The Wings Over New Zealand Show is all about New Zealand's aviation scene, past and present and the people involved - from the current RNZAF and Air Force veterans, to airshows and warbirds, to airlines, agricultural aviation, recreational flying, history and much more.
WONZ 229 – Karl Kjarsgaard
Guest: Karl Kjarsgaard
Host: Dave Homewood
Recorded: 13th of September 2020
Released: October 2020
Duration: 1 hour 18 minutes 23 seconds
In a slightly different topic from the usual WONZ Show in this episode Dave Homewood talks with Karl Kjarsgaard of Canada about his efforts to ensure the Handley Page Halifax bomber is not forgotten by Canadians, and the world.
Karl is a former airline pilot who realised in the 1990’s that whilst many of the aviation museums in Canada have Avro Lancaster bombers in their collection to represent his nation’s huge part on RAF Bomber Command, in fact the aircraft that most Canadian bomber crews flew was the Handley Page Halifax.
The Royal Canadian Air Force operated 15 squadrons of Halifax in their own No. 6 Group of Bomber Command, and Canadians also served in the type with other squadrons. There were also over 40 RAF, 3 RAAF, 2 French and 2 Polish squadrons operating the type across Bomber Command, Coastal Command, and Transport Command, plus some Special Duties units.
With only one unrestored Halifax at RAF Hendon, which was recovered from a fjord, and a ‘bitsa’ restoration at the Yorkshire Air Museum, Karl decided to find one for Canada. He located and, with a team, recovered Halifax Mk. VII NA337 from Lake Mjosa in Norway. That aircraft was restored back to pristine condition and is now on static display in the National Air Force Museum of Canada, at Trenton, Ontario.
Next Karl set about recovering a second Halifax, LW682, from a swamp where it had crashed in Belgium, to recover the bodies of the crew.
And now his current project is to recover Halifax HR871 from the Baltic Sea off the coast of Sweden. The plan is for this aircraft to end up fully restored to taxiing (though not flying) condition at the Bomber Command Museum of Canada, at Nanton, Alberta. Work is already well underway on a centre section and a collection of Bristol Hercules engines for this aeroplane.
• Halifax 57 Rescue
• Rebuildshop on Facebook
• The Bomber Command Museum of Canada (Nanton)
• The Bomber Command Museum of Canada Curated Public Group on Facebook
• The National Air Force Museum of Canada (Trenton)
• The Story of Halifax NA337
• The Handley Page Halifax on Wikipedia
Fully restored Halifax NA337 in the National Air Force Museum at Canada with a line up of Halifax veterans (Photo via Karl Kjasgaard)
Karl on top of NA337 during its recovery (Photo via Karl Kjasgaard)
A colourised photo of a wartime Halifax with all its aircrew, ground crew, bombs and support equipment (Photo via Karl Kjasgaard)br /...
WONZ 228 – Alistair Marshall and Rod Dahlberg
Guests: Alistair Marshall, and Rodney Dahlberg
Host: Dave Homewood
Recorded: Al recorded 10th of September 2020, Rod recorded 13th of August 2018
Released: 24th of September 2020
Duration: 1 hour 39 minutes 15 seconds
In this “MOSQUITO SPECIAL” episode Dave Homewood talks again with Al Marshall, the team leader of the exciting current move of the world famous Mapua de Havilland Mosquito NZ2336. The aircraft was saved and stored for six decades by John Smith. Following John’s death in August 2019, his family have decided the Mosquito should go on public display in the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, Blenheim. Al has been put in charge of the team of volunteers who will be moving the precious Mosquito from Mapua, west of Nelson, the 180 km trek east to Omaka Aerodrome in coming weeks. He is also running the programme to clean up and repaint the aircraft to prepare it for public display. He talks about the project and also about their Omaka Warbird Rescue Givealittle fundraiser to help make this happen, and the new Facebook group where you can follow the events. Links to both are below on this page. This has different content from the last episode, though a little of the information is repeated.
