Oral Histories

Merv Lawton


Merv Lawton

Interviewed by: Jean McDowell November 2001 at Moab, Utah



Merv: This is Merv Lawton. In 1922, I was born in Cape Town, South Africa. I did all my schooling, private school, preparatory school and high school in Cape Town, which is right at the southwestern tip of South Africa. About the time that I was finishing school, World War II was starting. I was too young to join up at that time and my parents did not want me to join up.

I had decided that I would go to University and do a course in mining, engineering and geology and I went to Johannesburg to the Witwatersrand University, as it was one of the premier mining Universities in the world, it and McGill and then Rolla in the United States, but I could not stay there with the war going on. So, before the end of the year, I made arrangements to join the South African Air Force. I went back to University until the end of the year, wrote my first year exams, and then joined the South African Air Force in Pretoria, South Africa. I then went through the various stages of training and graduated with my wings, then moved to a camp where we waited to go North. A number of us were asked whether we would like to go to North Africa or go to England.

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