The 30 Squadron and Servicing Unit RNZAF

Newsletter Archives 2002

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Newsletter No. 27
August 2002
Newsletter No. 28
October 2002

Newsletter No. 29
December 2002



Issue No. 27
August 2002

30 Squadron and Servicing Unit Newsletter No. 27
August 2002

Regretfully again, this newsletter commences with the sad news of the passing of our dear friend Dick Warren. His daughter telephoned to advise that he died peacefully in his sleep on the 3rd July. It appears that he had never really recovered from the shock of the fall when he broke his hip and had to spend some time in the Wellington Hospital. Immediately I set to work phoning and faxing his many friends and hopefully the sad news will have travelled by bush telegraph by now. In fact, I even received an urgent telephone call from another armourer residing in Wellington by name of Vince Maroney who was not even in 30 SU (#2 SU I think) – Thanks Vince, for your consideration and kind thoughts.

In due course I received a wonderful fax from the one and only Eric Kelly, which is indeed a tribute to our Dick who was the leader of the “Dead End Kids” and which is so good that it is reproduced thus

Item not supplied - sorry

For the record I can confirm that there is still one of the “Dead End Kids” in circulation, as I had been intending to write a brief history on their daring deeds and escapades. Dick had previously written to me on the subject while in the hospital, however this will have to wait for a more appropriate occasion.

How many can remember the Great Berny Reilly? He of course was another of those wonderful characters from early Gisborne days in 8.G.R. who if I remember correctly was a ‘chippy' or carpenter who ran the woodwork section, and I'm sure there are still many around who will recall some of his many antics. Berny of course passed away many years ago, however recently I was delighted to receive from his widow, Phyll Reilly, a package containing many photos and literature from his Bouganville days as well as some from our early Gisborne reunions in the late 50's. There was one delightful programme for a race meeting held at 30 Squadron 12th reunion 1958. This of course was part of the evening social activities when the horses were a team of ladies and each move was determined by a throw of dice. The races, such as Avenger Handicap, Darton Dash, Homes the Caper etc bring back many memories of those wonderful times as well as the names of the horses, such as: Aroma by Hi Ho out of Humm, Indigestion by Spam out of Mess, Rush trip by Number 9 out of Medical, Deliquent by James out of Te Puke and Hangover by Goldtop out of Keg to mention a few. There was even a warning notice stating that any punter found kissing the horses before the race will be warned off!!

Thank you Phyll for reviving all those wonderful memories many of which will have to he held over until time permits.


However, in particular, there is one, which is very historical, and concerns an actual Japanese printed propaganda drop #15 issued by the Australian (?) Headquarters XIV Corps Office of the AC of S G-2, which will have to be researched thoroughly before I can go into print. At this stage I can only presume that Allied Aircraft dropped it some time after September 1944, probably on to the Japanese forces on Bouganville and inviting them to surrender. The back of this leaflet has an outline of the main Islands of Japan with heavy sweeping arrows in red which presumably represent the various Allied Forces which were in late 1944, closing in on the Japanese home land. Although written in Japanese writing it is easy to understand that it was meant to indicate how hopeless was the situation back in their home country. Certainly I will endeavour to have this translated in the near future and include it in a later newsletter.

Recently I attended an informal afternoon gathering at the home of Neville Hutchinson one of our 8GR/30SU armourers to hear a talk by a New Zealander Mr Bob Willis who is closely associated with the present situation in Bouganville. Up to the time of the rebellion at the copper mine in Bouganville Mr Willis was the Works Manager overseeing the development of roads around the Island. He was living in a house provided by his company in the Keta settlement close by the mine.

For safety reasons the Australian Government the a decision was made to permanently abandon the copper mine with the result that Bouganville has now reverted to its original state with its only source of revenue being coconuts, copra and fish. Mr Willis has since been re-employed by the Australian Government as one of their representatives and now spends 4 weeks on the Island and then 4 weeks at his home in Tasmania with his wife and family in strict rotation. During his stay on the Island he is based at Kieta, which is now apparently the only civilized settlement on Bouganville. He is required from time to time to fly by helicopter to other parts of the Island to keep an eye on things in general. Apparently the wartime area surrounding Empress Augusta Bay is now virtually uninhabited and what was once Torokina and Piva landing runways are now completely recovered with jungle. All the Marsden steel perforated matting strips have been removed some time ago and a recently taken aerial coloured photo of this area shows only a very faint outline of what was once the very busy Piva airstrip. In fact unrecognisable except for the fact that Mr Willis assured us that that was it.






