Warbirds fly for open day

20:01, Dec 05 2012
RARE BIRD: The world’s only flying de Havilland Mosquito is on display this week and will fly on December 9 in commemoration of Pearl Harbour.

The day that America entered World War II will be marked at a special event at Ardmore Airfield on Sunday.

At 7.55am on December 7, 1941, hundreds of Japanese planes unleashed bombs and torpedoes on to United States military ships and planes based at Pearl Harbour in Hawaii. Nearly 2400 Americans were killed and 1180 injured when the taskforce of carrier-based Japanese fighter aircraft bombed and sank 12 naval vessels and heavily damaged nine others.

The USS Arizona, which sank in less than nine minutes after a bomb breached its deck and exploded in its ammunition magazine, lost 1177 sailors and marines.

The attack triggered the United States' entry into World War II and was the start of a long, hard-fought Pacific campaign that culminated in victory over Japan in 1945.

To mark the 71st anniversary of the attack, the New Zealand Warbirds Association is holding a Warbirds Open Day at its Ardmore base on Sunday.

The guest of honour will be a recently restored de Havilland Mosquito KA114 - the only fully serviceable aircraft of its type in the world.


Depending on weather, the rare plane will be part of three flying display routines along with other rare planes including a P40 Kittyhawk, Spitfire, Tiger Moth and P51 Mustang.

Police, fire and St John will show their skills and Ardmore-based flying clubs will be present. Vintage machinery, jeeps and military re-enactors will feature as well as an obstacle course for the kids.

Food and amusements will be also available.

The $10 cash entry fee will go towards the continuing development of the aviation library and hangar display in the Warbirds visitor centre - and every entry will go in the draw for a flight in a Warbirds aircraft.

The open day runs from 10am to 4pm. Flying routines are at 10.30am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm. Display commentary will be broadcast on Warbirds 88.2 FM.

Manukau Courier