After leaving school at age 15 Joseph worked as a storeman and packer. He enlisted in Army at age 25 on 22/6/1942 serving in with the Australian General Transport Company in the Northern territory rising to the rank of Lance Corporal.
He was in Darwin during the bombing where he lost his slouch hat. His replacement hat was in fact made by his soon to be wife who at that time was working as a milliner at Henderson’s in Broadway. Traditionally the girls slipped their name in the hat they were making Joe and Wynne somehow met and eventually married in June 1944.
Commemorating 75 years since the war came to New Guinea
Joe transferred to the RAAF and completed training in 1944 in Sydney.
Then he was ready for his overseas posting to New Guinea.
He served with No 6 Squadron RAAF (28.10.1943 to 15.2.1945). No 6 Squadron flew Hudson bombers initially and in Joe’s time flew Beaufort bombers. Beaufort bombers were built at Mascot and were nick-named the ‘Flying Coffins’. No 6 Squadron was mainly engaged in reconnaissance and bomber support and anti- shipping attack roles.
During his time with the Squadron, he was based in New Britain on Goodenough Island, Jacquinot Bay, Dobodura and Raboul airfields. Mainly Dobodura. His patrol areas covered Aitape-Wewak area of New Guinea.
They flew regular courier flights between Dobodura and Milne Bay in New Guinea. The Squadron saw little combat during late 1944 to 1945 as there were few targets within range of Dobodura and a shortage of bombs. It was during this time that he became a keen vegetable gardener, mainly to ward off boredom.
Joe left the RAAF as a Leading Aircraftsman (Armourer).
A man from humble beginnings, he was totally unpretentious and simple in his tastes and personal aspirations. He had no airs and graces. When he bought his house in Eastwood his pride and joy was his vegetable garden from which came enough produce over the years to feed a small army. (Chris Ford – Joe’s obituary)