AUCKLAND’S WAITEMATA HARBOUR has witnessed some remarkable gatherings but few, even today, rival the events of 30 March 1937, when Captain Edwin C. Musick and his crew landed their Pan American Airways System Sikorksy S-42B Pan American Clipper NC16734 after their pioneering 6000-mile flight across the Pacific from San Francisco.
MY INTRODUCTION to flying in Vampires with 75 Squadron began when I was posted to Ohakea in April 1966 as an 18 year old Secretarial Officer. At that time 75 Squadron aircrew were located in the north western corner of No 2 Hangar at Ohakea and the Servicing Flight, together with all the Vampires, occupied No 1 Hangar. My first Vampire flight was on 16 June 1966 in Vampire T.11 NZ5711 with the Operational Flight’s Commander, Flt Lt Trevor (‘TT’) Bland. Trev flew a low-level navigation exercise (navex) before firing 2 inch rockets (aka Rocket Projectiles or RP) at Raumai range, which is out on the coast near to Ohakea. I was mightily impressed!