A photo of Aynsley Stuart Forbes (1920 - 1974) badge
Sergeant Aynsley Stuart Forbes, RNZAF, 1940: This photo was taken on the occasion of the awarding of his pilot's brevet ("wings") in 1940 before he was shipped to war at the beginning of 1941. Because he was born on the 17th of January 1920 and New Zealand didn't ship servicemen overseas until they turned 21, he stayed in New Zealand doing extra training even though he had joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force the day war was declared on the 3rd of September 1939. He first shipped to Canada to join the Commonwealth Air Training Plan to do continental flying training, then on to Europe to an Operational Conversion Unit and finally to 15 Squadron, RAF Bomber Command where he flew Wellington bombers and, later, Stirlings. He was promoted several times and finished the war as a Flight Lieutenant (equivalent to an army Captain). He flew 14 missions over occupied Europe, before being shot down over the Netherlands in January 1943 and spending more than 2 years as a Prisoner of War. He became an airline pilot after the war, for more than twenty years in New Zealand, then in Samoa.