Tag Archives: Inia Whangataua ‘Mac’ MAAKA

Inia Whangataua ‘Mac’ Maaka – Air Bomber, Yates crew. Time to return home………

mac-maaka

P/O Inia Whangataua ‘Mac’ Maaka, RNZAF NZ421741 – Air Bomber with the Yates crew, 1944.

David, Son of Harry Yates in a very generous and noble act has passed to me the above photograph of Inia ‘Mac’ Makka. Mac was Harry’s Air Bomber throughout their tour with 75(NZ) Squadron RAF during the second half of 1944.

The photograph of Mac is almost A4 in size (10 x 8 old money) and is original, still being in the card folder that it was first mounted in. On the outside cover of the mount is the name of the photographic studio – “Du Barry Studios” – this is obviously a very good quality, posed studio portrait.

David believes that the photograph was sent to his Father at the time he was researching his book ‘Luck and a Lancaster’, probably by Mac’s wife June. David discovered it in a folder of photographs that had been sent to Airlife Publishing for the book. Unused in the book, it remained in the folder with the other images, until it’s recent discovery by David.

David’s wish is that, if possible, Mac’s portrait should be returned to his descendants. As he says in the letter accompanying the portrait:

“If one of the Maaka family comes forward, having seen your post, or perhaps someone connected to the old 75 grapevine in NZ knows the whereabouts of one of Mac and June’s children, then it would be a service to Mac’s memory to have the portrait placed in their hands.

My Dad would have wanted that too…..”

So, please blog readers – put out this request and lets collectively cross our fingers that a descendant of Inia Whangataua ‘Mac’ Maaka can be found – as I soon as I hear from them, we can return this wonderful portrait to them.

I’ll finish with Harry’s memory of his dear comrade ‘Mac’ Maaka:

“As he talked, my impressions of him became ever more favourable. No Englishman I’d met was so sincere and guileless about himself. Mac was simply a stranger to the inner tensions and vanities that make liars of the rest of us. He was mightily proud of his people who, I thought, must be formidable opponents in war if they were all like this chap. I began to see in him a military paragon. He had the heart of a lion. I don’t think he was afraid of anything or any man. He had no need to be because he was built like a bunker. I felt that his loyalty would be a rich prize, if one deserved it. He was just the sort of chap one imagines walking steadfastly into the enemy’s fire for the sake of his comrades. Well, the skies over Germany were fiery enough. Mac would be an example to us all.”

Maori aircrew who served with 75(NZ) Squadron 39-45 – New update

ManaManawaiti[3]

A new picture for the collection – Mana Manawaiti
image from NZ Bomber Command Association, Harry Hamerton collection.

Many thanks to Chris for his continuing work on the list of Maori Aircrew that flew with 75(NZ) Squadron RAF.

This update adds a number of new profiles and also utilises the new Cew Op History pages, there now being links to the Op histories for the crews that these Airmen flew in.

Interestingly, there is also a removal form this list! – many thanks to Lorraine, Arnel’s Daughter for passing on the story behind Hoturoa Arnel Dean “Arnie” Meyer:

“Hoturoa Arnel Dean Meyer is not Maori.  No Maori blood anywhere in his heritage.! His mother’s best friend was Tainui and asked to honour the baby inutero with a royal Maori name. Princess Te Puea was approached and gave permission for Dad to be called Hoturoa, which was a huge honour and one we have passed down to one of our sons.  His heritage is Danish (his father’s side) and English/kiwi on his mother’s side).”

Arnie Meyer and his crew, which included Bomb Aimer Simon Snowden, (who was Maori) had formed up at No. 11 Operational Training Unit (11OTU), RAF Westcott on 11 December 1943 – they stayed together for the remainder of the war, completing 30 sorties (op’s) with 75 (NZ) Sqn and, without a break, a further tour of 25 op’s with No 7 (Path Finders Force) Sqdn. All crew members were decorated.

Another new picture this time of Roy William Raharuhi, has also been added.

Dad,%20Parata%20and%20unknown[3]

Roy Raharuhi, Marama Parata (centre), and unknown.
Image from Raharuhi family via Russell Murphy.


