John was born in Radcliffe, England, on the 17th April 1906. He enlisted in the RAAF at Columbloola, which is just a bit west of Chinchilla in Queensland, on the 22nd May 1939.
All we know about John is that he joined No 452 Squadron and we have the photo below. John is in the middle with Kenneth “Kenny” Dudley Bassett on the left and John Henry “Bis” Eric Bisley on the right. Because we know a fair bit about John Bisley, we can assume that the photo was taken while John (Bisley) was in the Northern Territory between November 1942 and the 29th January 1944.
During that time, on the 17th of January 1943, 452 Squadron had just become operational again. It had been recalled from England and had been re-equipped with Spitfires. The Squadron was based at Batchelor Airfield and was part of No.1 Wing RAAF, which was formed to defend Darwin from the Japanese. It was relocated to Strauss Airfield on the 1st of February 1943 and remained there during John’s time, with the exception of a brief period between the 9th and 27th of March 1943 when it was deployed to RAAF Base Pearce to reinforce the air defences of Perth.
In all probability, John also served in the UK, but unfortunately we do not know when and where.
John was discharged on the 17th October 1945 from the Brisbane Telecommunications Unit.
David Hamilton and Steve McGregor
The Spitfire Association