WONZ 245 – Denys Jones: Hudson NZ2035

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Guest Speaker: Denys Jones

Host: Dave Homewood

Recorded: 30th of October 2016

Released: 17th of October 2021

Duration: 46 minutes 43 seconds

This episode is a recording of a fantastic talk given by Denys Jones of Ferrymead Aeronautical Society in Christchurch at a Wings Over New Zealand Forum Meet held at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand on the 30th of October 2016. The topic is the rare ex-RNZAF Lockheed Hudson NZ2035 owned by the society, who have been slowly restoring it to its former glory. The restoration continues even at the time of the release of this episode, and you can follow weekly updates from the Ferrymead team about the Hudson and their other projects on the Wings Over New Zealand Forum, at the link below. The photos on this page are some of those used by Denys during his presentation.

Lockheed Hudson NZ2035 started life as AE503, built by Lockheed at Burbank, California for the British Purchasing Mission contracts. Diverted to the RNZAF, it was shipped to New Zealand aboard the vessel Manuel, and Brought On Charge by Unit 1, RNZAF Station Hobsonville on the 29th of October 1941. It was assembled by No.1 Aircraft Depot at Hobsonville, and then assigned to No. 1 (General Reconnaissance) Squadron at RNZAF Station Whenuapai. It patrolled the coastal regions of the upper North Island, escorting Allied shipping and convoys, and watching for any enemy or suspicious surface craft or submarines. It would go on to serve with No. 2 Gunnery Training Flight at RNZAF Station Gisborne in 1943, then it returned to Whenuapai to continue in the bomber reconnaissance role with No. 9 (Bomber Reconnaissance) Squadron (Detached Flight). By February 1944 it had moved to No. 3 (Bomber Reconnaissance) Squadron, at Ohakea. It returned to Whenuapai again by March 1944, serving on No. 14 Servicing Unit who were providing aircraft for No. 1 (BR) Squadron. An overseas duty followed in May 1944 when NZ2035 joined No. 13 SU, which maintained the Hudsons for No. 4 (BR) Squadron at Nausori, Fiji. The aircraft was ferried back to New Zealand in December 1944 by a No. 8 (BR) Squadron crew. It ended up stored at the end of WWII, and was sold by the War Assets Realisation Board by tender 9205 from Woodbourne to Mr. Edwards on the 9th of May 1949. From there, the remains went to the Holdaway brothers of Blenheim. It was then secured by Warwick Bint, who hoped initially to get it flying. But it ended up back with the Holdaway family, who sold the remains to Ferrymead Aeronautical Society. The RNZAF assisted in transporting the aircraft to Christchurch, arriving at the museum on the 27th of September 1973. At the time of publishing this episode NZ2035 remains at Ferrymead Museum, under active restoration.

Quick Links:

The Ferrymead Thread on the Wings Over New Zealand Forum

Ferrymead Aeronautical Society

Ferrymead Aeronautical Society on Facebook

The Air Force Museum of New Zealand

Above: Hudson NZ2035 on the Holdaway farm near Blenheim in the 1960’s. Photo via Neville Mines.
Hudson AM591 making the first Lockheed Hudson flight in New Zealand on the 19th of May 1941. It soon was renumbered as NZ2003.
Air Force Museum of New Zealand photo.
NZ2035 on the Holdaway farm. Photo Neville Mines.
NZ2035 on the Holdaway farm. Photo Neville Mines.
NZ2035’s cockpit when it was on the Holdaway farm. Photo Neville Mines.
NZ2035’s wings being used as a makeshift roof of a shelter.
The RNZAF Mechanical Transport section from Woodbourne moving NZ2035 to the base.
The RNZAF Mechanical Transport section from Woodbourne moving NZ2035’s wings to the base.
Unloading the fuselage at Harewood, Christchurch, from Hercules NZ7001.
On the truck for delivery to Ferrymead.
“Like a beached whale”, Hudson NZ2035 after arrival at Ferrymead in 1973. The museum’s R4D Antarctic Dakota in the background.
The centre section and wing from NZ2039 recovered from Angus Cameron’s farm.
Working on the centre section.
The interior paint as applied by the RNZAF during WWII, with the blueish hue.
The interior repainted with the correct Lockheed factory applied colour.
Denys Jones giving his talk in 2016.

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