Air Force Pataka: Fifty years of the Royal New Zealand Air Force in Hamilton: A history of the Te Rapa Air Force Base 1942-1992
Amner, L. (1993). Air Force Pataka: Fifty years of the Royal New Zealand Air Force in Hamilton: A history of the Te Rapa Air Force Base 1942-1992 (Thesis, Master of Arts (MA)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/12461
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/12461
As a boy growing up in Hamilton in the 1970s, I can remember the hundreds of times we drove past the Te Rapa Air Force Base, and how each time I searched intently for a glimpse of the Grumman Avenger parked inside the gates. Great was my excitement if I ever got a good look, and great was my disappointment when in 1978, the Avenger was removed for a reason beyond my limited understanding. Also beyond my understanding was the purpose of the Base itself. In spite of my intent gaze on our trips to Auckland, I can seldom recall ever seeing a uniformed serviceman, and I certainly never saw the faintest sign of aircraft landing or taking off, which as every small boy knows, must be the sole purpose for an Air Force Base. Was there an underground airstrip? Or did the Base have some secret purpose which small boys were not permitted to know? Whatever the reason, the Base was a solid existence on the road out of Hamilton towards Auckland, and I, like most other Hamiltonians, accepted its presence without ever really knowing or questioning its true role. This study will show the purpose of the Te Rapa Base and in discussing its function will also show the wider aspect of the relationship of the Base to the city of Hamilton. The questions of whether the Base adequately filled the role for which it was designed, and why the Base was finally closed down, will be answered as this history of the Air Force supply house unfolds.
The University of Waikato
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