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William Robert Kofoed

Portrait of Squadron Leader William Robert Kofoed, Auckland Weekly News, 24 November 1943. Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections AWNS-19431124-20-43. Image has no known copyright restrictions.

Portrait of Squadron Leader William Robert Kofoed, Auckland Weekly News, 24 November 1943. Auckland …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    William Robert AWMM
  • Surname
    Kofoed AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    • WWII NZ404380 AWMM
    • WWII 404380 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    28 December 1915 AWMM OutramOtago AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    • Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) AWMM
      DSO: NZ Gazette, 6 May 1944. Citation: "This officer has already completed a tour of operations against objectives in Europe and the Middle East. During his second tour of duty, he has attacked such targets as Palermo and Catatania and has taken part in flights over the battle areas in the Tunisian campaign. On one sortie over Palermo, a photoflash exploded in the fuselage of his aircraft which was badly damaged. By superb handling, however, Squadron Leader Kofoed flew his aircraft safely back to base - a flight of 8 hours duration. His determination in identifying and attacking the selection targets even in poor visibility and in the face of intense opposition has been inspiring to the crews of the squadron." (Haigh & Polaschek, p340) AWMM
    • Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) AWMM
      "Flight Lieutenant Kofoed has displayed the highest qualities of leadership and courage in the face of the enemy. His numerous operational sorties include raids on some of the most heavily defenced targets. While serving in the United Kingdom he participated in two daylight raids on the German warships at Brest. In April, 1942 he took part in two attacks on the enemy naval base at Trondheim completing his mission from a very low level in the face of the most intense anti-aircraft fire. In the Middle East he has continued to exhibit this high standard of gallantry and devotion to duty, which have been an inspiration to the squadron." Hanson, p. 296 AWMM
    • Air Efficiency Award with 1 bar AWMM
    • 1939-1945 Star AWMM
    • Air Crew Europe Star AWMM
    • Africa Star (North Africa 1942-43 clasp) AWMM
    • Italy Star AWMM
    • Pacific Star AWMM
    • Defence Medal AWMM
    • War Medal 1939-1945 AWMM
    • New Zealand War Service Medal AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW2 24 November 1940 AWMM
    Age 24 AWMM
    Farmer/Civilian AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Appointed Acting Squadron Leader, 30 May 1944.

    Wing Commander, 1 November 1944.

    Returned to New Zealand, 30 May 1944.

    Commanding Officer (CO) of RNZAF Taieri, 6 November 1944.

    Bougainville, 1945.

    Aide-de-camp (ADC) to New Zealand's Governor-General, 1946 - 1948.

    Officer Commanding (OC) of 4 Otago (Territorial) Squadron, Royal New Zealand Air Force, 1948 - 1950.

    Airman Pilot under training Kofoed commenced his flying training at RNZAF Taieri on 23 December 1940. Just under four years later, on 6 November 1944 Wing Commander Kofoed, DSO, DFC returned to Taieri as Station Commander. He felw a total of 67 sorties with 76 and 462 Squadrons and also served on Bougainville in 1945 as CO Field HQ Piva. CO 4 (Otago) Squadron, Territorial Air Force, Decemeber 1948-1950. Hanson, p. 296 AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    19 August 1978 AWMM
    OutramOtago AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

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Leave a tribute or memory of William Robert Kofoed

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  • Bill Kofoed was my grandfathers captain. My grandfather Thomas Latham joined his crew 25th June 1942 as his engineer. This crew comprising of Ian Batchelor (WOP), Harold Vivian Morton (Mid Gunner), Frederick Joseph Gerrish (Tail Gunner) and Garland Ashton Miles (Observer Navigator) flew in excess of 30 op’s together as 76 Squadron and later 462 Squadron. The flew 21 of those operations in Halifax II W 1156 ‘Y’. My research has revealed my grandfather was very lucky to have joined what was already an experienced crew. I have written my grandfathers biography and have discovered 2 photos of W 1156 ‘Y’ . One particular operation that stands out : 13th September 1942 the aircraft was detailed to attack AA gun positions at Tobruk. Bill Kofoed and crew made 16 runs over the target area from 10,000ft.

    Now looking for help to trace relatives of Bill to gain more information / photos.
    Public - Mark - Researcher - 18 June 2021
  • He was directly involved in the acquisition of the Japanese Mitsubishi Zero aircraft now displayed at the AWMM.
    Public - Stoney - Researcher - 16 September 2020



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  • External links
    The Zero: Two men and a plane
    Further Reference
  • References
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1942). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 5 (Embarkations from 1st July, 1941 to 30 September, 1941). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
    • Hanson, C. (2001). By such deeds: honours and awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, 1923-1999. Christchurch, N.Z.: Volplane Press. AWMM
      p. 296 AWMM


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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
18 June 2021MarkNorfolk EnglandResearcher
16 September 2020StoneyTuakauResearcher
20 September 2019MDunedin NZOther

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