RNZAF Antarctic Flight

De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver aircraft from the RNZAF Antarctic Flight on display at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand in Christchurch, 2008.

The RNZAF Antarctic Flight was formed in 1956 to help the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition. The three-strong flight was led by Squadron Leader J.R. Claydon and equipped with a de Havilland Beaver (see above) and an Auster floatplane. It helped transport men, dog teams and supplies, and carried out geological mapping over two summers (1956–1958) before it was disbanded in 1960. RNZAF operations in Antarctica resumed in 1965 when a Hercules flew the first of what have become annual summer flights from Christchurch to the continent.

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