Lockheed Hudson MKIII
RNZAF serial no. NZ2013
Ex-RAF serial no. V9241
Manufacturer’s no. 3826
On display in the Aircraft Hall
The Lockheed Hudson was the first modern operational aircraft flown by the RNZAF in World War Two, and served extensively within New Zealand and in the Pacific theatre of operations.
The RNZAF received 94 American-made Hudson bombers 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 capabilities to counter the threat from Japanese forces in the Pacific, serving operationally at both Espiritu Santo and Guadalcanal. The Hudsons were operated by No. 1,2,3,4 and 9 Squadrons in the maritime search and strike operation roles until their replacement in 1943-44 by the more powerful Lockheed Ventura.
NZ2013 was manufactured in 1941 by the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation at Burbank, California. Originally destined for the Royal Air Force, it was diverted to New Zealand, and entered service on 18 September 1941 with No. 1 Squadron at Whenuapai. NZ2013 later served with No. 4 (General Reconnaissance) Squadron in Fiji, and briefly in New Caledonia with No. 9 Squadron in August/September 1942. It 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, serving with the School of Navigation and Reconnaissance at New Plymouth, then Wigram, where it continued in service until July 1948.
The aircraft was then sold to a farmer in Oamaru in May 1949, and was used as a shed and chicken coop until being purchased by the RNZAF Museum Trust Board, with fundraising assistance from No. 26 (Oamaru) Squadron Air Training Corps, in 1985. NZ2013 underwent nine years of restoration work at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand before finally going on display in 1996. It is finished in the colour scheme that it would have worn when serving with No. 4 Squadron in Fiji in 1943-44.