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Events on this Day – 16 October


Thousands of Wellingtonians rose before dawn and crowded vantage points around the harbour to watch as 10 grey-painted troopships, escorted by four warships, sailed to war.


Jean Batten left for New Zealand from Kent, England, at 4.20 a.m. on 5 October 1936. Despite the early hour, a large media contingent gathered to see her off; Batten was already famous for her successful solo flights from England to Australia in May 1934, and to South America in November 1935.