Joined up with the RNZAF 3rd.July 1942. No.6
& No.40 Squadrons.
Commenced his basic training at Rongatai, then
qualifying as an Air Gunner - training on Oxfords
Transferred to No.6 Squadron as a
Flight Engineer on PBY Catalinas
South West Pacific war zone.
patrol on February 4th. 1944,
(with P/O D.S. Beachamp from Dannevirke as
involved an air sea rescue of five American
from a downed B25 Mitchell.
Michael completed a total of 715 hours
day and night missions on sub sweeps, convoy
air sea rescue and hunter-killer patrols
around the south west Pacific on PBYs.
He transferred to No.40 Squadron
in September 1945, flying C47s as Flight Engineer.
Squadron was based at Whenuapai - the C/O was Wing
Commander Ron Kirkup,
(we have Ron's early links to Hawkes Bay to come later).
was Engineer on this C47.
Bruce - pilot in Sept. 1945.
He rotated between 24 different
PBYs and 8 C47s as the Flight Engineer
with Nos. 6 & 40 Sqdrns, completing a total of 896
hours and 152 missions
by the time he was discharged in December 1945.
decided to take up medicine at
war's end, and has been a
GP in Taradale, Hawkes Bay,
for over 40 years.
His last PBY skipper -
F?Lt. Brian Stringer - also went
into medicine, specialising in vascular
and micro surgery in the USA.
seated on the cockpit section of PBY 5
Beauchamp DFC inside * Mike Davies on
right. Others to be identified.... John Porteus * Clem Best * ?
Corkhill * Bill Clark * Brian Murphy
Snow Bracy * Jack Broughton * Pete
Robertson * Sel Melville
Davies, seated, on right. Others to be identified.... John Porteus * Les Organ * Maurie
Harding * Jim Ross
Norm Bewley * Jim Stewart * and others