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No. 16 Squadron Royal New Zealand Air Force was formed on 1 July 1942 at RNZAF Base Woodbourne (near Blenheim), commanded by Squadron Leader A. Jones. The squadron served in Espiritu Santo, Guadalcanal, New Georgia, Bougainville, Green Island and Jacquinot Bay. The squadron was equipped with Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawks and later F4U Corsair fighters. Re-equipment with the P-51 Mustang was abandoned at the cessation of hostilities, and the squadron returned to New Zealand and was disbanded in October 1945.

No. 16 Squadron Royal New Zealand Air Force
CountryNew Zealand New Zealand
Allegiance New Zealand
BranchAir Force Ensign of New Zealand.svg Royal New Zealand Air Force
SizeOne Squadron

On 15 January 1945 during an attack on Toboi, southwest of Rabaul, by Corsairs from 14 and 16 Squadrons, a 14 Squadron Corsair was shot down and the pilot parachuted into Simpson Harbour. 14 and 16 Squadron Corsairs provided fighter cover for a possible rescue operation until the evening when, low on fuel they returned to Green Island. Encountering a tropical storm during their return flight, 5 Corsairs crashed into the sea, one crashed at Green Island while landing and a seventh disappeared in clouds with all 7 pilots killed. The shot down pilot was captured by the Japanese and died in captivity.[1]



  1. ^ Ross, John (1993) [1955]. Royal New Zealand Air Force. Official History of New Zealand in the Second World War 1939–45. Nashville: Battery Press. pp. 302–3. ISBN 0898391873.