Interview with Reg Payne. Two


Interview with Reg Payne. Two


Reg Payne was born in Kettering in 1923. He left school at the age of fourteen and just before he was eighteen he volunteered to join the RAF. He did his basic training at Blackpool learning Morse Code in the tram sheds. From there he did his radio training at RAF Yatesbury flying in DH Dragon Rapides, and at RAF Stormy Down for gunnery training. He joined his crew at 14 OTU and they eventually joined 50 Squadron at RAF Skellingthorpe flying Lancasters. He and his crews first three operations were to Berlin, and on their fourth operation to Leipzig their aircraft was damaged by a JU88 night fighter and they were forced to land at RAF Wittering short of fuel. During a fighter affiliation with a Spitfire over the North Sea with some additional crew members on board, after their second exercise, one of the engines caught fire, and the crew were ordered to abandon the aircraft. Unfortunately, some of the crew members were lost when the aircraft crashed. His last operation was to Toulouse, and he became an instructor with 17 OTU at RAF Silverstone. When he finished flying he did a course in Blackpool at number 1 Air Transport Depot, was posted to India where he spent the remainder of his career disposing of RAF equipment.







01:37:27 audio recording


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MC: This interview is being conducted on behalf of the International Bomber Command Centre. The interviewee is Reg Payne. The interviewer is Mike Connock. The interview is taking place on Friday the 25th of August 2017 at Mr Payne’s home in Kettering. Also present is Mr Payne’s son, David. Ok, Reg. Thanks for doing this interview. What I’d like to ask you, just tell me, the first thing I want you to tell me is where, where were you born?
RP: Where was I born? I was born in Kettering.
MC: You were born in Kettering.
RP: Yeah. Only just the other side of this town. Kettering.
MC: And what date was that?
RP: What date. It was 11th of March 1923.
MC: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And what, your parents had lived here for a while.
RP: My parents, they were born and bred in this.
MC: Oh, Kettering as well.
RP: They were, they were all local. Local Kettering people. Yeah.
MC: Yeah. Yeah. What did your dad do then?
RP: He worked at Freeman Hardy and Willis’.
MC: Oh right.
RP: Boot, boot and shoe factory.
MC: Great.
RP: Made famous.
MC: Famous for shoes in Kettering.
RP: Famous. Yeah. Yeah.
MC: Yeah. And your mum? She —
RP: Mum. She also worked in one of the factories of course but on a closing machine. You know, as a, as a machinist.
MC: Yeah. Yeah.
RP: On the on the boot and shoe, you know, building.
MC: Yeah. Brilliant. Yeah.
RP: Yeah.
MC: So what about school? I mean obviously you went to Infant School in Kettering. Or all your school years were in Kettering?
RP: I just went to a very local school.
MC: Yeah. Yeah.
RP: In Kettering. Yeah.
MC: Yeah.
RP: Yeah. Just an ordinary, ordinary —
MC: Enjoy your school days?
RP: I did. Yeah. Yeah.
MC: Yeah. And what Secondary School? Which one? Which Secondary School? Can you remember where it was?
RP: Well, it [laughs] wasn’t a very high-class school it but I mean it was, I’ll say one thing it was the parish church school —
MC: Oh right. Yeah. Yeah.
RP: In Kettering.
MC: Yeah. Yeah.
RP: And they were very, we did a lot of backwards and forwards to the church all the time. It was very publicised that way.
MC: How old were you when you left school?
RP: Fourteen.
MC: Fourteen. And what did you do then? What? Did you go, what job did you do?
RP: Yeah. Fourteen [pause]
MC: You left school.
RP: Oh —
MC: Yeah. Go on.
RP: Yeah.
MC: You left school at fourteen.
RP: Fourteen yeah.
MC: So, what was your first job?
RP: Yeah. Fourteen. I worked at, at Tresham College.
MC: Oh yeah.
RP: Yeah. Well, no to start with, I think to start with, that’s right I went in a, in a factory.
MC: Oh yeah.
RP: The factory making shoe machinery and and, you know, making shoe machinery and sold it all abroad. But, but later, later I I left there and I I actually, I actually went to Tresham College as a, as a technician there.
MC: Oh, so looking after their equipment and stuff.
RP: Oh yeah. You see at Tresham College they did, they taught engineers there you see.
MC: Yeah. Yeah.
RP: And once, once I’d been in a factory for, for about four, four years probably as a charge hand, you know I applied for a job and got a job at Tresham College. But again all it was there, Tresham, Tresham College you’d got a lot of machinery in there because they taught, they taught you know shoemaking and you know stitching and all that sort of thing they had a lot of machinery as well as plumbing materials.
MC: So, did you do anything else before you joined the Air Force? Were you involved in anything?
RP: No. No.
MC: What about the Home Guard and things like that?
RP: I was in the Home Guard. Yeah.
MC: You were in the Home Guard.
RP: The Home Guard. Yeah. What’s that? [pause] Home Guard. RAF. Oh yeah. Yeah.
DP: He’s telling you Mike things that are quite out of, stop that.
[recording paused]
MC: So, we carry on Reg. You were, you were in the Home Guard when you, when you were at, when you were working with the —
RP: Yeah. Yeah. I was in the in the Home Guard, I think when I was about, I must have been about sixteen I should think, mustn’t I?
MC: Yeah. Seventeen, yeah. Yeah.
RP: I wasn’t very old.
MC: So, so when when did you join the RAF? How old were you?
RP: I should think very close on eighteen.
MC: Eighteen.
RP: I wasn’t quite eighteen.
MC: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
RP: When I actually went in the RAF.
MC: What made you choose the RAF?
RP: Well, I was, I was always interested in aeroplanes you know, and but the thing is if you waited, if you waited ‘til, ‘til you were eighteen when you were called up you went where they put you.
MC: Yeah.
RP: So, if so when if before you were called up if you volunteered for what you wanted to do you, you arranged it.
MC: Yeah.
RP: You know, you —
MC: So, anybody else in your family in the RAF, were they? Were they in the Services?
RP: I’ve got, I’ve got a young brother Brian, yeah but I don’t think, I don’t think he’s ever been in the, because he was born, he was born after the war.
MC: Oh right.
RP: My young brother. Yeah.
MC: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So you chose the RAF because of your interest.
RP: Yeah. Brian.
DP: What did you just say?
RP: Brian never went? Did he go in the RAF?
[recording paused]
MC: So, I mean basically you’re saying that you had an older brother that was in the RAF as well.
RP: My older brother. Yeah. And he, and he was, he was shot down.
MC: Oh, was he?
RP: He was a prisoner of war. Yeah.
MC: Oh right. Yeah.
RP: Yeah. He was on, he was on 49 Squadron. I was with 50 Squadron.
MC: Oh. 49. Fiskerton.
MC: What, what job did he do? What was his —
RP: He was a wireless operator.
MC: Oh, was he a wireless operator?
RP: Like me.
MC: Ran in the family. Yeah. Yeah.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
RP: Yeah.
MC: So, ok. What, having joined the Air Force where did, where did you go first? Where was your basic training?
RP: At Blackpool to start with.
MC: Oh, you went to Blackpool, did you?
RP: Yeah.
MC: Oh, yeah. So how long, do you know how long —
RP: Blackpool. At Blackpool we spent the first, the first four or five months at Blackpool learning the Morse Code.
MC: Oh, did you?
RP: Yeah. In the tram sheds at Blackpool.
MC: Oh really.
RP: Yeah.
MC: What about marching and drill training? Where did you, where did you do that?
RP: All, in the mornings, all morning until lunchtime we were on Morse. Morse Code.
MC: Yeah.
RP: We were in the tram sheds at Blackpool.
MC: Yeah.
RP: And in the wintertime the big doors kept folding back and the trams kept coming in and and then we got all the cold air from the, from the north [laughs] from the North Sea coming in and we were sitting. We were sitting at tables like, you know.
MC: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
RP: Doing Morse. Yeah. On there.
MC: So you was there for a fair few months then.
RP: Oh, we were there, we were there I should think for about four months I should think.
MC: So how did you come to be chosen to, choose to become a wireless operator. Why a wireless operator? Did they choose it or did you choose it?
RP: Well, when you, it was a, it was a trade in the Air Force, you see.
MC: Yeah. Yeah.
RP: You could, you could either, you could either be a gunner, a rear gunner or something like that or you could have been a navigator or you could be a wireless operator you see.
MC: Yeah. You must have had the aptitude for being, being a wireless operator.
RP: Yeah. Yeah.
MC: Yeah. Yeah. That’s —
RP: And being, you know, being, being a wireless operator the biggest thing was learning Morse Code, you know was, you know it took you about six months you see.
MC: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
RP: To really use it properly. To —
MC: So, after you, after Blackpool where did you go from Blackpool then? Did you carry on with your Morse?
RP: No. I went to Blackpool. Went down somewhere in Wiltshire. I’m not, I can’t think [pause] Somewhere near Devizes or somewhere down there.
MC: I know. One of the Radio Schools.
RP: It was. It was, yeah. And this is, this is where we went much deeper into radio learning about valves.
MC: Oh right, yeah. I know. Would it have been Yatesbury?
RP: Yatesbury. Yeah.
MC: Did you go to Yatesbury?
RP: Yatesbury. Yeah.
