Bay man hit career heights with RAF
William Joseph (Bill) Geenty
Wing Commander RAF
April 1924-January 2013
Former Hastings man and RAF Wing Commander William Joseph (Bill) Geenty died in England recently, aged 88.
Born in Hastings, he was the eldest son of Joe and Alice Geenty and was educated at Hastings Central School and Hastings High School, where he was a member of the Air Training Corps.
At the age of 19, he joined the RNZAF. During 1943 he was sent to Canada for extra training and a year later arrived in England – in the latter stages of WWII. He carried out flying duties from bases in England and Germany.
In 1947 he was transferred to the RAF, where he was promoted to squadron leader in 1955, then became a wing commander in 1966.
In 1974, he was stationed in Cyprus and after two years, returned to the Ministry of Defence in England.
He became head of the Experimental Flying Planning Group at Farnborough, Hampshire, where he was responsible for the planning, acquisition and efficient use of aircraft requirements for experimental projects.
He retired from the RAF in 1979, but remained in England and returned to New Zealand on two occasions for reunions.
Bill Geenty is survived by wife Molly, a son and a daughter, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Photo caption – MADE MARK: Bill Geenty (right), Hastings-born RAF Wing Commander, meets a dignitary at an RAF base in Germany in the 1970’s