Following the brief chat with Al, Dave then presents an interview with former RNZAF pilot Rod Dahlberg. Rod joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force in January 1949, and learned to fly Tiger Moths and then Harvards at No. 1 Flying Training School at RNZAF Station Wigram. During this period he experienced his first crash during night flying in Harvard NZ1064, writing it off on the 12th of September 1949.
He was then posted to No. 14 Squadron at Ohakea for multi-engine conversion in Airspeed Oxfords, and then returned to Wigram for the final phase of his training at the Instrument Weather School, flying Oxfords and Harvards.
On the 26th of July 1950 Rod was posted to No. 75 Squadron at Ohakea. An operational squadron, they were flying the de Havilland Mosquito fighter-bomber. During his almost two years on the squadron Rod had a couple more very dangerous incidents, including putting Mosquito NZ2329 on it’s belly, losing a gear door, and somehow recovering from a deadly spin from the top of a loop.
On the 1st of April 1952 Rod moved to No. 14 Squadron, who were now flying de Havilland Vampires. He served with the squadron at Ohakea and on deployment to Cyprus for a Middle East peacekeeping in the canal zone. In Cyprus he also converted to and flew the squadron’s Gloster Meteors, and spent a good amount of time flying to and from Egypt.
Returning to New Zealand in April 1953, Rod decided to leave the RNZAF and by September that year he was flying Tiger Moths with Airspread Ltd. or Tauranga. He continued to fly as a topdressing pilots for several decades till his bad back forced him to give up flying. Rod also co-owned an ex-RNZAF Harvard for many years, NZ1096.
Above: Rod Dahlberg on the day of this recording in front of his painting of him and good friend Dave Cohu in their Mosquitoes. (Dave Homewood photo)
The result of Rod’s first accident, Harvard NZ1064 which he hit trees in during night flying. Rod Dahlberg Collection
Rod in a No. 75 Squadron Mosquito taken from F/Lt Annand’s aircraft.Rod Dahlberg Collection
Rod’s Mosquito after the wheels collapsed. Rod Dahlberg Collection
Please note: Currently this site is experiencing issues with the photo layout. I am hoping this can be rectified soon, and when it is,
WONZ 227 – Alistair Marshall and Tony Williams
Guests: Alistair Marshall, and Sidney Arthur “Tony” Williams
Host: Dave Homewood
Recorded: Al recorded 10th of September 2020, Tony recorded 8th of August 2018
Released: 11th of September 2020
Duration: 1 hour 4 minutes 29 seconds
In this “MOSQUITO SPECIAL” episode Dave Homewood talks first with Al Marshall, the team leader of the exciting current move of the world famous Mapua de Havilland Mosquito NZ2336. The aircraft was saved and stored for six decades by John Smith. Following John’s death in August 2019, his family have decided the Mosquito should go on public display in the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, Blenheim. Al has been put in charge of the team of volunteers who will be moving the precious Mosquito from Mapua, west of Nelson, the 180 km trek east to Omaka Aerodrome in coming weeks. He is also running the programme to clean up and repaint the aircraft to prepare it for public display. He talks about the project and also about their Omaka Warbird Rescue Givealittle fundraiser to help make this happen, and the new Facebook group where you can follow the events. Links to both are below on this page.
Following the brief chat with Al (which will continue in the next episode) Dave then presents an interview with Tony Williams, who joined the RNZAF in 1945. He flew ten hours in Tiger Moths before the war ended and he was demobbed. However he rejoined the Air Force in 1948 as a Navigator trainee. He completed training as a Navigator-Wireless Operator in Avro Ansons at the Air Navigation School at Wigram. He was then posted to No. 14 Squadron at Ohakea to continue operational training in the Airspeed Oxfords.
In February 1950 Tony was posted to No. 75 Squadron where he would become a Navigator-Wireless Operator on the de Havilland Mosquito fighter-bombers.
