Royal New Zealand Air Force 
Lockheed Hudson Survivors

 

NZ2013

NZ2031

NZ2035

NZ2049

NZ2084

Unidentified Sections


 

 

NZ2013

Sold by WARB tender WARB/9201 from Taieri to James Clarke of Maheno, Gardiners Valley, near Oamaru, South Island, on the 9th of May 1949.

This aircraft spent a long period on the farm acting as a hen house. Due to its deterioration where it was displayed outdoors by the roadside, Mr Clarke decided to put the aircraft up for sale in 1982, hoping that it would be saved and restored. His asking price for the Hudson was NZ $19,000.

Despite interest from US buyers it remained unsold. The RNZAF Museum also showed some interest but the price tag was too high. The Air Training Corps and other groups then decided to help save the aircraft and began to fund raise on behalf of the RNZAF Museum. It was purchased in 1984 and recovered that year and shifted to RNZAF Base Weedons.

The airframe was then shifted to RNZAF Base Wigram during 1985. The restoration began in 1987. The Hudson was restored using parts from various other aircraft, especially the fuselage of NZ2084 and the wings of an unknown example which had come from the Blenheim area, where they'd been used as the roof of a farm shed. Some of the tail also came from a Lockheed Lodestar ZK-AKX, recovered from that aircraft's 1949 crash site in the Tararua Ranges. leading the restoration team was Flight Sergeant Alan Woodley.

The Hudson was completed to pristine condition in 1996 and placed on display at the RNZAF Museum on the 17th of July 1996. It remains on display as one of the best examples of a Hudson in the world, and is displayed in NZ2013's original colour scheme that was worn during its time in Fiji with No. 4 (General Reconnaissance) Squadron. NZ2013 had also served operationally with No. 1 (GR) Squadron at Whenuapai and No. 9 (GR) Squadron at Plaine de Gaiacs, New Caledonia, as well as the School of Navigation and General Reconnaissance, and the Central Flying School.

the following photos were taken by Neville Mines in the early 1990's while NZ2013 was being restored at Wigram:

Copyright Neville Mines 2008

Copyright Neville Mines 2008  

The following photos by Dave Homewood show NZ2013 as she looks nowadays on display in the RNZAF Museum:

Copyright Dave Homewood 2006

Copyright Dave Homewood 2006

Copyright Dave Homewood 2006

Copyright Dave Homewood 2006

Copyright Dave Homewood 2006

Copyright Dave Homewood 2006



NZ2031

Sold by WARB tender 8699 from Taieri to Mr. Carr on the 9th of May 1949. Mr Carr stored the Hudson on his farm near Dunedin. The wings had been torched off at roots. He used the fuselage as a farm shed.

The fuselage was donated to the newly established Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) by Mr. Carr in 1966 and it was airlifted to Auckland aboard an RNZAF Hercules from No. 40 Squadron - a squadron that this Hudson itself once served on.

The aeroplane was stored at MOTAT's Western Springs facility until 1973 when it was shifted to their hangar at Ardmore airfield in south Auckland. It then shifted back to MOTAT in 1978 for restoration.

The restoration team was lead by bank manager Barrie East, who had also restored the MOTAT RB-34 Ventura to static display condition. The Hudson was substantially completed by 1984, but sadly Barrie East died before the wings were put on. Since then it has been on display at MOTAT, Auckland painted as NZ2031 in early war colours. The wings, which came from a Fieldair Lodestar - as did parts of the tail - are still yet to be fitted. This is planned to be done when the new extension to the aircraft museum is completed in a few years time. It is also planned that the aircraft will undergo another restoration makeover before going into the new hangar.

During 1944, NZ2031 underwent conversion to become a C-63 Hudson transport so its turret was removed. It remains turretless today so its early colour scheme is inaccurate for its configuration, but that doesn't really matter. This machine served with No. 3 (GR) Squadron at Espiritu Santo and Guadalcanal, and later in its transport guise became the personal aircraft of the Air Officer Commanding No. 1 Islands Group, Group Captain Geoffrey Roberts.