MC: Yeah. Number 2 Radio School.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Yatesbury.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Yeah.
RP: You learned all about different valves. Tetrodes, Pentodes Triodes.
MC: Oh, my word.
RP: You know.
MC: You still remember all those.
RP: Oh yeah.
MC: Yeah.
RP: Yeah.
MC: I remember those, yeah.
RP: Yeah.
MC: So, anyway, so Yatesbury was you you did all your training.
RP: Radio. Yeah.
MC: Radio operating.
RP: Yeah. Yeah.
MC: Operator training on the equipment.
RP: And wireless as well, you know. Valves and aerials and that sort of thing.
MC: Your technical side.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And did you fly then during your —
RP: Did?
MC: Did you fly then at Yatesbury?
RP: At Yatesbury? I think they I think they took us up. They took us up I think either once or twice. That’s all.
MC: Do you know what aircraft they would be in?
RP: I think it was a Dragon Rapide, I think. Yeah. Yeah. Biplane was it?
MC: Did you?
RP: Yeah.
MC: [unclear] Yeah.
RP: Yeah, and there was just the odd wireless set in there with, and we were perhaps just allowed to send a small message on it in turn, you know. Perhaps about four of us in the aircraft and, and we would be sort of call the station up with call signs you know and, and just send a short message to them and that’s the first time we ever, that was the first time we ever sent a message, you know. Radio from, from aircraft. You know, that’s, that was just the start of it.
MC: So, how long were you at Yatesbury then?
RP: I I can’t really remember.
MC: No.
RP: Well, I’ve, I’ve got a little logbook there.
MC: So, when you finished at Yatesbury where did you go from there? Where did you go to from Yatesbury? You must have gone to, did you go to Operational Training Unit? No, you wouldn’t have. Yeah.
RP: Yeah.
MC: So —
RP: Yeah.
MC: Going from Yatesbury you went to North Coates and you think there was, that was —
RP: North. North Coates. Yeah. I I think I was sent, I was sent to North Coates because the place, the place where I was at at the time there was an epidemic I think on the, on the airfield of some, some complaint and we, and they, they got rid of us.
MC: Yeah. Oh, I see. And then you went up to, you said South Kensington. Was that crewing up?
RP: To South Kensington. No. That was the Albert Hall.
MC: Oh right. Yeah. Yeah.
RP: That was, that was ours—
MC: That would be on —
RP: That was our classrooms.
MC: Oh right.
RP: The Albert Hall.
MC: Oh. Oh right. Yeah. So that would have been while you were still doing your wireless operator training.
RP: Yeah. Yeah.
MC: Yeah.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Yeah. And then you, and then obviously part of that was a gunnery course. Part of your training was a gunnery course.
RP: A gunnery course. Yeah.
MC: Where was that? Stormy Down was that?
RP: It’s not —
MC: Stormy Down.
RP: It’s not mentioned there.
MC: Yeah.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Stormy Down.
RP: I think, I think we all went down to Stormy Down. Yeah.
MC: Yeah. Yeah.
RP: That was, that’s down on, that’s on the south coast somewhere, isn’t it?
MC: Yeah. I think it is.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Yeah. Yeah.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Yeah. And after, after your gunnery course and that you then did training in some Ansons. Anson aircraft.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Where was that? Can you remember where that was?
RP: It would be right, right in the front of the —
MC: Yeah. [pause] That was the basically completion of your wireless operator —
RP: Yeah.
MC: Training, wasn’t it? Yeah. And then —
RP: Yeah, because in the wireless operator training you know, you did air. Air to air ground messages and things.
MC: Yeah. What [pause] after the trade training, wireless operator training when, what stage did you crew up? When you get your crew together. That was before you went to the OTU, wasn’t it?
RP: Yeah.
MC: Yeah. Where was that? Can you remember where you got, you met up with Mike Beetham and them and you —
RP: Do you know it’s —
MC: So, you got, so you, you crewed up with Mike Beetham because there would have been five of you wouldn’t there to go to the OTU. Which OT, Operational Training Unit did you go to? 14 OTU.
RP: 14, yeah.
MC: Number 14 OTU.
RP: Well, Market Harborough was one of them.
MC: Oh, right. Yeah. Yeah.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Market Harborough.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Yeah. That would be, yeah that would be 14 OTU probably.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Yeah. And which aircraft were you flying now?
RP: Wellingtons.
MC: Wellingtons. Yeah.
RP: Yeah. Yeah.
MC: Yeah. Yeah. And that’s with, obviously with Mike Beetham.
RP: Yeah. Yeah.
MC: And then that would be Mike Beetham. Les. Les Bartlett.
RP: Les. Les Bartlett. Yeah.
MC: Yeah.
RP: Yeah, and Frank. Frank Swinyard.
MC: Swinyard.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Yeah. There would be five of you then at that time.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Wouldn’t there? Because they were in Wellingtons.
RP: Yeah. That’s right. Before. Before we go to —
MC: Yeah. Yeah. And from the OTU you went to [pause] where? Where did you go from there? You must have been gone from a Conversion Unit.
RP: That’s right. On four engine aircraft. Yeah.
MC: Yeah.
RP: Was that Coningsby or somewhere? Was it? Or —
MC: Where did you go? Was it Wiglsey?
RP: Hmmn?
MC: Wigsley.
RP: Wigsley?
MC: Yeah.
RP: That’s right. We were at Wigsley. Yeah.
MC: That’s right. You were —
RP: Yeah.
MC: At 1654 Conversion Unit.
RP: Conversion, yeah.
MC: At Wigsley. Yeah. So, can you remember what aircraft you were flying there? Was it [pause] did you fly in a Halifax? Did you do any of the —
RP: No. We did. We, we did fly in Halifaxes.
MC: Yeah.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Yeah.
RP: There.
MC: Yeah. And then Lancasters.
RP: Yeah. And then then Lancasters later. Yeah.
MC: Yeah. Finished your conversion there and so from, from the Conversion Unit you were posted straight to 50 Squadron. Yeah?
RP: Yeah, but there would be nothing, there would be nothing in between. No.
MC: So, what did you get up to? You know, I mean obviously you were at the OTU and you were at the thing, I mean recreation wise what, you know when you were out and about, you know. Did you go out at all, you know to the local pubs and inns and hostelries?
RP: Well, I mean some of the OTU I did at Desborough.
MC: Oh, did you? Yeah.
RP: Yeah. At Desborough. That was on —
MC: Yeah. That’s Market Harborough way. Yeah.
RP: Yeah. I don’t, yeah. Yeah.
MC: Yeah. So having joined 50 Squadron you you got the rest of your, oh it must have been at the Conversion, at the Conversion Unit you must have picked up the rest of the crew. Your crew.
RP: That’s right. There’d be a —
MC: Flight engineer.
RP: Yeah.
MC: And another gunner.
RP: Yeah.
RP: Yeah. Now they’d be a flight engineer and a mid-upper gunner.
MC: Yeah.
RP: Probably. Yeah.
MC: Yeah.
RP: Yeah, because Fred, our rear gunner he was with me, you know, right, more or less at the start. The rear gunner. Yeah.
MC: Yeah.
RP: On there.
MC: Yeah. So, arriving at 50 Squadron, Skellingthorpe what was your impressions of the base when you got there?
RP: Well, it was, it was 50 Squadron and also 61 Squadron.
MC: Yeah.
RP: Was there, wasn’t it? They were on one side of the airfield. We were, we were on other. You know. And I still think we had to do quite a bit of flying there. You know, it would have been, well quite a bit. You know, we had to do some flying before we, they ever put us on operations.
MC: Yeah. I gather you were there.
RP: Yeah.
MC: You know.
RP: And I think the navigator and pilot they had, they went out on an operation, on an operation as passengers, you know. Even before we did.
MC: Yeah. Yeah.
RP: And they, they come back and told us all about it.
MC: Yeah. So, your first operation was to Berlin.
RP: Berlin. Yeah.
MC: And what was your impression of your first operation?
RP: [laughs] Well [laughs] well it wasn’t, you know. You know, you’d think they’d give us something a bit more simple wouldn’t you? Really. You know, than, than go to Berlin.
MC: So was it fairly uneventful? I mean it wouldn’t have been uneventful but I mean —
RP: Oh, there was, there was on [pause] on, does it, it gives the losses does it? On there?
MC: Yeah. I mean you’ve got in in your logbook.
RP: Does it mention any? Any losses on there?
MC: Thirty two missing.
RP: Hmmn?
MC: Thirty two missing it says in your logbook.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Yeah.
RP: Yeah. So that’s, that was our first start.
MC: Yeah.
RP: There.
MC: Yeah.
RP: And then it was Berlin, Berlin, Berlin.
MC: So, your second operation was Berlin as well.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Yeah. And your third operation was Berlin as well.
RP: Yeah. Berlin. Three Berlins.
MC: Your first three operations were to Berlin.
RP: That was all in about a week, wasn’t it?
MC: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Goodness Me. That’s something. I know.
RP: Yeah.
MC: So I see.
RP: And how many aircraft did we lose in, in the three?
MC: Yeah. A lot. A lot. You know, fifty six missing you’ve got down here now.
RP: Yeah.
MC: So and there was, hair raising raids weren’t they? To Berlin.
RP: Yeah.
