PRESENT: Gordon Ragg (Chairman) Greg Taylor (Secretary) and 27 Members and 7 partners. CO 5 and 11 x 5 Sqn serving members.

The meeting was opened at 1400 Hrs.


5 Squadron Association 2016/17 Last Posts


02 Apr 2016 Faulkner Kevin 10 Apr 2016 Adams Stanley G 28 Apr 2016 Macdonell Robert N 12 May 2016 Haglund Noel 19 May 2016 Baker Noel 27 Sep 2016 Davey Nigel A 14 Feb 2017 Stretton Roger

25 Apr 2017 Singer Ron 26 Jul 2016 Carter Errol David 17 Jan 2017 John (Hubbly) Harrison The meeting paid their respects by standing in silence for 1 minute.

APOLOGIES: 68 apologies were received from members; (refer attached list) Motion: That apologies be accepted: Moved: Gordon Ragg Seconded: Gerry Wiltshire Carried MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS AGM HELD ON 23rd February 2016

Minutes of the 2016 AGM were read by the secretary.

Motion: That the minutes be accepted as a true and correct record.

Moved: Greg Taylor Seconded: Darrell Simpson Carried







MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES. Nil - all to be dealt with under general business.






The Chairman’s’ Message was presented and pertinent points highlighted by the Chairman. Attached.

Motion: That the Chairman’s report be accepted. Moved: Gordon Ragg Seconded: Steve Ross Carried.


ANNUAL ACCOUNTS. to 30 June 2016 The Annual accounts and Examiners report were presented and explained by the Treasurer. That the Accounts to the year ending 30 June 2016, as presented be accepted. Moved: Greg Taylor Seconded: Graeme Pleasants Carried


SUBSCRIPTIONS. Motion: That the Association subscription be set at $0 for the coming year


Moved: Greg Taylor Seconded: Vern Reynolds Carried


EXAMINER of ACCOUNTS. Motion: That Larry Mitchell be appointed Examiner of Accounts for a further year: Moved: Greg Taylor Seconded: Darrell Simpson

ELECTION OF OFFICERS. One nomination for each for Chairman, Vice chairman and Sec treasurer was received.


Motion : That Gordon Ragg be elected as Chairman, Darrell Simpson for Vice Chairman and Greg Taylor for Secretary/Treasurer for the ensuing year Moved: Graeme Pleasants Seconded: Neil Wright Carried

The following nominations for committee members have been received:

Peter Burch, Don Bennington, Grant Dowie, John Fitch, Brian Grimwood,Vern Reynolds, Neil Wright,


Des Gyde has moved to Whitianga and has decided not to stand again.



Motion: There being no further nominations the Chairman declared those listed be elected.




Tom Enright extended a vote of appreciation to the committee for once again filling the positions and keeping the Association functioning.




PATRON. The Chairman has spoken with Air Cdre (Rtd) Mal Gunton who sends his best wishes, and reports that he is in reasonable health and willing to continue in the role of Patron. Motion :That Air Cdre Mal Gunton OBE AFC (Retd) be invited to be patron for a further year: Moved: Gordon Ragg Seconded: Steve Ross Carried


WEBSITE REPORT Webmaster - Peter Culpan reported on the ongoing success of the website which is very easy to find by Googling "5 SQN ASSN"


The Chairman thanked Peter for his fine efforts.




Designs for a memorial at the old Luacala Bay RNZAF Base (1939-1967) , now the University of the South Pacific campus, have been submitted over the past two years. Robin Yarrow and Winstone Johnston have been supporting the project from the Fiji side.

RNZAF support has been varied and changes of personal in key posts have not helped.

The current proposal is for a plinth with crests of Nos 5 and 6 squadrons and a suitable piece of aircraft memorabilia featuring atop. Association members are currently scouring the globe for a suitable propeller - DC3 one is similiar but hard to locate. Peter Heares offered to try Short and Harland as a possible source.

As 2018 is the 50th Anniversary of the USP it would be fitting to have the memorial established and dedicated early in the commemoration.


