David Mattingley enlisted into the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in June 1942 at the age of 20.
After training in Australia, David was posted to the United Kingdom, where he served as a pilot with No 625 Squadron RAF at RAF Kelstern and RAF Scampton, both in Lincolnshire.
David’s most vivid memory of his service with No 625 Squadron was his 23rd mission, in November 1944. He flew his damaged Lancaster back to base even though he was severely wounded. For this action, he was awarded an immediate Distinguished Flying Cross.
Of his fellow members of Bomber Command, David remembered their high level of dedication and keenness to make a success of the job. He also had the highest regard for the members of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force, who worked tirelessly at many different jobs to support the aircrews.
David was discharged from the RAAF in Australia in 1947.
After the war, David studied at the University of Tasmania for his degree and then began a career with the Commonwealth Archives. Ill-health forced him to resign from archives, and he changed to teaching. David then had a 35-year career teaching in schools in Australia and England.