NZ2355 at The RNZAF Museum, Christchurch, New Zealand

NZ2355 on Hayman's farm in 1970 NZ2355 on Hayman's farm in 1970 when members of the Ferrymead Aeronautical Society viewed the fuselage. Image courtesy of Denys Jones.

 

TE863/NZ2355 History

Built by Standard Motors and delivered to the RAF on 22nd October 1945, TE863 spent a short time with the Central Flying School at Hullavington, otherwise remaining in storage with No. 27 MU at Shawbury. The aircraft was withdrawn from RAF service and prepared for delivery to the RNZAF on 9th May 1947, leaving the UK on 22nd July. Arriving in New Zealand a month later, the aircraft was given the new serial number NZ2355 and allocated to No. 75 Squadron at Ohakea. Shortly afterwards, the aircraft was put into storage at Woodbourne and sold off under Government Stores Board tender to Mr Hayman, the local Member of Parliament.

Mr Hayman was a cousin of Jas Clarke of Oamaru, who managed through Hayman's intercession to acquire a permit to move two aircraft from Woodbourne by road (at the time there was a 50 mile road transport limit in force as a protection mechanism for rail transport). Clarke moved NZ2328 to his own farm and NZ2355 to Hayman's.

The Ferrymead Aeronautical Society looked at both aircraft in the early 1970's while looking for a fuselage to mate with the remains of NZ2382. Of the two, NZ2355 was in the poorer state, so NZ2328 was recovered.

After Phillip Burns fell out with the Ferrymead Aeronautical Society, he teamed up with Ted Packer and they retraced Ferrymead's earlier steps and acquired NZ2355. The airframe was in a very poor state and (allegedly) broke in two during the recovery process. [If anyone can clarify whether this is in fact the case, please let me know - Andy] In time, Ted also recovered the forwards fuselage of NZ2324 (TE861), and apparently another (unidentified). Wing components came from RF597. Other Mosquito components also arrived. [The timeframe of these acquisitions is not clear - they may be before or after Ted Packer and Phillip Burns fell out, see below, can anyone clarify?- Andy]

After Ted Packer and Phillip Burns fell out, Ted inherrited the remains of NZ2355, but recognising that the project was beyond his capabilities, donated the his collection of Mosquito components (seven lorry loads!) to the RNZAF Museum, retaining one of his cockpit sections to rebuild.

The aircraft is not complete and is in poor condition.