[New Zealand Spitfire Squadron and Russian commentary]

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Tono kōrero mai

Side 1: The New Zealand Spitfire (485) Squadron's work in Belgium with Flight Lieutenant E.T. Bennett of Hawkes Bay 28/3/1945.

Introduced by an unidentified female BBC announcer (possibly Noni Wright)i who notes that Lt. Bennett's father is the Bishop of Aotearoa (Rt. Rev. F.A. Bennett). He recorded this talk while in London on leave recently.

He talks about joining the squadron in Belgium and soon being sent back to the UK for further training. They then returned to Belgium, where they were housed in a former private hospital in a large house.

Most of their work consisted of bombing railway bridges and roads around the Zuiderzee to prevent supplies getting up to the German front line. They had to be careful before attacking barges or horsedrawn vehicles, as often these were also used by Dutch civilians. Trains were popular targets with the squadron too.

In the New Year, they came under machine gun and cannon fire from the enemy for the first time in many months. He describes an attack on their airfield.

Until the recent Canadian offensive they were not able to offer close support to the Army but by now the weather had improved and they were able to patrol roads and railways leading to the battlefront. He was recently flying with Max Cullett of Waipawa. Max's aircraft was hit, and caught fire and he bailed out near the River Maas which divided the Allied and German lines. He describes Max waving as he came down and luckily landed on the right side of the river.

With this offensive they have been called in to cooperate with Army manoeuvres. He describes recent action supporting the Army as the Canadians move forward towards the Rhine.

The Squadron's tally since formation in March 1941 is 75 aircraft destroyed, most before D-Day. Its present C.O. is Squadron Leader McDonald. He ends sending greetings to New Zealand on behalf of all the men in the squadron.

Back announce by female broadcaster.

-- Side 2: Russian Commentary by Alexander Werth, 28/3/1945.

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Request information

Year 1945

Reference number 177191

Media type AUDIO

Collection Sound Collection

Genre War radio programs
Radio programs
Sound recordings

Credits RNZ Collection
New Zealand. National Broadcasting Service (estab. 1936, closed 1946), Broadcaster
Werth, Alexander, 1901-1969, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Bennett, E. T., 1920-1984, Speaker/Kaikōrero

Duration 00:19:32

Date 28 Mar 1945

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