Tony remained with the squadron through till February 1952, when he then underwent an instructor’s course at the Air Navigation School at Wigram. He began instructing at that school in May 1952, but in July 1952 he joined the Devon Ferry Unit, who went to Britain to ferry one of the new de Havilland Devons to New Zealand for the RNZAF. He and F/O Innes ferried Devon NZ1806 From Hatfield in England to New Zealand. This took up July through to September 1952.
More instructing at the ANS followed and then Tony returned to England for his second Devon Ferry, this time he and F/Lt Jeffs ferried NZ1813 to New Zealand. That took in January to April 1953.
Following a brief return to ANS, Tony then got his original wish to return to training as a pilot. He was posted to the Grading School at RNZAF Station Taieri to fly Tiger Moths, and then the Flying Training School at Wigram on Harvards. On completing his flying training Tony was selected to become a flying instructor so did a Central Flying School instructing course, and then from July 1954 he was instructing at the Flying Training School.
In April 1955 he was posted back to the Central Flying School, now as an instructor, to train pilots how to instruct others. During his time there he was sent to Australia to undergo a course at the RAAF’s School of Air/Land Warfare.
In May 1957 Tony was posted to the Fighter Operational Conversion Unit at Ohakea to undergo a course on flying the Vampire fighter jet. And the following month he joined No. 75 Squadron on the same station, now flying Vampires operationally. He became a part time member of the FOCU staff too, training other pilots in between his regular squadron duties.
In January 1958 Tony became one of the first two RNZAF pilots selected to fly the En...
WONZ 226 – Cliff Taylor
Guest: NZ44090 Aircraftman Clifford Noel Taylor, Aircrafthand (Tech)
Host: Dave Homewood, with Gary McGuire
Recorded: 19th of November 2019
Released: 27th of August 2020
Duration: 1 hour 4 minutes 29 seconds
In this episode Dave Homewood and Gary McGuire have a chat with WWII veteran Cliff Taylor of Pukekohe. Cliff was born in Palmerston North, and grew up in Wellington. He studied aeronautical engineering, and he got a job with de Havilland New Zealand Ltd shortly after they opened at Rongotai. He is quite likely the last living member of their wartime staff at the time of this podcast’s release.
Cliff joined the Army and served for a while, but with the influence of his uncle Lew Taylor, who was a pre-war RNZAF pilot with some standing in the service, he managed to switch to the RNZAF. Eventually he got overseas and served in the Pacific on Green Island with a Ventura Servicing Unit.
Cliff was a prolific athlete, representing New Zealand at the 1950 Empire Games were he won Bronze in the men’s six miles event; and also competed in the three miles event. He also boxed, and e raced cars well into later life. In fact he’d just finished a gym session before this interview, aged 96!
This episode is a little different and less formal than the usual WONZ Show. It was recorded up on Pukekohe Hill Reserve, overlooking Pukekohe township – during a picnic lunch. There’s a bit of background noise from birds, the breeze, and race cars on the Pukekohe track. So please forgive the slightly different take on this show.
Cliff Taylor during the interview recording. Photo Gary McGuire.
WONZ 225 – Lou Larsen – Rukuhia Graveyard
Guest: Lou Larsen
Host: Dave Homewood
Recorded: 17th of December 2019
Released: 18th of July 2020
Duration: 1 hour 9 minutes 43 seconds
In this episode Dave Homewood sits down with Lou Larsen, the adopted son of the late Rukuhia scrap dealer Jim Larsen. The Larsen family owned the aluminium smelting business situated on the edge of former RNZAF Station Rukuhia, now Hamilton Airport, in the Waikato. Jim Larsen bought up over 500 surplus RNZAF aeroplanes – P-40 Warhawks and Kittyhawks, Corsairs, Hudsons, Venturas, Avengers, Catalinas, etc., and they were cut up and smelted to make aluminium ingots.
Lou was a child there when this began and over the twenty year period of the operation he grew up literally amongst the old aeroplanes, and got involved in the smelting process himself.
