Saturday, August 12, 2017


Raymond Sinclair 'Ray' Tait, Distinguished Flying Cross, Chevalier (Knight) Legion d'honneur, Patron of the Russell RSA, passed away quietly yesterday.  

Ray was one of the last (if not the last) Bomber Command aircrew alive in New Zealand.   He flew with 75 (NZ) Squadron RAF and completed 36 missions over the Ruhr, Germany's industrial heartland and heavily defended.   On two occasions two out of the four engines on his Lancaster were shot out with the aircraft limping back to England.

After the war Ray became a farmer before retiring to Tapeka Point in the Bay of Islands to indulge his love of sailing.   Ray was a gentleman and a gentle man.   He was both knowledgeable and introspective.   He will be sadly missed by all.   His funeral is at Russell on Tuesday.    

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