Messages from Māori members of the RAF, 1943


Adrian Douglas and Boy Mason of Rotorua and Hawea Tomoana of Hastings serving with a Royal Air Force Bomber Squadron in the Western Desert send messages home.

Adrian Douglas:  Kia ora Rotorua, hello Mum, Dad, Herbie, Adelaide and family, also Betty, Marie and all our friends.  Last I heard of Wallace and Frankie they were both well and should be out here shortly.  I’ve seen Hako, Peter and Sam Hodge and most of the boys, but missed Turi and Basil.  Pat Farron and Trevor Griffiths are out here and OK.  I’ve received most of your letters Mum about Nino.  Boy and I are both well.  Arohanui Adrian.

Arch Curry:  And again to Rotorua from Boy Mason

Boy Mason:  Kia ora Rotorua, ka nui te wera hoki o tēnei kainga. 

Hello Father, Jo, Molly, Pita, Bob and family.  Hope you are all well.  I’ve met Hako and Turi out here in the Middle East, but missed Basil.  Adrian and I are both well and are looking forward to some more mail.  Have received most of your mail Jo.  Cheerio for now, arohanui Boy.

Arch Curry:  And last in this group of greetings form New Zealanders in the Middle East is from Hawea Tomoana of Hastings. 

Hawea Tomoana:  Tēnā ra koutou.  Hi there Hastings, Waipatu and Wairua.  This is Hawea speaking.  Hello Mum and Pop and everyone at home.  Have received your letters and glad to know the Halifax parcel arrived.  I’m in the pink though a little sunburnt.  Boy is well too.  How’s things on the grandchildren front.  I wish I could be home for the housewarming. Have not forgotten what home looks like. Cheerio folks. Chins up.

(Site editor's note: there is some static throughout the recording.)


Sound file from Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision, ref: 16159. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright.

Submitted by mbadmin on

Comments (3)

Further to your wonderfull mention of Maori RNZAF aircrew within RAF squadron's during WW2, one of the more accomplished Maori,Flt.Lt. RNZAF and Army Captain Ike Fenton from Taranaki was one of four Maori pilots who toured in action for the Kiwi 486 fighter squadron in Hawker Typhoons and Tempests.He entered post war inter-Service change and served in Korea with 161 Battery,RNZ Artillery,and flew spotting operations in aeroplanes and helicopters to range, direct and correct fire.In 1953 he represented the Army at the Queen's Coronation and recieved the Coronation Medal at Buckingham Palace.

I would love upload a great photo of this inteligent maori sitting in his Hawker Typhoon 486 squadron fighter air craft..however currently we have little option but to comment on..from Raukokore, East Coast, Ngati Porou, pilot officer William Jeremiah Swinton aka "rangi" flew typhoons in the 486 kiwi squadron from 3/43-2/44 when he was air shot down on the 10.2.44 and POW till wars end.

Tena Koe, I would be most delighted to see the photo of my uncle. I would definitely let his daughters know of the photo's existence. Uncle Ike had one of his brothers in the 28th Maori battalion, known to us as Uncle Tui Fenton, but christened as Roy Kerry Fenton, and brought up in the care of his granduncle Turata Rona near Waitara, Taranaki. Uncle Ike died in 1969. from Margret, email: [email protected].