Flying Navy - New Zealanders Who Flew in the Fleet Air Arm


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  • ISBN: 9780473144609
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  • Binding: PaperBack
  • Pages: 320
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  • ID - 186135

Table of Contents :

Foreword: Chief of Navy, Royal New Zealand Navy -- Acknowledgements -- Introduction One -- New Zealanders in Naval Aviation: Royal Naval Air Service and Fleet Air Arm -- Introduction Two: The New Zealand Fleet Air Arm Association and The Fleet Air Arm Museum of New Zealand -- Prisoners of War: Sixteen New Zealand airmen -- Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Jack Ruffin's story -- Concise Roll of Honour in chronological order -- Roll of Honour, Service Biographies and photographs -- Appendices I: Sources of the Roll of Honour -- II: Summary of World War II Casualties -- III: Details of Principal Naval Aircraft Mentioned -- IV: Details of Principal Aircraft Carriers Mentioned -- V: Glossary -- Bibliography -- Index to the Roll of Honour -- General Index.


Flying Navy is the first book published by the Fleet Air Arm Museum of New Zealand. Its author, David Allison, its chairman and creator of that museum.

During World War II over 1200 New Zealand men aged 18 to 25, volunteered to fly in the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy. Few of them had flown before or had seen an aircraft-carrier. They knew nothing of the aircraft they would fly in the war and had not the vaguest idea of how they would land them on the deck of a pitching and rolling carrier. All they wanted was to fly.

And so they did. 760 graduated as trained pilots or observers (navigators), some became TAGs - telegraphist-airgunners. Many died in action - hit by flak or enemy fighters, some died on carrier - deck crashes, others were lost at sea, were executed by Japanese captors or flew into mountains in clouds or at night. In the two world wars 179 young Kiwis died in Fleet Air Arm service.

In this book their flying careers are detailed and their photographs are printed alongside.

Author Biography:

David Allison served in the Fleet Air Arm from August 1943 until the end of World War II. After pre-flight training in the UK he trained with the US Navy, gaining his pilot's wings and was completing operational training flying Corsairs when the Japanese capitulated in August 1945. He took the advantage of a rehab Bursary to study architecture at Auckland University College, graduating in 1951 and practised for nearly forty years, mostly in Auckland, winning several design awards. David has been involved with the Fleet Air Arm Museum for thirty years, designing the first museum in a simple farm building at MOTAT, then in the present aviation hall and has been responsible for later developments. He has been chairman of the FAA Museum committee since 1997 and also acted as an archivist and curator. Ray Richards flew Corsair aircraft from HMS Illustrious and HMS Victorious on Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean operations. The Corsair's roles were fleet and bomber protection and ground-level attacks on enemy shipping, aircraft, aerodromes, refineries, etc. he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in 1945, served as a post-war pilot in the RNZAF Reserve and as a civilian was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to book publishing. Two of his cousins died in action in the Fleet Air Arm: Lt (A) Ian Harray RN in the Western Desert in December 1941; and Sub Lt (A) Owen Richards RNZNVR off Malta in March 1943. His brother Sub-Lt (A) Sim Richards also served in the Fleet Air Arm in World War II.



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