The Missing Wingman Trust (RNZAF) is a registered charity in New Zealand which supports the Royal New Zealand Air Force family. It is the only charity in New Zealand that supports military families when someone is killed, wounded, injured or becomes ill, whether in New Zealand or overseas.
Chaired by former Defence Chief, Air Marshal Sir Bruce Ferguson, the charity was formed in 2010 to support our Air Force family and remember those we lost. Importantly, it doesn’t just help when a serviceman or woman is in need, but when any member of that persons family is killed, injured, wounded or ill (KIWI) because sometimes it’s the death of a partner or illness of a child that can put our families under the most pressure. Over the last six years we’ve spent thousands supporting our Air Force family: paying medical expenses, repairing homes, providing scholarships, and providing support in times of grief. You can read more here. The trust board is comprised of military and civilian personnel, including Judy Bailey, whose father was Chief of the Air Force in the 1960s. You can read more about our trustees below.
Sir Bruce Ferguson
Auckland - W/O Kerry Williams
Ohakea - WGCDR Ron Thacker
Wellington - W/O Jake McPhee
Woodbourne - W/O Craig Harnett
Sir Bruce Ferguson
Sir Bruce joined the RNZAF on 6th January 1969 when he started his pilot training. After a posting to Singapore and Vietnam, he subsequently qualified as a flying instructor and a few years after became the Commander of the 3 Squadron Search and Rescue detachment.
Sir Bruce received a number of special awards during his time in the RNZAF, such as a Queens Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air (now the New Zealand Bravery Medal). This was commended for his part in rescuing eight people from a cliff in the higher reaches of the Waimakarere Gorge on 8 December 1976. He was also awarded the Air Force Cross in the Queens Birthday Honours 1984 for his leadership as Officer Commanding Central Flying School, and for his success in reforming and leading the RNZAF Red Checkers Formation Aerobatics Team through 32 displays. In 1994 Sir Bruce was appointed as an Ordinary Officer of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in the Queens Birthday Honours.
In 2002 Sir Bruce was appointed to the position of Chief of Defence Force in the rank of Air Marshal, during this role he made numerous visits to Afghanistan, the Middle East (on land and sea) and Iraq resulting in the award of the New Zealand General Service Medal 2002. Following this he was the first New Zealander to be awarded Singapore's highest military award in 2006. Which was in recognition of his significant contributions in forging excellent defence ties between the NZDF and the Singapore Armed Forces.
As a result of the reinstitution of Knighthoods by the New Zealand Government on 1 August 2009 he was redesigned as a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Tim is the founder of The Missing Wingman Trust, the first charity of its kind in New Zealand. The Missing Wingman Trust supports Air Force families when someone is killed, wounded, injured or becomes ill, whether in New Zealand or overseas.
Tim joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force as a pilot in 2001. He flew Iroquois and NH90 helicopters, including operational service flying in the Solomon Islands and East Timor. Tim also completed a tour of duty in Afghanistan and numerous rescue missions in New Zealand and humanitarian missions in Fiji and Papua New Guinea.
He has a Master’s degree in International Defence and Security, a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematical Physics and a Diploma in Business. Tim has held a variety of leadership roles within the RNZAF, including Second-in-Command of pilot training and Command of the NH90 helicopters both in New Zealand and overseas. In 2014 Tim was seconded to HRH the Duke of Cambridge as an Equerry – an officer of the British royal household who assists members of the royal family.
Tim Costley is currently the Wing Commander overseeing operational airworthiness at Ohakea.
Judy Bailey is a writer and broadcaster living in Auckland. She is the daughter of a former Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Ian Morrison.
A broadcaster for more than four decades, her on screen partnerships with John Hawkesby and Richard Long are among the longest in national television history. She fronted primetime news for twenty six years. Since leaving TVNZ she has fronted all but one of Maori Television’s ANZAC Day programmes as well as numberous other shows.
Bailey has recently spent much of her time involved in travel writing and broadcasting.
