Another Mosquito comes alive in NZ

Wearing its newly applied Banff Strike Wing colours, Mosquito FBVI PZ474 taxiing at Ardmore, Auckland on 16 November.
TONY SMITH
The replica RP-3 60lb warhead projectile rockets, and Avspecs boss Warren Denholm with the ladder.
TONY SMITH

On 16 November, de Havilland Mosquito FBVI PZ474 made its irst taxiing runs at Ardmore, New Zealand, with a irst light expected during December. Owned by San Antonio, Texas-based Lewis Air Legends, the Hatield-built ighter-bomber is the third Mosquito to have been rebuilt to ly by Avspecs at Ardmore.

The machine has been painted in the markings of a Banff Strike Wing, No 18 Group Coastal Command Mosquito, based at the Aberdeenshire airield under the command of Gp Capt Max Aitken DSO DFC from September 1944 until the end of the war.

The Banff Strike Wing lew anti-shipping and antisubmarine operations in Norwegian waters with rocket projectile-armed Mosquitos, so PZ474 has been itted with rocket rails and reproduction RP-3 60lb warhead projectiles.

Built at Hatield in early 1945, PZ474 has, appropriately, some Scottish history, having been operated by No 132 Operational Training Unit at East Fortune from June of that year before going into long-term storage in February 1946. It was sold to the New Zealand government in January 1948, being operated by No 75 Squadron, Royal New Zealand Air Force as NZ2384. Sold in the USA in February 1955 and registered N9909F, it ended up being abandoned at Whiteman Air Park, San Fernando, California, and was cancelled from the register in December 1970. The Mosquito’s derelict remains were acquired by Rod Lewis in 2014.