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Air Force Museum Blog

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.

Remembering the Kiwis of the Great Escape

By Michelle Sim | 08/03/2019

On the night of 24 March 1944, the largest prisoner of war (POW) breakout ever attempted occurred at Stalag Luft III, a German camp for captured Allied airmen. Having taken over 750 men more than a year to prepare, this ‘Great Escape’ was unprecedented in its organisation and scale, but also in its tragedy. Artwork…

An introduction to fabric doping

By Air Force Museum | 11/01/2019

What is doped fabric? In this video blog, our Safety and Surface Technician talks through this historic process of aircraft fabric covering.

Music: Capturing a time and a place

By Eleanor King | 06/12/2018

Music has that amazing ability to transport you back in time and to another place. Whether it is listening to, reading, or watching; music is a powerful way of expressing thoughts and emotions from a different time. While the music collection here at the Air Force Museum is on the smaller side, we can still…

Meet our people

By Air Force Museum | 04/12/2018

We are fortunate to have a team of incredible people here at the Museum – our 30 staff and around 80 volunteers come from diverse backgrounds, bringing many different skills and experiences, but what unites us all is the passion and enthusiasm for the work we do.

Airmen of the First World War – Remembering the other side

By Matthew O'Sullivan | 03/12/2018

We all remember those who fought and died in war. Having just marked the Centenary of the end of World War One, there’s no better time to reflect on the sacrifice made by so many New Zealanders. However, how many remember those from the ‘enemy’ nations who fought and died at the same time? They…

Rules and razors: Facial hair regulations in the military

By Jason Sim | 29/11/2018

Additional material by Murray McGuigan November is rapidly drawing to a close, and for some men, it’s meant their razor has had limited use over the last 30 days.  ‘Movember’ is the month when usually clean-shaven guys cultivate upper-lip foliage in the name of raising money and awareness for men’s health. It’s a good cause,…

“Dismal News”: New Zealand Airmen’s reactions to the Armistice

By Simon Moody | 14/11/2018

At the 11th hour of 11 November 1918, the guns on the battlefields of Western Europe fell silent, marking the end of what would later be known as the First World War. Newspapers around the world reported the momentous news in detail, and people across the world rejoiced. Yorkshire Telegraph and Star newspaper, 11 November…

The New Zealand Fighter Wing and Mono Island, 1943 – taking the fight to the Japanese

By Simon Moody | 02/11/2018

By October 1943, the tide of the war in the Pacific against Imperial Japan had turned in favour of the Allies. Following the defeat of Japan’s aircraft carrier fleet at Midway in June 1942, the offensive passed to the Americans with Australian and New Zealand forces in support. Key to pushing onward was the seizure…

Remembering Thérèse

By Michelle Sim | 30/10/2018

Thérèse in the Atrium of the Air Force Museum of New Zealand, 2016. Last month we said goodbye to our long-serving and much-loved Director, Thérèse Angelo MNZM. Thérèse passed away on 15 October 2018 following a long, and brave, battle with illness, and was farewelled in a fitting service at the Museum she loved so…

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