Another interesting item related was the frequent visits by Japanese tourists wanting to be taken to the site where Japanese Admiral Yamamoto was ambushed and shot down on a flying visit to Bouganville in 1943. It appears that in each case they wanted to pay their respects to what many of them considered was one of the most famous Admirals in Japanese history. One picture taken from the air over the Buin area shows the entrance to a huge cave so large that a helicopter could and did hover just inside the entrance. Apparently the Japanese forces in that area used the interior as a field hospital (and no doubt as a headquarters), it was finally discovered well after the war had ended.

Other members attending were Les Bland and Colin Brown, Morie McDonald also made the effort but somehow or other had the correct street but the wrong residence number and subsequently could not find the correct one in spite of hurried phone calls and the help of another resident. He finally ended up in the Henderson RSA, no doubt enjoying himself even though he missed out on a most interesting afternoon.

Altogether our sincere thanks to Neville Hutchinson for what was indeed a wonderful occasion and an opportunity to revive old memories.

Further to our previous article in Newsletter #26 concerning the spraying of the Japanese vegetable gardens, Doug Black has followed up with some very interesting recollections of these events and graciously forwarded his prize collection of photos one of which clearly shows the special diesel fuel tank installed in the bomb-bay of one of our aircrafts together with the spray nozzle. Thank you Doug for your valued assistance and I sincerely hope that the picture in question will be reproduced as clearly as possible for all to see.

A while back I received a fascinating fax from Geoffrey Bentley Wg. Cdr. (RNZAF retired) following his reading of our


newsletter #26 which had been passed to him by a 30 Squadron navigator John Simpson of Levin.

Geoffrey Bentley is well known in aviation circles as an author and was for many years the Public Relations officer for the post-war RNZAF. However, what was most surprising is that he was also one of the advance party to arrive at Gisborne on May 14th 1942 as a clerk G.D. to work in the orderly room at Station Headquarters #8GR with the rank of AC1.

His best mate at Gisborne was an armourer named David Burger and they both shared a hut down Childers Road. David's particular friend was none other than Ho Humm and I was fascinated to read that Ho Humm often used to take them both out on the town and invariably the three of them ended up at a joint called “Zamies”. Zamies for those who can't remember was a small liquor store on the fringe of the town selling homegrown wines made from his own grapes. Whether or not he held a liquor licence was never known, however, no one seemed to worry about things like that and naturally it became a very popular drinking hole for RNZAF personnel.

Geoffrey recalled that David Burger figured in two station drama's. He set alight to an aircraft while doing a DI inadvertently discharging a Verey light pistol into the stowage. He was subsequently court marshalled and conducted his own defence brilliantly. Another time he led a protest about the quality of the food.

Geoffrey also remembered Dick Warren very well and says he was the sort of bloke one does remember. I cannot recall either David Burger or Geoffrey Bentley during those early days, however the orderly room was a place to keep well clear of as the Senior NCO Jake Yates was always in the vicinity and from past experience I had learned to keep my head down and steer clear of any passible trouble.





I do remember that very pistol incident though and the result was rather spectacular because the aircraft, a Vickers Vincent, was fabric covered (both wings and fuselage) – it appears that a certain aircrew member had left the cartridge flare in the pistol which in its self was a breach of regulations, however I'm sure the incident was kept very quiet and naturally we lower ranks were never informed of the findings.

When 8GR was changed to 30 Squadron and SU Geoffrey was posted to a Hawker Hind Squadron at Onerahi. However at this moment I am having further communication with him in an effort to identify the personal shown in an early photo on the orderly room referred to in Newsletter #19, April 2001, featuring Sgt V.T. Ruck – hopefully I will have more news in the next newsletter.

In the meantime, do not forget to record the date of the next reunion in your diary – 3rd November at 1.30 PM in the Pakuranga Park Village Community Hall – please make an effort to come and make it a great success while we are still able.


Art Surtees of VMBT 232 enclosed with his latest newsletter a copy of that marvellous National Geographic Traveller magazine featuring a 10 page article on travel in NZ. This is indeed a great plug for NZ Tourism. He also enclosed 3 copies of the Flying Leathernecks newsletter. This newsletter is beautifully presented in colour, full of interesting articles concerning the US Marines and issued by their Historical Foundation headquarters at M. C. A. S. Mirramar. Thank you Art for your consideration and kind thoughts.

I wish to thank all members for their letters. It is indeed a wonderful feeling that so many still find the time to write. I can but repeat my request to keep the mail coming for without them it would not be possible to keep the newsletter full of memories of long ago.

