The Battle of Britain and New Zealand
During the Second World War, in the long hot summer of 1940, a desperate aerial battle was fought over the skies of southern England which would help decide the course of that conflict.
Among the thousands of objects in our collection are some which have amazing stories behind them – ripping yarns’ even! We share some of these objects and stories in a rotating display within our ‘Horizon to Horizon’ gallery at the Museum, but we’ll also share the latest ones here on our blog.
Piecing together the history of Vildebeest NZ102: Part three
Christmas has come early at the Air Force Museum thanks to a generous loan from an Auckland family. This is an update on the restoration project of our Vickers Vildebeest.
Into Wind… The birth of the RNZAF by Brian Lockstone
This book by the late Brian Lockstone covers the immediate period leading up to the formation of the RNZAF, and as such, makes great background reading for our latest exhibition, NZPAF100: The Origins of New Zealand Air Power.
For Your Tomorrow by Errol W. Martyn
With Anzac Day approaching, what better book to restart our Reading Room blog series than For Your Tomorrow by Errol W. Martyn.
Love Letters: Messages of Love in Wartime
These examples from our collection relate to the lives and loves of three New Zealanders serving in the RAF and RAF Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR) during World War Two.
RNZAF on the water
Once upon a time the Royal New Zealand Air Force had its own maritime branch, which included a fleet of small boats.
A dramatic rescue
When collections are gifted to the Museum, they can reveal amazing stories we were not previously aware of. Among recent donations are the archives and photographs of Squadron Leader Horace Alexander Nash (nicknamed “Walter” in the RNZAF after the New Zealand politician). Nash was an experienced RAF pilot, loaned to the RNZAF during World War Two. In 1943 he was an instructor on Supermarine Walrus aircraft, with the Seaplane Training Flight at Hobsonville. While we were cataloguing his papers, a remarkable story was revealed.
A ‘very good’ Christmas Cake
Why have one Christmas cake when you can have seven? If these cakes – on display in No. 1 Mess, RNZAF Station Whenuapai – are anything to go by, Christmas of 1943 was going to be a bountiful occasion, not to mention a well-decorated one. Read the full story here.
Volumes of Faith
While cataloguing a recently acquired collection, I noticed that it contained a small New Testament intended for use by the pilot whose collection I was working on. As we approach Christmas, one of the most important Christian holy festivals, it struck me that we must have other bibles and religious texts in the collection. Read all about them here!