Episode 120 – No. 75 Squadron Reunion

WWII Period – Ron Mayhill (Bomb Aimer), John Swale (Lancaster Air Gunner),  Jack Meehan (Wireless Operator-Air Gunner),  and Alan John (Bomb Aimer)
Mosquito Period – Jim Arnold
Vampire and Skyhawks Period – Warwick Jones
Canberra Period – Barrie Gilliver
Skyhawk Period – Nick Osborne
Skyhawk Period and Association Secretary Glen Turner

Hosts: Dave Homewood

Recorded: 30th of September to 2nd of October 2016

Duration:  1 hour  55 minutes 27 seconds

In this episode Dave Homewood interviews former members of No. 75 (NZ) Squadron RAF and No. 75 Squadron RNZAF at a very special reunion held between the 30th of September and 2nd of October 2016 at the Classic Flyers Museum. Former squadron members from across the generations and different eras were in attendance, from seven WWII veterans, to Mosquito era, Vampire era, Canberra era and lastly the Skyhawk era veterans. For this episode we hear from four WWII Lancaster crew members, a Mosquito rigger, a Vampire and Skyhawk engine mechanic, a Canberra navigator, and a Skyhawk pilot who was also the squadron’s last ever Commanding Officer. And we hear from Glen Turner, the No. 75 Squadron Association’s Secretary, himself a former armourer on the squadron during the Skyhawk era.

We also hear a few speeches from the Saturday night, introduced by former Vampire and Skyhawk pilot Stewart Boys, former USAF exchange pilot on Skyhawks Tim Brady, former squadron commander and No. 75 Squadron Association President Herb Keightley, and representing the RNZAF, Wing Commander Stu Mackenzie Air Lead, Capability Branch. Please bear in mind the acoustics, sound system and background noise in this hangar made recording of these speeches difficult, so the sound quality is far from perfect. But for those prepared to persevere they’re worth the effort.

Quick Links:

•  The No. 75 Squadron Association Website

•  The No. 75 Squadron Association Facebook Page

•   Classic Flyers Museum in Tauranga (a fantastic place for an event!)



Dave Homewood interviewing the four Avro Lancaster veterans. Left to right, Dave Homewood, Ron Mayhill DFC, John Swales, Jack Meehan and Alan John (Photo: Peter Wheeler)

Dave Homewood interviewing the four Avro Lancaster veterans. Left to right, John Swales, Jack Meehan, Ron Mayhill DFC (back to camera), Alan John, Joan (Ron’s companion, back to camera) annd Dave Homewood  (Photo: Peter Wheeler)

Six of the seven No. 75 Squadron WWII veterans who attended, including the four in this episode. Back row, left to right, John Swales, Ron Mayhill DFC and Jack “Wakey” Wakefield. Front row, Jack Meehan, Ray Tait DFC and Alan John. All served in the Lancasters apart from Wakey who was a Vickers Wellington Air Gunner. His memories of his days on the squadron can be heard by clicking here
(Photo: Dave Homewood)


Jim Arnold, one of the first members of No. 75 Squadron RNZAF when the squadron number transferred from the Royal Air Force (Photo Dave Homewood)

Warwick “Flea” Jones (Photo Dave Homewood)

Air Commodore Stewart Boys, rtd.

Tim Brady USAF, rtd.
Herb Keightley

Wing Commander Stu Mackenzie, RNZAF
Barry Gilliver
Nick Osborne

Note: By the way the music heard in the opening of this episode is “Now Is The Hour”, the famous New Zealand wartime anthem which  became a favourite with No. 75 Squadron members during WWII, played here by Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians. The song at the end is “We’ve Got Tonight” by Bob Seger, which was also adopted by members of No. 75 Squadron as a squadron song during the Skyhawk era.

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