Keith was a man of
many uniforms during his service life.
Beginning with the NZ Army, RNZAF, RNZNVR - HMNZS
Then over to the United States on Scheme F
training with the US Navy.
Primary training at St Louis, Missouri, and
advanced training at Pensacola, Florida,
and final training and graduation at Corpus
Christi in Texas.
to take off - TBF Avenger at Crail
From the USA
he was transferred
(with another Napier Lad
Russell Spiller ) to Crail,
South of Dundee on the East coast of
Scotland with the Fleet Air Arm, Flying
Barracudas and then converting to
TBF Avengers, completing their carrier
deck landing training on HMS Battler an
With the end of
hostilities in Europe the British fleet was about
to embark to the East,
when the war ended in the East and the Pacific.
After training from
1941 to 1945 Keith had the satisfaction of
going into action to bomb and destroy
under operation Dead- Light one of
twenty German U Boats that had surrendered
and were to be scuttled off the West Coast of
Ireland, at the end of the war in Europe.
Keith returned to
Napier in 1945 and was a Director of a successful
printing company in Napier until his retirement.
Trainee Pilots at
Pensacola Florida USA.
Keith fifth from right top second row Russell
Spiller bottom row second from left.
We would like to
thank our member in Christchurch Dr Tom Seed for
providing some material
covering Keith Swailes, Tom an X NBHS
lad has been keeping an eye on
for a number of years and provides us with info
from time to time.
He was an early gliding member of the
Embankments Napier Aero Club gliding
under Tye Husheer, back in the 1930s.