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40 Squadron History

The first transport Squadron to be formed in the RNZAF, No.40 Squadron's lineage goes back to 1943, and the introduction of Douglas Dakota twin-engine transports to the RNZAF. Based at Whenuapai, and flying Lockheed Hudsons, Lodestars and the Dakotas, the Squadron provided transport support to New Zealand and allied forces in the South West Pacific. The Squadron was disbanded in 1947, when most of the personnel and aircraft were transferred to the National Airways Corporation. Reformed in 1954 with four new Handley Page Hastings CMk3 transports, No.40 Squadron became the strategic transport force for the RNZAF. Three ex-TEAL DC6 aircraft were added to the Squadron in 1961.

No. 40 Squadron was re-equipped with three new C130H Hercules (the first production H models of the Hercules) in 1965, and a further two in 1969. Two B727-22QC jet transports joined the Squadron in 1981. Both were retired in 2003 and replaced with two Boeing 757-200 aircraft, previously owned by Transavia Airlines of the Netherlands.

Government and Defence tasks take the aircraft and crews of No.40 Squadron around the world. Pakistan, India, Australia, Fiji, Western Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, Rwanda, the Middle East are some of the places visited on humanitarian tasks. During the Gulf War 1990/91 two Hercules, crews and support personnel were sent to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia where they served with an RAF Transport Squadron. Since 1965 the Squadron has operated annual flights from New Zealand to Antarctica during the Southern Continent's summer months.

The Squadron has carried out re-supply and support missions for New Zealand Defence Force deployments to Somalia, Bosnia, Bougainville. More recently, the squadron has operated in Middle East as part of Operation Enduring Freedom with regular flights by both aircraft types into the area each year in support of NZDF personnel based in Afghanistan.

The Squadron has carried out re-supply and support missions for New Zealand Defence Force deployments to Somalia, Bosnia, Bougainville and more recently the Arabian Gulf and East Timor.