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Goldfish Club. 1943. [Membership card for Sergeant J. S. Stoneman to the Goldfish Club]. MSS-0135-1.2, Walsh Memorial Library, The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT).

Goldfish Club. 1943. [Membership card for Sergeant J. S. Stoneman to the Goldfish Club]. MSS-0135-1.2, Walsh Memorial Library, The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT).

MSS-0135-1_2.001-ACC.© All rights reserved.

The Goldfish Club

During the Second World War, several exclusive clubs were formed as a result of extraordinary action many airmen took during the war. These were the Caterpillar Club, for those who landed safely with the help of a silken parachute; the Late Arrivals Club, those who walked back to safety from behind enemy lines; the Guinea Pig club, those who faced multiple reconstructive surgeries formed by the pioneering New Zealand plastic surgeon Archibald McIndoe, and the Goldfish Club. 

The Goldfish Club was founded in 1942 by C. A. Robertson who was the Chief Draughtsman of Messers P. B. Cow & Co limited, one of the largest manufacturers of Air Sea Rescue equipment during the Second World War. The club was formed to honour those who had survived after their aircraft ditched into the water, with the successful use of a "Mae West" (life vest), and a rubber dinghy, etc. The club's motto, summarising their experience, was "Gold for the value of life. Fish for the sea." By 1945, there were approximately 9000 members of the Goldfish Club.

In 1954, the Auckland Branch of the Goldfish Club was formed to incorporate the many Royal New Zealand Air Force members who had become members. Online Cenotaph has added the ditching details to many of the Goldfish Club members' records from the Goldfish Club Roll of Honour. These are some of their stories.

Pine, Madison. Goldfish Club. Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira. First published: 20 January 2020

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Displaying 1 - 50 of 97 records
PhotoFamily nameFirst namesForceWarsService # 
C27726AitchisonMurray ScofieldAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945NZ426088, 426088 
91002AngeloMontague BernardAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945414951 
186376BanksDonald WilliamNavyWorld War II, 1939-19453571, NZD3571 
98883BagnallDouglas RobertAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945NZ2354, 43021 
186373BarrJohn ThompsonAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945  
91098BakerPhillip StanleyAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945422172 
186372BagnallRobAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945  
C135369BarnettWilliam AlbertAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945, Regular Military Service, Malayan Emergency, 1948-1960NZ413929, 133203 
186374BelcherRonald JosephAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-194540931 
184001BellWilliam PembrokeAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945NZ421006, 421006 
186375BowlyCharles CameronNavyWorld War II, 1939-1945405174 
91450BrownAlexander RaymondAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945405471, NZ405471 
C17933BrownAndrew AlexanderAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945NZ404886, 404886 
186378BriscoDonald GilfridAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945NZ403786 
C120894BrierDouglas ArthurAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945NZ403755 
188305BrownErrol HowardAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945, Malayan Emergency, 1948-1960NZ1296, 1296 
186377BroughamHenry CharlesAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945NZ4216668 
91630CargillRobert William LawrenceAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945405231 
91591CallaghanRonald PatrickAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945NZ411739 
C128442CheckettsJohn MilneAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945NZ403602 
180159CocksDouglas WalterAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945NZ41878 
186380ColwayJames AlexanderAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945NZ40735 
C144924CroallCharlesAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945NZ41627 
91954CroftErnest StokesAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945413935 
C22740CurtisReginald RichardAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945NZ413252, 413252 
C121108D'Ath-WestonErnest HenryAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945NZ403432, 403432 
185989DiversArnoldAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945NZ414601, 414601, 131390 
186382DrummondKeith VictorAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945NZ428233 
C128630EnsorMaechel AnthonyAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945, Korean War, 1950-1953NZ402175, 402175 
186383FarisBruceAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945NZ1902 
97650FellArchibald LysterAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945NZ412667, 412667 
92489FosterOwen ElliceAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945415067, NZ415067 
97657FrameJames StewartAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945NZ41982 
186385GraceJames NobleAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945401206 
92772GreenJohn RobertAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945425656, 4311842 
92973HaughJames WilliamAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945413412 
186386HannaNoel ElliotAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945NZ42396 
92966HarveyRonald StewartAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945404538, NZ404538 
C33652HedgeHardie GeorgeAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945NZ40791 
182760HeddonJohn CuthbertAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945404360, NZ404360 
C130902HillDouglas CharlesNavyWorld War II, 1939-1945  
C129570HitchcockFrank NormanAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945NZ4310172 
186366HoskinBernard LewisAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-194540297, NZ40297, 132137 
186419JohnstonGordon EricAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945NZ401208, 401208 
186420KempArthur EdgarAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945NZ414638, 414638 
193032KilianJohn Rutherford ClarkAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945NZ1043 
93617LairdArthur KeithAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945436161 
C121390LangsfordPhilipAir ForceRegular Military Service, World War II, 1939-1945NZ412343 
93719LindquistFrank GeorgeAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945414914 
93730LloydIvan Stanley JosephAir ForceWorld War II, 1939-1945403014 

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.