These two photos below were taken around 1977 by Mike Leet and show the Hudson being prepared to move from Ardmore, where it had been stored since MOTAT acquired it in 1966, to Western Springs for its restoration. Note the Catalina in the background, N68740 visiting New Zealand during a tour. (Photos supplied by Mike Leet)

Copyright Mike Leet 2008

Copyright Mike Leet 2008  

The following photographs were taken in 2005 and 2008 by Dave Homewood:

Copyright Dave Homewood 2005

Copyright Dave Homewood 2008

Copyright Dave Homewood 2008

Copyright Dave Homewood 2008



NZ2035

NZ2035 was sold by WARB tender 9205 from Woodbourne to Mr. Edwards on the 9th of May 1949. The aircraft was on sold to the Holdaway family at Dillon's Point, near Blenheim. In the early 1970's the aircraft was loaned by the Holdaways to the Marlborough Museum of Flight, which was run by Warwick Bint but the aircraft was taken to Mr Bint's residence - a Blenheim flat, where paint stripping was begun. However Mr Bint left Blenheim and the museum closed down in 1973 so the Holdaway family had to reclaim and return NZ2035 to their farm.

The aircraft was then sold to the Ferrymead Aeronautical Society in Ferrymead, Christchurch, and transported to RNZAF Base Woodbourne, Blenheim to await transport. Whilst at the RNZAF Base the steering control wheel of NZ2035 was stolen, and the owners are still looking for a replacement.

The Hudson was flown south to Christchurch aboard a Hercules from No. 40 Squadron and arrived at Ferrymead on the 27th of September 1973. Presently the Hudson remains on display at the Ferrymead Museum and its slow restoration continues.

Parts from another Hudson, NZ2039, were acquired by the Ferrymead restoration team, which is lead by Denys Jones. These parts, namely the wing centre sections and one outer wing, came from Angus Cameron of Dunback in Central Otago, and they have been incorporated into the rebuild of NZ2035.

The rebuild of this Hudson continues today, and if you have any Lockheed Hudson parts that may be of use to the project or any information and photos of its wartime service please contact Denys Jones at Ferrymead - Click here

RNZAF Musuem Official: via Neville Mines

Above: NZ2035 as it was in service with No. 1 (GR) Squadron. This is probably an RNZAF Official photo, and was supplied by Neville Mines. The following five photos show the same aircraft photographed by Nev Mines in 1968 while it was stored on the Holdaway farm at Dillon's Point, near Blenheim.

 

Copyright Neville Mines 1968

Copyright Neville Mines 1968

Copyright Neville Mines 1968

Above: The wings in 1968 when they were being used as a shed roof on the Holdaway farm (Neville Mines photo)

Copyright Denys Jones 2008

Above: The fuselage of NZ2035 during one of its moves, aided here by a crane, supplied by Denys Jones

 Copyright Neville Mines 1968

Above is Nev Mines' photo of the interior in 1968, and below is a photo taken by
Denys Jones of the interior 40 years later in 2008

Copyright Denys Jones 2008 

The following photos, taken by Craig Brankin, show NZ2035 in the restoration hangar at Ferrymead in 2007:

Copyright Craig Brankin 2007

Copyright Craig Brankin 2007

Copyright Craig Brankin 2007



NZ2049

NZ2049 was sold by tender number F603/413 from RNZAF Station Woodbourne to Mr. Edwards on the 11th of December 1947. Mr Edwards then on sold this aircraft to James Russ of Appleby, near Nelson, who kept it on his apple orchard for some time along with RB-34 Ventura NZ4600 (which is now at MOTAT).

NZ2049 was then sold again to collector John Smith of Mapua and was stored outdoors and then under cover at his property for many years. It was basically an empty shell fuselage with no instruments and no wings, though John had the engines and some components. The aircraft was, I was told by John, completely gutted by the RNZAF before the original sale and the universities (or technical colleges in those days) were donated all the gauges and electrical equipment, etc.