The graves of seven RNZAF airmen who lost their lives in a Catalina crash off Apia in 1950 are in the Maagiagi Cemetery in Apia were reported to the Assn as being in an unkempt state - as per the request :

"The reason for my contact is on behalf of one of our members David Daniel (91). David's brother was a Flight Engineer on the ill fated crash of a RNZAF Catalina NZ4048. The aircraft crashed on take off at Satapuala, Samoa on the morning of 11th December 1950. All seven crew members were killed. The airmen received a full military funeral. The Catalina was departing on a mission carrying officials of the Tokelau-Samoa Administration to Tokelaus. The population generously donated a special monument erected adjacent to the graves in gratitude for the airmen who died in serving their country and the peoples of the Pacific."

The secretary undertook to get the Freemasons of Apia to assist in refurbishing the graves which was completed prior to ANZAC Day this year.

As the event was not well known in the history of the RNZAF it is considered appropriate that our association would be proactive in marking the adjacent monument with a suitable bronze plaque giving the full details of the event.





This Sunderland was donated to MOTAT in full serviceable flying condition but has deteriorated with time. It is now undergoing a full restoration by a team of volunteers and in September 2017 will be relocated from its outside spot into the Display Hall.

Members supported this restoration and suggested a donation to assist.

Motion: That $2000 be donated from Association Funds to the MOTAT Sunderland project for the restoration of the gun turrets. Moved: Tom Enright Seconded: Gerry Wiltshire Carried

(Following the meeting a member donated a further $3000 to the Association to forward to MOTAT making the donation $5000)


GATS Pleasants (VPI Gold Pin holder) reported on his visit to VPI at Greenwood, Nova Scotia. He noted that 5 squadron is held in very high regard and he was well hosted.

A highlight of the visit was an onboard look through the new Australian P8 Poseidon which impressed him greatly.



BOOK RELEASE - Laucala Bay. The RNZAF in Fiji 1939 to 1967

Bee Dawson has published the book which is now available through our website from a stock held by Vern Reynolds.



CO 5 announced the winner of the 5 Squadron Assn Trophy for 2017 to Cpl Mike West.


Chairman read out the citation and presented the trophy to Cpl West.


CLOSURE. There being no further business the Chairman closed the AGM at 1450 hrs.



G D Taylor Secretary



CO 5 Squadron then presented his brief to the association members of the activities of the Sqn for past year.

Members then adjourned to the hanger to view a new P3K2 and afterwards attended afternoon tea with the current squadron members.



5Squadron RNZAF Association Chairman’s Message to 2017 AGM

A truly memorable double celebration of the squadron’s 75th Anniversary and the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the P-3 Orion to RNZAF service was held on 23 and 24 September 2016 and was strongly supported by the Association in areas of planning input, publicity, conduct and a financial sponsorship of $5,000. At the formal anniversary dinner in an impressive setting at MOTAT the association also provided a beautifully-iced birthday cake for ‘Orion 50 years’ and the ceremonial cutting by a team of four that comprised a commander of the initial technical training detachment to California in 1965/66, Don Fleming, one of the delivery crew captains, Tom Enright, the youngest current aircrew member, Fg Off Kate Galbraith and the youngest current maintenance tradesman, AC Ashoka Masilamani. Subsequently, the following message to the Association was received from the Commanding Officer, Wg Cdr D J Hunt: "Your support, not just for the Anniversary events but in everything you do, is highly valued. We could not ask for better advocates for 5 SQN nor have better examples to assist the current crop of 5 SQN personnel in remembering our origins. On behalf of the men and women of 5 SQN thank you for your support in the past, present and the future."

Your Association was also proud to note the award of The Master’s Trophy to the New Zealand Region to 5 Squadron Maintenance Flight by the Honourable Company of Air Pilots, of London (formerly the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators). The deployed unit’s exceptional achievement of 97% operational serviceability with one aircraft over 16 months and 174 missions in the Middle East/ Indian Ocean was cited as easily the best rate of any aviation unit in the theatre, and worthy of international recognition.

Progress is being made between the RNZAF, 5 Squadron Association and some influential members of the Fiji establishmant at the University of the South Pacific towards the completion of the awaited Laucala Bay memorial to RNZAF service in Fiji and the South Pacific – and to mark 50 years since the closing of RNZAF Station Lauthala Bay and the departure of the last Sunderland. The Association has provided good design concepts and communications coordination to keep the project moving and is assisting as much as it can to achieve an unveiling sometime in early 2018 within the USP 50th Anniversary events calendar. More to come on this.