Read “Maori aircrew who served with 75(NZ) Squadron 39-45here.

 

Ake Ake Kia Kaha!

75 x 2 – Leslie Edgerton, the Armstrong crew and Harry Yates – by David Yates

Leslie and logbook comp

Right: Leslie Edgerton, Wireless Operator with the Baines crew, now aged 95.
A bout of German measles meant Leslie had to leave the crew for a stay in hospital, on his return he discovered they had failed to return from their 27th Op. Until Leslie spoke to Harry, some 50 years later, he had held out a hope they might have survived.
Left: The addendum Leslie made to his log-book after speaking to Harry about the fate of his crew .

Many thanks to David, son of Harry Yates, for contributing the following piece. It proves again that there are strange coincidences that time occasionally chooses to reveals to us – something I have experienced many a time while researching the Squadron.

75 x 2

by David Yates

Monday 8th May 1995 is memorable in our household not so much because it was the fiftieth anniversary of VE Day, and was marked accordingly with official ceremony all across the West, but because something kept secret from the family for four decades was finally revealed.

Not many days earlier, my wife Geraldine and I had completed a major extension and renovation to the house we then owned, tucked away in a pleasant downland village near Lewes in East Sussex.  I had taken upon myself the task of applying a paint roller to the expanse of brand new render, which would be followed with a fine brush to all the sashes – also new, and there were over thirty of them.  It was a labour of love already turning into just labour.

Anyway, my in-laws were driving over the downs from their home in East Dean to see their grandchild and have lunch with us.  At noon I was still balanced on my ladder at the back of the house, rolling on the second or, perhaps, third coat of emulsion.  From inside the house Geraldine was clattering away with pots and pans.  The smell of a roasting joint wafted through an open window.  Away to my right the crunch of wheels on gravel told me my morning’s work was at an end.  There were female voices, the sound of car doors closing.  A moment or two later my father-in-law Leslie appeared from around the side of the house, hand-in-hand with his infant grand-daughter.

We made the usual greetings and stood talking for a while, probably about not very much. Then, with no particular seriousness, I asked him what he had been doing fifty years ago, on 8th May 1945.  He didn’t seem too sure, “Joan and I were married by then,” he said eventually, “I think we must have been in London.”

Now, I had known for very nearly a quarter of a century, since not long after I started going out with Geraldine, that her dad’s war service had been as a wireless operator on heavy bombers.  My own father had served as a pilot on Lancs, flying alongside some New Zealanders, although he was a North Bucks country boy through and through.  I knew that the whole subject of the war had been handled differently in Leslie’s household than in ours.  My dad didn’t make a great thing out of it.  But his crew were all known to me from the letters and photos which arrived  in the family home (usually) at Christmas time.  Indeed, on one Sunday back in 1975, when we were still single, Geraldine and I waited at table on the whole crew when they – said to be already the last full 75 crew living – came to the house following a squadron reunion at Mepal.  But it wasn’t like that in Leslie’s house.  There, a discrete silence was maintained over the whole topic.  The detail of his own wartime service was unknown to his two sons and two daughters.

It was not that unusual.  I had childhood friends whose fathers wanted, for whatever reason, to close the wartime chapter and keep it closed, leaving their sons high and dry for knowledge.  One accepted that there were histories which were not happy, and men who were quietly haunted by them.  The tremendous will of the people to move on, which erupted so joyously with victory in Europe, gave such men the opening to a new life they needed, and they took it.  If there was no need to revisit the past, it was not revisited.

Still, standing there with Leslie I thought it was worth another question.  “So you weren’t still flying by this point?” I asked.

He wasn’t, having finished his tour in September 1944.

Then, out of nowhere he blurted out, “I didn’t finish with my own crew though.  I was sent to hospital with German measles, you see, and my own crew carried on flying without me.  It was six weeks before the doctor let me go back.  I expected them to still be there, but they weren’t.  I made enquiries.  But nobody seemed to know anything, just that they hadn’t come back from a raid.  The radio operator who had gone in my place was only young, and he’d just married, I think.  Anyway, over the years I’ve tried a few times to find out what happened to them – you know, at the library.  But I still don’t know.  I’ve always hoped one or two of them were made POWs, and got back home to New Zealand eventually.”

