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Air Force News, December 2012.

‘Bee Dawson has contributed to our Air Force’s anniversary year with the timely publication of Wigram. Like her earlier Hobsonville: portrait of a seaplane station, the new book is a social history of the Base drawing on the memories and anecdotes from those who lived and trained at Wigram.

The first chapters describe the history of Wigram up until WWII, and thus encompass the early days of flying and the initial development of New Zealand’s Air Force. Two generous chapters cover Wigram at war, then the author takes us through the post-war years until the base’s closure in 1995) (the book is about the base and its people, so she does not venture into the politics of defence in the 1990s).

Bee Dawson brings to life the base through the tales of early aviators, officers and airmen and women, and the families who lived their lives on the base. Wigram is filled with illustrations and photographs – many previously unpublished – of aircraft and people that add depth to the stories.

Wigram is a substantial book that will be an invaluable resource for all interested in the history of our Air Force.’


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