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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. C C Pyne


Colin Campbell Pyne was born in Wellington, New Zealand on 12th March 1921 and after leaving Wellington Boys College he was employed as a clerk. He volunteered for aircrew duties at the outbreak of war and reported to the Ground Training School, Weraroa on 26th October 1939.

Posted to No. 1 Air Gunners School, Ohakea on 20th Novembe,r Pyne qualified on 18th December and then carried out further navigation training in January 1940. He sailed for the UK on 23rd March in the SS Akaroa.



Pyne was posted to 5 OTU Aston Down on 29th May and trained in Defiants and Blenheims. He was awarded his air gunners badge and promoted to Sergeant on 5th July and joined 219 Squadron at Catterick the next day.

Pyne qualified as a Radar Operator on 5th August and flew his first night operational sortie on the 7th. In February 1941 the squadron became fully operational with Beaufighters. On the 17th Pyne assisted in the destruction of a Do17 and on 1st June an unidentified enemy bomber. He qualified as a Radio Observer on 6th July 1941.

In early September Pyne was posted to 51 OTU for an instructors course and then began instructing pupils there. He returned to 219 Squadron in early November and resumed operations. Pyne joined the Telecommunications Flying Unit at Hurn in early March 1942, carrying out flying trials on new radar developments.

Promoted to Warrant Officer on 1st April 1942, he was posted to 157 Squadron at Castle Camps at the end of the month, operating in Mosquitos at night. He assisted in intercepting and damaging a Do217 on 30th July.

Pyne was involved in an accident on 7th September 1942. He was knocked from his bicycle and suffered spine and head injuries. He was unconscious for three days and in bed for nearly three months.

Pyne returned to squadron in December for a medical board. He was repatriated to New Zealand in January 1943, graded unfit for aircrew duties in February and released from the RNZAF on 27th July 1943.

He died on 19th February 1975 after many years of ill-health.

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