New Zealand Bomber Command Association



Another NZBCA Centenarian

John Beeching celebrating his 100th birthday

John Beeching with the first Mosquito restored by Avspecs

John Beeching celebrated his 100th birthday with a party recently in Nelson with his family flying in from around the world. Nelson Mayor Nick Smith also visited, gifting John a bottle of whisky.

John flew Mosquitos in 100 group Bomber Command, a secretive group tasked with countermeasures against German radar, radio communications and flying offensive sorties against Luftwaffe night fighters and radar sites.

His birthday also marked his retirement! John joined the Cawthron Institute, New Zealand’s largest science organisation after he had hit retirement age. He has been working there three mornings a week, fixing everything from microscopes to test tubes. It was only on the day of his 100th birthday last month that he finally hung up his tools.

“Time just goes you know. One year came, then another year,” John said. “In the end I’d been at the Cawthron for 33 years.”

1 News covered John’s double celebration – you can watch it here – nelson-wwii-veteran-finally-retires-from-work-on-100th-birthday/

April 14, 2024

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