May 23, 2021
Porokoru Patapu “John” Pohe: The first Māori trained as a pilot to serve in the Royal New Zealand Air Force
In the late fall of 1940, a troopship loaded with new pilots fresh out of primary flight school arrived in Vancouver, Canada. Porokoru Patapu “John” Pohe, first Māori trained as a pilot to serve in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, was amongst them. Captured as a prisoner of war, Pohe became involved with the plot for a mass escape from prison camp Stalag Luft III in Żagań, Poland. The 1963 epic film, “The Great Escape,” immortalized the event.