Wally Ingham




Issue No. 28
October 2002


30 Squadron and Servicing Unit Newsletter No. 28
October 2002

Dear Friends

Age appears to be catching up quickly with us but my mail does not appear to be slowing down with letters from Norma Wellsford, Bev Stanton, Bill Mitchell (x2) Doris Humm, David Humm, Art Surtees, Ken Everson to mention a few as well as an interesting one from Ivan Lindsay of Tauranga requesting a copy of our book “The Avengers” for his brother in law Harold Glover who was a member of 30SU.

Unfortunately I cannot remember Harold but I am looking forward to a letter from him in the near future describing his memories of those exciting times. Welcome aboard Harold.

It is always nice to receive mail from down South, particularly as the weather in the South Island has been very severe with heavy snow falls and below zero temperatures and in this case Bill Mitchell of Oamaru writes believe it or not two separate letters within two weeks which must surely be a record.

While on the subject of weather our thoughts and sympathy must also go to both Leith Potter (ex electrical 30SU) and Arnold Atley (ex engine fitter 30SU) of Alexandra who somehow manage to survive in what must be one of the coldest spots in N. Z. and are no doubt still frozen which is why I have not heard from them lately.

Bill Mitchell's first letter concerns of all people, one of 30 Squadron's ancient surviving pilots by name of Gerry Burton who has again burst into print (or should I say life!) by contributing to a wonderful book entitles “For Five Shillings a Day” which is a series of articles by ex servicemen about World War II.


Bill has kindly photocopied chapter 17 which is entitled “The War in the Pacific with the Americans, fashioning Victory from Defeat”. In this particular chapter Gerry briefly describes his early career in the RNZAF as a Sergeant Pilot on Vickers Vildbeest aircraft, flying on reconnaissance and anti-submarine patrols operating from the tip of the North Island and then on to Grumman T.B.F. aircraft with 30 Squadron based on Bouganville.

Naturally it is far too long to reproduce in the newsletter, however I would highly recommend that one makes the effort to procure or borrow a copy even if only to read Chapter 17 which is an outstanding effort. Congratulations Gerry on a job well done, but tell me who was your ghost writer!!!

Bill Mitchell's second letter was in answer to my previous request asking for more input concerning the early Headquarters administrative staff – Bill can recall a certain Bob Whitburn whom he suggests may have replaced Sgt Jake Yates! The name does trigger my memory, but was he not associated with the aerodrome defence unit and then attached to 30SU to instruct us all in grenade throwing, bayonet practise and finally on the Jungle course at Motuhora!!

Bill enclosed two delightful copies of photos of his hut, which nestled under two large pine trees in the paddock on the corner of Childers and Lytton roads. This particular hut was names “Dingle Dell” and showed no fewer than 5 ancient bicycles leaning against the sides of the hut.

The second photo was of the occupants namely Bill Mitchell, Red O'Neil, Harry Medcalfe, Frank (Sticky Bum) Gluas, Bob Grey and Tiny White.




These particular photos were of great interest to me as my own hut was adjacent to theirs but facing Childers Road and well camouflaged with surrounding Pine trees of were they willow trees?

Had a most interesting letter from Art Surtees enclosing the latest edition of his newsletter, which he edits for former members of the Marine Red Devil Squadron VMTB-232 who shared operations out of Bouganville with 30 Squadron and S.U.

It is interesting to note that VMBT-232 and also Navy Squadron VT-305 are each experiencing similar problems as us in that as our age increases, the ability to move about and attend annual reunions decreases and more and more members are content to stay at home.

Sadly, Art reports that their war-time skipper Colonel Rolland (Rollie) F. Smith passed away on July 28 th and although in tough shape following time in hospital he finally succumbed to congestive heart failure. Rollie was well known to all 30 Squadron aircrews and especially Gerry Burton who often stayed at his home during visits to the U. S. A. Rollie was renowned for leading the Combined Squadrons while smoking cigars both to and from the bombing raids, his cool and calm manner never failing to win the confidence of those less fortunate (see previous newsletter #21, Page 4), however a few of our ground crew personnel were not so sure for when the Marine Squadron occasionally borrowed 30 Squadron aircraft, the unfortunate rigger of the plane that Rollie used had the job of collecting the discarded cigar stubs from the bottom of the cockpit section! Incidentally, Rollie told me that he consumed on average at least 5 cigars each trip.

