The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. M R Andrews
Maurice Raymond Andrews was born in July 1910 in Wanganui and was running a motor engineering and garage business in Hamilton, New Zealand at the outbreak of war.
At 29 he was old by normal aircrew standards but he volunteered for flying duties and was accepted.
He reported to the Air Observers School Ohakea on 11th March 1940 to train as an observer but soon afterwards he re-mustered to trainee air gunner. With the course completed he sailed for Britain on 26th April.
He arrived in early June and went to No. 1 RAF Depot Uxbridge. On 17th July 1940 Andrews was posted to 5 OTU Aston Down.
After converting to Defiants he joined 264 Squadron at Kirton-in-Lindsey on 29th August. He served with the squadron in the Battle of Britain.
Andrews was commissioned in early June 1942 and when the squadron converted to Mosquitos later in the month he was posted away, joining 277 (Air Sea Rescue) Squadron on 15th July. When he left 264 Squadron Andrews had flown 122 operational sorties.
Early in 1942 Andrews applied for pilot training and on 22nd August he left 277 Squadron for 13 ITW. After completing his ground course he moved to 26 EFTS and on to Heaton Park, Manchester to await a posting overseas.
He sailed for Canada in March 1943, completed his training at various flying schools and passed out as a twin-engine pilot in January 1944. Two months later he was repatriated to New Zealand.
Andrews was posted as a staff pilot to the School of Navigation and Reconnaissance at New Plymouth, where he was eventually appointed a Flight Commander.
He was transferred to the Reserve on 24th December 1945 and returned to Hamilton, where he died on 24th March 1971.