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No. 40 Squadron RNZAF
Active June 1943 – October 1947
December 1954 – present
Country  New Zealand
Allegiance Queen Elizabeth II
Branch Air Force Ensign of New Zealand.svg Royal New Zealand Air Force
Role Transport
Size One Squadron
Motto(s) Maori: Ki nga hau e wha
English: To the four winds

No. 40 Squadron RNZAF is a transport squadron in the Royal New Zealand Air Force. It remains on active duty.

A 40 Squadron Handley Page Hastings C–3 refuelling in the 1950s



The squadron was formed at Whenuapai on 1 June 1943 as No. 40 Transport Squadron RNZAF. It was equipped with Dakota and Lockheed Lodestars and carried men and supplies to forward areas throughout the Pacific theatre. Within the squadron organisation was a ferry flight of aircrew which regularly flew delivery flights from the mainland US and Hawaii to New Zealand of new aircraft such as the Catalina flying boat and Ventura. The Squadron was disbanded on 31 October 1947 and most of its crews and aircraft were transferred to the government owned National Airways Corporation.

No. 40 Squadron reformed on 8 December 1954 with four Handley Page Hastings, one of which competed in the October 1953 London-Christchurch air race. The Squadron was supplemented with three Douglas DC-6 acquired from the defunct Australian airline, British Commonwealth Pacific Airlines by 1961. The five current Lockheed C-130H Hercules were purchased in 1965, and supplemented by three Boeing 727s, (including the infamous Spud One) in the early 1980s. The 727s were replaced by two Boeing 757-200s in May 2003.

Modern days[]

A No. 40 Squadron Boeing 757–200 in 2006

A 40 Squadron Hercules on a visit to Australia in 2010

Located at RNZAF Base Auckland on Whenuapai airfield, the Squadron today operates five C-130H Hercules and two Boeing 757-200s. The squadron saw action throughout the pacific war against Japan, and subsequently helped supply New Zealand forces fighting in Korea, Malaya, Vietnam, East Timor, Afghanistan, and Iraq as well as providing transport to United States and United Kingdom forces in the 1990 Gulf War. Humanitarian missions have included flying in the first cyclone Tracy relief supplies to Darwin, assisting victims of the Bali bombing and the Boxing Day Tsunami. Since the late 1960s the squadron has detached aircraft each summer to work in the Ross Dependency of Antarctica.

As of 2008, the Squadron began modernising its Hercules aircraft with new avionics and aircraft systems to extend their life expectancy (for NZ$234 million), and has replaced its two Boeing 727 with two Boeing 757 (for NZ$220 million).[1]


External links[]

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