MC: And they were quite long. They were about eight hours, wasn’t it? Berlin trips.
RP: Mostly. Mostly. Yeah.
MC: Yeah.
RP: Because, because they, they used to fly to Berlin. Not a, not a direct route there and a direct route back, you know. They would perhaps, they would perhaps head over Norway somewhere first.
MC: Yeah.
RP: And then come down from the north then instead of, you know [pause] I think it’s mainly, mainly to the wear and tear on the Germans flying you know. Whether they, whether their aircraft could keep up with us.
MC: Yeah. [pause] You did a [pause] on the, you did a dinghy search. Did a dinghy search.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Did that, that doesn’t count as an operation, does it?
RP: No.
MC: No.
RP: No. It was, I think it was, it was just something of, you know an extended flight and then —
MC: Just to see if you could, looking for people.
RP: Probably interesting. Interesting. Well, yeah.
MC: Looking for some. Well, looking for people who had gone down.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So, having done three trips to Berlin which was quite hair raising you then did a trip to Leipzig which was a fair trip. Was that eventful or did, what happened there?
RP: [laughs] Well, well a lot, nearly all the trips were here where you you saw, you saw loads of aircraft being shot down. You know, when you, when you, when you were looking out the, you know the turrets and things or if you were in, I used to be in the astrodome.
MC: Yeah.
RP: Quite a bit. That was my position in there. Because I used to, I used to take all the, take all the star shots for the navigator through, through the astrodome, you know. And I, and I used to tell him what stars were, were available and you know, he’d say, ‘Well, get me a shot on that.’ That sort of thing.
MC: You mention in your logbook on your fourth operation to Leipzig that you landed at Wittering. Wittering, because you were damaged by a JU88.
RP: Hmmn?
MC: You were damaged by a JU88.
RP: Yeah.
MC: On the Leipzig trip. Yeah. Was that, that must have been a bit hair raising?
RP: Well, that’s right. It hit us. Yeah. That’s right. Yeah. Yeah. We actually, luckily, luckily no damage was done to anything definite like, you know. If it had, if it had sort of caught us in, hit us in the petrol tanks or something like that, you know we, we would have lost probably all our petrol. We wouldn’t have got home. Or sometimes if it, sometimes if it hit us and petrol was leaking and it, and it, and it got round to the, anywhere near the exhaust because there was flame, flames coming out of the exhaust you know. The whole wing would have caught fire then.
MC: Yeah. You do mention that you landed at Wittering short of fuel.
RP: Yeah.
MC: So, I mean, it’s obviously —
RP: Yeah.
MC: If you were taking evasive action.
RP: Yeah.
MC: You would have used a lot of fuel.
RP: We landed, we landed at Wittering quite a lot really because they had, they had a marvellous long runway there. There was two, there was two aerodromes together. There was Wittering and there was another one next to it and they had one big long runway that served the two of them. Massive place.
MC: So, the next one was Frankfurt. Frankfurt. That was, that wasn’t such a long trip to Frankfurt but that was —
RP: Well, well it’s —
MC: That was part of —
RP: It wasn’t as far as Berlin. No. No. There were still some losses though I suppose though were there?
MC: Yeah. Well, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. And then of course back to Berlin for your next one.
RP: Yeah.
MC: You know. And you mention here that you, that this, this operation to Berlin that you have an incendiary through the starboard inboard.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Tank. So, you were hit by a bomb from above, were you?
RP: That’s right. From our own aircraft. Yeah.
MC: How did you become aware of that? I mean obviously you must have been aware.
RP: Well, I mean you get aircraft flying above you. You don’t, you wouldn’t even, even know they were above you so [laughs] and when, when they, when they, when they bombed you know unluckily you were, you were in the direct path of the bombs.
MC: So, I mean it went through the inboard tank. Did you, obviously you lost fuel from that.
RP: Eh?
MC: You lost fuel from it hitting the tank.
RP: Oh, yeah. Yeah.
MC: Yeah.
RP: Yeah, but, but sometimes though does it say where we landed because sometimes, sometimes then if we we’re short of fuel we, you know, we landed —
MC: Yeah. Down at Wittering. Yeah.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Yeah. That’s —
RP: Because it’s not so much. It’s not so much, you know coming back, coming back at nights like. If you were short, if we knew you were short of fuel and you were going to return to your own base you, you might be kept circling round the aerodrome for quite some time because if you went to your own aerodrome there was two squadrons there. There would be twenty, twenty aircraft from each. From each Squadron. So you’d perhaps get, you might get about twenty. Twenty. Twenty aircraft circling round and, and you had, you had to wait your turn to land and if you, and if you didn’t have much fuel left you know, you were, you were desperate, you know. You had, you had to call up and tell them, you know you had little or no fuel left and you must land. You know, it’s, you know, it's all these little things cropped up.
MC: So, after yet another, after that incendiary through your tank you, you went back to Berlin again after that.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Another trip to Berlin.
RP: Yeah.
MC: You certainly, you did, you got experience of Berlin. And after that you did a trip to Stettin. Stettin. That’s a long trip.
RP: Stettin. Yeah. That’s a long journey.
MC: Yeah. That —
RP: How long? How long was that?
MC: That was nearly nine hours.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Nearly nine hours.
RP: Yeah.
MC: That’s a, that’s a long old trip that is.
RP: I know. I know it was a long flight.
MC: Yeah.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Obviously, it was uneventful as such, you know. You weren’t attacked there or anything. No. You got away with that one. And Stettin was followed by Brunswick which was relatively a fairly short trip you know but, you mention in your logbook a lot of losses. You know. Different places. And after Brunswick back to Berlin again.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Yet again.
RP: Yeah.
MC: So, your Berlin trips are mounting up.
RP: Yeah.
MC: You did a lot.
RP: I did ten. Ten to Berlin all together.
MC: Yeah. Yeah. I’m just looking. After that another trip to Berlin. You got [pause] it says, your logbook says, “Berlin spoof attack.” What does that mean? What do you mean by spoof attack? Is that [pause] is that a diversion raid or [pause] Don’t worry.
RP: I I remember, I remember the term spoof attack [pause] unless, unless it was just a few Lancasters that were, that were, that were sent there, you know, to, so the Germans authorities would think, would think, you know It’s Berlin again. You know, and every, they’d all go to, they’d all go to Berlin and yet the actual, the actual operation was at Magdeburg or somewhere. Yeah.
MC: Yeah.
RP: Yeah.
MC: So, after that again right through January ’44 you were, you had two more trips to Berlin. You know.
RP: Yeah.
MC: I find it amazing that you had so many trips to Berlin. Yeah. So you got to [pause] early part of, early part of February ’44 and again you, you were, on the 12th of February ’44 you went on a, I mean all, all these trips were interspersed with training flights aren’t they?
RP: Yeah.
MC: And fighter affiliation. But you had an incident with fighter affiliation, didn’t you? Queenie.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Lost Queenie. Tell us a bit about that. How that happened because you were fighter affiliation and you took an extra.
RP: Oh.
MC: Pilot and two, two gunners up, didn’t you?
RP: That’s when that’s when we had to bale out, isn’t it?
MC: Yeah. Yeah. How did that, tell us about that. What was the incident? I gather Michael did the first, took on the first attack, did he? Mike Beetham.
RP: When?
MC: Mike Beetham took on the first attack from the affiliation from the Spitfire.
RP: What, the training? The training flights.
MC: Yeah.
RP: Yeah. Well, oddly enough, oddly enough when we, when we actually we had got to the dispersal you know to take, to take off another pilot, another pilot joined us. Another pilot joined us and his two gunners. And and, and we had, we, we must I think, I think we only had six in our crew, I think. There was one of them never came. I’m not sure. But I know we had, we had our full crew. Our full crew and then we had this other, this other pilot and his two gunners. And, and so that I think there was ten of us. That’s right. In the aircraft. And we had to go out, we had to fly it over the North Sea, for some distance over the North Sea and we had to pick up a Spitfire. A Spitfire. He was waiting for us, you know about about twenty miles, twenty miles from the coast and we were flying perhaps at about, about sixteen thousand feet. Quite some height. And the fighter affiliation exercise, this other, this other pilot and his two gunners and of course my pilot and our two gunners we we flew and contacted the Spitfire and the Spitfire called us up on the RT, you know. They could talk to each you see on there. And the Spitfire says, ‘When you’re ready. When you’re ready I’ll I’ll come in and start the attacks.’ You see. And, and I think it was, that’s right it it was our, our crew to start with. Our seven. We we called the Spitfire up and told him to, you know carry on. We were ready for him. And he would be attacking us you see and when he, when he got near, you know the rear gunner would be saying, you know, ‘Fighter. Fighter. Starboard quarter up. Prepare to corkscrew to port. Corkscrew to port. Go.’ And of course, the pilot then would listen to the gunner giving details and he’d go in these big spiral dives. You know, to try and [pause] and the Spitfire would be trying to, you know, follow him. You know, to get a deflection on him and, but it, but it was all being recorded you see. It was all, it was all being recorded that so that when, when they, when they got back the air gunners could go to their gunnery section and the film could be shown and and it could all be talked about and whether they took the, you know the correct decisions like there. But, but my two, my two gunners they, they did their term all right. They did their term all right and then we had to, we had to get back up to some height again and then we had to call the Spitfire up and tell him that we were ready because this, this other pilot and his two gunners they were going to do their bit. But, but from the height we were it was a lovely sunny day and I think, what was it? January, was it? Yeah. And it was bitter cold really.
