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Old 26th January 2011, 22:51
Alex Smart Alex Smart is offline
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NZ Vincents in Action

Hi,
Any details of NZ Vincents in action serials and the fate of crews ?
Alex
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Old 27th January 2011, 13:59
Dave Homewood Dave Homewood is offline
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Re: NZ Vincents in Action

What do you mean by "NZ Vincents in action"? Do you mean against the enemy? Because that would be none. The RNZAF's Vincents were only ever stationed in New Zealand and Fiji. They carried out daily operational anti-shipping and anti-submarine patrols and escorts but none ever found any enemy shipping or subs worthy of an attack.

Serials of the Vincents were NZ300 through to NZ361, and the majority of these saw operational service at one point or more in their career as well as being used in training roles. Vincents were used by the Auckland (GR) Squadron, the NZGR Squadron, and No's 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 and 8 (GR) Squadrons in defensive patrol operations. They were also used non-operationally by No. 22 (Army Co-op) Squadron, plus several Service Flying Training Schools and the School of General Renconnaissance as trainers, and numerous station units as target tugs.

As for crews, there were many hundreds of men involved, a few crews died in Vincents in accidents while carrying out operational patrols or opeational training, and perhaps the only case of a Vincent which may have seen action and its crew may have been killed by the enemy was NZ332 of No. 8 (GR) Squadron which went on a search patrol off of Gisborne while a Japanese submarine was suspected to be in the area. There's no proof that the two met, but the Vincent and it's crew failed to return and so some members of the squadron even now still wonder about it, did they attack the sub? Probably not. If you're on a long seaward patrol in a single engined aircraft, anything can happen. The crew lost were Harry Kinder, Charles Turnbull, and Nepia Stewart.

I am writing a comprhensive history of the General Reconnaissance squadrons of the RNZAF, which flew Vickers Vincents among many other types. If there's anything specific you'd like to know, feel free to email me on dave_daasnz@hotmail.com
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Old 28th January 2011, 09:08
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: NZ Vincents in Action

Check this page for a summary of RNZAF Vincent activity and fate for each aircraft: http://www.adf-serials.com/nz-serials/nz300.shtml
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Old 29th January 2011, 07:49
Alex Smart Alex Smart is offline
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Re: NZ Vincents in Action

Hello Laurent,

Thank you for the link to the RNZAF serial numbers. That section of the ADF site has not been on line of late.
Somewhere in a US document I read that 9 Vincents were on strength, time was I think November/December 1942 but cannot now find or remember which Island.
Could it be to do with support for the 45/46 or 339th ?
All the best
Alex
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Old 4th February 2011, 08:10
Dave Homewood Dave Homewood is offline
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Re: NZ Vincents in Action

Alex,

The only RNZAF Vincents posted outside of NZ were in Fiji. Those aircraft never saw any action.

Matthew Wright's book 'Pacific War - New Zealand and Japan 1941-1945' claimed that Vincents were sent from Fiji to Guadalcanal but this is completely wrong. I took the issue up with him and he conceded he made an error. It was Hudsons, not Vincents.

Believe me, I have been researching this heavily since 2005, I know many veterans who flew in them and have searched many archives and talked with experts. Vincents never saw any action in NZ hands.

The Vincent did not have the range to fly from Fiji to Tonga by the way. Or Fiji to NZ. They did not have the armour or the firepower or the equipment to successfully have been operated against the enemy. The crews who were forced to fly them even at home in NZ knew they would be suicide against any fighter or ack ack battery. Just as the Vildebeests were in Singapore (some of which were indeed flown by kiwis).

So the US report you saw was probably referring to Fiji. No. 4 (GR) Squadron flew them there till replaced by Hudsons and the remaining five machines went to No. 5 Squadron.
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