Judy has long been an advocate for children.
She is the deputy chair, a trustee and presenter for the Brainwave Trust, an organization that brings the latest research in neuroscience to those who work with children and young families.
She has an enduring partnership with World Vision, is patron of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, The Friends of Women’s Refuge and of the National Collective of Women’s Refuges.
She is also the patron of North Shore Hospice, and of Seasons, a grief programme for children.
In 2010 she was created an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to broadcasting and the community.
She is married to the managing director of South Pacific Pictures, Chris Bailey. They have three children and five grandchildren.
John Hamilton enlisted in the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 1971 as a university officer cadet. In 1975 he was awarded his pilot’s brevet and then trained to become a helicopter pilot flying the Sioux and the Iroquois. He completed an exchange tour with No 9 Squadron RAAF in 1981 before becoming a flying instructor. He held command and leadership appointments at all levels of the RNZAF culminating with a four year period from 2002-2006 as the Chief of Air Force in the rank of Air Vice-Marshal.
John holds the Royal Victorian Order (MVO) for his service to the Queen as equerry; was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2001 for leading the planning for the New Zealand deployment to East Timor, and in 2006 he was promoted to Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in recognition of his leadership as Chief of Air Force.
After retiring from the RNZAF John had eight years as the Director of the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management in Wellington. Following the 2011 Christchurch earthquake he was appointed by the government to be the National Controller in Christchurch and responsible for the control and co-ordination of the national response. He retired from civil defence in 2014 to act as a consultant in emergency management.
John recently moved “home” to Hawkes Bay for retirement but has since become the Operations Manager at Air Napier, a full-part time job based at Hawke’s Bay airport.
Steve Gregory was a founding member of the Missing Wingman Trust in 2010. His involvement followed the death of his son, Flying Officer Dan Gregory in the ANZAC Day tragedy of that same year that killed three aircrew and seriously injured a fourth when their Iroquois helicopter crashed into the hills near Pukerua Bay, north of Wellington while on their way to take part in a ceremonial fly past in the Capitol.
Although he has not served himself, Steve comes from an RNZAF family, his father Keith from Dunedin flew in Bomber Command during World War II and took part in a series of raids against the German battleship Tirpitz in 1942. He was shot down on one of these raids over Norway and survived to spend the rest of the war in various prisoner of war camps. Steve's Uncle Harvey also flew in Coastal Command during that same conflict, based on the South Coast of the UK.
Steve has been active in the insurance industry and is also a keen sportsman. He brings a personal, non-service perspective to the Trust and feels a huge amount of pride in the good work it has done for the families of affected air force families over the past 10 years.
Geoff "Polly" Polglase, joined the RNZAF in 1988 and trained and served as a Safety and Surface worker at Ohakea, Auckland and 3 yrs in Nowra, Australia with 2 Squadron.
On return to New Zealand he re-mustered to Helicopter Crewman and was lucky to see Antarctica, Solomon Islands and East Timor for three tours in the venerable Iroquois aircraft. Further postings to Operations roles, 5 Squadron Operations Officer and Headquarters support roles in Wellington rounded out a 25 yr career.
Post service Polly has grown his passion for veterans with roles in the RSA at Hobsonville culminating in becoming President for 2 years in 2017. His career now is bittersweet, selling new properties at his beloved retired Hobsonville Base (Hobsonville Point) where he lives and works with his two daughters.
Ron joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force in January 1979 and, on completion of flying training, trained as a helicopter pilot. Over the years since then, he has completed a range of flying duties on both helicopters and fixed wing training aircraft, and has held a range of instructional, staff and command posts. Ron currently serves as the Chief of Staff at RNZAF Base Ohakea.
Having been directly and indirectly involved in the aftermath of a number of critical incidents involving members of the wider RNZAF family, Ron has been a passionate supporter of the Missing Wingman Trust since its inception. He was the Ohakea representative for the Trust from 2012-2020 and joined the board of trustees in 2020.
Words from HRH The Duke of Cambridge