“New Zealand?” I retorted.

“Yes, it was a New Zealand squadron, based at Mepal in Cambridgeshire.”

I could scarcely believe what I was hearing.  “Wait a minute, you are saying you flew from Mepal?”

”Yes, that was the airfield.”

”Yes, but that’s the airfield which 75 Squadron flew from.”

”That’s right, 75 squadron.”

“Wait a minute, you are saying you flew from Mepal with 75 Squadron RNZAF?”

”That’s right ….”
“But my father flew with them”.

“No no no” he said, completely certain of his facts.  Well, he had been an accountant in civilian life.  “Your father was a fighter pilot with the New Zealand ‘fighter’ squadron.”

I put him right as gently but firmly as I could.  That evening, after Leslie and Joan had returned home to East Dean, I telephoned my dad to tell him what had come to pass.  I knew that he possessed a well-thumbed copy of Forever Strong, Norman Franks’ history of 75, which I had borrowed and read myself.  Norman and Dad had met or exchanged correspondence at some point and become friendly, and Norman and his wife had visited for dinner.  Norman wrote in Dad’s copy of Forever Strong (which I have in my office at home today):

“To Harry Yates DFC -Who completed a tour of with 75 Sqn
and was seen in the smoke 30 times
Best wishes,
Norman Franks”

Information on the fate of Leslie’s crew had to be in there.  I gave Dad Leslie’s number, and he duly checked and telephoned the next day.  The information was that Leslie’s skipper P/O Armstrong and all his crew were killed on the Dortmund raid of 22/23 May, 1944.  Flt Sgt George Leslie Edgerton – taciturn, stoic man that he was – now knew for certain that he was the only Armstrong crew-member to survive the war.  But at least he had that knowledge, and the long vigil of the heart that he had kept for his crew could be brought to a close at last.

Extraordinarily, Geraldine and I were in the nineteenth year of our marriage when he had finally spoken of his sorrow that day in our garden, and the coincidence of our respective dad’s war service came to light.

The event only spurred my dad on in a plan he was quietly hatching to research, write and publish the story of his flying years, centred on five hard months at Mepal.  At the time I knew nothing about this.  I was aware that, always a reader of history, he had become focussed on RAF history and had amassed quite a comprehensive book collection.  I also knew he had been to the Public Records Office at Kew and acquired a large pile of yellow sheets logging 75 operations for the period of his service.  I thought it was just a surfeit of nostalgia.

Harry at about the time he was planning Luck and Lancaster

Harry at about the time he was planning Luck and Lancaster
supplied by David Yates

It was my mother who finally told me that dad had quite forsaken her company in the evenings to disappear upstairs and start tapping on his 1970s IBM golf-ball typewriter.  Apparently, he had been hammering away at the keyboard for a year or more.  When I asked him about it he showed me a sheath of close-typed A4 sheets, the front one of which read:

“Luck and a Lancaster by Harry Yates DFC”

It was a pretty chaotic presentation, it must be said, with passages long and short crossed out everywhere and re-typed, and lengths of type stuck with sellotape on top of other lengths, or across the whole of the top or bottom of the sheet.  But there was the unmistakable voice of my dad talking quite naturally about events in his life I had little or no idea had ever taken place.  For his part, he was very unsure about the quality of the thing, which was obviously why he had kept quiet about it.  Did I think anyone would publish it, he asked.  I had no idea. “Let me take it home and read it properly,” I said.

I began reading that night, sitting up in bed.  A few pages in I turned to my wife and said, “Some of this is beautiful.”

My judgement on the manuscript was that it had to be worth sending off to publishers, but not in that condition.  So dad bought himself a modern electronic machine and re-typed the whole thing, which at that point ran up to his release from the eye hospital at Littleport.  But he had lost his creative impetus in the laborious typing process.  I suggested that he send what he had to some publishers anyway, and if one of them was interested he could return to writing, and finish the thing.

