Tag Archives: 488 squadron

Aircrew Biographies

I have made a start on adding some Aircrew biographies to the site. They include service histories and photographs not previously seen. This has only been possible with the help of relatives of these airmen, and I am grateful to them for their help.

You can see the biographies added to date here or by navigating through the 488(NZ) Squadron Research link at the top of the page.

If you have any information about an Airman of this Squadron, and would like to see a biography included, please get in touch using the Contact page.


488 (New Zealand) Squadron, Royal Air Force

Broody joined 488 (New Zealand) Squadron on 04/ix/43 with W/Cdr Peter Hamley AFC, who he had paired up with for the majority of his time at 51 OTU. W/Cdr Hamley was joining the squadron as it’s new Commanding Officer, replacing W/Cdr. P.R.Burton-Gyles who was moving on to take command of 23 Squadron in Malta.

Despite the fact the squadron badge carries the name “Royal New Zealand Air Force”, it was not a RNZAF squadron. 488 (New Zealand) Squadron was in fact a squadron of the Royal Air Force formed under article XV of The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (1939).

The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan was drawn up to address a shortage of aircrew, and to circumvent the difficulties of training up the large number of aircrew required by the Royal Air Force in the UK by establishing overseas training schools to provide commonwealth aircrew who would go on to serve with the Royal Air Force in squadrons formed under article XV. In a nutshell – Commonwealth countries would provide aircrew who would be administrated by, fly for, and be paid by, the Royal Air Force in squadrons generally populated by citizens of that country. In reality, many of these squadrons were manned by a mixed bag of commonwealth citizens. Other New Zealand squadrons of the Royal Air Force formed under article XV were 485, 486, 487, 489 & 490

488 Squadron had previously operated as a separate entity between September 1941 and March 1942 in Singapore as a Day Fighter Squadron equipped with Brewster Buffaloes. The squadron was reformed in the UK in June 1942 as a night fighter squadron, initially equipped with Beaufighters and operating in an offensive “intruder” role. The unit switched to a defensive role in August 1943, operating De Havilland Mosquitos. The squadron was based at several UK airfields until it moved to France, and then Holland before disbanding in April 1945.

The squadron’s motto “Ka ngarue ratau”, translates from Maori to “We shake them”

488 crest

488(NZ) Squadron RAF’s crest


RAF Bradwell Bay

RAF Bradwell Bay was an RAF base located on the Essex coast  (Grid Reference TM 00485 08178). The base was used during the war between 1941 and 1945. 488 Squadron moved to Bradwell bay on 3rd August 1943, and remained there until a move to RAF Colerne in May 1944.

The images below show (from Broody’s collection) an aerial view of the airfield as it looked during the war, and an image from google maps of the airfield as it look today. The site is now home to the Bradwell Nuclear Power Station.

Bradwell Bay 1943

RAF Bradwell Bay (1943)

Bradwell Bay 2013

RAF Bradwell Bay as is looks in 2013
(Source Google maps)