Interview with Joan and Linda King


Interview with Joan and Linda King


Joan King was born in Lincoln and together with her daughter, Linda King, talks about her husband, Eddie King, who served as a mid-upper gunner on Lancasters at RAF Scampton with 57 Squadron. He did two tours of operations. While he was briefly posted to RAF Wickenby, he suffered an injury on a flight back from an operation to Germany and while the pilot wanted to bail out over Germany, Eddie convinced the crew to fly back home. Following his injury, Eddie was sent to Roehampton for rehab under tennis coach Dan Maskell. Flew on O for Oboe. Linda mentions Eddie doing low-level flying training on 57 Squadron. Joan and Linda also share family memories.







00:39:41 audio recording


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AKingJ-L170905, PKingJ1701


CM: This interview is being conducted on behalf of the International Bomber Command Centre. The interviewer is Claire Monk. The interviewees are Joan King, and also present in the room are Linda
LK: Yes
CM: And Sandra Bisset. The interview is taking place at Joan’s home on Tuesday the 5th of September 2017.
JK: He wasn't very old when I was younger than him as well [laughs]
CM: That's good. So can you tell me where were you born?
JK: Lincoln
CM: In Lincoln?
JK: Yeah
CM: Where did you meet Eddie? Where did you meet Eddie?
JK: Where did I?
CM: Where did you meet your husband?
JK: Oh in the town I think on the bombers, he was on the bombers I think he, he couldn't dance between that he met me in a dancehall because that's where I was dancing and he met us when we were all going home [laughs] that's all I can tell you and he couldn't dance but he learned after he [unclear] met me [laughs]
CM: Sounds like fun. What, was he in the Air Force at that time?
JK: Oh he was only, only a sergeant I think yeah, yeah
CM: Yeah
JK: He was a sergeant for a long time
CM: Nothing wrong with that
JK: Most of them were yeah
CM: What role was he doing then, what was his job?
JK: It was on the bombers, going out to bomb the Germans all the time right through the war yeah
CM: Did he?
JK: Yeah, night after night after night yeah and he still kept coming back [laughs], plenty of them didn't but he did yeah, yeah
CM: Can
JK Wasn’t very old, he was then, it wasn't like long after 18 when he joined. I didn't know him then, I didn't know him until later on, yeah. But he was all on the bombers all the time but that's what they were all doing, all the young chaps here then, yeah
CM: Can you?
JK: He was at Scampton and that was a very busy drome, always was and that's where all the raids used to be going from, more than ever yeah. Scampton was very busy, dromes all the way around but he was on, [unclear] on Scampton most of the time he had to go on and to learn somewhere of course, to train you know, but he was at Scampton most of the time yeah. I can't remember what his position was when he finished can you?
LK: He was a pilot officer
JK: Well it
LK: Wasn't he?
JK: Yeah
LK: And he was
JK: Well yeah
LK: He did, he was in
JK: [unclear] what the next step
LK: He was, I don't know mum, he was in
JK: It’s such a long time ago
LK: He was a mid-upper gunner, wasn't he?
JK: Sorry?
LK: He was a mid-upper gunner
JK: Yeah, yeah but
LK: On the Lancasters yeah
JK: I can’t think, [unclear] position but what he was called. Yeah. Oh, never mind I’ll have to look for something I’ll go and have another look in the drawer see if I can find anything
CM: Okay
JK: [unclear] then [laughs]
CM: Can you tell me what was a, an average day like when you were at Scampton? What was is
JK: I wasn't at Scampton
CM: No Eddie was, what was
JK: That was
CM: Can you
JK: I didn’t live at Scampton, I was still living at home
CM: So you
JK: I didn’t go with him?
CM: [unclear] Lincoln?
JK: Yeah. No, I didn't live at Scampton
CM: Can you
JK: He was boarded at Scampton, but he wasn't there all the time, he was I think two or three different places, but it was the Scampton when he was on the bombers all the time yeah, yeah. I can't tell you any more than that
CM: That's fine
JK: But it was only what was he, 18 when, it, it was a bit, they sent him home cause he was, he applied to be, when he was too young I remember his mother said, they sent him home and she let him go back again when he was ready he went yeah, he was only just old enough to go into the forces yeah, yeah. That's such a long time ago [laughs] yeah
CM: Did he tell you about what happened each flight?
JK: Oh no, they didn’t used to do that, no. They didn’t used to discuss what they’d done or where they, no it wasn't like that. You were just pleased to see them back that's all [laughs] yeah yeah, they should just go and enjoy themselves that's all yeah
CM: Fantastic
JK: I can't tell you a lot more than that
CM: You're fine, you're doing brilliantly. Linda
JK: A long time ago
CM: Linda said
JK: I wasn't very old myself then
CM: Linda says he was mentioned in dispatches, what was that for?
JK: Mentioned?
CM: In dispatches what was it for, can you remember?
JK: Linda?
CM: No, Linda said Eddie was mentioned in dispatches, your plaque on that
JK: I couldn't, I couldn't give you any more details on that, if Linda hasn’t got it, I haven't got it no
CM: Not a problem
JK: Because when they were, when they were kids were looking after them as they were older, I let them take what they wanted you see
CM: Yeah
JK: But she hasn't got it nobody's got it, I can tell you
CM: Not the problem
JK: Because none of the lads were very old when they went in [laughs]
CM: Did he always fly with the same people?
