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RNZAF Historial Last Updated: Apr 21st, 2015 - 23:52:06



Curtiss P-40s. RNZAF training units
By John Regan and others
Sep 8, 2006, 09:12

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Once the RNZAF operational squadrons in the Pacific converted to Corsairs, P-40s were relegated to training units in New Zealand. Four photos so far...

Photo 1. P-40M. John Regan collection. Rufus Anderson comments... OD-18 is NZ3081 (which had been used in the Islands operationally by 1 & 2 FMU's), and gained a half kill of a Zeke and another Zeke probable in the hands of F/Lt DF St. George on 23rd September 1943 while escorting TBF's attacking A.A. positions at Jakohina, Bougainville (south of Kahili). It was last used operationally on the 12th of October 1943, then became a reserve a/c in the Islands before being returned to New Zealand in February 1944. It was in use by what was the de facto 4 O.T.U. a week later, and aside from one accident in January 1945 that was the unit on which it remained for the war.


Photo 2. P-40M. John Regan collection. . Rufus Anderson comments... The NZ3081 photos are confusing in that 4 O.T.U. used red code letters and spinners once they moved to Ohakea to differentiate their a/c from those of 2 O.T.U., but the cowling codes didn't come in until later on AFAIK. So with a white spinner, cowl codes, and red code letters the chances are it could be narrowed down to a very small timeframe. It's also interesting to note the red ID line on the fin. The shot looks like the Manawatu/Rangitikei region due to the ranges in the background and the landscape. Is there anything more to the shot, because the building in the foreground (top photo ED.) is very similiar to the Feltex factory by the Kakariki bridges on the Rangitikei river.


Photo 3. P-40M. John Regan collection. Rufus Anderson comments... This aircraft is NZ3067. This did not go to the Islands (IIRC it was damaged in New Zealand before the P-40K's & P-40M's went up, and remained in New Zealand as a training a/c with 2 O.T.U.), and had two major accidents on that unit. Like NZ3081 it survived the war and was sold off at Rukuhia in 1948 for scrap.


Photo 4. P-40M. John Regan collection. Rufus Anderson comments... This photo seems to have the Rangitikei river in the background of the shot. There is no other river in the Wanganui/Rangitikei/Manawatu region that has this pattern of shingle beds and a main stream which historically changes its position.



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