The first manuscript went, for some reason known only to dad, to Haynes, the technical manual publisher.  Unsurprisingly, it bounced back with a rejection slip within a month or two.  He then posted a copy to (the now defunct) Airlife Publishing, who were a much more likely prospect.  But weeks of silence turned into months.  I urged dad to find another publisher to try.  But he had become disheartened, quietly concluding that he had probably miscalculated, and there wasn’t really any interest in a septuagenarian heavy bomber pilot with only half his story told.

The whole project was put away in a chest of drawers, and he returned to mum’s company in the evenings.  Then, right out of the blue in the early summer of 1999, fully a year after shipping off the manuscript, he received a letter from Airlife’s managing editor.  “Dear Mr Yates,” it began, “Thank you very much for sending me the manuscript for your memoir, Luck and a Lancaster.  I sincerely apologise that I had rather a lot of submissions to read before I could get to yours.  But I have now read it with much interest, and would be very pleased indeed to publish the finished manuscript for you if you are still seeking a publisher.”

Still seeking a publisher!  Dad was electrified.  A standard authors contract was received, signed and shot back within a few days.  The only thing was that Airlife wanted to have the book available for its Christmas list, which meant finishing the whole manuscript in three months.  Everything came out of the chest of drawers and Dad threw himself back into his writing.  He made the deadline, but he wasn’t entirely happy about having to work so fast.  He felt that something was lost that perhaps did not return until the very last chapter and the epilogue.  I know there were two small factual mistakes that made it into print, and they always annoyed him.  But when I read the new material I thought it worked in rather well, given that this was the hard-grind of the tour from which all naivety had been drained by his hospitalisation.

Today, in one form or another, <em>Luck and a Lancaster</em> has probably sold getting on for 45,000 copies.  The response of readers has been incredibly generous and kind.  Hundreds of people, some of them fellow aircrew, many more of them relatives of aircrew, wrote often touching letters to dad.  He was very grateful and answered all he could until, over the final six years of his life, illness drained him too much.

He passed away in Hastings Conquest hospital on 20th November 2011, two months short of his 90th birthday.  He had lived a wonderful, satisfying life, which was what he deserved, and a life which is very much caught and held in aspic as the memory of a young flyer by his much older self.

One of the things Dad had done in his research period was to visit Barry Aldridge’s museum at Witchford, and sign the visitors book.  In the summer of 2001, I took Leslie up to Cambridgeshire to re-connect with his own past.  We visited Ely and the Cathedral, and we went to the old airfield, of course, and to the village green at Mepal.  Then we went on to Barry’s museum.  Leslie wandered through the exhibits and breathed in the pungent perfume of that Hercules power-plant which fills the place.  But some private regret, that will obviously never be expunged, stopped him from signing the visitors book.

Leslie had his 95th birthday dinner with Geraldine and I on St George’s Day this year.  He is still surprisingly hale and very determined to remain independent as long as possible.

Maori aircrew who served with 75(NZ) Squadron 39-45. Picture update

TapuaHeperi cont and cropped

F/Sgt Tapua Heperi, Wireless Operator, 75 (NZ) Sqdn, Mepal. Taken on return from Essen daylight raid 11/3/45. The Clement crew had flown Lancaster I PB820, JN-V that day, landing back at Mepal at 5.14pm. Credit: Lancasters At War 3, Garbett & Goulding, Ian Allan Ltd, via Howard Keetch.

Cheers to Chris for finding this wonderful picture of Tapua ‘Tap’ Heperi, Wireless Operator with Doug St.Clair Clements crew. I’ve added the picture to Taps details  in the ‘Maori aircrew who served with 75(NZ) Squadron 39-45‘ page, which can be found in the ’75(NZ) RAF’ section of the blog, or alternatively go straight to it here.

