Troops board New Zealand helicopter

Submitted by Editorial team on
Troops board helicopter in New Zealand, c. 1970s

Soldiers board a RNZAF Iroquois helicopter during a military exercise in New Zealand, c. 1970s.*

*The original caption for this photograph suggested that it was taken at an unnamed fire support base in South Vietnam. See comments below for more information.


Image courtesy Imperial War Museum
Collection number: 7210-08
Photo number: MH 16980

Permission of the Imperial War Museum, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.



Submitted by Rob9 on Tuesday, 2 September 2008 - 11:32pm


Notwithstanding its apparent credentials, I seriously doubt that this is a 9 Sqn RAAF Iroquois, or that the photograph was taken in Viet Nam.

There are lines of power pylons in the background, which I would not recognise as being in Viet Nam - much more likely to be Waiouru.

The vegetation also looks like Waiouru tussock to me.

The aircraft has a zigzag HF antenna down each side of the tailboom. The 9 Sqn aircraft in Viet Nam were not equipped with HF and did not therefore sport the antenna.

An aircraft number is just visible on the side of the tail fin. RAAF Iroqois carried the serial number on the nose and side doors, not on the fin. It's not clear, but I would guess that this aircraft is more likely to be NZ3803, of No 3 Sqn RNZAF than one from No 9 Sqn RAAF.

There is no sign of mounted door guns, which were standard kit with 9 Sqn in Viet Nam.

In short, I think the photograph has been mis-identified

Submitted by Rob9 on Wednesday, 3 September 2008 - 9:49am


Further to my last, additional research suggests that my memory was flawed re the tail numbers. RAAF Iroquois in Viet Nam (or at least some of them) did have serial numbers on the tail fin. But they were painted in black, not white. I'm still convinced it's an RNZAF Huey, not Australian; and that it's Waiouru (or Tekapo), not Viet Nam!

Submitted by Editorial team on Tuesday, 9 September 2008 - 11:33am


Thanks for the feedback regarding this image. We have asked the Imperial War Museum for more information about the caption and will let you know the details when we hear back from them. Gareth Phipps - Website Content Officer

Submitted by Editorial team on Wednesday, 14 January 2009 - 4:30pm


Update: After consultation with the Keeper of Photographs at Wigram Air Force Museum we can confirm that the photo was not taken in Vietnam. He states that: "The photo was definitely not taken in Vietnam. If you look closely at the 'tail' of the Iroquois you can just see part of the 8 and 03. This is the end of the aircraft serial number which would be NZ3803. RNZAF Iroquois were never operated in the Vietnam theatre... I think that this photo was taken in New Zealand, probably during an exercise at Waiouru (look at the landscape, very reminiscent of the Waiouru area). I can't say for definite the location apart from, most likely in New Zealand. Definitely not Vietnam."

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