Permanent RNZAF operational and flying training station throughout WWII
Royal New Zealand Air Force
RNZAF Station Nelson was an operational station from at least as early as 1941
Wing Commander Ron Sinclair - who was Station CO in June 1942 at least
Wing Commander Alfred Morton Seafield Manhire - from when the TTS at Rongotai moved to Nelson until 1944
Today the former RNZAF Station remains open as Nelson Airport, and is the base of Air Nelson (an Air New Zealand affiliate) and and the independent Origin Pacific airlines. Much of the RNZAF buildings and hangars are still in use today by commercial aviation ventures.
No. 2 (GR) Squadron
No. 2 (General Reconnaissance) Squadron made operational from Nelson on the 1st of January 1941, flying Vickers Vincents and Vildebeest biplane bombers. One Flight of the Squadron was developed to train GR crews for all the GR squadrons, and this Flight was eventually moved to Omaka near Blenheim. It remained a detached flight of the squadon and had the dual role of protecting the eastern approaches to Cook Strait, whereas the Nelson-based aircraft in @GR patrolled the western end, and the west coast of the North and South Islands. Later Lockheed Hudsons and Airspeed Oxfords replaced the aging biplanes, before the squadron was moved to the Pacific
Technical Training School
The Technical Training School was moved to RNZAF Station Nelson from RNZAF Station Rongotai's Centennial Buildings to make way for the expanding de Havilland factory as it produced increasing numbers of Tiger Moths in Wellington.
As before at Rongotai, the school trained mechanical trades, Fitters, Riggers, Motor Mechanics and such like, and its inventory included many instructional airframes, from a Tomtit to Baffins and Harvards, Ventura NZ6001 now at Motat, and the most interesting perhaps was the captured Messerschmitt Bf109E from the Battle of Britain