The following photos were taken by Dave Jenkinson, and were kindly supplied by Warwick Jones of the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Hamilton Branch. They depict scenes at the Larsen aircraft graveyard.
NB: The music at the end of this episode is Wild Flower by Joakim Karud
WONZ 224 – Laurie Hamlet
Guest: WWII veteran Cpl John Lawrence Ernest Hamlet (known as Laurie), NZ416754, RNZAF Instrument Repairer
Host: Dave Homewood
Recorded: 30th of November 2019
Released: 5th of July 2020
Duration: 1 hour 28 minutes 24 seconds
In this episode Dave Homewood chats with Laurie Hamlet, who was born and grew up in Auckland. Before the war he was apprenticed to an auto-electrician firm. In December 1941 he joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force, and was to train at RNZAF Station Harewood in Christchurch for his recruit training course, and then was posted to RNZAF Station Hobsonville, in Auckland, to undergo training as an Instrument Repairer.
Following completion of his instruments course at Hobsonville he stayed on at that station at the Aircraft Assembly Unit, and worked on assembling aircraft that were arriving from overseas by ship in the Port of Auckland for service with the RNZAF. These included the last Hawker Hind to arrive in New Zealand, and he also worked on assembling Lockheed Hudsons and Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawks.
He was then posted back to Harewood where he continued to assemble Curtiss P-40’s which were now also arriving from the US factories via the Port of Lyttleton.
Laurie’s next posting was to RNZAF Station Whenuapai in late 1942 to join No. 15 (Fighter) Squadron who were at that time preparing to depart for Tonga. They were the first RNZAF fighter squadron to deploy to the South-West Pacific.
The squadron went up by ship and they took over an ex-USAAF squadron of P-40E’s, which had not been looked after very well. The Kiwis grounded the aircraft and gave them a good going over to get them up to RNZAF standards. The squadron then began training with the aircraft, and preparing to move over to Espiritu Santo.
Laurie served with No. 15 (F) Squadron in Fiji, Santo and at Kukum Field at Guadalcanal. He was then returned to New Zealand and was posted to the Maintenance Wing of No. 2 Service Flying Training School, at RNZAF Station Woodbourne.
He then spent short stints in the Instrument Sections at RNZAF Station Ohakea, and No. 1 Repair Depot at RNZAF Station Hamilton.
Then another Pacific posting came, and Laurie joined No. 5 (Flying Boat) Squadron at Luganville on the Segond Channel at Espiritu Santo. However he was placed into the squadron detachment at Funafuti in the Ellice Islands (now Tuvalu). He was working on Consolidated PBY-5 Catalina flying boats in this squadron.
Laurie’s last posting was to RNZAF Station Ardmore, and was working on Chance Vought F4U Corsairs there till the end of the war and into 1946 before being demobbed.
He then returned to his auto-electrician trade. Then in 1967 he joined Air New Zealand. He worked on the Lockheed Electra, the Douglas DC-8’s, the McDonnell Douglas DC-10’s, the Boeing 747’s and the 767’s. He retired in 1989.
The following photos are from Laurie Hamlet’s personal collection:
A No. 15 (Fighter) Squadron P-40 somewhere in the Pacific
Laurie Hamlet in 1942
Laurie’s course mates at Harewood during his Initial Training Wing induction
Names on the back of the above Harewood course photo
No. 15 (Fighter) Squadron P-40E’s and Harvards at Whenuapai
One of the P-40’s that No. 15 Squadron took over in Tonga – see here dug in purposely in preparation for an impending cyclone
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Top aviation podcast
This podcast focuses on New Zealand aviation, but is a great listen wherever you are in the world. There is a good mix of interviews with aircrew from different eras, talks from the live events and plenty more about warbirds, as well as the current GA scene in NZ.
Wonderful programme with great content
Dave produces a brilliant programme out of NZ but covering mainly WW2 and post WW2 aviation content from both military and civilian sectors. If you like historical aviation this is not to be missed and is archiving some significant aviation history