KARATAU, Eruera Mangahuka


rank: W/O
status: survived
airforce: RNZAF    (no: NZ414987 )
born: 1915-11-01 Turakina New Zealand

added by: Justin

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Bio / Text:

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First Maori Spitfire Pilot.

Eruera was known as ‘Ted’ or ‘Eddie’ Karatau and flew Hurricanes then Spitfires with 73SQN (Libya, Italy & Yugoslavia)
Born 1915, near Opunake.

Sergeant Eruera Mangahuka Karatau send the picture to his wife in NZ with the wording written on the reverse side
"To Doris Christina Karatau, Dulcie Jn. Kararaina Karatau, Edward Jr. Hoko Karatau and my dearest wife Dulcie Christina Karatau "Love and kisses" from: - your lonesome "Daddy".

I believe (not confirmed) he was involved in the early jet flight program before the wars end.
Ive heard that his diary was unfortunately lost when they moved the RNZAF museum to Wigram.

He passed away in 1981at the age of 66 years and is buried at Turakina. After his death 75SQN took a photo of him flying in a Skyhawk over the cemetery to pay respects.


Squadrons add
RAF 73 1943-04-01


ES280 Local flying type experience. 1943-06-14
ES142 Local flying 1943-06-14
Spitfires started to replace Hurricanes. F/Sgt Eddie’ Karatau flew Hurricanes in the squadron before June 1943-06-15
ES142 Local flying 1943-06-15
JK967 To Hergla from Hergla to Setif. 1943-06-17
JK527 Local flying 1943-06-18
ES280 Local flying 1943-06-19
ES280 Local flying 1943-06-20
ES280 Local, type experience. 1943-06-22
ES142 Dusk landings 1943-06-22
JK527 Local, experience on type. 1943-06-23
JK527 Dusk landings 1943-06-23
ES142 Local, experience on type. 1943-06-24
ES142 Patrol convoy from Ras fartass to Rass el Ahmer 1943-06-25
JK967 Patrolled Bizerte 1943-06-27
JK967 Convoy patrol off Bizerte 1943-07-01
JK967 Convoy patrol N.W of Cap Serrat 1943-07-04
JK161 Air test 1943-07-04
JK726 Patrolled east of Bizerte 1943-07-05
JK726 Patrolled base (Sebala) 1943-07-06
JK726 Patrol Rass Sidi EL Mekki 1943-07-07
JK726 Patrolled convoy anchored at Bizerte bay. 1943-07-09
JK726 Patrolled convoy north of Bizerte 1943-07-10
ES142 Patrolled convoy off Cap Sarrat 1943-07-12
ES142 Patrolled convoy S.E of Kelidia 1943-07-16
JK726 Patrolled convoy near Bizerte 1943-07-19
JK726 Patrolled convoy Bizerte & Cap Bon area. 1943-07-21
JK726 Patrolled convoy N. of Bizerte. 1943-07-26
JK667 Patrolled convoy near Bizerte. 1943-07-29
JK667 Patrolled convoy between Sicily & Cap Bon 1943-07-29
JK967 Search for dinghy, didn't locate. 1943-08-02
JK726 Air test 1943-08-02
JK527 Patrolled convoy east of Cap Bon 1943-08-03
ES142 Patrolled convoy N.E of Cap Serratt 1943-08-09
JK527 Flying practice 1943-08-12
JK726 Practice scramble 1943-08-15
JK527 Scrambled to 20,000ft east of Serratt 1943-08-17
JK888 Local flying 1943-08-18
JK726 Patrolled Bizerte at 23,000ft. 1943-08-19
JK726 Patrolled Bizerte 1943-08-20
JK335 Patrolled Bizerte 1943-08-22
JK667 Patrolled Bizerte 1943-08-24
JK726 Patrolled Bizerte 1943-08-26
JK335 Local flying practice 1943-08-30
JK335 Patrol N. of Bizerte 1943-08-31
JK667 Local flying practice. 1943-09-02
JK335 Battle formation & cannon firing. 1943-09-04
JK335 Patrolled Bizerte at 23,000ft. 1943-09-05
JK335 Patrolled convoy N.E of Kelibia 1943-09-07
JK335 Patrolled convoy N.E of Bizerte. 1943-09-10
JK190 To Kairouan & return. 1943-09-13
