now flying with the Wardbirds, Ardmore Airport.

 (RNZAF Museum Photo)

North American AT-6C Harvard Mk. III (Serial No. NZ1087), painted as (Serial No. NZ948).  Air Force Museum of New Zealand, Wigram, Christchurch.

 (L-Bit Photos)

North American T6 Harvard 3 (aka Texan), (Serial No. NZ1092), Reg. No. ZK-WAR, ex-RNZAF now flying with the Wardbirds, painted in US Navy colours, 8817T9299, Ardmore.

North American AT-6D Harvard III (Serial No. NZ1098) c/n 88-17010, Reg. No. ZK-ENJ, Wanaka.

 (RNZAF Museum Photo)

North American P-51D Mustang (Serial No. NZ2410), ex- USAAF (Serial No. 44-74827), C/N 122-41367.  The RNZAF received 30 Mustangs in 1945 from the United States as part of the planned replacement of the Corsair fighter aircraft.  It was intended that the RNZAF receive a total of 370 Mustangs, however this did not take place.  The 30 initially delivered were placed into storage at Hobsonville after the War until 1951 when the Territorial Air Force was re-quipped with them.  In 1951 the stored Mustangs entered service in 1 (Auckland), 2(Wellington), 3 (Canterbury) and 4 (Otago) squadrons of the Territorial Air Force (TAF). The Mustangs remained in service until they were prematurely retired in August 1955 following a series of problems with undercarriage and coolant system corrosion problems. RNZAF pilots in the Royal Air Force also flew the P-51, and at least one New Zealand pilot scored victories over Europe while on loan to a USAAF P-51 squadron.  The majority were withdrawn from service in 1955 and sold for scrap, although four remained active for a further eighteen months as drogue towers. This aircraft was produced by North American Aviation at Inglewood, California, and rebuilt to Cavalier standards by Cavalier Aircraft Company in the early 1970s for supply to the Indonesian Air Force under the Mutual Aid Programme in 1972. The aircraft was exchanged for a Vampire T.11 in 1985 and was rebuilt to P-51D standards at RNZAF Base Ohakea. The aircraft is displayed as NZ2410 which served with No. 4 Squadron, Territorial Air Force at Taieri from 1951-55.  Air Force Museum of New Zealand, Wigram, Christchurch.

North American P-51D Mustang, ex-RAAF (Serial No. A68-674), ex-USAAF (Serial No. 44-13016), painted as (Serial No. 44-73060), LH-X, "Dove of Peace", Reg. No. ZK-SAS, Robert Broek, Wanaka.  Airworthy.

 (Pam Photo, left, Dean S. Pemberton Photo, right)

North American P-51D Mustang (Serial No. NZ2415), 3 (Canterbury) Squadron TAF colours, ex-USAAF (Serial No. 44-74829), ex-RCAF (Serial No. 9265), Reg. No. ZK-TAF, Graham Bethel, Ardmore and Christchurch.  Airworthy.

    (Richard Dietrich Photos) (Fluyernzl Photo left, Winstonwolfe Photo, right)

Short S.25 Sunderland flying boat (Serial No. NZ4115), KN-Q, No. 5 Squadron RNZAF. The aircraft was originally RAF (Serial No. SZ584), before serving briefly with BOAC from 2 May 1946 to 16 April 1948. It was returned to the RAF, as one of 16 Sunderlands refurbished to MR5 standard to replace the PBY Catalinas of the Royal New Zealand Air Force, (the RNZAF had previously operated Sunderland Mk. IIIs but primarily as transports). NZ4115 served initially with squadron code 'KN-A', then 'KN-B', then 'KN-Q'. Finally it was coded 'Q', being an abbreviation of its radio call sign 'ZMZBQ'. The aircraft served in Fiji and from Hobsonville air base. NZ4115 left active RNZAF service on 9 December 1966 in an airworthy state, and was gifted to the Museum of Transport and Technology which, like Hobsonville base, is located on Auckland Harbour. The Sunderland made its final journey from Hobsonville to Meola Creek on 22 December 1966. Museum of Transport and Technology, Sir Keith Park Memorial Aviation Display, Western Springs, Aukland.

   (Flyernzl Photo, left, Richard Dietrich Photo, right)

 (Nick-D Photo)

Short S.45 Solent Mk. IV flying boat (Serial No.), Reg. No. ZK-AMO, Empire Airways Limited (TEAL) flying boat service, which flew ‘The Coral Route', between Auckland, Fiji, Samoa, the Cook Islands and Tahiti in 1960. Sir Museum of Transport and Technology, Sir Keith Park Memorial Aviation Display, Western Springs, Aukland.

 (Winstonwolfe Photo), (

 (Oren Rozen Photos)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. XVIe, RAF (Serial No. TE288), C/N 11892, "Rongotea", OU-V. Although the RNZAF did not operate Spitfires in its own right, many hundreds of New Zealanders piloted them whilst serving with the RAF during the Second World War.  No. 485 (NZ) Squadron RAF was equipped with Spitfires and was manned mainly by New Zealand pilots. Manufactured at Castle Bromwich in May 1945, this aircraft's main claim to fame was that it took part in the film Reach for the Sky in 1955.  It was subsequently allocated as an RAF maintenance airframe No. 7287M from 24 October 1955 to April 1962. The aircraft was presented to the Christchurch Brevet Club and was crated by No. 2 Maintenance Unit before leaving for New Zealand in April 1963.  The aircraft was re- assembled at RNZAF Base Wigram and mounted on a plinth at the Brevet Club's former home near Christchurch Airport on 3 March 1964.  In 1984 the Brevet Club relinquished ownership of the aircraft in favour of a fibreglass replica and the Spitfire was donated to the Museum. The aircraft is displayed as OU-V of No. 485 Squadron in Europe in 1945.  Air Force Museum of New Zealand, Wigram, Christchurch.

