Official issuer of New Zealand stamps & commemorative coins
Call: 06 262 7262

Military History - (Air Force)

(No reviews yet) Write a Review

The military first considered the question of aviation in regard to the defence of New Zealand back in 1911 but it was not until 1 April 1937 that the Royal New Zealand Airforce emerged as a separate service. Until then it had been controlled and administered as part of the Army.

Issue information

Between 1945 and 1987 there have been many airforce operations undertaken requiring skilled airmen.  RNZAF squadrons and aircrew served in hot spots from the Berlin Airlift, Malaya and Cyprus to Vietnam and the Sinai with aircraft as diverse as Vampires, Canberras, Broncos, Dakotas, Bristols, Hercules and helicopters.  The service has also flown transport missions round the globe from the Antarctic to Bangladesh and to Moscow and China.

The RNZAF's maritime unit, No 5 squadron, was based for many years in Fiji, flying patrols and mercy missions throughout the South Pacific until the squadron's reliable old Sunderland flying boats were replaced with landbased Orions. The RNZAF has operational squadrons and operational flights involved in strike, maritime patrol, transport (including helicopter) and training roles.

This New Zealand Military History stamp series coincided with the 50th Anniversary of The Royal New Zealand Air Force.  The issue depicted four of the aircraft flown by the RNZAF from its formation to the present day.

Miniature Sheet - $2.75
The miniature sheet for this issue was also produced with a 'Capex'87' overprint to mark New Zealand Post's attendance at the Capex'86 World Philatelic Exhibition in Toronto, Canada.

Product Listing for Military History - (Air Force)

Image Title Description Price
  Single Stamp

Single 40c gummed stamp.

An AVRO 626 in flight against a background of RNZAF base Wigram circa 1937 - in recognition of the important role of air training.

  Single Stamp

Single 70c gummed stamp.

Depicted against a typical pacific island backdrop are two P40 Kittyhawks. The aircraft symbolises the RNZAF purpose of regional defence against aggression and the groundcrew represent the very necessary supporting functions of both personnel and equipment.

  Single Stamp

Single 80c gummed stamp.

A Sunderland flying boat alighting in a pacific island lagoon - represents the RNZAF support to the Pacific Community and the far ranging scope of activities in the post World War II period.

  Single Stamp

Single 85c gummed stamp.

Two A4 Skyhawks are depicted in flight, against a background of Mt Ruapehu - representing the RNZAF today and in the future.

  Miniature Sheet
Incorporates the four stamps of the airforce issue with a background design depicting a general scene of Wigram airfield circa 1923.
  First Day Cover First day cover with stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $2.92
  Miniature Sheet First Day Cover First day cover with miniature sheet affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $2.92

Stamp bulletin

This stamp issue first appeared in New Zealand Post Stamp Bulletin No. 36 in September 1986.

Acknowledgments: Bulletin scanned and provided by John Biddlecombe of the New Zealand Society of Great Britain. Their web site offers further information useful to those interested in the stamps and postal history of New Zealand. Link:

Technical information

Date of issue: 15 April 1987
Denominations: 40c, 70c, 80c, 85c
Miniature sheet: $2.75
Designer: Peter G Leitch, Waikanae
Printer and process: Leigh-Mardon Pty Ltd, Australia; Lithography
Stamp size and format: 40mm x 28mm (Horizontal)
Miniature sheet size:    115mm x 105mm
Number of stamps per sheet: 100 (10 rows of 10)
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 30 April 1988.
You have items in your cart