Onboard the Roaring 40s aerobatics team (by HAFUVideo)


D-Day 70th Anniversary: NZ Warbirds 1944-2014

On 6 June, 1944, the largest seaborne invasion in history began, undertaken by the allied forces including the United States, Britain, and Canada. The invasion, commencing on what was code-named  D-Day, began with an amphibious landing preceded by an airborne assault and naval bombardment. 

The purpose of the invasion was to re-establish allied ground forces in western Europe, subsequently enabling the defeat of NAZI Germany in 1945 as allied Soviet forces joined from the east. (“Normandy landings,” 2014)

On June 1, 2014, NZ Warbirds and the NZ Military Reenactment Society conducted this re-enactment of one scene from the D-Day invasion. A Rolls-Royce Supermarine Spitfire joins the skies for the aerial assault along with several other historic airplanes and vehicles from WW-II.

Embedded with the invasion force, Peter “JXN” Mellalieu presents his newsreels from the first day of action.

Key event

From 4"45’: Spitfire executes “victory roll”.

Additional photographs

Mellalieu, P. J. (2014, June 8). D-Day 70th Anniversary: NZ Warbirds 1944-2014 [photograph album]. Zenfolio | Peter Mellalieu’s Zenfolio Photograph Albums. Retrieved June 8, 2014, from

Technical notes

Video and images: Canon EOS 600.

Edited using iMovie.

Background theme music: iMovie

Outtrack: “Is my team ploughing”, composed by George Butterworth (12 July 1885 – 5 August 1916) on a poem by A. E. Housman (1859-1936). Sung by Peter Mellalieu, Auckland Lieder Group Inc, 2012.

Sound effects: I must confess! My sound recording of the aeroplanes and battle scene was mostly inaudible due to a faulty connection between my Rode Shotgun microphone and Canon camera. I needed just four special effects tracks from SoundDog. Brilliantly authentic and cost effective. The sounds I used are Spitfire taxiing and takeoff sounds, a WWII battle, and an aerial dogfight.

New Zealand Warbirds

NZ Military Re-enactment Society

Historical context

Animated Map: The D-Day Landings. (n.d.). BBC - History - World Wars. Retrieved June 3, 2014, from

Bassett, A. (2014, June 3). D-Day: “There was nowhere to hide.” New Zealand Herald. Retrieved from

D-Day - World War II. (n.d.). Retrieved June 3, 2014, from

D-Day and the Battle of Normandy: Your questions answered. (n.d.). D-Day Museum and Overlord Embroidery. Retrieved June 3, 2014, from

D-Day Overview. (n.d.). National D-Day Memorial. Retrieved June 3, 2014, from

Normandy landings. (2014, June 5). In Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Stone, A. (2014, May 31). WWII Kiwi airmen our “best and brightest.” New Zealand Herald. Retrieved from

Further reading

“Is My Team Ploughing?” A.E. Housman, Introduction to Poetry (W). (n.d.). Retrieved from