No. 22 Squadron RNZAF Chance Vought Corsair, Bougainville, 1945

No. 22 Squadron RNZAF pilots admiring the Katipo spider emblem on a Chance Vought Corsair, Bougainville, 1945. PR6949, ©RNZAF Official.

The Squadron was nicknamed the ‘Katipo Squadron’, after the rare New Zealand native Katipo spider, a less venomous cousin of the American Black Widow and Australian Red Back spiders. With a Squadron motto of “Patu o Kia Mate” (“Strike to Kill”), a suitably fearsome creature as a symbol was definitely in order. These pictures were published in the New Zealand press in July 1945 to promote the important work of the Squadron in support of Australian troops during the fierce ground fighting on Bougainville.

Katipo spider artwork on the side of a 22 Squadron Chance Vought Corsair on Bougainville, 1945. PR6950, ©RNZAF Official.

Via The FB page of the NZ Air Force Museum

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