In the late Peter Steel's tape recordings Peter recalled that when 30 Squadron


arrived at Espiritu Santos for final combat training they were taken under the wing of the very experienced VMBT-232 Marine Squadron and on one occasion he was taken by Rollie as an observer on a dive bombing demonstration. Standing in the rear section behind the pilot he was both dismayed and then alarmed when he noted during the dive that the needle of the airspeed indicator went well past the red line (Never exceed speed), and had visions of the wings folding back.

As all N. Z. pilots were instructed to fly by the book he confronted Rollie when on the ground and was told quite bluntly “If you want to stay alive in operations against the Japs that's the way it's done!”

Peter recalled that thanks to Rollie's experiences and wise instructions many N. Z. pilots were very thankful indeed for the advice given and were able to safely complete their tour of operations.

Who remembers Norma Wellsford the wife of the late Ken Wellsford (one of the “Dead End Kids”) In the past she was a regular attendee at our annual reunions, but had somehow dropped out, however recently I was delighted to receive a telephone call from her advising her new address and assuring us that she will certainly be attending our coming reunion. She is now residing in Albany , North Shore and hopefully will be able to join up with another of our “Merry Widows” Bev Staunton also of the North Shore who has assured me that she too will be attending the reunion.

Incidentally, I would like to call on all serviceable members to make a great big effort to attend our reunion on 3 rd November 2002.

Unfortunately time moves on relentlessly and who knows but this could possibly be the last one,





even so there are still quite a few on our mailing list who possibly with not much difficulty could make the effort to attend.

So fellas, please make the decision now even if you have to arrange for a minder or escort to look after you!

Another letter arrived recently from none other that another American Marine friend Ken Everson of VMBT-232. This was a surprise as Ken usually sends an Email message, however it was a beautifully typed letter in which he described the latest happenings in his life and family.

For those who can't remember, Ken was the original Marine Corps member who with his wife Barbara flew down to N. Z. for one of our earlier reunions (1981) with a view to renewing wartime acquaintances and reporting back to VMBT-232 on the prospects of future get-togethers. Ken and Barbara were met at Auckland Airport by yours truly and the late Mike O'Malley and proudly rushed direct to Gisborne for the (see page 92 of our book “The Avengers”) Queens Birthday reunion. The event was a marvellous success and thanks to Ken's glowing report a further group of VMBT-232 visitors attended the June 1986 reunion.

Unfortunately Ken's health has not been the best lately and he is under Doctors orders at the moment. All of us in 30 Squadron and S. U. send our best wishes and sincerely hope that you will soon be up and around again Ken.

Another casualty close to home is Peter Rix who is at present having to give up his favourite pastime of bowls due to problems with his knee-cap (a war time injury described on page 83 of our book “The Avengers”), however I am quite sure that the Doctor will soon be able to rectify the problem and return you to bowls once more.

It appears that none of our newsletters will be complete without a mention of the armourer's who somehow seemed determined to ensure that they too should be mentioned in despatches.

It came about that a short while ago I called around to see Colin (Shorty) Brown whom up until now was most difficult to contact being a sailor of some repute who usually was involved in sailing his own yacht single handed somewhere around the N. Z. coast.


However on this occasion at about 8 AM I found him still in bed!!

Apparently he had sold his yacht due to failing health (Doctors orders), and believe it or not had managed to write off his car when backing down the driveway of his home. Naturally he was as upset as an armourer could be and no doubt after exhausting all the excuses in the world I'm sure he will soon be back to his old self once more.

Another armourer, Les (Bulla) Bland has also recently been a casualty due to leg trouble plus other malaise's and on reporting to his doctor was horrified to learn that he had to stop his regular running (or trotting?). This of course is a disaster as far as Bula is concerned and no doubt must be placing a terrible strain on his wife Daphne who now has to put up with him under her feet all day long.

Well now, this is the person who types the newsletter for Wally at the moment – Julie. I have to tell you that Wally is fit and healthy, and every Sunday (8AM) and Tuesday (5.45PM) he leads his ‘girls' on a most sociable and pleasant run-walk around Cornwall Park in Auckland. One of the things about running in Wal's pack is that you are not allowed to get ahead of him otherwise you very sternly get put in your place with a smart comment about being too fit so some such (and sometimes a comment about your legs!).

This Sunday though we have some Gents joining our pack for a run through the Park and down Onehunga Mall, and then back again in the Auckland Jogger's Club annual “Blackbridge run”. It is always interesting running with Wal, as he has some wonderful tales to tell (and we all believe in the adage that if you can't have a good chat while running, then you're going too fast!).

