Joe Liddington enlisted in the Royal Marines as a recruit on 10 October 1939 and trained in the 370 Squad. He was commissioned on 1 January 1943. After wartime service in RM units he volunteered for the FAA in November 1946. After various preparatory courses in safety equipment, radar and air support he commenced his actual flying at RAF Booker on 10 April 1947. On completion of flying training as a Fighter Pilot he had a somewhat spectacular crash into the barriers whilst landing on HMS Vengeance. As a result of this, under the strict peace time rules where risks are not permitted, it was decreed that Liddington should be transferred to Strike Aircraft. However, to a young and dedicated pilot this move was not to his liking and he finally declined the transfer and inevitably had to return to the Corps Duty. As he now says, he has since realised that this was a foolish decision.
On return to the Corps he qualified in PT but his later years were in Driver Training and Transport.
He retired in April 1967.
As a qualified fighter pilot, Liddington would of course have been available for flying in time of war and could have returned to the FAA or the RAF.