Maori aircrew who served with 75(NZ) Squadron 39-45 – update

KenDalzell(25)

The Amohanga crew pose in front of Lancaster HK593, JN-X.
Left to right rear: Alf Woolcock, A/B; Ken Dalzell, Navigator; Kiwi Amohanga, Pilot; Jack Richardson, M/U/Gnr.
Front: Steven Fletcher, F/E;, Sandy Strachan, R/Gnr; Max Spooner, W/Op.
New Zealand Bomber Command Assn. archive / Ken Dalzell.

After the previous post, it was perhaps inevitable that I can to also announce an update to the Post Chris made originally towards the end of January about the Maori airmen that served with 75(NZ) Squadron RAF – as well as adding this wonderful picture of Kiwi Amohanga’s crew, a new airman can be added – F/S Edward Maxwell “Max” Spooner (NZ428162).

I have moved the original, but now updated post by Chris to its own page under ’75(NZ) RAF’ in the main menu – hopefully this way, information can be added and visitors will have a single reference page to visit. View this new page here.

Maori aircrew who served with 75 (NZ) Squadron, 1939-45 – Ta Tio Tuaine “Tai” Nicholas

DSC_0239 (2) - Copy

Tai Nicholas (front right) with the Layton crew.
Courtesy New Zealand Bomber Command Association/ © Clive Estcourt.

Many thanks to Chris for adding this new photograph and individual details, to the original post he wrote about Maori aircrew in 75(NZ) Squadron.

See the new information and the original article here.

Maori aircrew serving with 75 (NZ) Squadron, 1939-45

Many thanks once again to Chris for his contribution of this post. Whilst the blog has presented information about the Maori airmen that flew with 75(NZ) Squadron, specifically to certain crews, I think it’s fitting tribute to them as a group that we should recognise these individuals and their contribution to the Squadron and Bomber Command – as Chris observes, It’s fascinating, and quite ironic that these young boys, often from isolated rural backgrounds, travelled to the other side of the world in Britain’s defence, when it’s quite feasible that their great-grandfathers could have fought against the British in defence of their own lands and political independence………

MUS050651-1600

Photo from The Weekly News,17 March 1943, with caption, “A Maori team at a British air station – R. W. Raharuhi (Takara), M. T. Parata (Waikanae), M. T. T. Manawaiti and E. H. Gray (Otaki).” Thought to have been taken at Mildenhall.
– Photo: The Weekly News, from Air Force Museum of New Zealand.

One of the surprises in my research into my uncle’s time at Mepal, was a number of Maori surnames amongst the crew lists. The WWII exploits of the 28th Maori Battalion (NZ Army) are legendary in New Zealand, but little or nothing has been written about Maori serving in the Air Force. The short film “Maximum Effort”, featured in a recent post here, includes reference to the (Witting) crew’s Wireless Operator, Glen, “a Maori from the North Island”, and Harry Yates’ wonderful book “Luck And A Lancaster” refers to the Yates crew’s Maori Bomb Aimer, ‘Mac’ Maaka. A recent thread on the Wings Over New Zealand forum made for a fascinating discussion on the subject, with several family members joining in to add further detail. The daughter of 75 (NZ) Sqdn Wellington Pilot Roy Raharuhi mentioned the wonderful photo above, and I decided to try and compile a list of names. In the process I have made contact with a couple of these airman’s families, which is a real privilege, and the alphabetical list below might hopefully help encourage others to share more information about these brave individuals. This list is probably incomplete, and any additions would be great to see.

KenDalzell(25)

The Amohanga crew pose in front of Lancaster HK593, JN-X.
Left to right rear: Alf Woolcock, A/B; Ken Dalzell, Navigator; Kiwi Amohanga, Pilot; Jack Richardson, M/U/Gnr.
Front: Steven Fletcher, F/E;, Sandy Strachan, R/Gnr; Max Spooner, W/Op.
New Zealand Bomber Command Assn. archive / Ken Dalzell.

P/O Kiwi Ernest  Amohanga(NZ425492)
Pilot (Lancasters)
c/w Wi Rangiuaia as 2nd Pilot, then captain of own crew.
C Flight.
10 Mar 45 to 5 Jun 45.

