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  #61  
Old 01-15-2019, 12:27 PM
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PacificWind PacificWind is offline
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SBD-3 Dauntless, No. 25 Squadron RNZAF, Seagrove, New Zealand 1943

Kiwi Dauntless is finished.
This aicraft(NZ5005) has quite interesting history. Although I'm not Don Boose, this time I'll give a brief historical information.


25 Squadron was formed at Seagrove, near Auckland, on 31 July 1943 with twelve crews and a maintenance unit. This was later increased to eighteen crews. The commanding officer was Squadron Leader Theodore Jasper Maclean de Lange (born Simla 16 June 1914, died Rotorua 4 July 2005), a burly and moustachioed figure who later became the Air Member for Personnel. He became a CBE in 1965 and retired in February 1966. Other members of the squadron were mostly from the army co-operation and anti-aircraft units, with an average age of 23 years, although at least one pilot (Leslie McLellan-Symonds b. 1911) was older than de Lange.

The initial supply of aircraft was nine SBD-3 aircraft from MAG-14. These machines were reputed to be veterans of the earlier Pacific battles and were in poor condition.

For the next few months the crews trained while the maintenance personnel struggled to keep the aircraft flying, requesting and receiving several more SBD-3 (and later SBD-4) machines from the Americans to maintain operational numbers. The aeroplanes were operated in their original USMC markings with squadron numbers painted on, until being "brought on charge" in November 1943. On completion of initial training, the squadron celebrated by flying eighteen aeroplanes over Auckland just before luncheon on 6 January 1944, to the great interest of the civilian population.


Seagrove aerodrome was built, after Japan's entry into World War II (with the sudden threat of invasion), in secret on commandeered private dairy farming land during World War II (1942) for the use of RNZAF and United States Navy aircraft. It was used initially for the air defence of Auckland. Originally it was to be named RNZAF Base Karaka, but as a good will gesture to the Clark family that gave up their farmland, retained the Homestead's name "Seagrove". Very few people knew of the base or its existence during the war, so well-guarded that airmen based at the nearby RNZAF Ardmore aerodrome would wonder why fighter aircraft would suddenly appear out of nowhere and disappear from view.

By 1943, the air force base was used as an auxiliary to the much larger bases at Mangere aerodrome (now Auckland International Airport) and Ardmore aerodrome. Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk point defence fighters and Douglas SBD-3 (and SBD-4) dive bombers were both assembled and based there. Two paved cinder top runways, each approximately 5000 ft long and 150 ft wide, were built in a 'Boomerang' layout, one running west to east the other running nor'northeast to sou'southwest, central thresholds meeting at the apex of the Seagrove promontory at the mouth of the Waiau Pa inlet. Temporary barracks, dug in revetments and maintenance facilities were built. At the end of the conflict in 1945 the base was 'revealed' and closed but used for a short time as a surplus aircraft dump.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No._25_Squadron_RNZAF
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seagrove_Aerodrome
Attached Thumbnails
PacificWind's Recolors-nz5005.jpg   PacificWind's Recolors-img_20190115_175445.jpg   PacificWind's Recolors-img_20190115_175531.jpg   PacificWind's Recolors-img_20190115_175706.jpg   PacificWind's Recolors-img_20190115_175804.jpg  

PacificWind's Recolors-img_20190115_180048.jpg   PacificWind's Recolors-img_20190115_180138.jpg   PacificWind's Recolors-img_20190115_180551.jpg   PacificWind's Recolors-img_20190115_180838.jpg  
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  #62  
Old 01-15-2019, 01:27 PM
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Great build Kacper!
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  #63  
Old 01-15-2019, 02:52 PM
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Another fine historic model and excellent historical context information!

Don
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  #64  
Old 01-15-2019, 04:03 PM
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What Don said. Top job Kacper. I've often seen the reference to Seagrove Aerodrome but never looked it up. Don't have to now! Good info mate.

Two pics of how it looked more recently. Second one has runways outlined and I'm pretty sure that building in the middle of one runway was not there in WWII....
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PacificWind's Recolors-img_2067.jpg   PacificWind's Recolors-img_2067a.jpg  
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  #65  
Old 01-15-2019, 04:15 PM
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Vinalssergio155 Vinalssergio155 is online now
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Another great job Kacper.And very interesting information.Recoloratión, construction, information, magnificent photos, own designs in scrath. You're a super-modeler!
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  #66  
Old 01-16-2019, 10:39 AM
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PacificWind PacificWind is offline
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Thanks folks.

About the Seagrove Aerodrome; it rarely happens but this time the background used in the pictures is the real area of the Seagrove Aerodrome. Usually it's impossible to create such an accurate background because most of these WWII airfields just don't exist today. Luckily, the Seagrove area has remained almost unchanged.
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