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Thread: New Zealanders and Mosquitoes

  1. #1
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    Default New Zealanders and Mosquitoes

    Hi everyone,

    I am very interested in trying to pinpoint who:

    - The first New Zealander was to fly a de Havilland Mosquito
    and
    - The first New Zealander was to fly a de Havilland Mosquito on operations

    This is proving to be a curly couple of questions. I don't mind if they were in the RNZAF, the RAF or any other service, or perhaps even a civilian test pilot.

    In terms of the first operational flight, so far we've pinpointed that the first Mosquito to begin operational flying as No. 1 Photo Reconnaissance Unit based at RAF Benson, with their first photographic op being cared out on the 17th of September 1941.

    The first armed operational flights were undertaken by No. 157 (Night Fighter) Squadron on the 27th of April 1942. So, were there any kiwis on No. 1 PRU flying ops between those dates? If so, who?

    If not, were there any kiwis on No. 157 Squadron's first Mossie sortie or thereafter? Was this the first unit that a kiwi flew Mossie ops on?

    And if both are a no, then perhaps were there kiwis in No. 105 Squadron's first Mosquito raids? The first actual bombing operation by Mosquitoes was carried out by No. 105 Squadron on the 30/31 May 1942 during the first 1000 bomber raid to Cologne.

    Does anyone here have squadron lists for these units or anything helpful to solve this mystery of who the first kiwi Mossie crew/s were? Am I on the right track here?

    Any help would be much appreciated, thanks.

  2. #2
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    Default

    I have been going through Errol Martyn's "For Your Tomorrow" Volume 1 book looking to see who the first kiwi was who died in a Mosquito. As far as I can tell it was:

    Squadron Leader Joseph Cunningham Simpson mid, RAF 36147, Pilot, aged 25
    No. 105 Squadron RAF
    Killed on a raid on Hengelo, Netherlands, shot down at Raard, near Dokkum.
    Aircraft was Mosquito B IV DZ343

    Does anyone know when he joined No. 105 Squadron and how many ops he'd flown in the Mosquito before he was killed? Perhaps he is the actual first kiwi to fly a Mossie?

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    Default

    Hi Dave,

    As far as I can ascertain the first Kiwi to fly an operational Mosquito sortie with 1 PRU was P/O F.W. McKay on 23 Aug 42 in DK310. He had already flown a number of Spitfire sorties with 1 PRU before converting to Mossies.

    Also the date of the first operational Mosquito sortie by 1 PRU was on 18 Sep 41, though 17 Sep 41 and 19 Sep 41 are incorrectly stated in a number of sources.

    Best Regards

    Andy Fletcher
    Per Speculationem Impellor ad Intelligendum

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    Many thanks Andy.

    it looks like he must be the first kiwi operational in the type then. Cheers!

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