Virtual Museum - Artefacts
The items on this page are unique and have a high degree of provenance
(their history is known beyond reasonable doubt) . Not only do
these items have stories to tell (some of which I have managed to
uncover), but they are of such rarity and importance that they deserve
|Ref. No. 1092. AIRCRAFT LOGBOOK FOR FRANCIS
CHICHESTER'S GIPSY MOTH G-AAKK. Includes all entries while
aircraft was flown by Chichester in the United Kingdom and Europe.
Logbook is signed by Chichester. Also included with the logbook is the
aircraft's Certificate of Registration
|Ref. No. 1094. WRISTBAND WORN BY FRANCIS
CHICHESTER WHILE FLYING ZK-AAK ON THE FIRST EAST-WEST SOLO CROSSING OF
THE TASMAN SEA. This wristband was used to hold an altimeter and
chronometer and is mentioned in Chichester's book "Alone Over the
Tasman Sea". No other aretfacts of this epic flight are known to exist.
||Ref. No. 1030.
GLOSTER METEOR WINDSCREEN FROM NZ6001. This glass
windscreen was removed from New Zealand’s first jet aircraft
NZ6001, a Gloster Meteor F.III, which was scrapped in May 1957. The
aircraft arrived in January 1946 as EE395 on loan from the RAF. During
March, April and May of that year, it was demonstrated throughout New
Zealand by S/L R. M. McKay. After the Jet Propulsion Unit formed at
Ohakea, some 56 pilots were trained to fly the aircraft. Due to
airframe weaknesses, high-speed flight restrictions were placed on the
aircraft and by mid-1947, it was placed in storage. The RNZAF
purchased the aircraft in 1950 for £5000 and it made its final
flight in September from Ohakea to Hobsonville, where it became an
instructional airframe (INST147).
||Details from www.adf-serials.com
are as follows: Previously EE395 this
was the first jet aircraft of any sort to arrive in New Zealand and was
loaned to the service by the RAF. Uncrated at Hobsonville on 23 January
1946 and was airborne for the first time at 1035 hours on 12 February
1946 flown by Squadron Leader Bob McKay. The aircraft was demonstrated
throughout the country over the next few months, its first appearance
being at Ardmore on 15 February at the farewell parade to No.14
Squadron who were leaving for duty in Japan. By March 1946 it had
acquired it's RNZAF serial number of NZ6001. Attached to the Central
Flying School, Wigram for 2 months from 09 May 1946 to convert the
first group of RNZAF instructors to jets. To Central Fighter
Establishment, Ohakea in July 1946 where it was used to train over 50
RNZAF pilots. Last public appearance was at the Otago Centennial Air
Show at Taieri on 21 February 1948 after which the aircraft was placed
in long term storage at Ohakea. Purchased from the RAF for 5,000 pounds
on 15 March 1950 and became the RNZAF's first jet aircraft.Final flight
was from Ohakea to Whenuapai on 16 September 1950 in the hands of
Squadron Leader J. Wenden. Converted to instructional airframe INST147
with the TTS, Hobsonville on 19 September 1950. Declared surplus in
March 1957 and sold by tender to A. Elliot, Onehunga in May 1957. The
engine was sold and the rest of the aircraft melted down.
|Ref. No. 1051. KITBAG BELONGING TO 75 (NZ)
SQUADRON RAF AIR BOMBER. This kitbag belonged to NZ 4211036
Edward Leonard Thomson. Thomson was an Air Bomber on a 75 (NZ)
Squadron Lancaster I HK564/P that was part of 3 Group. Leaving from
Mepal, Cambridgeshire at 2144 as part of a 297-aircraft raid on the
Opel motor factory at Russelsheim, Germany, it was attacked by a night
fighter over the village of Lieler at about 2340. The navigator
parachuted from the aircraft and landed in a pine tree close to the
village but, although his parachute opened, he was found dead. The
Lancaster flew a further two to three kilometres north-east of Lieler
before it crashed and exploded on impact near Ouren, a Belgian village
located close to the tri-border with Germany and Luxembourg. Those
killed in the crash were buried in a collective grave in the Ouren
village cemetery on the 19th, but were later reinterred at Hotton, 40
km SSW of Liege. Thomson was 20 years old at the time of his death and
had done 317 hours. He was on his 9th operation. The kitbag was
returned to Thomson's family in New Zealand with Thomson’s personal
effects. On the outside is "RNZAF NZ4211036". The bag comes with
origin lock and brass locking ring.
|| Ref. No. 900. 243 SQUADRON
item is now in the RNZAF Museum Collection held at Wigram, Christchurch.
Made of aluminium, probably in late 1941.
Crest on face of lighter reads “243 Fighter Squadron” and “Gold Coast”
with the motto “We Shall Not Fail” underneath. An elephant and
palm trees are depicted in the centre and crown at top. On the
side is “Johnie to Shorty”. The word "Shorty" almost certainly
refers to Sgt Paul Lester (Shortie) Elliot (NZ402467), a New Zealand
pilot who was killed, age 19, on Monday 5 January 1942 when his
Brewster Buffalo I W8199 collided with Buffalo W8179, flown by PO
Ronald Spencer Shield, on Kallang airfield, Singapore. Elliot had
taken off with others to
intercept an incoming raid at about 0700 but broke formation and
returned to Kallang. Spencer was taxiing to take off but
collided with Elliot’s landing aircraft – ground visibility being
limited due to smoke haze. Both fighters caught fire and the
pilots were killed. “Johnie” is probably Sgt John Benjamin
(Johnnie) Oliver (NZ402888), another 243 Squadron pilot who was killed
on Thursday 15 January 1942 during an interception over Singapore
Island in Buffalo I W8178/P after his flight was attacked by 12
Japanese fighters. Although missing without trace and
commemorated on the Singapore Memorial, one unofficial report in Buffaloes Over Singapore
states that he had crash landed in Johore
settlement and was “actually alive when they took him from the
side of cigarette lighter. The lighter was possible given to
Elliot by Oliver on his 19th birthday, this having taken place on 22
November 1941, two weeks before Japan declared war. Oliver had
just four days before, on the 18th of November.
|| Sgt P.
L. (Shortie) Elliot, RNZAF, age 19.
||Sgt J. B.
Oliver, RNZAF, age 23.