Service Number: NZ435864
RNZAF Trade: Flight Mechanic
Date of Enlistment: May 1943 (transferred from the New Zealand Army)
Rank Achieved: Leading Aircraftsman
Flying Hours: nil
Operational Sorties: nil
Date of Birth: 22nd of June 1924, at Thames
Personal Details: Roy was the son of a farmer, and he moved to Cambridge as an infant in late 1925 or early 1926. He attended Cambridge Primary School, and then did one year at Cambridge High School before his father insisted he went out to work. He got a job farming for about six months but was pleased to leave that job when his uncle got him a position as an apprentice motor mechanic. He served three years in the apprenticeship before joining the army at the age of 18.
Service Details: Roy had initially joined the New Zealand Army in the Army Service Corps as a motor mechanic, where he was based initially at Hopu Hopu. He spent around six to seven months in the Army, and then was transferred to the RNZAF.
In the Air Force he trained as a Flight Mechanic and was posted to No. 30 Servicing Unit at RNZAF Station Gisborne where he serviced Grumman Avenger bombers for No. 30 Squadron. In 1944 Roy went with the squadron and servicing unit up to Espiritu Santo, and then to the front lines at Bougainville.
When No. 30 Squadron returned to New Zealand Roy and the No. 30 Servicing Unit personnel stayed on and continued to service the Avengers, now for No. 31 Squadron. When that squadron's tour expired and they too returned to New Zealand, Roywas one of the unit's staff who were absorbed into No. 2 Servicing Unit, still at Bougainville. He was now servicing Chance Vought Corsair fighters.
I had the privilege of intervieiwng Roy shortly before he passed away, and more details from that interview will eventually be placed here on his page.
Date of Death: 2nd of June 2004, at Cambridge
Connection with Cambridge: Roy Paton spent a large proportion of his life in Cambridge, coming to the town at a very early age, and returning to it after the war, then after a period at Tokoroa, Atiamuri and Mangakino, returned to the town where lived in retirement till his death.
Thanks To: The late Roy Paton.