Compton, Lyndon Spencer AO OBE

Lyndon was born on the 20th August 1922 in Hawthorn, Victoria.

He enlisted in the RAAF on the 21st June 1941. Following initial training, he was posted overseas to 124 Squadron, before returning home to serve in 452 Squadron and then as Flight Commander of “A” Flight in 457 Squadron. 

The following story is from Lyndon:  
“Noting the interest the item on the Zeke 52 (5622) by Ted Sly in the September 1998 ‘Spitfire News,’ I make the following miniscule contribution to the story, that may help to tie up dates: (Web Master: The Mitsubishi A6M5 Zero was a long-range fighter aircraft operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy from 1940 to 1945. The official Allied reporting name for it was “Zeke” or “Zero.” Wikipedia.)

Propelled by an over curious desire to find out more about the aircraft, I flew it for one hour on the 27th May 1945, which satisfied my curiosity. The engine with open stub exhausts emitted a rather harsh cracking noise and I recollect the Engine Fitter, who looked after my Spitfire, ZP-H, and who heartily disapproved of me flying anything that had not been serviced by him, making the comment in a highly derisive tone on my return, ‘How much chaff did you produce?’ or words to that effect.

On June 22 and 26, I flew two test flights with the aircraft in anticipation of someone taking it to Labuan. I do not recollect why the first one was so short. The second is vividly remembered. A rough running engine, and I kid you not, it was really rough, brought me back shortly after getting airborne. It was pouring black smoke and the engine finally quit in the circuit at 500 feet, however, I landed OK. Oil leaking from the supercharger into the induction duct was found to be the trouble.

We departed Morotai on the 3rd July 1945 for Labuan via Zamboanga. We flew a ground attack mission on the 5th July 1945, and I am unaware of what happened to the aircraft subsequently.”

The photo of the 457 Squadron group in front of the hut was taken at Moratai in 1945. In the front row, from left to right, is Dr Roger Edwards, Lyn Compton with pipe (“A” Flight Commander), Ken Barclay, CO Bruce Watson DFC, “Boomer,” Bill Stanton and Ted Sly (“B” flight.)Compton Lyn Pic 5

The photo with the men on the Spitfire was taken in April 1945, also at Moratai. From left to right: Mick Adams, Peter Ward, Lyn Compton and Geoff Marsh. (The photo is from the Marsh collection.) Compton Lyn Pic 4

His comrade Bruce Watson DFC, remembers about Lyn as follows:
“Lyn was posted to 457 Squadron at the time it was under the command of Tom Trinder, but when I took over the Squadron, after Trinder and his Flight Commanders were posted away, I strongly recommended to his Wing Commander, Clive Caldwell, that Lyn to fill one of the Flight Commander’s positions 

Lyn’s position was duly confirmed by Caldwell. He filled it so successfully in Darwin, Morotai and finally Labuan, that Caldwell expressed the view that he (Compton) had a real future in the Air Force, due to the fine example of compassion and understanding he set in his flying and ground duties.

Lyn’s WW11 duties came to an end on the 31st January 1946, but he remained in the Air Force, advancing to the rank of Air Vice Marshall and narrowly missed out becoming Air Marshall and Chief of the RAAF.  This would have been a sound appointment and a just reward for a great Australian and an outstanding Officer.”

Air Vice Marshall (Ret.) Lyndon Compton AO, OBE., died after a protracted illness.

The photo is of some of the men of 457 Squadron, from left to right:
Standing on the left wing: John T. “Dinga” Bell, Bob Bawden, Leslie Alan Leeming, William O and “Bill” Cable.
Standing on the right wing: John L. “Jack” Seelenmeyer, Albert L. “Smokey” Lumley, Kenneth B. May and Ronald M. Snowden.
Sitting on left wing: Douglas R. Beattie, Kevin M. “Kel” Barclay and John R. Sturm.  
Sitting on right wing: “Swampy” Marsh and Peter Ward.
Standing: Bob Addison (IO) Norman L. Vidler, Eric McGeehan (Eng Off), Bill Stanton (Adjutant), Len Gillam (Def Off), Edward L. “Ted” Sly (B Flight), Lyndon S. (Lyn) Compton (A Flight), James H. “Jimmy” Greaves, David “Dave” Warrell, William J. “Bill” Crystal, John F. Dale and Kenneth D. McLeod.
Front Row: Bruce Miels, Keith L. Peacock, Thomas H. “Tom” Trimble (Ex CO), Clive R. Caldwell, Bruce D. Watson (Now CO), Wilfred G. “Wally” Dial and Frank L. Rouch. 

The men standing in front of the Spitfire has Clide caldwell fourth from left, then Lyn Compton and “Smokey” Lumley. Compton Lyn Pic 3

Compton Lyn Pic 2

The last photo was taken on the 30th December 1944 near Morotai Island in the Halmahera Islands, Nethelands East indies (now Indonesia.) Coutesy of AWM: “Six pilots (one in the unseen aircraft taking the photo) of the famous No. 452 Spitfire Squadron RAAF, which was among “The Few” in the Battle of Britain and is now serving at Morotai in the south-west Pacific find time for some mild formation practice during an afternoon hunt for “targets of opportunity” in the Halmahera area. The leader is 408970 Lieutenant L.S. Compton of Caulfield, Vic, in camouflaged Mark VIII (c) aircraft coded QY-T.” Compton Lyn Pic 6 

Bruce Read, Paul Carter and Bruce Watson
Updated by Vince Conant
The Spitfire Association