In 2007 the Hudson changed ownership again, and parts of the Hudson including the engines have moved to Wakefield with new owner Bill Reid, who plans to restore this historic aircraft to pristine static condition. However at this time (December 2008) the fuselage has not been moved yet. Restoration is planned to static condition but little will be done till Bill's Avro Anson flies, hopefully sometime in 2009.

This particular Hudson was among those on No. 3 (GR) Squadron's first tour, was one of the first to arrive at Guadalcanal, and was the first to see action when it was attacked by Japanese aircraft and survived. It was the personal aircraft of Wing Commander George Gudsell, who was the first New Zealander to be awarded a decoration in the Pacific, wining the DFC (US) for his actions in this Hudson. It was also flown in action by Richard Shuttleworth.



NZ2084

NZ2084 was sold by tender number F603/597 from Rukuhia to Mr. Jim Larsen on the 2nd of March 1948. This aircraft remained with Larsen into the 1960's and was later on sold to Mr Asplin who moved its remains to his nearby garage. It sat outside of his garage as just a fuselage, alongside another unknown Hudson fuselage, for many years. They were marked only as X and Y, but which of these NZ2084 wore has not been established.

It seems that a collector or company purchased the fuselage and it was apparently used as a prop in the 1980 television series "The Sea Urchins" starring Rebecca Gibney in a scene where the aircraft was sunk under water.

The fuselage was recovered after the filming and was donated by its owner, Mr. K. Pennell of Kaiangaroa, to the RNZAF Museum in mid-1981, and it was used as a guide and a parts source during the restoration of NZ2013.

Following the completion of NZ2013, the fuselage of NZ2084 was no longer needed. At that time aviation artist Nigel Wilcox did some work for the RNZAF museum, creating a mural, and in return as payment the museum gave Nigel the remains of NZ2084. This he installed in his Aviator's Gallery in Christchurch, displayed among the artworks. When the gallery closed, Nigel and Neville Mines carefully dismantled the fuselage and removed it to Nev's property where it went into storage. It was later shifted to Nigel's own storage facility and remains stored and safe there today.

 

Survivors with Unknown Serials

Several bits and pieces from RNZAF Hudsons have survived as well as the five known airframes or fuselages. We would be keen to know more information about the following items, and any information of surviving airframes or sections not yet recorded here:

Top Section - RNZAF Ohakea Museum
This section of fuselage upper was discovered in Waihi by warbird wreck collector Ross Jowitt and donated to the RNZAF Ohakea Museum. It had been used as a sort of caravan sleep out in the beach town, but the identity and history of the Hudson it came form is unknown. The Ohakea Museum has now closed and I am unsure of the whereabouts and future plans for this section. Here is a photo taken at the Ohakea Museum by Sam Hall in 2007:

Copyright Sam Hall 2007 

Door Section - Nigel Wilcox Collection
This door section is owned by collector Nigel Wilcox who also owns the fuselage of NZ2084. There are no markings on it to indicate a serial number. Here are a couple of photos of this section from Neville Mines:

Copyright Neville Mines 2008

Copyright Neville Mines 2008  

Hudson Caravan
This caravan is clearly constructed from the fuselage of a Lockheed Hudson and Denys Jones of the Ferrymead Aeronautical Society believes it may well be a Hudson that was bought by a Dunedin man who intended to make it into a caravan. It later languished under trees at Mosgiel for a long time, but is now rumoured to be restored to former glory as a caravan and is now a mobile coffee shop in Queenstown. Can anyone give further information or a current photograph?

Copyright Nevile Mines 2008 

Above is the Hudson caravan photographed at Surat Bay in the Catlins, Otago, by Nev Mines

Copyright Denys Jones 2008

Above is the Caravan photographed by Denys Jones at Mosgiel, Otago, and below is an old photo supplied by Denys that shows the fuselage of an unidentified Hudson arriving at a Dunedin suburban address, where the owner apparently intended to build a caravan. It's likely to be the same Hudson

 

Copyright Denys Jones 2008  

If you have any other information on RNZAF Hudson survivors or even just parts that have survived, and those that survived for a long time but now are no longer with us, or if you have photos or anything else of interest, please contact me at dave_daasnz@hotmail.com

 

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