Pilots waiting to fly in a spitfire

Spitfire Pilots: New Zealanders on Tour!

Over the past 10 years of operating at our home airfield, Goodwood Aerodrome, we have had the great pleasure of getting to know a number of wartime pilots and groundcrew. Two of which had been flying Spitfires with 485 (NZ) Squadron. Firstly, Wing Commander Owen Leslie Hardy DFC and Bar AFC who we had the great pleasure of flying in our Spitfire TR9 and secondly, Chief Technician Joe Roddis who had served as groundcrew with the squadron from its inception to the end of the war. Sadly, both have since passed away. However, they left us all with fond and happy memories of their time with us during which they also shared their experiences. 79 years ago this year, the squadron flew their Mark V Spitfires into our home, then known as RAF Westhampnett, where they operated for several months.

Three Spitfire pilots talk in front of a two seat Spitfire
Owen Hardy, pictured here with G-ILDA, prior to his flight with Matt Jones (left), Managing Director of and Emmet Cox, former Red Arrow pilot (centre).