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Air Force Museum Blog

Highlights from the Memorabilia Project

By Jason Sim | 30/04/2020

75 years ago, in April and May 1945, one of the first major humanitarian operations carried out by air forces took place over Holland.

Remembering Operation “Manna”, 1945

By Simon Moody | 24/04/2020

75 years ago, in April and May 1945, one of the first major humanitarian operations carried out by air forces took place over Holland.

Avro 626 NZ203: fast facts on a unique aircraft

By Matthew O'Sullivan | 14/04/2020

The Avro 626 on display at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand is a very unique aircraft with an interesting story: it is the only fully-intact surviving aircraft operated by the RNZAF before World War Two.

Researching your family history online

By Louisa Hormann | 07/04/2020

Whakapapa connections – who we are, and where we come from – are how we relate to our families and our own place in the world. Whether you’re researching a military or civilian ancestor, this blog will help begin your journey into exploring your family history – a journey you can start online.

Origins of the Royal New Zealand Air Force

By Michelle Sim | 31/03/2020

On 1 April 1937, following the passing of the Air Force Act, the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) was established as an independent service.

Let’s Talk Research: The Heavy and Continuous Sacrifice Conference

By Simon Moody | 30/03/2020

Over 13-15 February 2020, a major international conference on World War Two was held at Massey University campus in Wellington. Entitled ‘Heavy and Continuous Sacrifice’, it focused on New Zealand and international aspects of the conflict.

Handle with care

By Murray McGuigan | 20/03/2020

Every day, objects in our collection present our team with unique challenges to overcome if we are to look after them in the best possible way. Find out more about individual storage solutions.

My time at the Museum

By Pilot Officer Charlie Haines | 05/03/2020

The past three months I had the opportunity to work with the collections team and have discovered that there is so much more to the Museum than what is on public display.

‘Women Aviators’ by Karen Bush Gibson

By Lilly Bullen | 05/03/2020

This relatively small hard-backed publication, with just over 230 pages, is a little gem box of a book. Containing ‘26 Stories of Pioneer Flights, Daring Missions, and Record-Setting Journeys’, it is indeed a celebration of the dramatic, pragmatic, and often hard fought for, achievements of women throughout the history of aviation.

Within the Glass Case: The Red Baron

By Louisa Hormann | 26/02/2020

So, who was this Baron von Richthofen and who was A.V. Barrow? Why and how did Barrow collect these souvenirs and what is their significance?

Air Force Museum Photo Archives go online

By Matthew O'Sullivan | 19/02/2020

We are really thrilled to announce that for the first time ever, researchers will be able to browse digitised parts of our photograph collection, online.

The ‘Bougainville Typewriter’ – Bill Williamson’s trusted companion

By Jason Sim | 23/01/2020

To run a successful military unit requires a lot of administration. Learn more about the Underwood typewriter was used during World War Two.

Messenger Pigeons of World War Two

By Murray McGuigan | 19/12/2019

Homing pigeons were widely used as messenger carriers by the armed and civil services during World War Two.

Wāhine Toa: Women in Defence: collaborating and curating online

By Air Force Museum | 29/11/2019

The first collaborative, online exhibition of its kind by New Zealand’s national service museums explores the journeys of women serving in New Zealand’s military since gender integration.

Conservation of photo negatives

By Matthew O'Sullivan | 21/11/2019

Our Keeper of Photographs, Matthew O’Sullivan takes us through an example of conserving a photo negative from the collection.

40 years of service – the military journey of Harry Leese

By Simon Moody | 08/11/2019

Read the story of the life of a veteran who served in both World Wars.

Never Forget by Jo Bailey

By Lilly Bullen | 01/11/2019

Reflect on personal stories in ‘Never Forget’, by New Zealand writer Jo Bailey, where she has combined extensive interviews with the use of wartime diaries, black and white photos, and written memoir, to create six compelling first person accounts of war.

What’s in the background?

By Matthew O'Sullivan | 24/10/2019

What’s in the background? Find out more about this photo from our Keeper of Photographs.

Ron Hermanns’ trench art collection

By Murray McGuigan | 15/10/2019

Discover Ron Hermanns collection of exquisitely-crafted ‘trench art’, produced during two tours of operation to the Pacific islands during World War Two.

On the wing – Rugby in the Royal New Zealand Air Force

By Simon Moody | 01/10/2019

With the Rugby World Cup in full swing, we thought it would be a great opportunity to trace the story of New Zealand’s national game in the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF).

A Bridge Too Far? Remembering New Zealand airmen and the battle for Arnhem 75 years on

By Simon Moody | 20/09/2019

Discover more about one of the most daring and ambitious military operations in history, Codenamed Operation Market-Garden which took place in Holland.

The Guinea Pig Club: New Zealand connections

By Louisa Hormann | 20/09/2019

Learn about the Guinea Pig Club and the innovative care administered to its members by New Zealand plastic surgeon Sir Archibald McIndoe.

Fearless birds and wild winds: The meaning behind RNZAF badges and mottoes

By Jason Sim | 10/09/2019

Delve into the world of heraldry and discover the meanings behind some of our Air Force’s badges (crests) and their Te Reo mottoes. Read more in our latest blog!

Sunderland NZ4111 and the Chatham Islands incident

By Matthew O'Sullivan | 07/08/2019

In 1959 an RNZAF Sunderland was damaged and eventually abandoned on the remote Chatham Islands east of New Zealand. In this blog, we explore the story of that incident, using recently-digitised historic photographs from our archives.

Many a Close Run Thing

By Air Force Museum | 04/07/2019

An excerpt from the published memoirs of Tom Enright, a veteran New Zealand pilot from Central Otago. Tom joined the RNZAF in 1951, and on graduation, was recommended for a cadetship with the Royal Air Force College at Cranwell, England. His first 20 years flying was in a variety of military aircraft, including Vampires and Sunderlands, and he was a member of the famed RNZAF Vampire aerobatic team. He then spent the next 25 years as an airline pilot. This is an extract from his new book Many A Close Run Thing (Harper Collins NZ).

Archives: past, present and future

By Louisa Hormann | 07/06/2019

Celebrating International Archives Day, our Research team explore the past, present and future of the Museum’s archive in this blog.

Operation ‘Titanic’ – Dummy paratroopers in World War Two

By Simon Moody | 05/06/2019

Operation ‘Titanic’ was the codename for the dummy paratrooper drops and was part of the broader deception initiatives given the codename Operation ‘Bodyguard’.

Boeing 727 nose joins our collection

By David Watmuff | 09/05/2019

Read more about the arrival at the Museum of the nose section of former RNZAF Boeing 727 NZ7272.

Tweets from our Archives

By Air Force Museum | 29/04/2019

Engage with our Archives in a new way! Through Twitter, our team have been sharing some of the remarkable treasures we have in our archives, as well as providing a peek into the everyday life of the research team here at the Air Force Museum.

The Berlin Airlift – Seventy Years On

By Simon Moody | 17/04/2019

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the climax of one of the most remarkable logistic and humanitarian operations in history.

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