1930 – 1997
25 years with the RAF
Deputy Curator, JSOP Museum
Gerry, known to friends as “Wacker” Payne, because of his roots with Liverpool city, began his career with the RAF in 1958? He served in Singapore during the 1950’s were he met his future wife, Veronica Mary (serving with the WRAF). He was on air camera Instructor duties at the RAF School of Photography (then located at Wellesbourne-Mountford, from 1958 to 1960.
This was followed by two tours of duty at RAF Luqa (Malta) in 1963 and 1968. He returned to the School of Photography as the School Supervisor with the rank of Flight Sergeant, after it was re-located to RAF Cosford, from 1970 to 1973.
He retired from the RAF in the rank of Flight Sergeant in 1973 to take up a position as Senior Technician at the Wulfrun College in Wolverhampton. Ill health subsequently forced his early retirement in 1985.
However he was anxious to keep his ties with the RAF and so joined the re-named Joint school of Photography museum staff and became a volunteer Deputy Curator. He was instrumental in refurbishing and enhancing the artefacts and photographic displays (as a prelude to the subsequent re-location of the museum collection in 2000).
In 1996, he was acknowledged for his diligence in this role with the Don Munro Trophy awarded by Squadron Leader Vic Kinnin, OC JSOP, “in recognition of exceptional service in support of the Joint School of Photography”.
Gerry passed away on 9th December 1997 in New Cross Hospital Wolverhampton. He leaves his wife, Veronica Mary (Ronnie) and three children Julie, Carol and Stephen.