This special page has been
compiled as a tribute to all those members of 485 (NZ)
pilots and ground-crew, those with us still and those no
It is not
our intention to present the complete history of the
squadron on this site
as it is already so well covered in author Kevin Wells' memorable
but to add a little reflective epilogue, a little
We wish to thank Kevin
for permission to use extracts from his book as a
'jumping off' point,
then onto the post-war years with some of the personnel
and personal links that have
continued with all the members over the years since those
dark days of World War Two.
As we are covering
Hawke's Bay aviation in general, a good place to start
the HB connection with 485 is conveniently in Dannevirke,
home of 485's first commanding officer.
Squadron Leader M.W.B. Knight D.F.C. served as
from March 1941 to July 1941, and went on to fill
major administrative posts
in the UK and Middle East. He returned to
Dannevirke at the end of WW2.
Other Hawke's Bay pilots who served with 485 at
some time were...
SGT Thomas W.T. Denholm -NZ415687 RNZAF
When seperated from his squadron, while escorting
a Ventura Squadron (487)
on a railway yards raid at Caaen 18th April 1943,
was shot down.
Reported missing...later, confirmed dead. He was
aged 22, on his 26th Op.
Buried at Douvres - Delivrande, north of Caaen,
P/O J.R.Falls - who was taken
prisoner off the French coast May 1942,
after bailing out from his aircraft with an
A POW until the German surrender 1945. A
sharebroker in Hawkes Bay after WW2.
F/O N.E. Frehner - another spitfire with
engine failure due to fire.
Bailed out near Dungeness, rescued from the sea
Crashed again off the end of runway with engine
cut-out on takeoff.
A chartered accountant in Hawkes Bay after the
Wing/Cmdr R.J.C. Grant DFC DFM (From Woodville)
He was CO of 485 from May 1942 to January 1943
and had the
sad experience of seeing his brother, Ian, shot
down and killed by a FW190.
He then managed to shoot down the FW190
Reg Grant was later killed on ops 28th.Feb.1944.
F/L J.J. Palmer - used his 'chute' with
engine fire, after chasing off a JU88
which had lined-up to bomb a fleet of
April 1942 - 'jumped' from behind by two ME109s
on his tail..
POW until end of hostilities in Europe 1945.
Returned to farming in Hawkes Bay.
F/LT A.R.Robson D.F.M.- Was with 485
from 1941 until he was forced-down
with a possible hit from a FW190 in a 'dogfight'
near Boulogne in February 1943.
A POW until end of war. Returned to farming in
F/LT M.G. Sutherland - On August 22nd 1943,
485 and 341 squadrons
were involved in a battle with fifty to sixty
F/LT Sutherland was among four NZ pilots shot
down that day by FW190s
and was taken prisoner until the end of war in
An accountant in Hawkes Bay after the war.
From the appointment of S/Ldr M.W.B.
Knight, 485 had nine commanding officers -
S/Leaders Wells, Grant,
Baker, Checketts, Hume,
Niven, Pattison, MacDonald.
The last being S/Ldr S.F. Browne from
June to August 1945.
As we are covering Hawkes Bay's 485 members, we come to
two of Waipawa's lads: John Pattison and Max Collett.
S/LDR John G. Pattison (CLICK
PICTURE FOR MORE)
The Hawkes Bay Aviation Heritage
members congratulate our Patron
Leader John G. Pattison D.S.O. D.F.C. on his investure of France's
highest honour: The Legion of d'Honneur by the
President of France, Jacques Chirac on 6th. June 2004
at the ceremony commemorating the D-Day landings
at Normandy 1944.
F/OFFICER Max Collett (CLICK
PICTURE FOR MORE)
485 Squadron SPITFIRE
OU-U June 1994
Two Mk IX Spitfires
flown by 485 Squadron RNZAF still exist and are
true historic D-Day veterans. They have been
fully restored and remain
airworthy. MK 732 in the photo flew with the
Royal Netherlands Air Force
post-WW2, and is now owned and operated by the
Dutch Spitfire Flight.
It usually wears Dutch markings, but in 1994, to
mark the 50th Anniversary
of the D-Day invasion, was painted in original
1944 markings as
Plt.Off. HWB Patterson's Baby Bea V OU-U
of 485 Squadron.
ML 407 OU-V is another
485 Squadron Spit still flying in its original
markings with owner,
Caroline Grace, in England. On D-Day its pilot
claimed the first allied 'kill' after the
Minutes later, the pilot of OU-U, flying in the
same section, shared the second.
The story of ML 407 OU-V is quite remarkable -
we'll add it to this section later.
If you can provide some info re
any 485 Squadron personnel, please contact us.
Spitfire with 485 Squadron markings.
Owner Nick Grace in the cockpit - 'ready to roll'
- the first time since WW2
a Spit had been on the airfield at Duxford. Photo
taken in 1988.
restored this Spitfire from "boxes of
to the flying condition it still remains to this
making many appearances at airshows in the UK.
Sadly, Nick was
killed in a motor accident.
His wife, Caroline Grace, is now the pilot.