Episode 138 – Josie Miller

Guest: Edith Josephine “Josie” Miller (nee McGovern)

Host: Dave Homewood

Recorded: July 2012

Released:  8th of March 2017

Duration:  1 hour 06 minutes 37 seconds

In this episode Dave delves into the archives to present this great interview with Josie Miller, who was a member of New Zealand’s Womans Auxiliary Air Force during WWII. She joined the WAAF on the 1st of January 1942, at RNZAF Station Hobsonville where she was immediately thrown into the role as a driver in the Motor Transport section.

Josie tells the hilarious story of her first day, when she was told to take a large truck, which she’d never driven before, into the heart of Auckland city, alone. She had no experience in the city and was completely lost.

She remembers the time a USAAF B-17 bomber crashed on take off from Whenuapai, and what life was like on the station at Hobsonvile. She also recalls her postings to Wellington, Lauthala Bay in Fiji, Mechanics Bay, and Rukuhia at the end of the war. Josie was also selected to represent the RNZAF in London on the Victory Parade. And there’s a lot more stories in between.

The following wartime photos with Josie come from the collection of the late Gwenda Reid:


Back Row: Helen Smith and Josie McGovern (later Miller). Front Row: Gwenda Nickle (later Reid) and Pilot Officer Jack McKinven, the MT Officer


Above: RNZAF Station Hamilton-based WAAFs Josie McGovern (Miller), Gwenda ‘Nicki’ Nickle (Reid), and Helen Smith


Above: MT Drivers at RNZAF Station Hamilton. Left to Right: ‘Dick’ ?, Mary Stranger, Mary Crotty, Gwenda “Nicki” Nickle, ? LeBelle, Josie McGovern, Margaret Cornwall, Ailsa Woolven and Helen Smith.


Above: A not so good screen capture of Josie during the interview

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