Sgt Raymond Cyril Going (NZ414278)
Pilot (Stirlings)
No record of a prior op’ as 2nd Pilot.
13 Feb 43 to KIA 3 Mar 43, age 21. Panel 199, Runnymede Memorial

Ngapuhi.
Appears to have been shot down with all crew lost on their very first Op – Stirling N6123, AA-Q, lost on Operations March 3rd, 1943, shot down by Ofw. Karl Haisch 33 miles North West of Heligoland on mine laying op at 22:26 hours, headed to Dutch Frisian Islands (Nectarines Region):

Sgt. R.C. Going, R.N.Z.A.F. (+)
Sgt E.H. Weaver R.A.F.V.R. (+)
P/O A.M. Bridgman, R.N.Z.A.F. (+)
F/S F.A.W. Willis R.A.F.V.R. (+)
Sgt K.C. Eyre R.A.F.V.R. (+)
Sgt F.B. Stewart, R.A.F.V.R. (+)
Sgt C.S. Burton R.N.Z.A.F. (+)

F/Sgt Edward Henry Gray (NZ412878)
Wireless Operator/Air Gunner (Wellingtons, Stirlings),
c/w Ray Broady, Ray Bennett, Jim Way, and Jack Joll.
6 Oct 42 to 25 Oct 43

Gray’s original pilot, Sgt Raymond Herbert John Broady, was killed a month after the crew arrived on Squadron, but before they had flown any op’s, on 28 Nov 42 in a training flight accident at Oakington, during conversion to Stirlings. Short Stirling Mk 1, BF399 , c/s AA-O, of 75 (New Zealand) Squadron (piloted by Sgt RHJ Broady ) took off from RAF Newmarket and crashed at Trinity Hall Farm, Oakington. It is not known why Gray was missing from the crew that day, but his place may have been taken by an OTU staff member who is listed as killed in the crash.
More info on the crash here

Gray went on to fill in with other crews, and then joined up with Ray Bennett’s crew, up until late Feb 43.

In early March 43 he appears to have been posted off to 1651 OTU with Jim Way’s crew, who had arrived on Squadron on 17 Feb, but lost their original Pilot (Sgt Alex Scott) on his 2nd Pilot op’. Gray was promoted from Sgt to F/Sgt 1 March 43. His new Pilot, W/O2 Jim Way died 17 Apr 43, age 26, during a raid on Ludwigshafen, flying as 2nd Pilot with the Debenham crew. Buried Choloy War Cemetery France. The ‘headless’ crew, who by now had each twice experienced losing a Pilot before the crew had flown an op’ together, was “picked up” by S/L Jack Joll  DFC, DFM, the Flight Commander of “A” Flight. Gray went on to complete his tour, flying his last op’ with the Joll crew on 5 Sep 43. Gray was posted to 11 OTU, presumably to a training role, on 25 Oct 43.

See photo at top of post

W/O Tapua ‘Tap’  Heperi(NZ426199)
Wireless Operator/Air Gunner (Lancasters)
c/w Doug St.Claire Clement.
27 Nov 44 to 4 Jun 45

Photo and more about Tapua and the Clement crew here

F/O William Laurence Kereama (NZ425585)
Wireless Operator/Air Gunner (Lancasters)
c/w Alan Baxter
1 Sep 44 to 24 Jan 45.

rotated and cropped

F/O William Laurence Kereama (NZ425585). Picture supplied by Jacqui Barwell

P/O Inia Whangataua ‘Mac’ Maaka (NZ421741)
Air Bomber (Lancasters)
c/w Harry Yates.
31 Jul 44 to 16 Feb 45.

Ngati Kahungunu and Ngai Tahu
Mac featured in Harry Yates’ book, “Luck And A Lancaster”:

“As he talked, my impressions of him became ever more favourable. No Englishman I’d met was so sincere and guileless about himself. Mac was simply a stranger to the inner tensions and vanities that make liars of the rest of us. He was mightily proud of his people who, I thought, must be formidable opponents in war if they were all like this chap. I began to see in him a military paragon. He had the heart of a lion. I don’t think he was afraid of anything or any man. He had no need to be because he was built like a bunker. I felt that his loyalty would be a rich prize, if one deserved it. He was just the sort of chap one imagines walking steadfastly into the enemy’s fire for the sake of his comrades. Well, the skies over Germany were fiery enough. Mac would be an example to us all.”

