Serial Number: NZ442028
RNZAF Trade: Pilot (u/t) then Wireless Operator Air Gunner
Date of Enlistment:1944
Date of Demob: November 1945
Rank Achieved: Warrant Officer
Operational Sorties: Nil
Date of Birth: 14th of October 1925 at Cambridge
Personal Details: John was the younger son of Mr Arthur John Stewart Richardson (who was incidentally a First World War veteran and in World War Two was an officer in the Cambridge Home Guard). John's older brother Ted Richardson was also in the RNZAF.
John married Edith Margaret McIver, and they had two children, June and Ian.
Service Details: John Richardson's first taste of Air Force training had come when he was a member of the Air Training Corps, with No 7 (Hamilton) Squadron. He began his real RNZAF service at the Delta, near Woodbourne, where he spent nine months undergoing initial training. He recalls that in those days, nearby Blenheim was a tiny town that they occasionally visited, but if they ever got a weekend leave pass they usually caught a Newman's bus across to the much larger city of Nelson. John returned to Blenheim in recent years and was astounded at how much it had grown, and how little of it he remembered.
From the Delta, John was posted down to 1 EFTS at RNZAF Station Taieri in Dunedin, where he completed his elementary flying training on Tiger Moths. The usual course of things would then have seen John and his course mates sent to Canada for advanced flying training, but by the time John got to this stage, Canadian EATS training had just ceased to continue as there were enough pilots to go around and the war was very nearly won. They were instead given the opportunity to pick from a range of trades to remuster to. John decided to become a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner, and was sent to RNZAF Station Wigram in Christchurch. He was halfway into the trade course for his new trade when the atomic bombs were dropped on Japan, and the war ended abruptly. His course ended just as abruptly, and he never completed his training. In fact he said they were all almost on holiday till the RNZAF could demob them. He finally left the RNZAF in November 1945.
Died: John passed away at Resthaven, Cambridge, on the 2nd of August 2017, aged 91. He was cremated privately.
Connection with Cambridge: John was born in Cambridge and continues to live in the town.
Note: John was interviewed for this website so more should appear here eventually when that is transcribed.