Another notable undertaking involves the graves of seven 5 Squadron aircrew members in a cemetery at Maagiagi, Western Samoa that were reported to us as being in a dilapidated condition. Greg Taylor enlisted the willing support of some freemasons in Apia who have water-blasted, repainted and restored the graves to a respectful condition for us. We have yet to confirm that the adjacent memorial plaque fully records the tragic accident when Catalina NZ4048 KN-C crashed on takeoff at Satapuala on Monday 11 December 1950. The committee will continue to seek a permanent maintenance arrangement and CO5 Squadron intends to have deployed crews pay their respects from time to time at these graves of their predecessors who died in the line of duty. The cemetery is 1.7Km SE of Aggie Grey’s Hotel in Apia.

Sunderland NZ4115 Q is at last undergoing restoration at MOTAT and the committee has recommended that a donation of $2,000 be made from Association funds to assist the volunteers in this worthy project. Any volunteers from our membership who have time and skills to offer will be warmly welcomed.

One of our founding principles is to be supportive of members in ill health and to surviving spouses, so please communicate with Neil Wright neil.eleanor@vodafone.co.nz, webmaster Pete Culpan culp@paradise.net.nz or myself if you know of any of our members or families who might appreciate a call or message from the association. Pete Culpan maintains the ‘Last Post’ pages on the website and welcomes any information to improve that record, including dates of death that are not recorded.

Once again hearty thanks to committee members Greg Taylor, Neil Wright, Don Bennington,Vern Reynolds, Peter Burch, Grant Dowie, Des Gyde, John Fitch, Brian Grimwood and Darrell Simpson for their commitment to the association’s interests on your behalf throughout the year.



Gordon Ragg AFC JP Chairman Gordon.Ragg@xtra.co.nz 27 June 2017


5 Squadron Assn Trophy -2017 recipient :

CPL Mike West It has been another outstanding year for CPL West where his influence and professionalism set the benchmark for Aircraft Technician tradespeople at 5 Squadron. He has cemented himself as the authority on P-3K2 high power engine running in the flight deck and is now undertaking a rewrite of the training material required to grow the next group of engine runners. His curiosity and drive often sees him researching and adding other systems knowledge and skills to his expansive repertoire. A clear example of this was his receipt of an RNZAF Well Done award for diligence and professionalism in discovering an indistinct fault whilst on OP TAKAPU. CPL West is comfortable discussing any aspect of aircraft engineering with his team and Sqn command however, it has been the evolution of his management and soft skills that sets him apart from his peers. In the previous 12 months CPL West has embraced a junior leadership role within the Sqn and has been a key part of the positive shift in culture and professionalism in the maintenance hangar. He understands the Sqn’s goal of being "The Squadron that leads the Air Force" and is constantly driving towards making the environment a place of success. Using his superior hand skills, knowledge, and a genuine desire to help others he is able to guide and direct his team to achieve high standards of work while adapting to continually changing requirements. With an affable and cheerful personality, CPL West easily relates to and builds trust with all of the Maintenance Flight team. These traits see him able to work exceptionally well in small team environments, and the younger members of the Sqn see him as the person who’s team they want to be on. Following on from his 2013 World Skills medallist success CPL West has now progressed to judging the World Skills competition at Regional and National levels. His previous experience as a contestant, and his open and stimulating approach to judging, earned high praise from many of the contestants at this year’s competition with particular comment coming from the Air New Zealand sector. He has been selected as 5 Sqn’s lead CPL representative in the new initiative from the Base Commander that empowers the CPL’s to have more of a say in the operation of Base Auckland. Praise was again quick to come from the Base Executive Team who advised that CPL West stood out as a natural leader of the group after the first meeting. With a service oriented, positive and proactive attitude, CPL West has stood out in the Maintenance Flight as an outstanding team member and junior leader. His efforts have made a clear impact on the professionalism and reputation of the unit and see him worthy of consideration for the 5 Sqn Association Award