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Cenotaph Stories

  • 'So what the hell'

    By Gail Romano
    Associate Curator, History

    During the Battle of Britain there were indeed many New Zealanders contributing in important ways, ‘being New Zealanders’ both on the ground and in the air. By the end of July 1940 New Zealand’s Minister of Defence Fred Jones was noting 710 New Zealand pilots were in the RAF. In this article Gail Romano shares some stories of the New Zealanders who served in the Battle of Britain.

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  • Harold Winstone Butterworth

    By Georgina White
    Curator, Cenotaph Galleries

    'It is great sport up on a bumpy day & as you first overcome one bump & then another you have a great feeling of joy over your imitation of the bird & the freeness of the air.' Harold Butterworth, a pilot with the Royal Flying Corps describes his experiences flying during the First World War.

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  • 'ATA-Girls': The Fab Five of New Zealand Aviation

    Dr Gabrielle Fortune

    They were called 'ATA-girls' (attagirls) female pilots who served with the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) during the Second World War. During the war 168 women served with the ATA, including five New Zealand Women who paid their own way to England for a chance to fly.

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  • An Invisible History: Wāhine Māori in the Air Force during World War II

    By Stacey Fraser and Angela Wanhalla (Kāi Tahu)
    History Programme, University of Otago

    'The Style for you is Air Force Blue' was the recruitment tag-line for the New Zealand Women's Auxiliary Air Force, established on the 16th January 1941. In this article Angela Wanhalla and Stacey Fraser from University of Otago look at the formation of the WAAFs and Wāhine Māori who served in the Air Force during the Second World War, who's history has largely been invisible.

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  • Stage Door Canteen encounter changes a young navigator’s direction

    By Michael Smythe
    New Zealand Design Historian

    Known fondly as the Godfather of New Zealand Industrial Design, Gifford Jackson has left a significant legacy to the Industrial Design scene. Michael Smythe New Zealand Design Historian shares part of Gifford Jackson's story and how a chance encounter at a stage door changed New Zealand's Design History.

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  • The Zero: Two men and a plane

    By Gail Romano
    Associate Curator History

    On 15 September 1945 the Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero, flown by Wing Commander Kofoed, landed at Piva airfield in Bougainville. This aircraft is now on display in Auckland War Memorial Museum and the story of its journey here has been widely repeated. However, the story hinges on two men of different nationalities who were each instrumental in the Zero’s acquisition.

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  • The Pacific War - 75 years on

    By Dan Millar and Madison Pine
    Collection Technicians Research Support

    In commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of VJ Day, we have put together some of the stories of the men and women of all of New Zealand's forces who served during the Pacific War.

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  • Goldfish Club

    By Madison Pine
    Collection Technician, Research Support

    Their Club Motto is "Gold for the value of life. Fish for the Sea," they joined by ditching an aircraft into a body of water. These are the stories of the Goldfish Club.

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  • A journey to the archives

    Victoria Passau, Collection Manager Online Cenotaph

    Online Cenotaph is shifting its Collection objectives to focus on non-Army records as well as more recent conflicts. This article outlines our journey to the Wellington archives.

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  • The lost Airmen of 41 Squadron

    By Douglas "Scotty" Wingfield

    Over the thirteen years of the Vietnam War, 41 Squadron RNZAF made 1,979 landings into the conflict. Scotty Wingfield's research helps Airmen to receive their Vietnam Medals and Vietnam Veteran status.

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