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The Nelson Photo News



The Airmen of World War I

It is difficult to realise in these days of rocket and supersonic flight, that in the early days of the First World War aerial dog fights were fought out between slow aircraft and pistols. In Nelson recently, however, were nearly 50 New Zealand veteran airmen of World War I, whose combined reminiscences would keep the most recalcitrant schoolboy quiet for hours. Those were the days of the Sopwith Pup and Camel fighters and the bombers whose deadly freight was carried inside the cockpit and thrown out by hand. These veterans spent the weekend in reunion and saw something of the countryside. In this official photograph, three of New Zealand's best known airmen of the time, are grouped in the front row. In the centre in reefer jacket is Sir Leonard Isitt, chairman of directors of National Airways and he is flanked by Grid Caldwell and Ron Bannerman, two leading New Zealand aces of the time.


A. R. Kingsford & SON