MC: February.
RP: Although it was sunny. Yeah. When, when the, when the other pilot, when he, when he, his two gunners got in and he called the Spitfire up and told him that we were all ready for him, he could commence the exercise they give the thing you know, ‘Fighter. Fighter. Starboard quarter.’ Or wherever it was. And they said, ‘Prepare to corkscrew to port.’ And then they said, ‘Corkscrew. Corkscrew port. Go.’ And do you know, I’ve never, never been in a Lancaster like that. It was flying along and all of a sudden it didn’t. It didn’t come down like that. It came down like.
MC: Vertical.
RP: Came down like vertical. Vertical. And we were, we were all sitting sort of sideways like, you know. There. And when, when he pulled out, when he pulled out about two or three thousand feet from the sea, when he pulled out from the sea the, the wing from the, from the port outer, that wing it, it suddenly lifted up. It suddenly cracked and it lifted up at an angle. You know, it snapped. The pressure from the air. And and the pilot said, you know, the pilot said, ‘Good God,’ he said, ‘The bloody wing’s on fire.’ You know and then it, and then it started to, flames started coming from it and, and the pilot said, ‘Right everybody abandon aircraft.’ You know, because I mean the plane was, it was sort of coming down at an angle and there was a, there was a, there was a rush then to get out through the —
MC: So, who gave the order to abandon aircraft? Was it Mike? Mike Beetham.
RP: Mike Beetham, I think.
MC: Mike, was it?
RP: Yeah. Yeah.
MC: Yeah.
RP: Yeah.
MC: It wasn’t the second pilot. The other pilot.
RP: No. No. He was the, he was the senior. Senior pilot. The other, he was only a young, young pilot the other, the other fella. Yeah. Yeah. I mean and five of our crew managed to bale out in time and, and just and there was four of his crew but two of them managed to get out.
MC: Three in his crew.
RP: Hmnn?
MC: Three in his crew.
RP: Was it?
MC: Yeah. You said a pilot and two gunners.
RP: Yeah. Yeah.
MC: Yeah. So —
RP: Yeah. He had, there was the pilot, he was a very young pilot actually. Yeah. But he did have two gunners and they, and they, they never got out. I think, I think that the pilot got out. As far as I know. I mean, I was luckily, luckily I was down at the back door of the Lancaster and, and I had nobody stopping me from getting out and I —
MC: You got out alright.
RP: I baled out.
MC: You didn’t have any problems getting out.
RP: From there. No. But, but whilst I was on the parachute the wing section had come, it had come off the Lancaster all together and it was, it was skimming backwards and forwards in the air like a leaf. Like a leaf. Because I, because I thought to myself, my God, I hope it doesn’t, I hope it doesn’t hit my parachute because that was just it was just sort of just skimming. Floating about on there.
MC: So, so who was lost on your crew?
RP: Both our gunners. Both of our gunners were lost.
MC: Both of your air gunners.
RP: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
MC: Yeah.
RP: Wait a minute. No. The flight engineer. The flight engineer. He was killed. Yeah. On there. Yeah. Flight engineer and the rear gunner.
MC: But they didn’t get out of the aircraft.
RP: They, they didn’t get out. No. They went down with it. And the, and two members of this other crew they didn’t get out because there was four killed in it all together.
MC: Yeah.
RP: In there.
MC: I gather, I mean you, I think you’ve told the story about one or, one or two of them didn’t take a parachute.
RP: What?
MC: Didn’t take a parachute.
RP: Oh, that was our flight engineer. Yeah. Of course. He hadn’t got a parachute. Yeah. Yeah. That’s right because, because on entering the aircraft, you know waiting for, waiting for everybody to get in the aircraft I said, ‘Don where’s your, where’s your ‘chute?’ He said, ‘Oh, its only a training flight Reg.’ He said, ‘I’m not,’ he said, ‘I’m bothered about wearing a ‘chute.’ You see. That’s right, yeah. And that cost him his life on there. Of course, he went down with the aircraft. Yeah.
MC: So where did you land?
RP: Hmmn?
MC: Where did you land?
RP: Well, luckily, luckily when I baled out I was quite high up and all I could see was the North Sea below me and it was lovely sunshine but I was, but I was drifting. I was drifting towards the coast and and we hadn’t got Mae Wests on. We hadn’t even got Mae Wests. So if we’d have come down in the sea, you know in December even a mile from the coast.
MC: Yeah. February. Yeah.
RP: February, was it?
MC: Yeah.
RP: Yeah. I know, I know it was winter time. Yeah. On there. And I thought my gosh, you know but luckily, but luckily I seemed to be drifting along nearer to the, I could see the coast in the distance and as we got nearer and nearer of course I was getting a bit lower but, but in the end I passed over the Norfolk coast and —
MC: Lincolnshire.
RP: And I landed quite near East Kirkby airfield.
MC: That’s a long way inland. You must have drifted a long way.
RP: Yeah. Yeah. It must, must be about ten, ten miles inside, inside —
MC: Probably more. Probably more.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Yeah. Yeah And, yeah, so you landed near East Kirkby.
RP: Yeah. Because I I seemed to keep drifting and seeing the, you know seeing the fields going by me.
MC: Yeah. What, what I find amazing is that that was on the 12th of February. You lost two crew members and yet you got two new members and you were flying again on operations on the 19th. A week later.
RP: Yeah [laughs] yeah.
MC: So, you got —
RP: But they, they’d have, they’d have like what they called odd bods like that weren’t, weren’t probably members of a crew but they were there I suppose —
MC: But —
RP: For that reason.
MC: It doesn’t seem enough time to give you to recover from that. Unless they thought the opposite. They thought they would put you straight back on operations.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Having had an incident like that.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Baled out.
RP: Yeah. were we long, sort of in there? Was it very long in my logbook when they —
MC: No. It’s only a week.
RP: Was it?
MC: Yeah. A week from when you baled out to when you went on your next operation.
RP: Really?
MC: Yeah.
RP: Yeah.
MC: You know, so, I mean, you flew your next operation to Leipzig.
RP: Yeah.
MC: You know.
RP: Yeah. That was a long, fair —
MC: Seven hours. Yeah.
RP: Yeah.
MC: So, I mean, so who were your new crew members then? So, oh it’s [pause] Who was your new crew members? Can you remember who replaced [pause] who was your flight engineer. Was it? [pause] No. I’m trying to think now. Was it Arthur smith? It wasn’t Arthur Smith was it? No.
RP: No. No. I’m [pause] I’m trying to think. Do you know, I’m trying to think which, which of our crews we we lost. Oh, one was Fred Ball.
MC: Yeah. Fred Ball.
RP: Fred Ball the rear gunner. He was. He was one that was killed and also, also the flight engineer. Don. Don Knight is it? Don. Our flight engineer.
MC: So, you got a new flight engineer.
RP: So we, so we had to get a new flight engineer and a new rear gunner.
MC: Yeah, a new rear gunner.
Yeah. Took, yeah —
So it didn’t take long. You were up again flying in a week
RP: Hmmn?
MC: Up again and flying in a week.
RP: Oh yeah. Yeah.
MC: I mean. I mean —
RP: But we, there was no, no sort of holiday.
MC: I mean, you know you baled out on the 12th. On the 19th, you know, you did half an hour’s flight test. Air test on the 19th. And then on the evening of the 19th you went on operations to Leipzig.
RP: Yeah.
MC: I find, you know that’s quite amazing.
RP: Yeah.
MC: And then of course ultimately on the 25th of February you did the Augsburg raid which, which is, you know that’s an eight hour trip and that was a, a hairy, was, did you you know was there anything hairy about that. I mean —
RP: Where?
MC: Augsburg.
RP: Augsburg.
MC: Yeah. Do you remember much about it?
RP: Not really. No.
MC: Oh, you do say you returned on three engines.
RP: Yeah.
MC: In your logbook. Can you remember that?
RP: It what?
MC: Returned on three engines.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Yeah. In logbook. So obviously a successful operation.
RP: Yeah.
MC: I mean you actually did, you know [pause] ten ops to Berlin in that. That time. So next was Stuttgart. You, you went on to Stuttgart. So that was —
RP: Yeah.
MC: Well, the targets were changing then from Berlin, weren’t they?
RP: Yeah well, that’s right. They varied it. Yeah.
MC: And then you did Marseilles.
RP: Well, that was, that was a cushy one, I think, wasn’t it? What we called? Yeah. A much shorter one, was it?
MC: Well, yeah. It says, yeah. I mean your logbook says that you, “Ops, Aircraft factory and airfield at Marseilles. Bombed at ten thousand feet.” Aiming point. You landed at Fiskerton.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Under FIDO.
RP: Yeah.
MC: So obviously it was, you were fogbound.
RP: That’s Fog Intensive Dispersal Of.
MC: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
RP: That’s on their big long runway up there.
MC: Yeah.
RP: We, we landed on that once or twice, you know. Over there. That’s where my brother was. He was.
MC: Yeah.
RP: He was flying from there.
