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Royal New Zealand Air Force



Another matter with which No. 1 (Islands) Group Headquarters was intimately concerned was the question of supply. Although the broad principles of obtaining supplies for the RNZAF had been recognised by the Mutual Aid Agreement signed in September 1942, the actual mechanism by which New Zealand units obtained their supplies in the Pacific was confused until some months later.

By the end of 1942 it was clear that the RNZAF, operating throughout the Pacific under American command, would not be able to use its own exclusive supply channels, partly owing to its small page 169 size compared with the United States Forces in the area, and partly because of the lack of shipping under New Zealand control. It would have been uneconomic and almost certainly impracticable to set up separate stores depots to handle the equipment it required.

In June 1943 approval was finally given from Washington for all RNZAF squadrons operating United States Navy-type aircraft to be treated for supply exactly as if they were United States Navy squadrons, and in the same month the United States War Department issued a directive outlining a policy under which the United States Army Air Forces were to assume responsibility for supplying aircraft and equipment to Allied air forces using American Army-type planes. In the meantime, however, the principle had already been adopted by the commanders in the field, and from early 1943 New Zealand squadrons were being supplied with most of their equipment from local American stores depots.