Rex Howard EMBLING

Serial Number: NZ426216 and Q132701
RNZAF Trade: Wireless Operator/ Air Gunner, then Signals
Date of Enlistment: 30th of May 1942 (from NZ Army)
Date of Demob: 25th of April 1946 (RNZAF Reserve till 21st of January 1953, then to Territorial Air Force. With No 6 Squadron from 22nd of January 1953 till 1st of August 1957. Then back to RNZAF Reserve till 31st of July 1966. Rejoined RNZAF on 1st of August 1966 serving till 12th of April 1974. Then to RNZAF Reserve again till 12th of April 1978)
Rank Achieved:Flight Lieutenant
Flying Hours: In wartime, 302 hrs   (up till the 21st of September 1945); and 1011 hrs total (up till the13th of October 1965)
Operational Sorties:

Date of Birth: 12th of April 1924, in Cambridge
Personal Details:
Rex was the son of Charles William and Constance Evelyn Embling. He went to school in Leamington till he was about 7 years old. His father Charles Embling had served in Egypt and Europe (wounded in 2nd battle on the Somme) in the First World War.

Service Details: Rex began his military career in the Army, as a member of the 2nd Battalion, North Auckland Regiment, between the 27th of March and 29th of May 1942. He then joined the RNZAF on the 30th of May 1942 and after service in New Zealand, he embarked for Canada where he trained as a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner, in 1943 and 1944.

He began his Wireless Operator training at No. 3 Wireless School, Winnipeg, Manitoba, between the 22nd of September 1943 through to the 17th of February 1944. Here he trained on Noorduyn Norseman, Fleet Fort and de Havilland Tiger Moth aircraft.

Rex then moved onto No. 5 Bombing and Gunnery School at Dafoe, Saskatchewan for his gunnery training on Avro Ansons and Bristol Bolingbrokes (which were Canadian-built Bristol Blenheim IV's). He was there for the period between the 5th and 27th of April 1944. On completion of this course Rex embarked for England.

He then had further operational training in the role of Wireless Operator in Britain at No. 5 (O) AFU, from the 7th of August till the 8th of September 1944, again onboard Ansons. This was followed on the 2nd of October with a posting to No. 28 Operational Training Unit at Wymeswold, Leicestershire, on Vickers Wellingtons, for just two days.

There was then a gap in Rex's training before moving onto No. 108 OTU aboard Douglas Dakotas on the same station but at a much later date of the 10th of January 1945. He remained at the OTU till the 2nd of March 45. That gap may have been a policy change in training transport crews rather than bomber crews - hence the different type he was flying on at the second OTU. Or it may have been due to illness or injury, or some other delay. It seems too early in the course to get the chop for bad marks.

On the 1st of April 1945, Rex was posted to No. 1 Parachute Training and Support Unit, at Ringway, Manchester. He must have done a jump course, gaining his "Jump Wings". He was there just till the 7th of that month, onboard Dakotas again. His log book notes "Parachute/Balloon Descent"

It was then off to No. 1333 TSCU at Leicester East for operational training. He was there for the duration of the 21st of April 1945 till the 21st of September 1945.

The war had ended, and he returned to New Zealand. Rex was demobbed from the RNZAF on Anzac Day, the 25th of April 1946.

However on the 22nd of January 1953 he joined the Territorial Air Force. He served at RNZAF Station Hobsonville with No. 6 (Maritime) Squadron from the 15th of May 1953 till the 1st of July 1957. He served on Consolidated Catalinas, Short Sunderlands and floatplane Austers in the squadron. He left the TAF on the 1st of August 1957.

He joined the Active Reserve on the 1st of May 1958, remaining in touch with the Sunderland, and also briefly the Lockheed Hercules of No. 40 Squadron, till the 13th of October 1965.

Rex was awarded the Air Efficiency Award on the 21st of September 1959

After another period away from the Air Force environment, he rejoined the RNZAF on the 1st of August 1966 and remained in the Signals trade there till the 12th of April 1974, when he retired from the Air Force.

Details of Death: Rex died on the 25th of November 1995
Cremated at:
Waikumete Crematorium, Auckland  

Connection with Cambridge: Rex was born in Cambridge and was a Cambridge resident till he was about seven years old

Note: Special thanks to Doug Embling, Rex's son, who kindly assisted with details for this page


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