MC: I mean, the thing is at Marseilles you think it would be a short trip and of course your trips perhaps it was a cushy trip but according to your logbook you were out for nearly nine hours.
RP: Yeah.
MC: And you must have been, you know trying to find somewhere to land or something like that.
RP: Yeah. Yeah. Either that or it was a, it was a diversion you know. Sending you out on, on one route and then you sort of switch back.
MC: Yeah.
RP: You know, to, to mislead the Germans as to where you were going, I suppose.
MC: So, following that and Marseilles you were back to Berlin again. So, you know it’s this is on the 24th of March you were back to Berlin.
RP: Yeah.
MC: And what, I mean it says here you landed at Foulsham. Any idea. I don’t know Foulsham.
RP: Where?
MC: Foulsham.
RP: Foulsham, as in, in Norfolk.
MC: Oh right. Yeah.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Yeah. Then you started Essen. You did the Essen trip. And of course Nuremberg.
RP: Well, that, that was, that was a real nasty one. Yeah.
MC: Yeah, I can imagine.
RP: That was about the worst. It was easily the worst. The worst trip we ever went on. Yeah.
MC: Yeah. What was it like? I mean, what do you remember about it?
RP: Well, I remember. I remember it was, it was a moonlight. There was, there was a moon still showing but, but at briefing they said that there’d be cloud cover so that the moon shouldn’t, you know, wouldn’t really worry us too much. But that was, that was a load of poppycock because when we, when we took off there was all the clear sky there and the moon there and you could, you could see other aircraft there. And, and the route, the route was over Holland on the way. And at one stage over Holland the Germans were shooting aircraft down and leaving a trail of them. You could, you could look back on where, where you’d come from and you could see aircraft burning on the ground from, for miles back there. I think they, they shot about twenty, twenty or thirty down, you know in about, about a sixty mile flight. You could see all the aircraft burning on the ground because they’d all got their, they’d all got their full bomb loads on you see and you know, and two thirds of the petrol as well.
MC: So, I mean obviously you, you got through unscathed.
RP: Hmmn?
MC: You got through unscathed.
RP: That’s right. Yeah.
MC: So, I mean what do you put that down to Reg? Do you [pause] luck or pilot skill?
RP: Well, I think, I think our two gunners really kept their eyes open and if, if they, if they said there was aircraft, aircraft on the starboard side sort of thing. I noticed Mike Beetham would move over on, over the port side more and, you know and he, he sort of tried to keep away from where there was a lot of activity. But, but on that, looking back though, looking back where we come across Holland you could see all, you could see all the Lancasters burning on the ground. You know, for about twenty miles back you could see them because I mean they, they’d all got, they’d all got, you know, two, two thirds of their petrol. They’d all, you know, they got. They all, nearly, well nearly three quarters of their petrol there and they’d got all the bombs and ammunition on there that was all burning.
MC: Yeah. So, having bombing Nuremberg what about the trip back? Was that as bad?
RP: Not really. I think, I think what they, what they did they went back on a slightly different route. I think, you know instead of doing big diversions I think they, they cut a lot of corners off you know and I think we took our own course more or less back rather, rather than follow the course we were given in there.
MC: So, this brings us into April ’44 and then you started, you know, ops to places like Toulouse, you know.
RP: Well, Toulouse. That was, that was an easy one, wasn’t it? France, I think, wasn’t it?
MC: Yeah. Yeah. Toulouse. And then, then you did Aachen which was —
RP: Yeah. I mean, they called those, you know just a, they called them a piece of cake. That was the term.
MC: I can’t imagine any of these operations being a piece of cake.
RP: Well, no. a piece of cake. Yeah.
MC: No. No. No.
RP: Yeah.
MC: And obviously we were getting close to the Normandy invasion time in, in April. We’re talking about April, May so you were actually, you did an op to Paris. I mean obviously some of these would have been the marshalling yards, wouldn’t they?
RP: Yeah.
MC: La Chappelle. Can you remember much about these?
RP: No. Well, they were [laughs] they were they were only about four or five hour trips, weren’t they?
MC: Yeah. You’re right. Yeah, of course.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Your trips. Relatively speaking.
RP: We called, we called those a piece of cake.
MC: Yeah. Yeah. La Chappelle and Paris were four and a half hours.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Yeah.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Then Brunswick you did.
RP: Yeah.
MC: That’s a —
RP: Yeah
MC: Reasonably long trip to Brunswick. Schweinfurt.
RP: Yeah. That’s a bit farther. Yeah.
MC: Eight and a half hours, yeah.
RP: Yeah. Yeah.
MC: And a couple of trips to Bordeaux. A couple of raids to Bordeaux.
RP: Yeah. Yeah.
MC: Not much about those though. They were fairly, the French trips over there. I mean, I mean you when we talk about them I mean they were Bordeaux you’ve got eight hours and seven hour trips.
RP: Yeah. Quite a long distance.
MC: A fair way down, isn’t it? Yeah.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Yeah. And then what, what were at Bordeaux? What was it you were bombing at Bordeaux? Do you know? Can you remember? I mean it says St Médard —
RP: It was what?
MC: St Médard.
RP: Saint. Saint. Yeah. Yeah. I think, I think it was a German like sea traffic I think. I think it was probably to do with the German sea transport. You know, for them coming over here. You know. If, if they thought that the Germans were preparing like for, for a mass of sort of Army people to come over in sea transport. We would be sent out to where it was being, where it was being, you know, where it was being assembled together and go out and bomb the place, you know. To prevent, to prevent them being able to come over here. Yeah.
MC: So, your tour completed with a raid to Toulouse again.
RP: Yeah.
MC: So obviously—
RP: Toulouse.
MC: Yeah. I’m not sure. What would b at Toulouse? Can you remember what Toulouse was?
RP: I don’t know. I think it was mostly —
MC: Would it have been aircraft? No. It wouldn’t have been an aircraft factory. It might have been an aircraft factory. So that completed your tour.
RP: Yeah.
MC: So, from there, so that was, that was you finished your flying with Mike Beetham.
RP: Yeah.
MC: And then you were posted out from 50 Squadron then.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Where did you go then? You went [pause] So you would have gone to 17 OTU.
RP: Silverstone.
MC: Silverstone, yeah. Yeah.
RP: Yeah. Near home.
MC: Yeah. Near home. Of course. Yeah. you had been —
RP: That was only a bike ride away.
MC: Yeah. It’s just down the road. So you were instructing there were you?
RP: Hmmn?
MC: You were instructing there.
RP: Yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah. I used to sit, I used to sit with a student. There’d be, there’d be a pilot, a student pilot and then there’d be a, then there’d be a you know a pilot with him you know to to assess him like and also there’d be his wireless operator and I would sit next to him and I’d be checking to make sure. Going through everything with the, with the wireless operator. You know, just to make sure that he was doing his job properly.
MC: So where was Turweston?
RP: Turweston? It was about two fields away from from from Silverstone.
MC: Oh, I see. So it was a satellite of Silverstone.
RP: It was a satellite.
MC: Yeah. Yeah.
RP: Yeah.
MC: So, you flew out from Turweston.
RP: Yeah, it was, yeah, quite near Brackley.
MC: Yeah. Yeah.
RP: Yeah.
MC: So you were, were there for, for —
RP: I was there about a year, I think
MC: Yeah.
RP: I used, I used to bike home from there.
MC: Did you?
RP: Yeah.
MC: How far was that then? How far is it there from —
RP: It would be about, it would be about fourteen miles to Northampton probably. Then probably fourteen miles you know, and fourteen, fourteen miles probably from Northampton. Northampton to Kettering.
MC: Yeah. So that was, you were fit in those days, Reg.
RP: Hmmn?
MC: You were fit in those days, Reg.
RP: Yeah. But the thing is you see there was hardly any traffic on the roads you see. There was very little traffic on the roads during the war.
MC: Yeah.
RP: Because sometimes when I, when I was coming back, when I was, if I’d been home at Kettering when I was on my way back to Turweston or or Silverstone. Once I got, once I got past Northampton I’d, I’d meet quite a few WAAFs on bikes. They’d have been staying in Northampton. They were on their way back you see and then you’d team up with them and you’d say, ‘Hello girls.’ You’d say, ‘Where, where are you? Turweston or Silverstone?’ And they’d perhaps say, some would say Silverstone. Some would say Turweston and you’d perhaps ride up the road four abreast, you know. On bikes because you, there wouldn’t be any, there wouldn’t be any traffic, you know. Especially, especially between eight and 9 o’clock in the morning. Amazing isn’t it?
MC: Yeah. Yeah. So did you get friendly with any of those WAAFs, Reg?
RP: And the road now is terrible, isn’t it?
MC: Did you get friendly with any of those WAAFs?
RP: No. No. [Laughs] No. No. No, I was already, I was already very friendly with Freda so, you know, up in Lincoln. Yeah.
MC: So, you were there. So, at Turweston quite a while. Until about June ’45.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Yeah. That was, so as the war ended.
RP: Yeah.
MC: So, finishing at Turweston where did you go then? You went —
RP: Turweston [laughs] I came off flying altogether.
MC: Yeah.
RP: I came and I attended a, I attended a course up in, up near Blackpool and it was to do, it was to do with RAF equipment.
MC: Oh yeah. Number 1 Air Transport Depot, was that?
RP: Yeah.