Yates-crew-StTrond-op

Photo: Yates crew, Mac Maaka top right. From “Luck And A Lancaster”.

P/O Mikaere Tutahunga Tomika Manawaiti, DFM, (NZ412895)
Wireless Operator/Air Gunner (Wellingtons, Stirlings)
c/w Leo Trott
12 Aug 42 to 6 May 43.

Citation DFM (13 May 1943): ‘Sergeant Manawaiti is a keen and reliable wireless operator air gunner who has taken part in many daring operational missions. His skill as a wireless operator has assisted in securing the success on many sorties, while his cheerfulness and courage have done much to maintain the high standard of morale and efficiency which prevails in the squadron.’

See photo at top of post

P/O Glen Osmond Marshall (NZ416011)
Wireless Operator/Air Gunner (Stirlings, Lancasters)
c/w Eric Witting.
8 Sep 43 to 10 Jul 44.

Glen was the Wireless Operator in the Eric Witting crew, the crew featured in the May 1944 short film about 75 (NZ) Sqdn, “Maximum Effort”:

GlenMarshall

More here:

W/O Te Rahu Calvin Mataira (NZ43492)
Rear Gunner (Lancasters)
c/w Charlie Wagstaff.
20 Mar 45 to 28 Sep 45.

F/O, Hoturoa Arnel Dean Meyer, DFC, (NZ416968)
Pilot (Lancasters)
12 Jun 44 to 20 Sep 44.

DSC_0239 (2) - Copy

Tai Nicholas (front right) with the Layton crew.
Courtesy New Zealand Bomber Command Association/ © Clive Estcourt.

P/O Ta Tio Tuaine “Tai” NICHOLAS (NZ425658)
Wireless Operator/Air Gunner (Lancasters)
Did two tours with the Layton crew.
27 Jul 44 to 15 Sep 44, & 10 Feb 45 to 16 Apr 45, c/w J R Layton

F/Sgt Hoani Paraone (NZ422204)
Air Bomber (Stirlings, Lancasters)
c/w Francis Lundon & Tom Buckley.
7 Aug 43 to 19 Sep 43 & 9 Oct 43 to 10 Jun 44

Paraone’s original Pilot, F/Sgt Francis Patrick Lundon, was lost before the crew even got to fly an op’ together – he was listed ‘Missing’ on his second op’ as 2nd Pilot with the Sedunary crew on 24 Aug 43. Paraone was posted back to 1651 Conversion Unit on 19 September, presumably to re-crew. He was posted back in to 75 (NZ) Sqdn on 9 Oct 43 and flew a tour of op’s as A/B with the Buckley crew.

Sgt Marama Tahu O’Tangi Potiki Te Whaiti Parata (NZ391069)
Wireless Operator/Air Gunner (Wellingtons)
c/w Roy Raharuhi.
18 Aug 42 to 10 Nov 42.

See photo at top of post
More about the Raharuhi crew here: http://cambridgeairforce.org.nz/Robert%20Carter.htm

Sgt Roy William Raharuhi (NZ412737)
Pilot (Wellingtons)
c/w Jack Wright as 2nd Pilot, then captain of own crew.
19 Aug 42 to 10 Nov 42

See photo at top of post
More about the Raharuhi crew here: http://cambridgeairforce.org.nz/Robert%20Carter.htm

F/O Wi Rangiuaia (NZ427319)
Pilot (Lancasters).
c/w Ernest Abraham, Mac Baigent as 2nd Pilot, then captain of own crew.
C Flight
15 Jan 45 to 15 Jun 45.
More about the Rangiuaia crew here.

F/O Edward Simon (Haimoana) Snowden  (NZ427817)
Air Bomber (Lancasters)
c/w Hoturoa Meyer.
12 Jun 44 to 20 Sep 44.

Later DFC (27 Mar 45) with 7(PFF) Sqn, Polish Cross, CBE, QSM.

