485 (NZ) Squadron R.A.F.
Flying Officer

Max Collett NZ422260

Citation mentioned in Despatches (NY 1946) for distinguished service
with 485 Squadron RNZAF (Spitfire).

From Waipawa, Hawke's Bay. Enlisted with the RNZAF 4th.April 1942.
Trained Bell Block, New Plymouth, on Tiger Moths. Then, with many others,
at the Empire Training School, Canada. Advanced training on Harvards, Yales.

Flight of MILES MASTER 2s
Sailed with other air and ground crews to the UK.
Landed there April 1943 and posted to 485 Squadron,
Drem in Scotland. Trained on Miles Masters 1s & 2s.
Max took part in the usual sorties 485 were involved in.
Whilst 'on the job' after the invasion of Europe, at an occupation drome, (B105, Drobe, Germany),
June 1945, he had the misfortune of another Spitfire landing from behind and on top of his aircraft. Its prop chewed its way up to his cockpit where,
luckily, it stopped...but left him with lacerations.
Both aircraft were write-offs.

Drope, Germany 19 June '45
Max was shot down about the time the allied armies were
crossing the Rhine, (a crucial period of the war).
Fortunately, he landed, (via parachute), on the right side
of the river. He continued missions in Europe.



Midget Sub.
Courtesy British Admiralty
Max and Flying Officer T.S.F. Kearins were both credited
with destroying, between them, three midget submarines
in the Scheldt Estuary February 1945.
Possibly the only ones to be detroyed by Fighter Command.

Merville Airfield (B53)
France. Sept. 1944.
With a little Agfa vest-pocket camera
he kept in his top pocket,
Max managed to gather a number of
'unofficial' shots - some of which
appear on this page.
The 'Waipawa Special'

Max 'in the office'.
Merville, France. 1944.
One of Max's incredible shots - "Line Astern".
Taken through his gunsight, during the outward
journey from Merville, France, to bomb and
'mess up' the Calais docks. Max was flying as No.4.

This photo appeared in the UK journal of the
Spitfire Society and created much interest
with the editorial staff.

New Years Day 1945.
The German airforce launched an attack with all the aircraft they could muster for a
"boden platte" - a 'last fling' in destroying as many aircraft as possible
on the occupied airfields around Europe.

A very sad Max
looking over the mess.
This is all that was left of Max's Spitfire when the airfield
(B65) Maldegem, Belgium, was straffed by six ME 109s.
Thirteen aircraft on the field were destroyed that day.