Desmond Charles AWMM
Also known as
- NZ427478 AWMM
- WWII 427478 AWMM
2 February 1924 AWMM AWMM
Date of birth
Place of birth
Address before enlistment
Post war occupation
Next of kin on embarkation
Charles Holland (father), Portland, North Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
Pre 18 July 1943 AWMM Single AWMM
POW liberation details
POW serial number
Son of Charles Arthur and Ethel Georgina Holland of Portland, North Auckland.
Desmond Holland was educated at Portland Primary School and Whangarei High School and passed the University Entrance Examination. He continued his studies by night classes at Seddon Memorial Technical College. He played cricket, tennis, football and took part in athletics. He was employed as a clerk at the Naval Base at Devonport and it was from there than he enlisted.
Initially he was enlisted for aerodrome defence duties at Rukahia, Hamilton on 11 July 1942 and worked there and at Tauranga until remustered to aircrew and posted to the Initial Training Wing at Rotorua on 4 January 1943.
He began pilot training on 17 March 1943 but this was terminated and he was posted to Rongotai for remustering to Wireless Operator Air Gunner. He left for Canada on 18 July and arrived there 18 August. By 21 August 1943 he was at his first posting in Canada and was awarded the Wireless Operator Air Gunner Badge and commissioned in the rank of Pilot Officer on 5 May 1944. He was promoted to Flying Officer on 5 November 1944. From 17 May 1944 until he embarked for the United Kingdom he was at No. 1 'Y' Depot, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
He arrived at No. 12 Royal New Zealand Air Force Personnel Despatch and Reception Centre, Padgate, Lancashire on 2 June 1944 and on 2 August reported to No. 10 Radio School, Carew Cheriton, Pembrokeshire. His operational training began on 12 September at No. 5 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit, Turnberry, Scotland where he crewed up and completed his training as wireless operator of Warwick aircraft before being posted on 29 December to No. 279 Squadron at Thornaby, County Durham.
Flight Officer Holland's medals were sent to his father, Mr C. A. Holland, c/o PO Portland, Whangarei in 1950.
Six men who had been at school together in Portland, Whangarei joined the air force and trained in Canada. Charles Frederick Clarke (630828 NZ4310553), one of two surviving members of this group, attended a Portland Primary School reunion in November 1998 and researched details of this group with the intention of contributing a brick for the new memorial being constructed at Winnipeg in Canada to commemorate those who trained in Canada during World War 2. The name, date of birth, place of origin and date of death was to be inscribed on each brick. The Royal New Zealand Air Force crew members that Charles Frederick Clarke (630828 NZ4310553) is commemorating in this way are: Aubrey John Clarke (NZ429177) his brother; D'Arcy Clive Melville Ducker (NZ411749), Desmond Charles Holland (NZ427478), Douglas Jack McLean (NZ414654) and Raymond Anthony Lindsay (NZ392047).
Auckland Museum Armoury Resource Centre, Vertical File - An article in the North Shore Advertiser 15 July 1999 which gives details about the money raised for New Zealand's contribution to the memorial building fund in Winnipeg, the opening ceremony and the role of Flight Lieutenant Bill Phillips and the president of the North Shore Brevet Club, Graeme Gemmell, in the project AWMM
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Desmond Charles Holland
- Northland roll of honour and servicemen of WW II [electronic resource]. (2002). Whangarei, N.Z.: Returned Services Association. AWMM
- Martyn, E. (1998-2008). For Your Tomorrow (Vols. 1-3). Christchurch, N.Z.: Volplane Press. AWMM
- This record is a work in progress and was partially compiled from the “Database of New Zealand Airmen who took part in Advanced Air Training in Canada during WW2”. Researched by Ivan and Lorna Lindsey of Tauranga. N.Z. 2003 – 2012. Reproduced with permission. AWMM
- Information kindly provided by family AWMM
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