F/S Edward Maxwell “Max” Spooner (NZ428162)
Wireless operator (Lancasters)
c/w Kiwi Amohanga, then later with EF Butler, E L K Meharry, then A G Daly for Tiger Force.
C Flight
10 Mar 45 to 30 Sep 45.

P/O Iwikau Te Matauira Te Aika, DFC (NZ425860)
Rear Gunner (Stirlings, Lancasters)
c/w Des Horgan
18 Sep 43 to 17 Jun 44.

Citation DFC (18 Sep 1944): ‘This officer has completed numerous operations against the enemy, in the course of which he has invariably displayed the utmost fortitude, courage and devotion to duty.’

F/O Richard John Urlich (NZ426229)
Pilot (Lancasters)
c/w Charlie Stevens as 2nd Pilot then captain of own crew.
20 Mar 45 to 15 Jun 45.

P/O Tame Hawaikirangi ‘Tom’ Waerea (NZ421300)
Rear Gunner (Stirlings)
c/w Richard Whitmore
C Flight
20 Aug 43 to KIA 27 Sep 43, age 29, during the crew’s eighth op’, a raid on Hanover. Buried Hanover War Cemetery, Germany.

From the ORB’s, 05/06 September 43:
‘The aircraft (EH877) captained by F/S Whitmore sighted an enemy aircraft 100 yards astern. Both Mid-Upper and Rear air gunners, Sgt’s Chesson and Waerea, opened fire and the enemy aircraft was seen to roll on its back and spin into the ground afire. It was claimed as destroyed. This was followed by another enemy aircraft approaching in an arc from starboard to port astern. Both M/U and Rear gunners again fired and the enemy aircraft broke away. A minute later, a burning Lancaster was seen under attack from an unidentified enemy aircraft. F/S Whitmore’s two gunners opened fire on the German fighter, which then disappeared. The Lancaster was then seen to break up.’

Promoted from F/Sgt to P/O 24 Sep 43.
27/29 September 1943: Stirling Mk III EH877, JN-C, failed to return, all crew except one were killed:

P/O Richard Charles Whitmore, RNZAF. (NZ421123) Pilot (+)
Sgt. John Bosworth Beresford, RAF (1583723), Flight Engineer (+)
F/O David Maurice Adamson, RNZAF. (NZ415052), Navigator (+).
Sgt. Hugh Munn, RAF (1349759), Air Bomber (+).
Sgt. F.C. Cowan, RAF (1387682), Wireless Operator/Air Gunner (PoW No. 250701. PoW camps Dulag Luft, Stalags IVB, Luft III. Promoted to F/Sgt while a PoW. Safe UK.)
Sgt. Frederick John Charles Chesson, RAF (1336122), Mid Upper Gunner (+)
P/O Tame Hawaikirangi, Waerea, RNZAF. (NZ421300), Rear Gunner (+)

Photos and more information:  http://75nzsquadronremembered.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/waerea-tame-hawaikirangi-thomas.jpg

F/Sgt Tamaterangi Wehi (NZ4213962)
Pilot/Flight Engineer (Lancasters)
c/w Laurence McKenna.
16 Jul 45 to 23 Sep 45. Tiger Force.

F/O Vernon John Zinzan (NZ425314)
Pilot (Lancasters).
c/w Wylie Wakelin as 2nd Pilot then captain of own crew.
3 Dec 44 to 10 May 45.

Thought to be All Black Zinzan Brooke’s namesake.
More here and here
Photo (standing at left) here

AKE AKE KIA KAHA

Sources:
Wings Over New Zealand forum (http://rnzaf.proboards.com/thread/17780/maori-aircrew-ww2), Auckland War Memorial Museum – Cenotaph, 75 (NZ) Squadron nominal roll and ORB’s, 28 Maori Battalion (http://www.28maoribattalion.org.nz/photo/messerschmitt-109-shot-maori-rnzaf-pilots), Luck and a Lancaster: Chance and Survival in World War II, by Harry Yates, DFC, 2005, Airlife Classics / The Crowood Press, private correspondence with the Rangiuaia and Waerea families.