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41 Squadron emblem.

41 Squadron emblem.

Air Force Museum of New Zealand. © CC BY-NC 3.0RNZAF Official. 41 Squadron QC.

41 Squadron RNZAF in Vietnam 1962 -1975

For its part in the Vietnam War, 41 Squadron, an RNZAF Transport Squadron was based in Singapore. 41 Squadron flew into South Vietnam in direct support of New Zealand’s interests there. Many flights were to carry troops or equipment, however, support involved both military and civilian efforts. 

Over the thirteen years of the Vietnam War, 41 Squadron RNZAF made 1979 landings into the conflict. Each flight took a full crew including technical ground crew whose role was to ensure the Squadron’s Bristol Freighters remained serviceable, able to do their job, and get home safely again.  These ground crew servicemen were rarely armed, they picked up toolboxes and did what was required of them. Ground crew names were seldom recorded in Squadron records, which makes it very difficult - and in many cases impossible - for them to find evidence of their Vietnam service and receive the recognition they deserve. 

One of these Airmen was former ground engineer Douglas (Scotty) Wingfield who, like other technical ground crew, flew into and stayed in Vietnam on numerous occasions.  After struggling to find evidence of his own service, he took on a lone battle to right a wrong for his comrades. 

As at the end of 2019, Scotty has used his research to assist at least 90 of these Airmen to receive their Vietnam Medals and Vietnam Veteran status. He continues his search.  

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The development of the Online Cenotaph is an ongoing process; updates, new images and records are added weekly. In some cases, records have yet to be confirmed by Museum staff, and there could be mistakes or omissions in the information provided.