Roy was born on the 16th July 1920 in Toowoomba, Queensland, and he enlisted in the RAAF on the 15th July 1940.
After training, he joined the RAF Infiltration Scheme in 1941, and saw service with 457 Squadron in the UK on the Isle of Man and in Redhill in Surrey. He then returned to Australia where he served with No.1 Fighter Wing in the North West Area from 1943 to 1944. (Web Master: On 26 September 1939, London invited the Dominions to jointly establish a vast pool of trained aircrew, which could be used to create new squadrons in England and replace combat losses in what was expected to be an intensive air war over Europe. There was an agreement that once individual squadrons reached a predominant proportion of aircrew from a particular nationality, it would be designated as a RAAF, RCAF, or RNZAF unit. This was known as the “Infiltration Scheme”, and it was accordingly expected that there would be twenty-five “Canadian”, eighteen “Australian” and six “New Zealand” squadrons.)
Along the way, Roy started as a Fitter IIA but was reclassified as a Fitter IIE. When he finished his tour in the North West, he was posted south to Amberley, where he remained until the war finished.
The photo is of Roy (left) and Brian O’Keefe (right) standing on George “Joe” Gifford’s Spitfire. George was a Flying Officer with 457 Squadon and was killed in action near Darwin on the 2nd May 1943. Brian, a Flight Rigger, later re-mustered as a pilot and was killed while training on Wrraways at a Service Flying Training School (SFTS) in 1944.
After demobbing, Roy returned to the building trade in his home town Toowoomba, and eventually retired to Hope Island on the Gold Coast, where he lived for many years.
Jan Atkins (Roy’s daughter), Bruce Read, David Hamilton and Paul Carter
The Spitfire Asscoiation