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Royal New Zealand Air Force



The Territorial Air Force, the formation of which was gazetted at the same time as that of the Permanent Air Force, consisted of page 15 seventy-two officers,1 all of whom had served as pilots in the First World War, and many of whom were to play important parts in the development of the RNZAF during the second. Two of them, Lieutenants Hood and Moncrieff, were to lose their lives in the first attempt to fly the Tasman.

Refresher training for the Territorial Air Force under the aegis of the Permanent Air Force started early in 1924. Three courses, each of two weeks, were held during the summer months, and were attended by all members who could spare the time. They were casual, pleasant affairs, where wartime pilots got together, exchanged reminiscences and did some flying. The chief shortcoming was that there was not enough of the flying. The aircraft, few in number, were old, obsolescent, and frequently unserviceable. It took strenuous efforts on the part of the ground staff to keep them airworthy at all. Pilots who achieved five hours' flying during their course were considered fortunate.

Servicing and maintenance during the courses would have been completely beyond the capabilities of the small permanent staff, and there were no ground crews among the Territorials. Great assistance was given by squads of cadets from the Technical College in Christchurch, many of whom later formed the solid core of technical officers and NCOs in the RNZAF.

The refresher courses were repeated each summer, but every year it became more difficult to keep the aircraft serviceable, while the number of officers attending steadily dwindled.

1 Major Keith L. Caldwell, MC, DFC; Captains R. E. Buckingham, MC, C. F. Meagher, AFC, M. W. Buckley, H. B. Burrell, C. C. L. Dowdall, J. L. Findlay, MC, G. L. Stedman, H. F. S. Drewitt, MC, DFC, P. K. Fowler, N. E. Chandler, John Seabrook, AFC, A. F. Upham, DFC, M. C. McGregor, DFC, F. W. Crawford; Lieutenants R. A. Stedman, F. J. Horrell, John Coates, C. H. Noble-Campbell, AFC, George Hood, C. A. Umbers, K. W. J. Hall, G. V. T. Thomson, H. R. T. Hughes, Sidney Wallingford, Ivo Carr, F. de M. Hyde, AFC, W. F. Parke, S. T. Goodman, MC, DCM, T. W. White, G. G. A. Martin, A. C. McCarthur, A. H. Skinner, G. J. Wilde, AFC, K. J. Gould, D. C. Inglis, DCM, I. L. Knight, W. R. Patey, DFC, T. B. Hardy, R. J. Thompson, F. S. Gordon, DFC, H. C. Lloyd; Second-Lieutenants M. D. Sinclair, P. Mitford-Burgess, G. Cotton-Stapleton, J. E. Stevens, I. E. Rawnsley, George Carter, H. I. N. Melville, Frank Hazlett, J. R. Richardson, Dennis Winfield, D. G. Gregorie, N. F. Harston, I. A. McGregor, R. B. Reynolds, W. B. Gillespie, H. N. Hawker, J. W. H. Lett, E. A. F. Wilding, W. E. Norton, M. H. Otway, W. G. Coull, R. G. MacDonald, R. J. Sinclair, R. J. M. Webber, W. W. Withell, R. C. Hancock, I. H. N. Keith, J. R. Moncrieff, E. D. Williams. Captain Christopher Musgrave, AFC, RAF Reserve (Class C) was attached.