New Zealand Post issued a set of stamps commemorating the 75th anniversary of the RNZAF. Since its inception in 1937 the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) has made a significant contribution to war – and peace – time efforts in New Zealand and around the world.
When the RNZAF (Te Tauaarangi o Aotearoa, or ‘New Zealand Warrior of the Sky’) was formed on 1 April 1937 as a separate arm of New Zealand’s military forces, it brought with it the promise of expansion and modern aircraft. Equally important was the team of dedicated personnel, whose service through the years has played a vital role in the success of the organisation, and in protecting and defending Aotearoa, New Zealand.
In its early years the RNZAF was heavily involved in World War II. In New Zealand it trained aircrew as part of the Empire Air Training Scheme; and overseas many of its aircrew served with squadrons of the Royal Air Force and other Commonwealth air forces. It also played a key role in the Pacific, providing combat squadrons in support of the United States’ operations to defeat the Japanese in the Solomon Islands. Following World War II, the RNZAF supported operations in countries such as Malaya, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.
Outside battle, the RNZAF has played an important role in search and rescue. Such operations had their beginnings in World War II, with searches of missing Allied airmen. The aircraft used for search and rescue from the mid-1960s were P3 Orion maritime surveillance aircraft, supplemented by Iroquois helicopters. Today, the RNZAF continues to respond to local emergencies including floods and earthquakes, and provides support to the police in operations such as searching for missing trampers.
Title: 75 Years of the RNZAF
Date of Issue: 15 March 2012
Country: New Zealand
Denominations: 60c x 15