 (AWMM Photo)

Supermarine Spitfire LF Mk. XVIE, RAF (Serial No. ), RAB-J.  This rare late example was never flown in combat but was presented to the people of New Zealand by a grateful Britain.  Built in late 1945, this Spitfire Mark XVI was not commissioned until 1951, when it saw service with the RAF until 1956. Thus this particular plane didn?'t fly in the war, and has recorded only 638 flying hours.  In 1956 New Zealander Sir Keith Park, commander of No 11 Fighter Group (which defended London and the south of England during the Battle of Britain), arranged for it to be given to Auckland War Memorial Museum to remember the important part it had played in the war.  Many New Zealanders piloted Spitfires during the war.  Powered by a Packard Merlin 266 engine (unlike other models powered by Rolls Royce engines); it?s armament consists of two 20mm cannon and two .5 inch machine guns.  Drop tanks and bombs were carried under the wings.  Auckland War Memorial Museum.

 (Winstonwolfe Photo)

Supermarine Walrus (Serial No. NZ158), previously (Serial No. X9512).  This aircraft arrived in Auckland on 30 September 1944 for the Seaplane Training Flight, which operated her from Hobsonville until August 1945 when, with only 108 hours at the end of the war, NZ158 was stored.  On 29 October 1947 sold to C. F. Cook, who resold to R.H. Exton, 03 December 1947.  Registered as ZK-AMJ but flown in RNZAF colours NZ158 was stored at Mangere before being reduced to spares for New Guinea's Amphibian Airways in 1949.  None are preserved in New Zealand.

 (Barth Photo, left, Alan DR Brown Photo, right)

   (Mike Freer, Touchdown Aviation Photos)

 (Xenomorph Photo, left, Mike Freer, Touchdown Aviation Photo, right)

Goodyear FG-1D Corsair (equivalent to the Vought F4U-1D), (Serial No. NZ5648), Reg. No. ZK-COR, Old Stick and Rudder Company at Masterton.  Some 424 Corsairs equipped 13 RNZAF squadrons, including No. 14 Squadron RNZAF and No. 15 Squadron RNZAF, replacing SBD Dauntless as well as P-40s. Most of the F4U-1s were assembled by Unit 60 with a further batch were assembled and flown at RNZAF Hobsonville. In total there were 237 F4U-1s and 127 F4U-1Ds used by the RNZAF during the Second World War. 60 FG-1Ds which arrived post war were given serial numbers prefixed NZ5600 to NZ5660.

The first deliveries of lend-lease Corsairs began in March 1944 with the arrival of 30 F4U-1s at the RNZAF Base Depot Workshops (Unit 60) at Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides. From April, these workshops became responsible for assembling all Corsairs for the RNZAF units operating the aircraft in the South West Pacific and a Test and Despatch flight was set up to test the aircraft after assembly. By June 1944, 100 Corsairs had been assembled and test flown. The first squadrons to use the Corsair were 20 and 21 Squadrons on Espiritu Santo island, operational in May 1944. The organization of the RNZAF in the Pacific and New Zealand meant that only the pilots and a small staff belonged to the Squadron (the maximum strength on a squadron was 27 pilots): Squadrons were assigned to several Servicing Units (SUs five-six officers, 57 NCOs, 212 airmen) which carried out aircraft maintenance and operated from fixed locations: hence F4U-1 NZ5313 was first used by 20 Squadron/1 SU on Guadalcanal in May 1944; 20 Squadron was then relocated to 2 SU on Bougainville in November. In all there were 10 front line SUs plus another three based in New Zealand. Because each of the SUs painted its aircraft with distinctive markingsand the aircraft themselves could be repainted in several different colour schemes the RNZAF Corsairs were far less uniform in appearance compared with their American and FAA contemporaries. By late 1944, the F4U had equipped all 10 Pacific-based fighter squadrons of the RNZAF.

By the time the Corsairs arrived, there were virtually no Japanese aircraft left in New Zealand's allocated sectors of the Southern Pacific, and despite the RNZAF Squadrons extending their operations to more northern islands, they were primarily used for close support of American, Australian and New Zealand soldiers fighting the Japanese. New Zealand pilots were aware of the Corsair's poor forward view and tendency to ground loop, but found these drawbacks could be solved by pilot training in curved approaches before use from rough forward airbases. At the end of 1945, all Corsair squadrons but one (No. 14) were disbanded. That last squadron was based in Japan, until the Corsair was retired from service in 1947.

No. 14 Squadron was given new FG-1Ds and, in March 1946 transferred to Iwakuni, Japan as part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force. Only one airworthy example of the 424 aircraft procured survives: NZ5648/ZK-COR, owned by the Old Stick and Rudder Company at Masterton, NZ. One other mostly complete aircraft and the remains of two others were known to be held by a private collector at Ardmore, NZ, in 1996. Their current whereabouts are unknown. (Wikipedia)