A World War II veteran said it was good to see new cadets at the St Faith's Church service to mark the Battle of Britain and Air Forces Commemoration Day as they were a reminder of our past and they were also our future.

Rotorua paid tribute to the contribution of its airmen and women during the special church service.

Deanna Dodman, 16, from the 29 Squadron Air Training Corps speaks at the Battle of Britain and Air Forces Commemoration day at St Faith's. Photo/Ben Fraser
Deanna Dodman, 16, from the 29 Squadron Air Training Corps speaks at the Battle of Britain and Air Forces Commemoration day at St Faith's. Photo/Ben Fraser

The service was followed by a parade to the cenotaph at Ohinemutu's Muruika war cemetery this morning.

Rotorua was home to an airforce base in the 1940s during World War II and the suburb of Fenton Park was the original airfield.

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Rotorua's David Daniel served in the New Zealand Airforce for three years during World War II and he said the service today went "very well".

Rev Tom Poata speaks at the Battle of Britain and Air Forces commemorations at St Faith's Church. Photo/Ben Fraser
Rev Tom Poata speaks at the Battle of Britain and Air Forces commemorations at St Faith's Church. Photo/Ben Fraser

"We have been going for some years and it's really quite good for us to have that. It's always very good to see the new cadets as they are a reminder of our past and they are also our future."

Mr Daniel joined the airforce in 1944 when he was 18 and served until he was 21 in New Zealand, the Pacific and Japan.

REMEMBER: Battle of Britain and Air Forces Commemoration day at St Faith's Church. David Daniel (centre). PHOTO/BEN FRASER
REMEMBER: Battle of Britain and Air Forces Commemoration day at St Faith's Church. David Daniel (centre). PHOTO/BEN FRASER

"It's a very special day and the congregation are so accommodating for us every year. It was a full service, there wasn't a spare seat," he said.

The RNZAF Station Rotorua was set up alongside Fenton St in February 1942 and in August that year the initial training wing from RNZAF Station Levin was moved to Rotorua.

There is a plaque in the rose garden acknowledging the airfield being used by the RNZAF as a training base and the surrounding streets are named after famous pilots who performed heroic deeds during the war.