Bio / Text:
William John Payne was born June 21, 1921 in Stroud, Gloucestershire. He joined the RAF 16 August 1939 as a student pilot and became sergeant on mobilization September 1. He began his training at ITW 3, Group 54, then 9 SFTS from July to October 1940 before being sent to CFS. On November 25, 1940, he was transferred to the 57 OTU to make it operational conversion and joined his first combat unit, the Squadron 610, February 10, 1941. On June 3, he was transferred to Squadron 92 but on June 14 was slightly injured while trying to land his Spitfire (X4243) Hawkinge damaged after a Sweep on France. In June 1941, he claims 5 Me 109 shot down. On July 1, he was promoted F / S and July 4 he returned to OTU (53), this time as an instructor. He was promoted W / O 1 August 1942 and 30 September joined the PRU in Benson. On November 6, 1942, he was assigned to Squadron 540 (PR) then at Squadron 541 a month later.