WONZ 205 – The World of Jimmy Ward VC

Main Speaker: Des Underwood

Other Speakers: Jack Best (Introducing the event), Greg Brownless (Mayor of Tauranga)

Recorded: 6th of September 2019

Released: 15th of September 2019

Duration: 1 hour 25 minutes 52 seconds

In this episode we hear a recording from the Fourth Annual Jean Batten Lecture, presented by Des Underwood to the Bay of Plenty Branch of the New Zealand Division of the Royal Aeronautical Society. The venue was the Boeing Room of Classic Flyers NZ Museum.

The topic of this year’s lecture was ‘The World of Jimmy Ward VC’. Des gives a background to the man, New Zealand’s first Victoria Cross recipient in WWII, awarded for his daring act in climbing onto the wing of a Wellington bomber while in flight to douse the flames of an engine fire. He covers Jimmy’s background and life before and in the RNZAF, the wing fire, and his sad death. Also Des covers the RAF at the time,the bombing war, and much more.

Quick Links:

•   Royal Aeronautical Society – Bay of Plenty Branch

•   James Ward VC on Wikipedia

•  Classic Flyers NZ Museum Website

•  Classic Flyers NZ Museum on Facebook

Jimmy Ward VC with his Victoria Cross medal ribbon


Jimmy Ward in the cockpit of a Wellington bomber of No. 75 (NZ) Squadron RAF

The foot holes made in the wing and fuselage by Jimmy when he ventured out to couragiously fight the fire in the starboard engine, whilst also fighting the freezing cold airflow over the wing

Above: Des Underwood delivering his lecture on The World of Jimmy Ward VC

Video Version
Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Here are the videos that Des tried to screen and sadly had technical difficulties with:

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