MC: Yeah. Yeah.
RP: Yeah. Finished.
MC: So you flew out to Castel Benito.
RP: Yeah.
MC: In a Liberator of all things.
RP: Yeah. Yeah.
MC: That was, and then from there to, oh you had, you say you were flying out to Persia then, was it? India.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Oh, you went out to India. So, I see where. I see, so you joined, you were a passenger on a Liberator to Benito, Castel Benito to Almaza. Almaza Shaibah. Mauripur, India. So that was a long trip wasn’t it?
RP: Yeah.
MC: Out there.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Flying out there in a Dakota to — so you finished up in —
RP: Rangoon.
RP: Rangoon.
RP: Yeah.
MC: So, what were doing at Rangoon?
RP: We were, we were dispersing of RAF equipment. Or, or dealing with it. Whether, whether it could be, whether, you know, whether it could be, if it was worth salvaging like. If it, if it was needing work doing to it and it was reasonable, you know they, it was, it was repaired like. But if the, if the work needed on it was, you know was quite a lot it was, it was scrapped. The material was scrapped. I mean they could be like even a car like, you know that, or RAF vehicles that, you know that if, if little, if little or nothing more or less wanted doing to it the, the all the, all the RAF workmen you know, the skilled electricians and car maintenance people they’d put it right but if they decided that it was too much work wanted involving it was just, it was just pulverised and scrapped. Just pulled apart. There was a big building there and, in Rangoon and you know with the sort of a stone floor and and cars and things were pulled to pieces there. You know, the Burmese, Burmese local people were employed, you know to just break everything up as scrap metal. You know it’s. You know, it was, it was proper hit and miss some of them.
MC: So, what were conditions like up there?
RP: Oh [laughs] it was, the temperature a hundred degrees.
MC: Monsoon weather.
RP: The temperature. Yeah. Hundred degrees. Yeah. But the thing was there was some lovely, there was some lakes just on the outskirts of Rangoon and they were lovely great big lakes. You could, you could hardly see over the other side of them, you know and for swimming the water was sort of lukewarm. You know. It was lovely there.
MC: So you obviously not a very healthy climate out there and the drains and stuff like that you know. Once the monsoons came on.
RP: Yeah. It was very very hot and sticky at nights. That’s the only thing as well. You know, for sleeping you only, you only wanted a sheet over you in your [pause] We used to have a bed but with a netted tent all over us. You know. So we used to pull it and you’d get in and you’d draw your curtains so you were, you were off the floor and, but the only thing is we were we were in a bombed building.
MC: Yeah.
RP: And the window frames had all been removed you know so there was only like a brick opening and the blooming bats used to come in there. The bats used to fly straight in and across the other room. If you weren’t careful they’d hit one of the mosquito nets.
MC: Yeah.
RP: And somebody would have a blooming bat in their mosquito nets.
MC: Yeah.
RP: Yeah.
MC: You mentioned about walking along the pavement sometimes during the monsoon weather when the drains —
RP: Oh, that was terrible.
MC: Yeah.
RP: Well, the sewers. The sewers were underneath the paths.
MC: Oh right. Yeah.
RP: And what they did, they just, in the streets they just removed a paving slab so you saw the sewers were running underneath and that’s where people used to sit down there and do their business. And you actually, you actually walked, walked by them while they were doing it. Yeah. Yeah. It was shocking really.
MC: So, how long were you in Rangoon then for?
RP: I should think from, I should think about eight months I think. Up to about August, was it?
MC: Oh, you came back in June ’46.
RP: Yeah.
MC: It looks like it.
RP: We were there for Christmas.
MC: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
RP: I think we were in Karachi to start off with. In India, to start with and then, then, then they moved me to Burma and Rangoon.
MC: Yeah. So, you don’t, how did you get back to the UK? Did you fly back?
RP: No. Boat.
MC: Oh, you came back by boat.
RP: Yeah. Thirty days.
MC: Oh [laughs]
RP: Thirty days. Yeah.
MC: Can you remember what the boat was called?
RP: The Orduna.
MC: Oh right.
RP: Yeah. Yeah.
MC: Was it a liner or what was it?
RP: Well, there was no luxury on there at all. There was no, there was no, there was no place on the ship where you could go and get a cup of tea. Where you, where you could go and buy a cup of tea anywhere. Nothing like that at all. There was no, no sergeant’s mess or nothing on there but but but but what they, what they did do someone, someone on our boat deck they used to go on with a big tray and come back with about a dozen mugs of tea. I think what they used to go down in the —
MC: To the galley.
RP: Bottom of the boat sort of thing. You know, where the, where there must be some cooks down there I suppose, you know perhaps cooking. Cooking meals for the crew sort of thing down there but we used to have some fun there though. We had, we had a lot of, we had a lot of ladies on the boat with us and they’d be, they’d be WAAFs and nurses and, and they were all going back to England you see like, like we were and, and when you got up on the front of the ship, right at the very front facing forward down on the right hand side, down the right hand side you’d have, you’d have toilets there. Ladies’ toilets. On the left hand side you’d have the men’s toilets there and above, high up facing, facing the front of the ship, you know, the bow of the ship you could, you could see the front of the ship like and you could see the toilets that side and that side and you could see, you could see the water going by on that side and that side so when, when anybody went to the toilets and flushed the toilet, you know especially when the ship was, when the ship was stationary as it was it used, it used to stop about, it stopped about six times. You’d see, you’d see a couple of ladies walk by and you’d say, ‘Good Morning,’ to them. ‘Good morning,’ and they’d go in to the ladies’ toilet you see. And then [laughs] and then actually before they came out you’d see a disturbance in the sea and you’d see these sausages come up by the side of the boat you see. And and when these, when these nurses came out we all went, ‘Hurray.’ They were all going to clap like that. But they looked back at us and they waved at us but they’d got no idea. They’d got no idea what it was all about. It was amazing. And as I say we were thirty days on the boat and we were never allowed off once. You know, I mean it stopped. It stopped at two or three places, you know even in Africa like coming back. It pulled in there you know and there was a bit of, a bit of goings on like there but we, but we weren’t alllowed off the boat. Yeah.
MC: So having got back to the UK you were demobbed straight away.
RP: Oh yeah. Yeah. We went through. Went through everything there. Yeah.
MC: Yeah. Got your suit.
RP: I even I even got myself a suit. You know.
MC: Yeah. You got a suit.
RP: While I was there.
RP: You could either, you could either draw the money to buy a suit with. You know, they give us some money or there was loads of clothing there. You could just go and help yourself.
MC: Yeah. Yeah.
RP: You know, and of course, you had to sign for everything and -
MC: Yeah. Yeah. Because you were a warrant officer then, weren’t you?
RP: Yeah. Yeah.
MC: You were a warrant officer.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Yeah.
RP: So, I was getting, I was getting nearly a pound a day you see.
MC: Yeah
RP: As a warrant officer. About eighty and six or something like that a day. Yeah.
MC: Yeah. Yeah.
RP: On there. I was able. In Rangoon, you see you, you couldn’t spend anything. There was nothing to spend it on in there. There was no, there was no shops. Well, if there was there were only a little tin, tin buildings like. There were no proper shops in Rangoon at all.
MC: Yeah. So I mean in that case you came back obviously what sort of job did you, did you have a job waiting for you?
RP: No. No. I didn’t. No.
MC: So you got a job.
RP: I I applied for Timpsons, the engineering.
MC: Yeah.
RP: You know, and got a job. Got a job there in, in engineering, you know.
MC: Yeah.
RP: Given, give us easy work to start with until you put on machinery.
MC: Yeah.
RP: And then you learned as you, as you went along.
MC: What sort of machinery was that?
RP: Drill. Drilling.
MC: Oh right. Yeah.
RP: Drilling. Yeah. And you know, to start off with you had, you had work that wasn’t very particular you know. You know, for being correct like but but later, later in engineering and working you were working to a thousandth of an inch.
MC: Yeah.
RP: You know.
MC: Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. So you, I mean when you came back during, came out the air force you’d be twenty three then I suppose.
RP: Yeah.
MC: You’d be about twenty three. So that’s when. When, so when did you get married? When did you meet your wife?
RP: Do you know.
MC: Was that after the war or before.
RP: No. I think [pause] I think, I think I was married before. Before I went abroad.
MC: Oh right.
RP: To to to you know up at, up in Lincoln.
MC: So, you got married in Lincoln, did you?
RP: No. didn’t get married in Lincoln. We got married in —
MC: Is that where you met her?
RP: That’s where I met her. Yeah. Yeah. She was, she was in the Command Supply Depot in Lincoln. At the Command Supply Depot they supplied all the RAF airfields in the Lincoln area with food and, and we, we at nights we in this pub we were in down there. She used to tell us about all the, all the different food they’d had in and warning us that for the next two or three days we were going to have this, we were going to have this. Rabbit and all that sort of thing, you know and or or a bit of chicken here and there or, yeah she could let us know what food we’d be expecting on there.
MC: So, you met her while you were at Skellingthorpe then.
RP: At Skellingthorpe, yeah.
MC: Oh right.
RP: Yeah. On there.
MC: And you got married. Did you get married after you’d finished your tour or during your tour?
RP: No. No. I got, I got married while I was still in the Air Force because I think, I think I was married when I went abroad.
MC: Yeah. Yeah.
RP: Yeah. I think. I think I was married when I went abroad because I think because I think you know when she, when she got demobbed I think she came to live in Kettering. You know. Down —
MC: While you was —
RP: With my parents. Yeah. Yeah, because her dad was, her dad was, was an ex-Naval chap you know and and I’m not sure, I’m not sure whether whether she had a mother and father. You know. The two of them were living together because I think he he was an ex-Naval chap on there.
MC: Yeah. So, did you stay in engineering the rest of your working life?
RP: Yeah. Yeah. Or connected with engineering, yeah. Even, you see I went to Witfield, Hodgson and Brough. Then I went to Wicksteeds, you know and [pause] I’m trying to think but then [pause] Oh that’s right. Whitfield, Hodgson and Brough, I was a charge hand there on one section and I I had about seven blokes working on my drilling section with the, you know all the drilling. But we were making shoe, making shoe machinery. It was all being exported. Mostly to China. Nearly all, all the machines were, we were making were going to China. So, you quite see why, why, you know we got a lot of stuff coming back from China in there.
MC: When you came back after the war, Reg in to Civvy Street did, did you talk about your RAF service? The raids you did. Were people interested?
RP: Yeah. Yeah. People were quite interested in in where you were especially when I said I was in, in Rangoon because in Rangoon the temperature used to go up to a hundred degrees there.
MC: I mean, you’d just, you just done a full tour of operations during the war. I mean, did, was the reaction of people. Did you talk to people about those operations? The bombing of Germany etcetera after the war.
RP: Yeah. Oh yeah.
MC: Yeah.
RP: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, because I mean some of the raids I mean, I mean we lost about fifty, sixty aircraft you know. Ad you got, you got back to your hut at night and you found out there was about three or four beds in your hut empty.
MC: Yeah.
RP: You know. They just never came back.
MC: Yeah. I’m just wondering about the reaction of the civilians. Civilian life. Once you went back in to civilian life.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Their reaction to, to the war.
RP: Yeah.
MC: You know, what they thought about you being in Bomber Command and that.
RP: Oh, I think, I think, you know when I came home on leave you know the, because I was a, I flew during the war you see I think people, people wanted to, wanted to hear what you’d been up to and all that sort of thing. And quite interested because at night you see when it was getting dusk people used to, used to see the Lancasters going over, you know. Another one there, another one there, another one there and they’d be passing over Kettering perhaps for about seven or eight minutes like, you know. And, and then, and what you used to hear, the elderly women used to say, they used to say, ‘Somebody’s going to get it tonight.’ That’s what they used to say. You know, when they saw all these Lancasters going out they knew they were on their way carrying a load of bombs.
MC: Can you remember who your Squadron CO was?
RP: Hmmn?
MC: Who was your Squadron commanding officer?
RP: Who was —?
MC: Your Squadron commanding officer.
RP: Who? Who was it?
MC: Yeah. Can you remember?
RP: I wouldn’t really know.
MC: No.
RP: I don’t remember the name. No.
MC: Yeah.
RP: But my, my pilot was Michael Beetham and he stayed in the Air Force and he became Marshall of the Royal Air Force.
MC: You don’t get any higher than that.
RP: Sir Michael Beetham.
MC: Yeah.
RP: Yeah.
MC: You don’t get any higher than that.
RP: Yeah. I mean, we just, we just called him Mike [laughs] Yeah.
MC: The Squadron reunions were, how early did you get [pause], did you go to the first ones in ’46? When did you get involved in the Squadron Associations?
RP: We haven’t had, we haven’t had many Squadron reunions at all.
MC: Well, I mean you’ve had the reunion every year because the first, can you remember when you first got involved with the Squadron’s Association?
RP: No. I’ve never. I’ve never been really deeply associated with it, you know but —
[recording paused]
MC: So, when you come up for the reunions each year you used to go up to the dancing in Lincoln.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Yeah. Meeting. You were reunited with a lot of your old friends.
RP: Yeah.
MC: And, of course, Sir Michael would have been there as well.
RP: That’s right. He used to come. He used to come along with his wife you see. Yeah. There. I don’t, I don’t know what the building was. It was, it was one of those big domed buildings.
MC: Yeah.
RP: Right in the middle of Lincoln. A big hall there.
MC: Yeah. I think that was the Assembly Rooms.
RP: Yeah.
MC: What they know as the Assembly Rooms. So going, looking back on your flying career, Reg. How did you feel about the, the, what you did? You know the —
RP: What the bombing? Yeah. Well, I mean as for, as for dropping the bombs and things we, we were only, we could, we couldn’t, we couldn’t wait to get rid of them. The loads you know. Once the, once the, we didn’t really care, we didn’t really care who they hit you know as long, as long as they, as long as they got them out of the aircraft because I mean what are, what are you going to be? About what, eight thousand tonnes of bombs in the aircraft you know. You were always, you were always afraid somebody’s going to hit you.
MC: And what about, I mean obviously you didn’t know, you can’t remember your Squadron commander or the station commander but people like Harris. Arthur Harris.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Bomber Harris.
RP: They called him Butch, didn’t they?
MC: Yeah. Butch Harris.
RP: Butch. Butcher Harris.
MC: Yeah. Do you think he was a good man? A good figure?
RP: Hmmn?
MC: Do you think he was a good man for Bomber Command?
RP: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, he was respected, I think. you know. Yeah.
MC: And at the time did you have any thoughts about Churchill. People like Churchill and —
RP: Who? Churchill?
MC: Churchill.
RP: Not, not really. No.
MC: Without putting words in your mouth do you think you were let down after the war? No recognition for what you did.
RP: Well, well I suppose what it was, what it was I suppose we were so pleased to get, to get out. To get into civilian life, I think. I mean, that’s all, that’s all we, we thought about, you know.
MC: Of course.
RP: And about if we hadn’t got a job, you know what, you know what work we were going to do. I mean, I mean, I was married when I was still in the forces you see. At the very end. So, I mean, I had to, I had to try and save me cash a bit for when I came out from there. But it was certainly [pause] I think, I think to be able, to be able to travel, to you, know to Rangoon, you know. Fly there, you know stopping at various, various places on the way I think, I think people nowadays I think would give their right arm to do it because we, you know we, the first flight from England to near the Mediterranean you know the plane stopped at some place right near the, a great big inland lake you know in Tunisia or somewhere, you know. Marvellous.
MC: Yeah.
RP: And then I think from then on I think I went, I went to, one place I think is in there where we landed there [pause] and it was the, something like the Heliopolis Palace Hotel or something like that.
MC: Oh right.
RP: Stayed.
MC: Yeah, yeah. Because you stopped off at Persia on the way, didn’t you? Persia yeah.
RP: It was what?
MC: You stopped off at Cairo and Persia.
RP: That’s right. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, because I mean once I, once I got out of bed in this hotel and opened the curtains and the blooming [pause] blooming pyramids, the pyramids were just, just outside the door. You know.
MC: Yeah. Obviously, that was Cairo. Yeah.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Yeah.
RP: Amazing. I mean, I was, I was in bed. I was in bed in the morning and a lady come along and started cleaning all round the bed and all that when I was still in bed. You know. I was awake fortunately as they cleared, you know cleaned the toilet and all that sort of thing before I could get out of bed even [pause] Yeah.
MC: Did you go back to Germany after the war at all?
RP: No. No. Never. Never been back there. No. No. I don’t know how many places, how many places I bombed in Germany but most of it was more or less the same place I suppose.
MC: Well, Reg, thank you very much for this interview. It’s been, you’ve given me some good stories.
RP: Hmmn.
MC: I appreciate you taking time out to tell us about your RAF experiences and thank you very much.
RP: Well, it’s, it’s a thing. It’s a thing you remember and you know, well you just, you’re just pleased you were fortunate in doing what you did, you know. You know, jumping out of aeroplanes and things.
MC: And surviving.
RP: Yeah. Yeah.
MC: Well, thank you, Reg.
RP: Hmmn?
MC: Thank you.
[recording paused]
MC: You say there was one thing that really annoyed you.
RP: Yeah. And you used to, you used to, when we bombed, when we bombed the cities. Berlin and places like that we used to have a master of ceremonies. He was, he was, he was the, he’d be somebody, he’d be very high-ranking officer that would be, that would be flying with you and he’d be shouting out instructions like a —
MC: Master bomber.
RP: Master bomber. Yeah. Yeah.
MC: And you say it annoyed you. Why was that?
RP: Well, well this, this one, this one was, they used to drop, they used to drop red TIs and green TIs on the city and they’d say, and they’d say you know, ‘Don’t aim at the reds. Hit the greens. Hit the greens.’ You see. They’d be telling you which ones to aim for you see but one particular night this, this, they’d been dropping these markers down for us and one of them, this chap was yelling out which ones of us to bomb. Telling us not, not to aim, not to aim at the greens and then he was yelling out, ‘Hit the f’ing reds,’ you see. But he didn’t say f’ing. He said, ‘Hit the f’ing reds. Hit them f’ing reds. ‘And he was yelling that out like. And I thought to myself good God I thought to myself I hope nobody hears him [ laughs] you know. But but when I got back we were debriefed after the raid. I said, I said, ‘That master bomber —’ I said, ‘That was yelling all those instructions about the bombing,’ I said, ‘Who was it? Who was it?’ Anyhow, and they said ‘Oh, oh, that was, that was air commodore —’ so and so and so and so. I said, ‘An air commodore?’ You see. And I said to her, I said, ‘If you’d have heard his language on there.’ And that surprised me, you know. Hit the f’ing so and so, don’t hit the f’ing so and sos, hit the f’ing so and so’s but he was using, was using the term all the time, you know. It’s, and it was the thing when you back in to your bed at night you know you think about that. You think it’s not, it’s, you know, if he’s in a job like there learning people you know about things, I mean, it’s not a very good you know it’s, he's not setting a very good example, is he? Not really. Being an air commodore as well on there. Amazing.
