No. 1 and No. 2 (Islands) Works Sawmill Units, RNZAF
Contributed Stories of Sawmill Airmen


Sergeant Ben Thomas


Peter James Bone

Dean Williams has kindly sent in the following memories of Peter Bone from Tasman, who served on the RNZAF Sawmill Unit:

"I am sitting in Russia at the start of winter and got to Googling, and found your webpage of sawmills. In the 1978 reunion photos, the man named as unknown is Peter James Bone from Tasman, he was a bushman and a territorial before the war. The next photo, sitting far right with his wife Ruth. and next photo standing left and Ruth is far right.

I have read his letters back to Ruth during the early days, he wrote of the "eggs" falling. His letters were well censored with holes cut in the pagers. He often spoke of a guy Snowy, this man was on TV during a documentary of gold panning up the Skippers (1970s).

I grew up with stories, the shrapnel in the trees; the Jap tank driving the mill; jumping into a trench during an air raid and getting his leg carved up during an ensuing fight with a Jap hiding in there. He was pulled out by Mr Quinn I believe, and a grenade was used to finish the job. The break through of the japs when the sawmill crew were issued with arms (US) and were to hold the third line (and did). His hatred of the US army and his admiration of the Marines. And the arrival of the 3rd Div, etc"



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