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John Gordon Pattison

Born on the 27th January 1917 in Waipawa. Shot down but managed to glide most of the way to the English coast near Dungeness.  and only after 90 minutes picked up by Air Sea Rescue launch. Awarded  DSO, DFC, Légion d'honneur. By the end of the war had completed 259 operational sorties. Retired as Squadron Leader in January 1946, Pattison returned to New Zealand to farm at Waipawa before retiring to Havelock North. Passed away on Friday 11th September 2009 age 92.

F/O. John Gordon Pattison

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  • Title
  • Forenames
    John Gordon AWMM
  • Surname
    Pattison AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    WWII NZ39931 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    27 January 1917 AWMM WaipawaHawkes Bay AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Pre 22 April 1905 AWMM Waipawa, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW2 1939 AWMM Farmer/Civilian AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes
    Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
    Seriously wounded AWMM

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • 28 May 1940: Pilot Officer

    28 May 1941: Flight Lieutenant

    September 1944: Squadron Leader

    September 1944-February 1945: Commanding Officer 485 (NZ) Squadron

    1946: retires

    Spitfire Pilot

    He was presented with the Legion d'Honneur in 2004 from President Jacques Chirac in thanks for his role in helping liberate France from the Nazis.

    'Shortly after midnight on the day of the invasion, Mr Pattison saw a sky "black with heavy bombers going over to soften up the beach heads." He took off at first light. "There were four lanes of shipping, 100 miles of sea, and from the air it looked as though you could skip from ship to ship from South England into Normandy." Having been shot down himself - during the Battle of Britain and while flying sweeps over France - he shot down two German aircraft that day. He had thought he would be elated at shooting down an enemy aircraft but that was not the case. "After all, the young German aviators were very much akin to what we were. They were fighting for Germany, we were fighting for Britain and France and so forth." (Source: New Zealand Herald article, 7 June 2004, page A5)

    Portraits and photograph of his medals published in Poot, E. (2009). Equipped with Spitfires, No. 485 was a day fighter squadron until March 1944 when it transferred to fighter bombing. Operated from England, based at some of the most famous fighter stations, until August 1944 when it moved to the Continent. There it flew in the fighter and fighter bomber role with Second Tactical Air Force. (Source: Portrait in Wynn, K. (1981). The Battle of Britain: 10 July - 31 October 1940

    Member of the 'Goldfish Club' Squadron Leader Pattison, was a pilot with the 485 Squadron, during an offensive sweep over France, in May 1942. Fighter flak meant the engine of the plane shot out, 20,000 feet over France. The crew baled out, spending nearly two hours in the dinghy before being picked up by the ASR Launch (Goldfish Club). AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    2009 AWMM
    HastingsHawkes Bay AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    Obituary: New Zealand Herald, 15 September 2009 AWMM
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

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  • External links
  • Documents
    • Haigh, J., Polaschek, A. (Eds.). (1993). New Zealand and the Distinguished Service Order. Christchurch, N.Z.: Authors. AWMM
    • Bentley, G., & Conly, M. (1987). Portrait of an Air Force: the Royal New Zealand Air Force 1937-1987. Wellington, N.Z.: Grantham House. AWMM
    • Wynn, K. (1981). A clasp for "The Few". Auckland. N.Z.: Author. AWMM
      p. 321-323 AWMM
    • The New Zealand Herald AWMM
    • Haigh, J., Polaschek, A. (Eds.). (1993). New Zealand and the Distinguished Service Order. Christchurch, N.Z.: Authors. AWMM
      p.106 AWMM
    • The New Zealand Herald AWMM
      " France to Honour Pilot", 7 June 2004, p. A5 AWMM
    • N.Z.E.F. Times AWMM
      NZEF Times V2,n62,p5, v2,n79,p2 ,v2,n93,p5 ,v4,n159,p3 AWMM
    • Martyn, E. (1998-2008). For Your Tomorrow (Vols. 1-3). Christchurch, N.Z.: Volplane Press. AWMM
    • Goldfish Club, New Zealand Branch. The Goldfish Club: Roll of Honour 1954 - 2003. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS-2004/32. AWMM
    • The New Zealand Herald AWMM
      Obituary: New Zealand Herald, 15 September 2009 AWMM
    • Ministry for Culture and Heritage. (2012). New Zealanders serving with RAF Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain, 10 July – 31 October 1940. [A list compiled by Ministry for Culture and Heritage with Errol Martyn]. AWMM


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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
13 January 2021KelvinNorfolk, EnglandResearcher

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