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NZ farmer's secret WW2 aircraft collection of 60 years

Article about: Possibly one of the best "barn find" stories? Retired New Zealand farmer John Smith recently died leaving behind literally in his farm sheds a collection of WW2 aircraft he had pur

  1. #1

    Default NZ farmer's secret WW2 aircraft collection of 60 years

    Possibly one of the best "barn find" stories? Retired New Zealand farmer John Smith recently died leaving behind literally in his farm sheds a collection of WW2 aircraft he had purchased from the NZ airforce (RNZAF) in the 1950's. At the time many were being sold for scrap, John Smith bought them to preserve them. His collection included a complete Mosquito fighter/bomber, a P-51 Mustang and two Kittyhawks, one an combat ace aircraft from the Pacific war. The family has agreed the Mosquito will be restored at Peter Jackson's Omaka Aviation Historical Centre in Nelson.

    NZ farmer's secret WW2 aircraft collection of 60 yearsNZ farmer's secret WW2 aircraft collection of 60 yearsNZ farmer's secret WW2 aircraft collection of 60 yearsNZ farmer's secret WW2 aircraft collection of 60 years

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    News story on the John Smith Collection;

    Treasure trove of hidden historic planes, including rare WWII Mosquito, to see the light | Stuff.co.nz

    The P-40N-1 Kittyhawk aircraft in disassembled state (see above photo) is one used by 18th Squadron RNZAF during the Pacific war.

    NZ farmer's secret WW2 aircraft collection of 60 years

    A photo from 1945 back in New Zealand. This is the aircraft John Smith bought. It is apparently restorable as it is complete.
    Last edited by Anderson; 11-28-2020 at 02:38 AM.

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    I can only find one word to describe that ..... WOW!!!

    ( I could find another but it's best not to write that )
    " I used to be indecisive but now I'm not quite sure "

  4. #4

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    That's amazing the NZ government (or any gov) would allow these planes to be sold off instead of scrapped. I didn't know Peter Jackson had an aircraft collection until now, but after LoTR he has more than enough money for it.

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    Notice in the 3rd photo from top, next to the Mosquito, two De Havilland Vampire jet engines. What else....

  6. #6
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    Quote by Danmark View Post
    I can only find one word to describe that ..... WOW!!!
    X2
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    My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them

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  7. #7
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    That collection wasn't really that secret.
    It was just that the guy wouldn't let anyone see the aircraft.

    There are a few Sherman tanks, Grants,Stewart's etc dotted around NZ too.No secret to the locals,just owned by people who like to keep it quiet.

    Especially now since it's all worth alot of money.

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    The John Smith Collection, Mapua, Nelson, New Zealand - YouTube">The John Smith Collection, Mapua, Nelson, New Zealand - YouTube" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="344">
    The best Militaria forum in France is here : http://deutsch-militaria.forumactif.us/

  9. #9

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    Hope they can restore the "Mossie" to flying condition..

    Great collection.

  10. #10

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    I saw a TV news clip on the collection about a month ago. And the cockpit instrumentation is complete and in excellent condition. Smith apparently in his younger days would periodically run the Rolls Royce Merlin engines, so the neighbourhood was well aware what he had hidden away. Restoration work has already started.

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