I have updated Vivian Maisey’s page again today after making contact with his widow, Annette. She very kindly helped with details to fill in some gaps on the page, but there’s more to come as I have arranged to go and visit her in a few weeks time. She has Vivian’s flying logbooks from his RNZAF and Fleet Air Arm flying career which should shed a lot more light on his career. He flew from around 1942 till 1950, at which point he was invalided out of the FAA after crashing an aircraft into the English Channel. Here’s his page again with today’s new details added:



It is sad to note the death of a great supporter of my Cambridge Air Force website project, Maud Walker. I met Maud back near the beginning of when I began to research the local airmen of Cambridge,  because I believed that her brother Maurice Walker had been in the RNZAF. It turned out in fact that she had indeed had a late brother called Maurice but he was a different Maurice Walker of the Cambridge district. There were two.

Maurice Newton Walker had been a bomber pilot and his page is here:

Whereas Maud’s brother Maurice Alan Walker had been in the Air Training Corps, and a photo of him can be found here:

Maud however took a great interest in the project and so delved into her memories of the district in wartime and came up with many names of Cambridge people who had served in the RNZAF, and many other leads too. She’d known many of them, and had been the cousin of airman Jim Ross, one of several stories she put me onto. Maud was also helpful when I was organising the 2004 reunion of Cambridge Air Force people to launch the website officially.

She was a lovely lady, and I am proud to have known her. Maud Ellen Mary Walker passed away peacefully at Waikato Hospital on the 20th of August 2010, aged 89. RIP

I have found out a little more information on Cambridge WWII airman Vivian Maisey, and have updated his page to reflect this. It turns out that as well as having served first in the New Zealand Army and then the Royal New Zealand Air Force, he also transferred a second time into the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm. Here is his page:


A Wonderful Gesture

I am absolutely overjoyed to have been the recipient of a presentation by Peter Wheeler,  on behalf of the Bomber Command Association of New Zealand, a set of Volumes One and Two of Errol Martyn’s books For Your Tomorrow – A Record of New Zealanders Who Have Died While Serving With The RNZAF and Allied Air Services Since 1915.

These two books, and the third which has more recently been published, are absolutely vital to Air Force  research such as what I have been doing with my Wings Over Cambridge website, the General Reconnaissance Squadron book project and many other applications such as questions that come up on the Wings Over New Zealand Forum.

In the past when I have had to reference or check facts in these books I have had to make a trip to the local library or the Cambridge Museum, which also has a set. However now I am so pleased to have my own persoanl set of these extremely important and useful books.

It is also really pleasing to know that this set previously belonged to the late Wing Commander Bill Simpson, the founding President of the New Zealand Bomber Command Association. Bill also lead the team that restored the Avro Lancaster at the Museum of Transport and Technology in Auckland. He left two sets to the NZBCA, and the Association has very graciously acknowledged my contribution to preserving New Zealand aviation history by presenting this set to me.

I want to say a huge thanks to Peter Wheeler and the NZBCA for this, and I’d like to also acknowledge Peter’s own contribution to the preservation of our Air Force history. He has also kindly presented me with a copy of his latest book, Kiwis Do Fly, which is a superb collection of wartime stories from members of the NZBCA, with 268 pages of veteran memories and wonderful photos from their pivate collections which have mostly never been seen before in print. Well done Peter, and thanks!

A few new updates

Following on from the post last night I have added a new page for Sgt C. Hook RNZAF, though it is very scant in detail at this stage. If anyone can add more detail I’d be very appreciative, thanks. Here it is:

I have also updated Harold Souter’s page with some more information on the air combat that tragically took his life:

Thanks to Papers Past I have finally also definately established the full names of two airmen who have had fairly basic pages on the website for a long time. I previously only knew their initials and surname, and though II had clues from a few locals as to whom they may nhave been, the Evening Post newspaper reports on Papers Past have established them in concrete at last. They are:
Maurice Bellhttp://www.cambridgeairforce.org.nz/Maurice_Bell.html
Max Wardhttp://www.cambridgeairforce.org.nz/Max_Ward.html

Again for Maurice and Max more information is sought.

Cheers everyone!

Two More New Airmen

I have just discovered two more new airmen with Cambridge connections, thanks to the old issues of the Evening Post now available on Papers Past (http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/)

They are:
Pilot Officer Edward Walter Gillies Churches, who seved in the Battle of Britain on No. 74 Squadron (flying Spitfires) and was sadly killed in 1941. Edward Churches was born in Cambridge and possibly spent early life here before moving to Auckland. Till now I had thought that Bill Wells was the only Cambridge pilot to serve in the famous Battle of Britain. I’d like to find out more about Edward but so far I have  added a new page here: http://www.cambridgeairforce.org.nz/edward_churches.html

Sergeant C. Hook, RNZAF is the other airman who must have been from Cambridge. I spotted his name when his brother Frederick Norman Leslie Hook, an Army Driver,  was killed and his details appeared in the Casualty List published on the 19th of June 1941. Their father was Mr J.G Hook of Cambridge, and records show Fred Hook was also from Cambridge so logic says that Fred’s brother, Sgt C. Hook, RNZAF, must also have been from here. I will add a page for him on the website too and hope that someone comes up with more information.

I have added six new Cambridge fighter pilots today to the website, five of whom I discovered last Tuesday thanks to information from David Duxbury. The sixth was also confirmed by David, after I had previously had limited information on him.

The new profile pages are for the following pilots:
– Bruce Barnett Hulme
– William Gordon Morgan
– Victor Jack Mortensen
– Laurence ‘Nunk’ Patterson
– Albert Geoffrey Robins
– Harold Havelock Souter

Victor Mortensen and Harold Souter were both sadly killed in WWII, Souter being the last New Zealander shot down in air to air combat in the Pacific. He was also New Zealand’s oldest ever fighter pilot to serve in the Pacific campaign. Thus the Roll of Honour Page has also been updated.

I have now added pages for each, all linked from the Airmen page here: