No. 40 Squadron, Royal New Zealand Air Force was formed on 1 June 1943. The Squadron initially operated Lockheed Hudson and Lodestar aircraft augmented by Douglas DC-3 Dakotas in 1944. Based at Whenuapai, the Squadron provided transport to New Zealand and allied forces in the South West Pacific. After the war, the Squadron undertook internal air services until 1947 when these were taken over by the newly formed National Airways Corporation and 40 Squadron was disbanded. It was reformed in December 1954 with four Handley Page Hastings. In 1961 three Douglas DC-6s were added making the Squadron capable of Global Air Transport operations, however the increasing burden of duties highlighted the need for a larger, faster aircraft.
Between 1965 and 1969, five Lockheed C-130H Hercules were purchased and the last of the older aircraft were phased out. Two B727-22QC jet transports joined the Squadron in 1981. Both were retired in 2003 and replaced with two Boeing 757-2K2 aircraft, previously owned by Transavia Airlines of the Netherlands. The B757 completed an upgrade during 2007−2008 to allow freight/passenger combination loads and included upgrades to the engines and avionics/communication suite. The aircraft is frequently tasked for operations in the Australian, South East Asian, Middle East and Pacific regions, with occasional tasks to the USA, Europe and Africa. The B757-2K2 Serial number NZ7572 successfully completed flight trials in 2009-2010 from New Zealand to Antarctica. Since then, the B757 conduct annual flights to the Ross Ice Shelf during the Southern Continent’s summer months. The Squadron lives up to its motto which translates to “to the four winds”. 40 Squadron is currently based at RNZAF Base Auckland in Whenuapai New Zealand, flying five C-130H(NZ) Hercules and two Boeing 757-2K2. The aircraft are regularly tasked to conduct airlift operations on a variety of strategic and tactical tasks throughout the world.