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Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



New Zealanders in the Royal Flying Corps

(The Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service united on 1 April 1918 to form the Royal Air Force.)

In the air war New Zealand contributed through private enterprise rather than Government action. Two private companies, one operating the New Zealand Flying School at Kohimarama, Auckland Harbour, and the other the Flying Training School at Sockburn, Canterbury, made their own arrangements with the United Kingdom Government whereby they trained pilots for Royal Aero Club certificates on the understanding that they would then be accepted for commissions in the RFC. Under these schemes 224 pilots sailed from New Zealand as cadets and 203 were duly commissioned, though only 68 were in time to see action. Hundreds of other New Zealanders joined the RNAS, RFC, or RAF by transferring from the NZEF or by direct enlistment. Of the latter, Second-Lieutenant W. B. Rhodes-Moorhouse, RFC, won a posthumous V.C., an achievement matched by his son as an RAF pilot in the Second World War – a unique family distinction.