TRANSPORT 'PLANES SINGAPORE JOB COMPLETED "If New Zealand was not particularly well-known in the Far East previously I feel confident in saying that, as a result of the excellent work done in evacuating prisoners of war and civilian internees, this country has now earned for itself a definite reputation," said FlightLieutenant Jack Davidson, who has returned from Singapore where he was in charge of the R.N.Z.A.F. unit. The R.N.Z.A.F. was the only unit that had completed the evacuation bv air, and its efforts had received" considerable praise from Sir Keith Park, Air Officer Com-mander-in-Chief, he said. Sir Keith had spent a little time with the unit in Singapore and had expressed his appreciation of the fact that New Zealand had played a major part in evacuating personnel from Malaya and surrounding areas. "Throughout our stay we were particularly grateful to the R.A.F. and, more especially, to the R.A.A.F. who gave us valuable assistance in evacuating our people from Sumatra, Java and Siam," Flight-Lieutenant Davidson continued. "Without their co-operation it would have been very awkward with the small number of planes at our disposal to uplift the few odd bodies from these places." Referring to the Government's interest in the evacuation scheme, Flight-Lieutenant Davidson said that all New Zealanders had expressed appreciation of the adequate arrangements made for their repatriation. The Government had been very generous with the supplies it had sent up. and what was left over— medical supplies, rations, and clothing—had been donated to organisations directly responsible for looking after prisoners and internees
The fact that there were no accidents throughout the operations was commented on by Flight-Lieu-tenarii "Davidsoni who said this was largely dfle to the efficient work of the maintenance crews who worked indefatigably to ensure that there was no hitch of any kind and that the schedule was kept running, smoothly. ~ "From the point of view of safety the record of New Zealand's transport squadrons is without parallel, in spite of the fact that our planes fly over large stretches of sea and facilities for forced landings are more or less negligible." he continued. "All this is a tribute to the ground crews and maintenance personnel. We who do the flying depend entirely on them." Flight-Lieutenant Davidson said there were no better transport planes than the Dakotas. which were the craft used by the R.N.Z.A.F. for evacuating New Zealanders. The 41 Squadron, which has supplied the aricraft for this mission, had not had a single mishap since its inauguration. Referring to the unrest in Java he said it was popular opinion that if Dutch rule were insisted on there might. be serious complications. The British and Americans were quite welcome in Java. The people believed that unless some satisfactory agreement was worked out there would be chaos for years to come,
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FINE RECORD, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 252, 24 October 1945
FINE RECORD Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 252, 24 October 1945
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