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Posts Tagged ‘Cambridge’

This afternoon I have re-posted the page on my website that has photos of the 2004 Air Force Reunion that we held here in Cambridge to launch the Wings Over Cambridge website. I had removed the page some time ago as I thought at the time it was no longer topical, and was taking up vital webspace. However I have decided it is now really a great piece of our town’s Air Force history too, and deserves to be on the site as it was a very special event. So I have returned the slightly updated page here:

http://www.cambridgeairforce.org.nz/Reunion.htm

Looking through the photos today has reminded me how special that day was, and how many great people came from all over, Cambridge, Hamilton, Tauranga, Auckland, Wellington and beyond. The unveiling of the plaque was very special too, and I recall the next day my best mate Mike Cater said to me “In the future you will look at that plaque and think of what you achieved, and you’ll think of the plaque ‘I did that’, and it will be there forever.” He’s right, I do look at the plaque often as I pass through Jubilee Park and I do still feel immense pride that I came up with that idea, and with the help of others got it made and installed. I am also imensely proud of the other lasting memorial I have created to Cambridge’s men and women of the Air Forces, the Wings Over Cambridge website, where their stories are told.

It is sad too to look back at the photos of this reunion and realise so many of those great old veterans and their wives are now no longer with us.  They will not be forgotten.

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A little while back Errol Martyn kindly checked his database of airmen who died or were killed in RNZAF service (or New Zealanders in other Air Forces). Searching for the keyword of Cambridge he picked up a number of new airmen that I did not previously have on my website. I was very grateful for these names and I have since been piecing together pages on their careers and lives. Today i have managed to get a few onto the site. There are more to come, including a new WWI pilot and some post-war airmen too. But in the meantime for this update the new airmen are:

James Breadon
http://www.cambridgeairforce.org.nz/James_Breadon.html

Winston Cannell
http://www.cambridgeairforce.org.nz/Winston_Cannell.html

Ernest Cox
http://www.cambridgeairforce.org.nz/Ernest_Cox.html

John Gilmer
http://www.cambridgeairforce.org.nz/John_Gilmer.html

John Hawkins
http://www.cambridgeairforce.org.nz/John_Hawkins.html

Kenneth Hansen
http://www.cambridgeairforce.org.nz/Kenneth_Hansen.html

Keith Jack
http://www.cambridgeairforce.org.nz/Keith_Jack.html

And
Joseph McNamara
http://www.cambridgeairforce.org.nz/Joseph_McNamara.html

More will be added as time allows.

Currently there are 196 men on the site who lived in Cambridge at some point before joining the Air Force in WWII.

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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:

http://www.cambridgeairforce.org.nz/Vivian%20Maisey.htm

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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:
http://www.cambridgeairforce.org.nz/C_Hook.html

I have also updated Harold Souter’s page with some more information on the air combat that tragically took his life:
http://www.cambridgeairforce.org.nz/Harold%20Souter.html

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
and
Max Wardhttp://www.cambridgeairforce.org.nz/Max_Ward.html

Again for Maurice and Max more information is sought.

Cheers everyone!
Dave

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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.

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Hi everyone,

After all this time I have finally created a way to easily keep regular readers updated with progess on the Wings Over Cambridge website. I will be adding blog posts whenever I make an addition, update or correction to the ever-expanding website about Cambridge’s Air Force personnel. So please sign up for your email updates so you can see what is new on the website.

Cheers
Dave Homewood

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