489 Squadron History Published

Recently, a comprehensive history of the above Squadron has been completed in consultation with a team of 489 personnel, their families, and several researchers. It comprises approximately 300 pages of archival material, official and personal photographs, as well as reminisces by several 489 Squadron personnel (Slides from Book Launch).

489 Squadron flew missions against German shipping along the coast of Norway, the Netherlands, Germany and France. There are a limited number of books being printed, with priority will be given to ex-489 Squadron personnel or their next-of-kin at a cost of $NZ35 plus postage (contents). In addition to this small group of people, we are offering copies to a select number of museums that have a direct link with 489 Squadron at a cost of $NZ65.00 plus postage. It will not be for sale to the general public. No reprint is anticipated.

If you wish to receive a copy for your museum, please contact 489 Squadron Association Honorary Secretary, Jean Elliott. Her email is: Jean & Derek


by Group Captain T.A.McL. Morgan, QSO, AFC, RNZAF. Retd, a former 489 aircrew member, and later RNZAF officer

Sixty years on, the substance of this book, shows the wisdom and foresight of those who selected the motto for the Squadron as Whakatangata kia kaha - Quit ye like men, be strong. How wonderfully the intent of the words reflect the emotions of those who served so proudly as members of No. 489 Squadron. RNZAF. The values and heartbreaks of anxiety, alarm, concern, caring, mutual consideration, loyalty, pride, love, courage and devotion were adornments carried by all. The authors and compilers of this history have captured it all.

For many readers, this book will revive memories, some good and some bad; for some readers the book will tell stories their loved ones have not previously shared; for others, a generation removed from the events, the book will foster an understanding of the frightful circumstances faced in order that they be free. Readers who can identify with the recorded episodes will be reminded of comrades lost in action, of those comrades who have since died, and of their own fears of the time. They will be reminded of the adrenalin runs stimulated by the daily "mayfly" sheets listing crews on duty, by the alerting sounds of the Tannoy public address system, by the grinding sound of Crew Wagon's engine as it wound around the Nissen Hut dispersals uplifting duty crews, of the final acts and actions before clambering aboard their aircraft, of the encouraging wave from a ground crew member left dispersal and of the welcoming grin when you returned, of the tot of rum at debrief, of the bacon and eggs served by cheerful WAAF who acted as mother, as sister, as counsel in time of grief, and of the uproariously happy times around the piano in the Bar.

The book's title has been prefixed by the word "unofficial" This does not degrade the authenticity of the content for it will serve future researchers with lots of facts which tie together those "official" reports covered in other records. There will be critics in terms of proofreading, of layout, and of "story" but in my view the presentation makes a valuable contribution to a history of which New Zealanders can stand tall. During it's operational life, No. 489 Squadron flew 2380 sorties totalling 9773 hours, sank 11 ships totalling 38,700 tons and damaged a further 13 vessels. During the last year of the war, No. 489 Squadron flew as a part of a Wing comprising four squadrons of Beaufighters which collectively sank 19 ships totalling 67,000 tons and 12 escort vessels, and damaged a further 18 cargo ships and 49 escort vessels. Squadron personnel earned 2 Distinguished Service Orders, 1 Bar to a Distinguished Flying Cross, 19 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 1 Distinguished Flying Medal, and 1 Conspicuous Gallantry Medal. It is a distinguished record."