Squadron-Leader Albert Tauwhare
When the One-Eleven short-haul jets were flown out from Britain recently, one of the British party was Squadron-Leader Albert Tauwhare, who has had a most successful and varied career in the British Royal Air Force.
Born at Arahura near Greymouth, Albert Tauwhare is the son of Piripi Hori Tauwhare, of Ngai Tahu.
He joined the New Zealand Air Force in 1943, trained in Canada as a navigator, then joined the New Zealand Night Fighter Squadron in England. After the war he returned to New Zealand, again joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 1948, and early in the following year went to Europe to take part in the Berlin Air Lift. He stayed with it until it ended, late in 1949.
Joined Commonwealth Squadron
After this he joined an RAF squadron in England, the Commonwealth Squadron (No. 24). For two and a half years he was a navigator on planes taking V.I.P.s on long-range flights; this was especially interesting, he says, and thoroughly enjoyable, for they visited most of the capitals of the world.
In 1952 he was back in New Zealand with the crew that ferried the first RNZAF Hastings that this country purchased. He then transferred to the RAF. After spending a couple of years with the short-range V.I.P. squadron and a similar period as a station adjutant in Germany, he joined the Comet squadron, at this time the only military jet transport squadron in the world. In 1958 he became squadron-leader of the Comet sqaudron.
C.O. of Middle East Squadron
In 1962, after a period at Transport Command Headquarters, Sqaudron-Leader Tauwhare was posted to Aden as C.O. of the Middle East Communications Squadron, operating throughout Arabia, East Africa and Central Africa. He is at present senior operations officer at Lyneham, England; this is the United Kingdom long-range transport base,
Two Sisters Also in Europe
Squadron-Leader Tauwhare is married, with three sons. Two of his sisters are at present in Europe; Miss Nona Tauwhare is a nurse in London, and Miss Hira Tauwhare recently had a part in a film which John Mills directed for Rank. At the moment she is teaching English in Finland. Many people will remember Hira Tauwhare as the actress who played the leading part of the mother in the New Zealand production of Bruce Mason's ‘The Pohutukawa Tree’ several years ago. She also took this part in the BBC television production of the play.
Glad to be Back
Squadron-Leader Tauwhare very much enjoyed the opportunity of visiting New Zealand again, and seeing relatives and friends. Though this was his first trip back since 1952, he is very much interested in events here. He feels that in many respects the country has progressed a great deal since his last visit: in particular, he said, the Maori people seemed to him to be happier, and much more confident.
This transcription is by Mr Mervyn McLean.
His accompanying article appears on page 22.