WONZ 183 – Bryan Cox at Wigram

Guest: Bryan Cox

Welcome From: Wing Commander Brett Marshall

Host: Dave Homewood

Recorded: 30th of June 2018

Released: 6th of July 2018

Duration: 53  minutes 20 seconds

This is the first of the recordings from the Wings Over New Zealand Forum Meet held at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand, at Wigram in Christchurch, on the 30th of June 2018. Introduced by Dave Homewood, with a brief welcome from Wing Commander Brett Marshall from the museum, we then hear from special guest Bryan Cox.

Bryan is a legend in New Zealand aviation circles. He joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 1943, training in New Zealand on Tiger Moths, Harvards and Kittyhawks before converting to the Corsair fighter bomber. He then served with No. 16 (Fighter) Squadron in the Pacific War, and postwar he joined No. 14 (Occupational) Squadron in Japan. After leaving the RNZAF he went through various jobs before he returned to aviation in the 1950’s as an air traffic controller at Ardmore. This led him back to flying, and before long he was working as an instructor. He flew over 21,000 hours in light aircraft till retiring from the flying school in the 1990’s. He returned to flying on a recreational licence in January 2018, regaining the licence on his 93rd birthday.

In this talk Bryan tells of his experiences during WWII from his days in the Air Training Corps through to his tours on the Corsair.

Quick Links:
•  Kittyhawks And Corsairs (Bryan Cox’s Website)

•  The Air Force Museum of New Zealand

Bryan aged 18 in 1943, during his training on Tiger Moths at RNZAF Station Harewood (Bryan Cox Collection)

Bryan aged 93 in July 2018 when he was reunited with Tiger Moth NZ1443 at Rangitata Island (Photo: Dave Homewood)

Here is a video version (the very beginning was missed from the video. Apologies the quality is not perfect)

Note: The music at the end of the audio version of this show is Wild Flower by Joakim Karud

3 comments to WONZ 183 – Bryan Cox at Wigram

  • Dave Homewood, I love receiving these Wings over NZ and how wonderful that Bryan Cox aged 96 flew in a Tiger Moth. I would like to know who taught him to fly as my father Tony (G.M.) Firth and his brother Ted (E.B) Firth were both flying instructors in the South Island during the WWar11.

    • Dave Homewood

      Hi Sally, thanks for the nice comments. Bryan’s main instructor at No. 3 EFTS was one Pilot Officer Liddle, and he also flew with P/O Roberts, P/O Mace, F/O Husband, F/Sgt Fowell, P/O Barfield and F/Lt Cochrane. While he never flew with your father or uncle I note that S/Ldr Ted Firth did sign his logbook summary entries several times, being the Chief Flying Instructor at the time at No. 3 EFTS, Harewood.

      In his Harvard training at Woodbourne, in the Initial Training Squadron of No. 2 SFTS his instructors were F/O Brundell and P/O Walker as the main instructors, and he also flew with F/Lt Field, F/O Hope, F/O Scott, F/O McDonald, F/O Wise.

      When he progressed to the Advanced Training Squadron of No. 2 SFTS his main instructor was F/O Gapes. No sign of your father involved there.

  • John Liddle

    I know his main instructor was PO Liddle. Back in the early 70’s, when I went to Ardmore to renew my PPL, I purposely chose Brian. When he saw my surname, he promptly pulled out his first logbook to show me and asked if we were related. We weren’t, but I was quite chuffed!

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