Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Royal New Zealand Air Force

re-equipment of rnzaf fighter squadrons

re-equipment of rnzaf fighter squadrons

During 1944 RNZAF fighter squadrons were re-equipped with F4U Corsairs, faster and more powerful aircraft than the P40s. The first unit to enter the combat area with the new planes was No. 20 Squadron, commanded by Squadron Leader S. R. Duncan, page 253 which arrived at Bougainville on 14 May. The squadron had been formed at Ardmore in January and trained there on Harvards and P40s until April, when it moved to Santo. At Santo the pilots were converted to F4Us by Flight Lieutenant Greig,1 who was in charge of a testing and training flight there. The aircraft had been shipped direct from the United States and made ready for flying by a Corsair Assembly Unit which had been established within the RNZAF Base Depot Workshops. When the pilots were proficient on their new planes, the squadron flew to Guadalcanal and spent several weeks in training there before going on to Bougainville.

On arrival at Torokina the aircraft were fitted with bomb racks and the squadron prepared to do its part in bombing and strafing the Japanese, but after a few practice drops on local targets it was found that the racks were not satisfactory and they were removed for modification. Consequently, for the first few weeks of its tour the squadron's operations were confined to security patrols, escorts, and strafing sweeps.

1 Sqn Ldr D. A. Greig, AFC, Air Medal (US); Auckland; born Rotorua, 3 Nov 1916; ground engineer.