JK335 Local flying practice & cannon firing. 1943-09-18
MA640 Local 1943-09-18
Nil flying from 20th September to 29th October. Squadron awaiting instructions to move. 1943-09-20
Move to Palermo via Catania. Then move again to Montecorivino. 1943-09-25
JK970 Patrol shipping Capri to Licosa point. 1943-09-29
JK767 Patrol Naples at 23,000ft 1943-09-30
JK970 Patrol shipping between Capri & Licosa 1943-10-29
JK767 Patrol of Naples at 23,000ft 1943-10-30
JK767 Shipping patrol of convoy approaching Naples. 1943-11-04
JK970 Air test 1943-11-05
JK888 Patrolled Naples at 23,000ft 1943-11-05
JK767 Shipping patrol 1943-11-07
JK464 Patrolled Naples 1943-11-11
JK970 Patrol convoy 1943-11-18
JK437 Shipping recce Capri to Licosa point. 1943-11-18
JK464 Patrol Naples 1943-11-22
MA311 Gaudo to Montrcorvino 1943-11-26
JK437 Patrolled Naples 1943-11-26
Montecorvino to Foggia squadron move. 1943-12-02
EN252 Scrambled, nothing seen. 1943-12-11
EN252 Foggia 2 to base 1943-12-11
JK767 To Bari to refuel. Later escort DC3. 1943-12-14
JK767 From Bari 1943-12-14
JK970 Patrolled base at 1,000ft 1943-12-17
MA712 Cannon test 1943-12-18
JK527 Search suspected enemy shipping 90 miles N.E of base. Proved friendly. 1943-12-24
JK767 Flying practice. 1943-12-24
JK892 Dinghy search Barletta area, nothing found. 1943-12-31
F/Sgt Karatau flew down to Grottaglie today in a Fairchild and returned with a new Spitfire. 1944-01-15
JK460 Convoy patrol for part of the distance between Barletta & Manfredonia 1944-01-23
JK464 Covered convoy entering Manfredonia harbor. 1944-01-25
EN252 Sweep of Vis without incident. 1944-01-26
JL226 Sweep of Vis S. of Brac & Hvar return to base no incidents. 1944-01-30
JK709 Sweep of Dalmatian islands. At Hvar informed bandits in area. Vectored but no sightings. 1944-02-07
JK783 Shipping recce N. of Barletta 1944-02-15
JG783 Convoy patrol from Korcula to Manfredonia. 1944-02-17
JK546 Escort convoy to Vieste. 1944-02-23
JK546 Shipping recce of Dalmatian Islands. Sighted schooners in Grohote harbour. 1944-02-24
JK970 Air test 1944-02-25
JG783 Escorted daily convoy of 2 destroyers from Vis to Manfredonia. Escorted 2nd leg into Harbour. 1944-02-27
EN252 Strafed on Dalmatian coast, trains, engines & lorries with troops. L.A.A encountered. 1944-02-28
MA311 Escort convoy in pairs from N.W of Jabuka to Vieste. 1944-03-02
MH359 4 pilots proceeded down to Grottaglie in Beaufighters to bring back new Spitfires to the squadron.base. 1944-03-03
EF630 Search for dinghy. Found button personal. 1944-03-24
ER783 Scrambled over base then told to pancake aircraft was friendly. 1944-03-27
MH359 Practice formation flying 1944-03-27
Set course from base 015° patrolled Vis & returned to base. 1944-03-27
JL235 Formation practice 1944-03-28
JK338 Search for dinghy 1944-04-08
JK978 Air test 1944-04-09
EN252 Sweep of vis,Hvar & Korcula. Two M.E.109's were reported at 8,000ft but had to return to base owing to low fuel 1944-04-11
MA640 Patrolled Vis without incident. Returned to base. 1944-04-12
All Spitfire VB's have now been fitted with bomb racks. 1944-04-12
JK767 Dusk patrol of Vis. 1944-04-12
MA640 Search for dinghy E. of Manfredonia. 1944-04-13
EN252 Early patrol of Vis 1944-04-15
JK338 Bombed landing Jetty & buildings E. Side of Korcula island. 1944-04-16
MA655 Air test 1944-04-17
W/0 Karatau left the squadron the end of April. 1944-04-30


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