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No.5 Squadron Raura Recalls Years In Fiji

Seventy-three-year-old Sawe Raura said he could still clearly remember the day the RNZAF’s No 5 Squadron withdrew from Laucala Bay in Suva. “I was with the RFMF and served in
01 Feb 2015 11:11
No.5 Squadron Raura Recalls Years In Fiji
Sawe Raura (right) with fellow squadrons. Photo: RAMA

Seventy-three-year-old Sawe Raura said he could still clearly remember the day the RNZAF’s No 5 Squadron withdrew from Laucala Bay in Suva.

“I was with the RFMF and served in No.5 Squadron for more than 20 years and I could say that was one of the saddest days I encountered while in service,” Mr Raura said.

“The bond we built with our brothers from New Zealand was amazing, we were a family,” he said.

The No 5 Squadron was, after World War II, based at Laucala Bay with its 16 Sunderland flying boats carrying out maritime surveillance, medical evacuation and search and rescue operations around the region. They were relocated to Whenuapai, Auckland, in 1965 with the squadron withdrawing its last Sunderland aircraft in 1967.

Veterans, diplomats and Minister for Immigration, National Security and Defence, Timoci Natuva gathered in numbers at the New Zealand High Commissioner’s residence in Suva to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the squadron’s withdrawal from Fiji.

Konisira Ratumaiwai, also a veteran who had served with the No 5 Squadron, said it would be a brilliant idea to bring a squadron team back to Fiji.

“They can help during search and rescue missions and I believe it can bring about positive changes to our people and also our Government,” Mr Ratumaiwai said.

Feedback:  litia.cava@fijisun.com.fj

 




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