Service Number: NZ4214938
RNZAF Trade: MT Mechanic
Date of Enlistment: 1942
Rank Achieved: Corporal
Flying Hours: nil except as passenger
Date of Birth: 14th of April 1924, at Whitiora Maternity Home, Cambridge
Personal Details: Harold, known to his family as Fred, was born in Cambridge but initially lived at Tauwhare, just north of the town, where his parents - Victor Harold Lynds and Kathleen Gladys Grace Lynds - were farming. When he was 14 years old Harold's father died, so he and his mother and sisters moved into Leamington, where they continued to farm.
Harold went to school at Matangi Primary School, and later his high school education was at Hamilton Technical High School. Each morning he would milk the cows on their small farm - which was situated in the block where the Sheridan Dairy, just as you go up Shakespeare Street hill - and then he'd also milk the cows at a neighbour's farm, before making his way into Cambridge to catch the morning train to school in Hamilton. So he worked very hard as a young man.
On the 1st of October 1941 Harold joined the staff of Cambridge Transport, where he began an apprenticeship as a motor mechanic. He remained in employment there till the 24th of July 1942.
After the war Harold returned to Cambridge and took up employment with Waikato Motors in the town as a mechanic, under the leadership of another ex-airman Eric Ford.
Harold's hobbies were tinkering with cars and fishing. He was intensely fond of his three daughters and their husbands, and his grandchildren. He and his widow Nola, who has helped me with the details on this page, met when they were in school, but didn't marry till after the war.
Service Details: Harold joined the RNZAF on the 27th of November 1942, and continued in the service in the same trade he'd occupied in civilian life, as an MT Mechanic. He spent a considerable time in the MT section at RNZAF Station Whenuapai, till the 15th of February 1944, when he was posted up to Espiritu Santo. Nola says he was not at all fond of flying but managed to endure the flight up to the islands. He spent a year in the Santos MT Section and returned to New Zealand on the 15th of February 1945.
At this point he was posted to RNZAF Station Harewood, at Christchurch, and was there for five months, till being posted overseas again on the 5th of July 1945 to Norfolk Island. On this trip he went by ship, and hated it even more than flying - despite being a very keen fisherman Harold was not at all keen on water!
He spent a further year at Norfolk Island, staying there well into peacetime. During his stay he was selected to be the driver for The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester during their official visit. The Duke was the Governor-General of Australia and he made a tour of the Pacific near the end of the war of Australian units fighting in the region. Nola says Harold always maintained humorously he was selected as the driver because he was the tallest and best looking on the island.
On the 8th of July 1946 Harold returned to New Zealand and was to remain at RNZAF Whenuapai till his demob on the 3rd of September 1946.
Details of Death: Died 15th of May 1997, aged 73 years, from a heart attack.
Buried at: The Returned Services Association Lawn Cemetery, Hautapu, Cambridge