Well folks please keep all those letters coming and above all don't forget our mini reunion on November 3 rd – 1.30PM sharp at the Pakuranga Park Village Community Hall. ALL WELCOME!


Wally Ingam.







Issue No. 29
December 2002


30 Squadron and Servicing Unit Newsletter No. 29
December 2002

Dear Friends,

We did it!! We did it!! This year's mini-reunion was a marvellous success.

Because if the age of our members and the fact that Father Time is becoming more active we had assumed that we would be lucky indeed to have 25 members in attendance – how wrong we were for incredibly there were 41 present including our C.O. Noel James, who has recovered remarkably well considering his recent illness.

In fact we had members reporting in from Whangarei in the far North down to Tauranga, Gisborne and even Napier. Even the newsletter typist Julie Carr put in an appearance (only for a short while she said) however in no time she was surrounded by armourers who made sure that she was looked after and entertained and no doubt Ho Humm the Chinese armourer would have approved if he had been present!

One of the highlights was a most interesting talk by Eric Kelly who as Welfare Officer for the Taradale RSA reminded all members of the importance of being aware of the many benefits including the Veterans pensions which a particular RSA member may be entitled to, and the necessity to get in to tance in any way. Eric says “Do it now!” before its too late!!!

It was also interesting to see Doug Black (Napier) having a long conversation with John Freakes from Whangarei and no doubt on the subject of the mysterious change over from the squadron motor-cycle to a US Jeep on the servicing unit's inventory – perhaps one day all will be revealed!

Another first timer was Chris Walton the son of the late Ian Walton (30 Squadron Pilot) and accompanied with his young daughter – how wonderful it is to see our younger generation taking an interest in us old veterans.

Following our mini reunion it has occurred to me that these events are unique indeed, and not knowing how I could describe my feelings I have taken the liberty in copying a paragraph recorded in the newsletter of the US Marines Historical Foundation titled “The Reunion” a copy of which has been passed on to me to which I am indebted.



I now know why men who have been to war yearn to reunite. Not to tell war stories or look at old pictures. Not to laugh or weep. Comrades gather because they long to be with men who once acted their best, men who suffered and sacrificed, who were stripped raw, right down to their humanity.

I did not pick these men. They were delivered by fate and the US Marine Corps. But I know them in a way I know no other men. I have never given anyone such trust. They were willing to guard something more precious than my life. They would have carried my reputation, the memory of me. It was part of the bargain we all made, the reason we were so willing to die for one another.

I cannot say where we are headed. Ours are not perfect friendships; those are the province of legend and myth. A few of my comrades drift far from me now, sending back only occasional word. I know that one day even these could fall to silence. Some of the men will stay close, a couple, perhaps, always at hand.

As long as I have memory, I will think of them all, every day. I am sure that when I leave this world, my last thought will be of my family and my comrades…. such good men.


Recently I was handed a small covered log book for me to read before it was passed on to our 30 Squadron's museum at the Gisborne Aircraft Preservation Society at Darton Field, Gisborne. It turned out to be the late Reg Curtis's Aircrew log book which made interesting reading. Many people are under the impression that because our training was done at Gisborne all the personnel especially the aircrews were inexperienced and that it was everyone's first experience when we embarked for overseas. This of course was far from the truth as many of us, including some ground staff had already experienced at first hand, contact with the enemy forces.

In Reg Curtis's case he originally embarked from initial training at Levin in June 1941 for aircrew training at #1 Wireless School, Montreal, Canada, and





then was posted to #1 Bombing and Gunnery school at Jervois, Ontario, where he trained on the notorious Fairey Battle bomber A/c. It is interesting to note that in 1940 they were Britain's front line single-engine bombers operating in France. They were armed with one fixed (Forward Firing) and one aft swivelling point 303 calibre machine gun, and over 70% of the two squadron's aircraft were sacrificed against Messersmit 109 Fighter aircraft before being withdrawn and the remainder sent to Canada for training purposes. Reg then qualified gaining his wireless-air gunners badge and then posted back to NZ and on to #5 Bomber Reconnaissance Squadron stationed at Nausouri, Fiji in June 1942 where he flew in Vicker Vildbeeste and Vincent aircraft on convoy and anti-submarine patrols.

He then underwent a course at Gisborne February 1943, and again in June 1943 was posted to the US Navy Air Operational training unit at Jacksonville, Florida for conversion on to Grumman Avenger aircraft along with 5 other New Zealander's, all under strict secrecy as they would be on return to NZ become the basis of a NZ squadron with would be operating these aircraft up in the forward area in the Pacific.

