|THE CURTIS P - 40 IN RNZAF SERVICE|
|Serial numbers and identities:|
|Special notes on 'Gloria Lyons'|
|Special notes on Geoffrey Fisken and his aircraft|
Known as the Kittyhawk in RAF service, this name was generally retained throughout the aircraft's' service with the RNZAF, even when the later models' official name was Warhawk.
The first brought on charge in New Zealand were 44 P-40E-1 's (NZ 3001 - NZ 3044) received during April/June 1942, and were used to equip No.2 (Fighter) Operational Training Unit, and No.'s 14,15 and 18 (Fighter) squadrons. These aircraft were retained in New Zealand for training purposes, and local defence.
the end of the war, no less than 32 of this batch had been lost or written
off in accidents (11 in collisions).
NZ3038 of 15 Squadron based at Ohakea, 1943.
Ground crew prepare NZ3034, coded JZ-W, for a training flight late in 1942
In October 1942, No.15
Squadron was sent to Tonga to take over 23 P-40's from the U.S. 68th Pursuit
Squadron, thus releasing the American squadron for front line service.
Most of the serviceable aircraft
were sent forward to defend Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides Islands
in February 1943, the 10 survivors returning to New Zealand later that
After their return to New Zealand, they were repainted in Foliage Green and (NZ) Sky Grey as were many locally based aircraft at this time.
the 'Tonga' P- 40's, NZ3095, photographed in New Zealand during late 1944. It has been repainted in the Foliage Green / (NZ) Sky Grey scheme.
When No.15 Squadron left for Tonga, No.17 Squadron was formed at Whenuapai and took over the P-40E's left by them.
By January 1943, P-40K's and
M's had begun to arrive in New Zealand, and the existing squadrons and
several more formed at this time, began to re-equip with these later model
aircraft (14 - 22 squadrons).
P - 40E's of 16 Squadron during a training flight over the North Island, late 1942
And another photo taken on the same flight. (RNZAF via Damon Edwards)
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