[recording paused]
RP: The weather was very bad you see. If the weather was, you know if the weather weren’t, you know, could they, they used to drop coloured markers down, you know for you to bomb. And, and do you know one night, one night we were on the one of the Berlin raids. It was, there was no, no fog or mist about and I think there was a lot of searchlights and and the, you know you could see, you could see the ground and the roads and the buildings. You could see them so plain that when, when we flew up, when we flew up this great big road in, in [pause] my memory. I was going to say Blackpool [laughs] in Berlin, when we flew up this great big road. It was a wide road with trees on the sides of it and by the sides of it was, was lovely houses. And they had trees in front as well but but they all seemed to have big back gardens. Big wide gardens like. But this big main road though that went up the road like with these lovely big houses, as we flew up this road we followed a, we must have followed a Lancaster that was dropping bombs all the way along there. And when you looked down you saw this lovely house, you know with trees in front of it and lovely, lovely gardens at the back of it, all of a sudden you these big bombs going and you see this whole house go up in, you know in —
MC: So what sort of altitude would you have been at then?
RP: Hmmn?
MC: What sort of altitude would you have been at?
RP: We’d be fairly high.
MC: But you could still see. Make out the road and the houses.
RP: Yeah. Oh yeah. We couldn’t have been, we couldn’t have been more than about, probably about eight thousand feet, I think. Something like that. I bet we weren’t even ten thousand feet. Yeah. Because normally, you see, normally on most raids we used to fly at twenty thousand feet. You know, quite high up. But you wouldn’t see much at all there. But this one, I think, I think what it was it was such a clear night I think Mike Beetham, you know he was perhaps the same as me. He just perhaps wanted to see all the lovely area. All the lovely houses and things down there. Amazing isn’t it? So —
MC: So, at twenty thousand feet was it, it was fairly cold.
RP: Twenty. Yeah, oh yeah [laughs] yeah. Well [laughs] yeah, it yeah it would be about minus four or something you know it wouldn’t have been, wouldn’t be —
MC: Did you have any heating?
RP: Hmnn?
MC: You didn’t have any heating?
RP: Oh yeah. We had heating. Yeah. Yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah, ‘cause, ‘cause they the gunners used to say to me, ‘Wireless op, have you turned that heat down,’ you know and I, they’d say, ‘For God’s sake, turn it up,’ you see. So, I’d turn it up but the navigator next to me, he tapped me on my leg and went [sigh] He’d say, ‘Turn it down.’ Because I was I suppose it was, I suppose it blows hot air over over certain positions you see doesn’t it? And we just, just got together over it and there.
MC: So as a wireless op could you see out at all apart from the astrodome?
RP: I couldn’t. No. I had a little window by the side of me and that that looked out on the port, on the port engines and I could see the, I could see the flames coming out the, the exhausts on there. On there. But, but what I had, what I had to do a lot for the navigator I had to get in the astrodome and and give him a lot of advice from the astrodome. I’d tell him what stars I could see, you see to start with. Then I had to get a, he’d say can he get me, can he get me a shot on the on the such and such a star. I forget what it was called. It was, it was something I had to, the term. It was something I could along and I could take a shot of this. I could take a shot of this star. This particular star. He he used to say what stars can you see? And I said [unclear] Dubhe, Polaris. You know. And he’d say, ‘Dubhe. Get get me a shot on, get me a shot on Dubhe.’ You see. Then I’ll come along and I’d you know I’d say, tell the pilot, keep the plane steady. Right. Ok. And I’d take his shot and give it to him and he had a, he had equipment where he could plot his position from it.
MC: So what equipment were you using to take the shot?
RP: Hmmn?
MC: What were you using?
RP: I don’t know. It was a [pause] I’m trying to think. I forget what the term was.
MC: A navigation aid. Yeah.
RP: Yeah. I forget what it was called on there. But he used to ask me what stars I could see to start with. I reeled one or two off with you know. As long as I got the right, as long as I got the right star though. That was the main thing. Yeah.
MC: Got you home as well.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Yeah.
RP: But he, he used to say, you know we’d be getting near. We’d be going across, across the south coast like you know and we’d be flying up you know, coming up on the right hand side of London or something like that and, and all of a sudden I used to have broadcasts you see on the, on the radio and I’d get a, I’d get a message and it just and it just said cancel, ‘Cancel. Cancel —’ you know, ‘Landing at Skellingthorpe.’ And it’s got land and he’d give you, give you another, give you another base like, you know. This one would perhaps be in in Yorkshire, you know. Up in Yorkshire. A place up there. Melbourne or something used to land at up there. Melbourne or Pocklington. Pocklington and Melbourne and they’d give us, and they’d give us instructions to land there because they had a thing at Melbourne I think it is. There’s a damned big landing area up there. A big, like a big tarmac, tarmac aerodrome up there. Yeah and, and we finished up in Yorkshire instead of Lincolnshire.
MC: So your navigator never got you lost at all.
RP: Hmmn?
MC: Your navigator never got you lost at all.
RP: He —
MC: He was a good navigator. Never got you lost.
RP: Never got?
MC: Did he ever get you lost?
RP: Oh no.
MC: No. He was good.
RP: He was, he was more of an elderly bloke Frank was you know. Well elderly. He’d be, he’d be probably his late twenties I think [laughs]
MC: That was Frank Swinyard.
RP: Swinyard. Yeah. Yeah.
MC: Your bomb aimer was Les, wasn’t he? Was your bomb aimer Les?
RP: Hmmn?
MC: Les Bartlett was your bomb aimer
RP: Les Bartlett was the bomb aimer. Yeah. Yeah. And Fred, Fred our rear gunner. Fred Ball.
MC: Yeah.
RP: Yeah. And there. We all pitched in and made, made the best of it really. Les Bartlett. Les was a lady’s man [laughs]. Yeah. I went out quite a bit with Les, you know at nights. You know.
MC: So you were a ladies man yourself.
RP: Well, I never got round to that. No. No. Still —
MC: So, where, where when you used to go out with Les whereabouts did you from Skellingthorpe. Did you go in to Lincoln?
RP: We’d always go into Lincoln. Yeah. Yeah, because we had we had bikes there you see and we used to bike into Lincoln yeah, there. But the, but the the ACS girls where I met, where I my met my first wife there you see. They, the Command Supply Depot. It was in Lincoln and and they, and they, they provided the food for all the, all the airfields in the Lincolnshire area.
MC: Yeah. You said that.
RP: Amazing.
MC: So when you went out with Les whereabout. Can you remember any of the places you used to go?
RP: What in Lincoln?
MC: Yeah.
RP: No. We, we used to go, we used to go in a little pub along by the river.
MC: Oh right.
RP: On there. There, you know it was, yeah we, we more or less went in the same pub every, every night in there. But, but once, once I met [Ena] though there you know we, well we met her in that pub and from then on we kept on. It was a little, it was a little pub near the near the river in Lincoln. But I mean Lincoln was, it was all airmen wasn’t it? I mean there was about half a dozen aerodromes.
MC: And pubs.
RP: Hmmn?
MC: There was a lot of pubs.
RP: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And of course, you’d know wouldn’t you? Yeah. No. I thought, I thought one, I got to know I got to know some Lincoln people and [pause] I can’t even remember their name now but I know, I know they lived in one of those little side streets in Lincoln next to a fish and chip shop. Next to a fish and chip shop because when, when I got to know them quite well if I got my coat wet what they used to do they used to go and put it on a clothes horse and put it up against the wall in the front room because on the other side of the wall was the fish and chip, the fish and chip place where they cook all the things. So that wall was like a big radiator. Yeah. And the son now, he’s something to do with the Lincoln City Council. You know. He’s well up in the Lincoln City Council there. But I’m blowed if I, I’m blowed if I remember the names. Terrible isn’t it?
MC: So when did you start the painting?
RP: Hmmn?
MC: When did you start the painting? Have you always done the paintings?
RP: Yeah.
MC: Of Lancasters, etcetera.
RP: Yeah. I’ve always liked a bit of painting, yeah but —
MC: That was, you didn’t do any painting during the war.
RP: No. Oh no. Not, not while, not whilst, not while I was in the Air Force. No. No. Somewhere in this house I’ve got a stack of photos. But I tried to find them, you know before you came here. I never, never did find them.
MC: Yeah. I think we’ll say, we’ll wind up now Reg, and thank you very much -
RP: Yeah.
MC: For the additional stories and, and it’s great. This this will be in the Digital Archives.
RP: Yeah.
MC: Thank you, Reg.



Mike Connock, “Interview with Reg Payne. Two,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 22, 2024,

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