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No. 1 Squadron RNZAF

No. 1 Squadron RNZAF
Active March 1940 – September 1945
1972 – 1984
Country  New Zealand
Allegiance Queen Elizabeth II
Branch Royal New Zealand Air Force
Size One Squadron
Motto With Vigilance We Serve

No. 1 Squadron RNZAF was a New Zealand reconnaissance and patrol bomber squadron operating in the Pacific Theatre during World War II; post war the squadron served in the transport and VIP role.


Formed (as the New Zealand General Reconnaissance Squadron) in March 1940 with Blackburn Baffins, Vickers Vincents, and Vickers Vildebeest; the first commanding officer, Squadron Leader G. N. Roberts arriving in May. Due to the threat of German surface raiders against New Zealand shipping, these were replaced with Lockheed Hudsons during 1941. After the outbreak of hostilities against Japan, the squadron was initially retained in New Zealand, but during 1943 re-equipped with Lockheed Venturas, and joined the other Hudson and Ventura squadrons of the RNZAF in the South Pacific islands.

The squadron was based on Green Island in October of that year until again returning to Guadalcanal in March 1945. From May to June the squadron was based at Emirau. The squadron was disbanded, following VJ Day, in September 1945.

The squadron was active as a reserve Territorial Air Force squadron in Auckland, flying Harvards and North American Mustangs, from about 1949 to 1955.

It was reformed in 1972 to provide a medium-range transport squadron within New Zealand, at Whenuapai and equipped with six of the RNZAF's Bristol 170 Freighter Mk 31s. In 1977, 1 Squadron re-equipped with six Andover C.1s. the Squadron was again disbanded in 1984 and its Andovers taken over by No.42 Squadron.

Wartime Commanding Officers

  • Squadron Leader G. N. Roberts May 1940 – August 1941
  • Squadron Leader G. H. Fisher August 1941 – July 1942
  • Squadron Leader F. J. Lucas July–December 1942
  • Squadron Leader C. L. Monckton December 1942 – March 1943
  • Squadron Leader E. W. Tacon March–May 1943
  • Squadron Leader H. C. Walker May 1943 – April 1944
  • Squadron Leader K. C. King April–July 1944
  • Wing Commander A. N. Johnstone August 1944 – January 1945
  • Wing Commander A. A. N. Breckon February–June 1945


  • James Sanders, A Long Patrol, An Illustrated History of No 1 Squadron RNZAF, 1986, Century Hutchinson, Auckland, ISBN 0-09-163600-0.
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