UNITS IN EUROPE MOST TO DISBAND N.Z.P.A. Special Correspondent. LONDON, July 30. The famous heavy bomber squadron in which hundreds of New Zealanders served throughout the war may operate against the Japanese in the Far East. It is intended that its aircrew personnel shall be mainly New Zealanders.
The New Zealand Tem:2St Squadron (No. 486) and Mosquito Squadron (No. 487) will remain with the occupational forces in Europe for about two months and will then be disbanded.
The New- Zealand Spitfire Squadron (No. 485) and.Beaufighter Torpedo Squadron (No. 489) are to be disbanded within the next two months.
These facts are contained in a statement on the revised policy for the R.N.Z.A.F. in Britain issued by R.N.Z.A.P. Headquarters in London. They mean the end of direct representation of the R.N.Z.A.F. in the United Kingdom and Europe through its own squac'rons, all of which have served with distinction.
It is also stated that up to 250 R.N.Z.A.F. volunteers will be transferred to the Fleet Air Arm if they are under the age of 26 by August 8, and if they are not required for service in the Pacific by the R.N.Z.A.F.
It is estimated that 1600 men will remain with the R.A.F. in Europe, the Middle East and South-east Asia, and that 2400 will be eligible to return to New Zealand as soon as they are released from the R.A.F. and New Zealand squadrons as soon as shipping is available.
Those to Remain with R.A.F.
New Zealanders who will remain with the R.A.F. are in three categories, as follow:—
(1) Those who volunteered to join the Service, irrespective of past service or time away from New Zealand.
(2) Aircrew who have completed one tour of operations or part of a tour and who still have 12 months' service to complete from the date of joining an R.A.F. unit.
(3) All aircrew who have not yet been "productive"—that is, who have not served as instructor, staff pilot, or on operations.
Those who will be repatriated are in five categories, as follow:—
(1) Returned prisoners of war, except those with good reasons for wishing to remain.
(2) Aircrew who have completed two tours of operations.
(3) Aircrew who have been away from New Zealand for three years, but who have completed at least one productive tour.
(4) Those who have urgent domes tic and compassionate claims to return to New Zealand.
(5) All other personnel who are not employable within their proper category.
Men who return to New Zealand with long-service records are expected to be released if they so desire, but others with short or nonproductive service can expect to be retained. Aircrew not immediately suitable for Pacific service will be posted to the reserve and held against further requirements. Regret Expressed The balance of aircrew without productive service and unsuitable for service in the Pacific can elect for ground trades or transfer to the Army, otherwise they will be placed at the disposal of the National Service Department. There is regret among members of the R.N.Z.A.F. that the Government has decided against keeping at least one New Zealand squadron with the occupational forces. Every other Dominion is doing so. The question of cost does not enter into the matter, as all R.N.Z.A.F. personnel are seconded to the R.A.F. and paid by it.
It is also felt that such a squadron could with advantage remain in Great Britain when the need for the occupational forces has ended as the men and the R.N.Z.A.F. as a whole would benefit by a flow of men to and from Britain for service with the squadron. Such a squadron would be thoroughly up to date in al) respects. \ :th no such unit in Britain memoers of the R.N.Z.A.F. coming to this country in future for refresher or ether courses will presumably, be posted to English squad-
It is felt on grounds of tradition, prestige and expediency, that the retention of at least one New Zealand squadron would be of immense value to the Dominion, and it is hoped it is not too late for such a plan to be considered
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R.N.Z.A.F. PLAN, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 180, 1 August 1945
R.N.Z.A.F. PLAN Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 180, 1 August 1945
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