We occasionally have contact from ex-serviceman searching out the 41 Squadron Association of the Royal New Zealand Air Force, are Antipodian sister Association. This year they are commemorating the 40th anniversary of their disbandment and have asked that I share a few words from their committee below.
In 2017 we commemorate the 40th anniversary of the disbanding of 41 Squadron in the RNZAF
Our squadron was formed in1947 at RNZAF Station Whenuapai in Auckland and was sent on detachment almost immediately to Malaya to assist during the insurgency in that country. The squadron flew a number of aircraft types in the early days including DC-3’s and Hastings but became better known through our relationship with the Bristol B-170… more commonly known simply as the ‘Bristol Freighter’.
From the early 1950’s the squadron Freighters were assigned to serve with the RAF from its base at RAF Changi in Singapore - and there it remained through until the 1970’s before finally being transferred across to Tengah to finish up it’s days as 141 Flight flying the UH-1 (Huey). The Freighters being repatriated back to New Zealand to be sold off after the squadron was closed down.
The ‘Colours’ were laid up in the chapel, where they remain to this day, at what is now known as RNZAF Base Auckland, however still located at Whenuapai.
Most of the Association members did some time on Changi (some doing two or even three tours during their careers) trundling across the skies of Laos, Cambodia, Malaya, Borneo and Vietnam… with the occasional side trip to Thailand, Japan or Nepal.
During our time we managed to achieve the distinction of serving the longest deployment of any New Zealand squadron, we were the last to lose and aircraft (and crew) on operation and also came home with a few extra holes from Borneo and Vietnam although fortunately with no further injury or losses.
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