|Rank On Discharge/Death||Leading Aircraftman (LAC)|
|Mustering / Specialisation||Aircraft Mechanic|
|Date of Birth||25 Jan 1904|
|Date of Enlistment||29 Jul 1942|
|Date of Death||25 May 1970|
|Contributing Author/s||Warren Park and Steve McGregor|
The Spitfire Association
Joe was born on the 25 th January, 1904 in Carlisle, England. He enlisted in the RAAF on the 29/7/1942 at the grand old age of 38. He served as a leading Aircraftman with the 452 Squadron (Spitfires) based in Darwin between 1942 and 1945.
His son Warren said, “Dad was 38 with 2 children when he volunteered for duty in 1942 something that I am personally very proud of. It was really amazing for a man that age to volunteer”.
Joe was very fit and strong, a good swimmer and runner and excelled at soccer. He was the third oldest of five children and had a terrific personality and was extremely popular. He said, was always the life of the party. No doubt Joe managed to have a bit of fun while he lived under canvas with all the other Erks (mechanics and the like) who serviced the Spitfires parked in their bays and hidden from Japanese eyes by the Australian bush.
The landing strips were by the side of the roads in Darwin as the landing field was badly bombed by successive Jap raids. Conditions out in the bush were tough. Boring, hot, dusty and flies that would drive a man crazy.
He was discharged on the 20/11/1945.
Around 5 to 6 years before he died he took sick and after coming out of Concord Hospital spent a few days with one of his sisters who told Warren that one day she estimated around 80 people had dropped in to see him. We can only assume that he was as equally as popular in Darwin.
There is a plaque in memory of Joe Park in the gardens of Avalon RSL. Warren is a member of the sub branch there and also a National Serviceman.
Joe passed away in 25/5/1970 at Lake Conjola, NSW.