Keith Clive Towers NORTON

NORTON, Keith Clive Towers

Service Number: 124448
Enlisted: 27 April 1943
Last Rank: Leading Aircraftman
Last Unit: RAAF Base Garbutt (Townsville)
Born: Charters Towers, Queensland, 23 June 1924
Home Town: Townsville, Townsville, Queensland
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Not yet discovered
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World War 2 Service

27 Apr 1943: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Aircraftman 2 (WW2), 124448, Brisbane, Queensland
27 Apr 1943: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Leading Aircraftman, 124448
10 May 1946: Discharged Royal Australian Air Force, Leading Aircraftman, 124448, RAAF Base Garbutt (Townsville)

Help us honour Keith Clive Towers Norton's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by John Edwards

"A 92-year-old World War II veteran from North Queensland has finally received the recognition he deserves.

Black River resident Keith Norton was honoured with two more medals during a Remembrance Day service at Balgal Beach near Townsville on Friday morning.

As the only surviving World War II veteran at Rollingstone RSL, Mr Norton said he was thankful for the belated honour.

"I should have received them 70 years ago [so I'm] very grateful, very grateful," he said.
Mr Norton enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) on April 27, 1943, and served in the 12th Squadron as a driver at the Medical Aid Post in Tarakan, Borneo.

Nine of his unit members were killed or wounded during a Japanese sniper attack at an airfield.

"You had your thoughts about you, whether you were going to survive or not," he said.

"He just picked them off at random; it was right at the end of the pontoon wharf where they were shot.

"It was pretty scary, but at any rate they stopped the landing then until they cleared the sniper."

Mr Norton also served in the Pacific at the battles of Hollandia and Morotai but Tarakan remains the most vivid due to the number of lives lost.

He said serving overseas was a "different world altogether" compared to Australia, but said: "you just accepted it while you were there".

"I think it makes you feel a lot stronger, you know, when you take a job on and that, you know you've got to do it," he said.

"If you hadn't gone [to war], well, you would have just been one of the carry on mob, you know."

Mr Norton has kept a collection of photographs he took with a Box Brownie camera during his service in WWII.

Among them are pictures of the native people of Borneo and New Guinea in traditional dress, some of them wearing their hunting gear.

"I don't look at them often now; it's a very long way [from Queensland]," he said. - from ABC Online (