stormbirdy
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I am a retired Master Mariner(Shipmaster) now living in rural New Zealand. Levin
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This balloon sank down below the trees and power lines then managed to just lift over the trees. Landed soon after.The locals felt this close and low approach was irresponsible

This information is not verified but it is a fact that a large airfield with a strip about 2.5 miles (4 k’s) long was built near Bankside as a precaution against needing a base here. In 1942 there was a possibility that the Japanese could invade Australia or even invade Samoa and Fiji and then New Zealand. I understand the American military where involved. These underground pits were for storage to service the airfield. In the event, it was not needed although the runway was completed but seldom used. It is said the runway was levelled and covered with steel grills over grass like many of the temporary air bases in the Pacific Islands. It is also said that a rail siding serviced the pits and this may be true because before the area was planted and trees felled there did appear to be a rail embankment and some small evidence still exists. Hard evidence is hard to find and the military while admitting something was constructed seem not to really know much or are simply closed mouthed. The older local people know most but there are few of them left now.

This information is not verified but it is a fact that a large airfield with a strip about 2.5 miles (4 k’s) long was built near Bankside as a precaution against needing a base here. In 1942 there was a possibility that the Japanese could invade Australia or even invade Samoa and Fiji and then New Zealand. I understand the American military where involved. These underground pits were for storage to service the airfield. In the event, it was not needed although the runway was completed but seldom used. It is said the runway was levelled and covered with steel grills over grass like many of the temporary air bases in the Pacific Islands. It is also said that a rail siding serviced the pits and this may be true because before the area was planted and trees felled there did appear to be a rail embankment and some small evidence still exists. Hard evidence is hard to find and the military while admitting something was constructed seem not to really know much or are simply closed mouthed. The older local people know most but there are few of them left now.

This information is not verified but it is a fact that a large airfield with a strip about 2.5 miles (4 k’s) long was built near Bankside as a precaution against needing a base here. In 1942 there was a possibility that the Japanese could invade Australia or even invade Samoa and Fiji and then New Zealand. I understand the American military where involved. These underground pits were for storage to service the airfield. In the event, it was not needed although the runway was completed but seldom used. It is said the runway was levelled and covered with steel grills over grass like many of the temporary air bases in the Pacific Islands. It is also said that a rail siding serviced the pits and this may be true because before the area was planted and trees felled there did appear to be a rail embankment and some small evidence still exists. Hard evidence is hard to find and the military while admitting something was constructed seem not to really know much or are simply closed mouthed. The older local people know most but there are few of them left now.

See historical legend attached to other photo labelled "Forlorn but still grand in retirement 2011"

Multiple photos cobbled together of one of the last Bay Express trains crossing the Matamau Viaduct and rounding the sweeping uphill curve. Centre coach is the CEO's office car being used as a temporary cafe car.

Great photo kaarvea. For the sake of accuracy it is properly placed but looking east down the Long Bay Road. The bay in the distance is Long Bay (Otanerito Bay). I love your other photo postings.

There is another wreck a couple of k's north of the Rangitikei River. It was the sailing ship Fusilier that was put ashore in similar circumstances to the Hydrabad. I is now well above the tideline, maybe 200 meters, and buried in a sand dune. I asked Conservation people who told me that the beaches along this coast accrete (build up) at some 0.3 to 0.5 meters each year. That is why the Fusilier is so far inland now. Maybe that is also why the Hydrabad is so buried as well. Just a comment, hope it helps.

If you are interested a full history on this vessel is available at http://www.nzmaritime.co.nz/waverly.htm

I will take another shot when the works have been demolished

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