Douglas Frank CALVERT

Serial Number: NZ4312190
RNZAF Trade: Pilot
Date of Enlistment: 1943
Rank Achieved: Flying Officer
Flying Hours:
Operational Sorties:
Service Details:
Doug went to New Caledonia in the New Zealand Army where he was in charge of an anti-aircraft battery, but he says he never saw any action there. In 1943 the RNZAF was looking for volunteers to become bomber pilots, in preparation for D-Day and as Doug's brother Roy Calvert was already a bomber pilot he thought he'd like to do it too.

So Doug returned to New Zealand on a Liberty ship, and joined the RNZAF at Rotorua. After the initial taining he was posted to RNZAF Ashburton to an Elementary Flying Training School where he learned to fly on Tiger Moths. After passing this course with good marks, Doug was sent to RNZAF Station Wigram where he onverted to muliti-engined Airspeed Oxfords, and began to learn the rudiments of bomber flying.

However as he neared the end of his course, Doug's course was told that enough bomber pilots were now trained and in reserved for the D-Day invasion, and so he would no longer be sent to the UK. Instead the RNZAF decided that he would become a flying instructor.

So Doug was sent up to Ardmore and learned how to instruct pilots on Harvards. Whilst there he also underwent some basic familiarisation flying on the P40 Kittyhawk fighter, just so he could pass on some info about it to his future pupils.

Once Doug had completed his training as an instructor he was posted back to Wigram, where the emphasis there had shifted from multi-engine training to singles. And this is where he remained for the rest of the war, training new pilots how to fly the Harvards.

Of interest, Doug instructed Cambridge pilot John Richardson on his course

Date of Birth: 29th of January 1918, at Cambridge
Personal Details: Doug Calvert was the son of Mr and Mrs George Calvert, of Victoria Road, Cambridge, who were well known for their department store in the town. He was the brother of Roy Calvert, who was also in the RNZAF

Details of Death: Doug passed away on the 18th of June 2008, at Tairua

Connection with Cambridge: Born here and lived here for most of his life till retirement. Doug worked in the family business after the war


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