On return to NZ he was then posted to the newly formed 30 Squadron and in a short while found himself again posted overseas in January 1944 with the NZ Squadron.

Sadly on the 10th May when attacking Lakunai airstrip New Britain in concert with 12 30 Squadron TBF's and 18 SBD's of #25 Squadron his aircraft NZ2541 piloted by F/O Bailey and Navigator F/Sgt Schlesinger with W/O Curtis as wireless Ait Gunner, the aircraft was shot down by Japanese gunfire and all were killed. (Reg was just 23 years of age.)

Many other aircrews had had previous combat experience in Europe before being transferred back to NZ to help stem the Japanese forces. Some of the pilots who come to mind were S/L Hartshorn from RAF Costal Command and F/L Pete Steel (two previous tours in the Pacific), as well as ground crew's namely Bill Mitchell, Frank Gluas, Stoney Homer and “Yakka” Roach who all made hair raising escapes from Singapore just a few days before it fell to the Japanese forces.



A while back I received a nice letter from Ray Ingles of New Plymouth who was in 30 SU's orderly room in Bouganville. He was commenting on my previous enquiry regarding Sgt. Bob Whitburn who he confirms ended up as Station Warrant Officer under our Adjutant Jim (Split Pin) Aitken on Bouganville. To prove his point he has enclosed a photo of the staff advising that this is a copy- photo of the “engine room of 30SU” – i.e. Split-Pin's staff without which where would 30 SU have been!!!

Insert Photo not suplied sorry

Caption: Reading from Left to right are Ray Ingles, Bob Whitburn, Alf Kirby, Vic Ivess and Nev Courtney (absent was Bill Jones).

Thanks indeed Ray, you have jogged my memory and I certainly remember all those smiling faces – even the office with its surrounding camouflaged netting and notice board which I always kept well clear of in case I was handed some extra fatigue duties.

Although still not certain it does appear that Bob Whitburn did take over from Sgt. Jake Yates during the change over from 8GR to 30 SU.

Who remembers the late Terry Dempsey = 30 SU Flight mechanic? His son, John from Wellington telephoned me last night to advise that he restores old vehicles for a hobby and is currently engaged in rebuilding a WW2 Jeep. He intends to repaint it in US Navy grey complete with the RNZAF' roundels and 30 SU printed on the sides in recognition of our infamous and short lived vehicle obtained unofficially by exchanging our Engineering motor-cycle. John says that if anyone can supply him with photocopies of that particular Jeep he would be most grateful in order to make it as authentic as possible. Also, he particularly wants the manufacturers number, which was usually stencilled, in large numerals on the sides of the bonnet. Please advise the writer of any further information which may be in the possession of any of our members particularly any survivors from our MT section such as George Brassel of Martinborough. George you have been very quiet lately! Where are you?






Incidentally, John also advised that while doing a stint as a medical orderly in the Wellington Public Hospital he came across our old mate namely one Dick Warren whom he had to move in a wheel chair to the X-Ray department. Sadly I had to advise him that Dick died a short time after

While looking at a number of old wartime photos of 30 SU personnel on Bouganville I was surprised and mystified to see one of a group of Instrument Mechanics grouped around the late Percy Sladen who was actually seated on of all vehicles, a small motor scooter!!! It even had an RNZAF Roundal painted on its side – I cannot ever recall such a vehicle being used on Bouganville, however it must have been in use, and accordingly it would be appreciated if one of the members of the Instrument section could write in and resolve the matter, particularly as I was under the impression that these only appeared about 1950 or there about, and were of Italian origin.

Following a talk by a New Zealander Mr Bob Willis (see Newsletter # 27 – August) concerning his recent visit to Bouganville the following picture taken in June 2002 will be of interest as follows.

Inserted coloured photo not supplied, sorry

Caption: Unfortunately this was the only one suitable for printing and the most interesting one could not be reproduced.

Caption: Remains of the old Japanese Bridge, South West Piva.


This will be my last newsletter for this year and accordingly my wife and I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

My appreciation also goes to all of you who have continued to write to me and thus contributed to making this newsletter a wonderful success. Please keep those letters coming.

Wally Ingham.


Jim Potaka, Gisborne, 30SU (G. D), 18th August 2002

Bruce Chapman, Timaru, 30SU (MT), 15th Sept 2002

Dean Cockburn, Gisborne, 30 SU (med),17 th Sept, 2002











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