A painting of a de Havilland Mosquito airplane in flight hangs in Wally Barton’s home.
During his service in the Second World War, from 1943 to 1945, Barton flew the British twin-engine combat aircraft for the 515 Squadron and the 627 Squadron of the Royal Air Force.
Barton, now 95, had a lifelong love of flying — a love that runs in his family. His father had been a South African pilot during First World War and was a flying ace.
In 1942, Barton joined the South African Air Force in 1942 and arrived in the United Kingdom in 1943. There, he was stationed at the Little Snoring airfield in Norfolk and flew over Germany during the war.
But by the time he arrived, there were plenty of pilots with the Royal Air Force.
“They had so many pilots in the pool, so we spent a lot of time training,” Barton recalls.
After the war ended, Barton stopped flying for the next 15 years.
During this time, he moved to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) where he farmed for 52 years.
But his love of flying returned and he flew a private airplane for 42 years.
He also served with the Rhodesian Forces Police Reserve Airwing, flying from 1972 to 1980, during the Rhodesian Bush War.
He outfitted his Cessna airplane with twin Browning machine guns for these flights.
During this time flying, his airplane was shot down over the Zambezi Valley on one occasion.
After that war was over, Barton remained in Africa until 2002, when he emigrated to Summerland.