Mr Carpenter served within New Zealand between 23 February 1940 and 7 April 1942 and again from 24 October 1945 to 18 January 1946 and overseas between 8 April 1942 and 23 October 1945. On enlistment he was described as having dark hair, blue eyes, dark complexion, height 5 feet and 8 1/2 inches and a chest measurement of 35 inches.
On embarkation Sergeant Pilot Carpenter was a Flying Instructor.
While Mr Carpenter was serving in New Zealand with a variety of units from 22 February 1940 to 27 March 1942 he learnt to fly and instruct flying pupils on DH 82 Tiger Moth, Harvard and Oxford aircraft. On 7 February 1942 he became eligible to wear the Flying Badge and qualified as a Service Pilot on Oxford Aircraft on 27 March 1942.
Mr Carpenter had embarkation leave between 28 March and 7 April 1942 before leaving for the United Kingdom on 8 April on board HMS Strathallan, arriving on 10 May 1942.
While in the United Kingdom he flew a number of different Royal Air Force (RAF) aircraft including Oxford, Tutor, Magister, Master, Wellington 10, Blenheim, V and Mosquito.
He returned to New Zealand on HMT Andes from England on 23 October 1945 via the Indian Ocean and Australia. He was then in CATS between 19 November 1945 and 19 January 1946 at which time he was discharged. On 19 January 1946 he also joined the Nth NEP Reserve.
Highlights of Percy Reginald Carpenter's tour of War time duty in the United Kingdom (as supplied by Mr J Carpenter):
20 March 1943- Emergency Landing whilst flying Oxford Aircraft No DF 390, hitting a stone fence. Pupil Sgt Wheelhouse sustained a broken leg.
Endorsement regarding Avoidable Flying Accident, Established breaches of Flying Discipline not necessarily involving Accidents. Assessment=Cat E, Remarks=Disobedience of Orders-Flying below 100 feet, when giving precautionary landing practice. (A.S.I. 118). A Bawashington. Group Captain Commanding No.6 (P)AFU.
5 April 1943-Percy Reginald became a father to John Carpenter, born at Lockington Hall, Lockington Castle, Donington, Leicestershire and married Dorothy Williams on Monday 9 November 1943 at St. Stephens Church, Hyson Green, Nottingham, England. Dorothy was born 25 May 1920 at 28 Farley Street, Bulwell, Nottingham, England, the only daughter of William Arthur and Eliza Williams, nee Hufton.
10 October 1943-landed on a wing and a prayer in an Oxford Aircraft No 523, at Little Rissington, with pupil Sgt Knight.
8 February 1944, perhaps Percy Reginald's most famous pupil would have been 2nd Lieutenant Edwin Swales of the South African Air Force, who was trained on Oxford Aircraft at Little Rissington. Edwin Swales went on to be awarded the First South African Air Force Victoria Cross. His Majesty The King conferred the posthumous award of the most conspicuous bravery, on Captain Edwin Swales, DFC, South African Air Force, No.528 (Bomber) Squadron.
Auckland by STEELE, circa 1946. AWMM