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Dr. John Dalton

Dr. John Dalton

  • Service Branch: English Royal Navy
  • Service Dates: 1947–1949
  • Stationed: Culham Station

At the time of his service, John says the program in England was called for Hostilities Only. Men were required to serve a period of two years and two months, but they had a choice of services, Army, Navy, Air Force, etc. John had finished his formal schooling at the age of 14 and was considering attending divinity school with aspirations to become a Vicar. He learned to play the organ and performed on this instrument at this time.

Instead, he joined the Navy. He was sent to Wilshire for training and has memories of facing a battery of WRENS (Women in Service) who were lined up to cut the recruits’ hair. While he was in the Boys’ Brigade, John had learned to play the bugle, and in one of his assignments he was to play Reveille first thing in the morning to wake everybody up. John learned from his future wife, Frieda that the women in the outfit all said they hate him as the bugler who woke them every morniing. One advantage to being a bugler, he discovered, was that it gave him the evenings off.

John was ranked as a (probationary) Machinist’a Mate (Air) in the service and he performed electrical service work primarily on aircraft. He had thought he might be assigned to an aircraft carrier, but that did not come to pass.

He was assigned to Culham Station in England, which is a location not far from Oxford and Abingdon. This gave him an opportunity to go to evening school, and it was during this time that he became interested in studying medicine and decided to become a doctor.

It was also during this time that he met his wife, Frieda, who was serving as a WREN near this location. They married shortly after.

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