JK: Uhm, no, not always but they'd go for quite a while and then they'd have a rest and they'd be posted away and then while the war was still on, then they sent them back with another one and they did that twice but he wasn't very old when he joined you see, yeah, yeah. Oh, he did a fair share. There's not much more I can tell you really
CM: Do
JK: I don't know what Linda thinks she'll find I’m sure I’ve got [unclear] an awful lot now. Well in the war, I mean things used to get lost anyway where they used to, when they were looking after them themselves, they might not find them when they wanted them, you know and that sort of thing. He wasn't very old himself
CM: Where did you
JK: But he did two tours, he did a whole tour and then he’d come off for a rest and he came back and he was posted back in Lincoln and then he went on and he sent him on a second tour and they survived. I mean a lot of them didn't survive yeah so that's all I can tell you he did the second tour one and then we got to the end of the war and that was it yeah. What are you looking for? You haven't got anything much, have you? What's in there then? Yeah, well
LK: This is what I, sorry,
CM: It’s ok
LK: This is what I made for you, do you remember with all of the bits?
JK: Yeah, we’ll get you there there
LK: Yeah
JK: Yeah
CM: Thank you, will have a look at [unclear] in a minute
JK: But, the information
LK: Yes
JK: I mean I can't tell you much more because he wasn't very old himself was it
LK: No, no, that’s right
JK: He wasn't old enough to join when I first met him but as soon as he was older, he was in, you know
CM: Where did you go to, where did he go after Scampton?
JK: Well then he was, uh I can't remember it’s such a long time ago now love but he was at Scampton right through the war love
LK: He went to RAF Wickenby, didn't he? From Scampton he went to RAF Wickenby
JK: Yeah but that was, he wasn't, he wasn't flying from there
LK: Yes he was, that’s where he
JK: It was at Scampton where he did all his raids
LK: Yeah but he went, he went from Wickenby
JK: He went to Wickenby for a short time, not very long
LK: Yes and that was when he was injured
JK: The war wasn't so busy then by the time he went to Wickenby
LK: Yeah
JK: He was at Scampton when he did it, when he was very young, yeah
LK: That's right yeah
JK: I can't remember what was the number of Scampton?
LK: 57 Squadron
JK: That’s right, that's it
LK: And then they, then from that
JK: You know as much as I do love
LK: Well, I just remember, don't I?
JK: Yeah
LK: Remember what you've told me in the past
JK: [unclear]
JK: Well we weren't, you weren't, kids weren't very old were you, well I mean, I don't think you were around were you?
LK: No
JK: No
LK: Not then
JK: It’s what I've told you wasn't it?
LK: Yes. Good job I’ve got a good memory. Hey
JK: Yeah. Oh well we have a lot written down, but we kept what they were didn't we?
LK: We did
JK: I'm sorry, I can't, I can't be any more help
LK: No, no, no that's all right. Claire’s been listening to what you're saying
JK: Well, I know that he was out night after night after night from Scampton what was the other one?
LK: Wickenby
JK: Wickenby, that's it, yeah
LK: Cause we went to Wickenby, didn't we, to have a look?
JK: Oh that was later, that was after it was all over, wasn’t it?
LK: Of course, yeah. But we went to see what if there was anything there, memorabilia from that time, didn't we?
JK: Yeah, but that was a long time afterwards, wasn't it?
LK: Well yeah, it's only a few years ago, wasn't it?
JK: A long time after that. You don’t go near, you couldn't get anywhere near the station when it was happening
LK: Of course not, of course not
JK: No well, he wasn't very old himself, was he?
LK; No
JK: I've found what, what is important, and I can't find anything else no. I’ve kept what I could
CM: You're doing amazingly, don't worry
JK: I was only in me early, in mid early [unclear] at the time [laughs]
LK: Yeah. Was a long time, wasn’t it?
JK: And the fact that, [unclear] wasn’t they? I don’t know what they had or anybody else then but nobody else noticed that
LK: No
SB: The boat, it was
JK: The bombers
SB: When he was in the hospital
LK: Yes
SB: Which hospital?
LK: And that I don't know, uhm
CM: Was that when he moved, they moved to London?
LK: It would’ve been in, yes yes, I think so, well they landed at Woodbridge uhm which is where all the injured aircraft went I understand
SB: Alright
LK: But as to a hospital I don't know, I wasn't, I never had that information
SB: So presumably your mum went from Lincoln down to the air, to join
LK: Yes, they got married, they didn't get married until 1947.
SB: Alright
LK: Three years after my dad was injured
SB: Right
LK: Uhm and that
JK: That was a long time
LK: Yeah and at that time uhm they were, I think you got married in Lincoln, didn't you?
JK: In what?
LK: Did you get married in Lincoln?
JK: Yes. yeah
LK: Yeah. But I think it was only because
JK: Yeah, got grandad came up here
LK: Mum's family, yeah it's only because grandma and your mum and your dad were here wasn't it? They
JK: Yeah and grandma and granddad
LK: Yes
JK: Came up
LK: Yes, they did
SB: And all the time until she’s married your mum said I’ve never unders, got my head around this backwards and forwards but over the years that I’ve spoken to her
LK: Yeah, yeah
SB: So uhm your mum lived with your grandparents on Newark Road all the time
LK: Yes
SB: Uh-huh
LK: Yes
JK: But yes, your children didn't go to school down there did you?
LK: Yeah, In London.
JK: I can’t remember that.
LK: Yes, we were living in London mum
JK: That's right yeah yeah from a time ago, I can’t remember
LK: Yeah we lived at nan and grandad's house in Hoppers Road, didn't we?
JK: Yes
LK: To begin with and then when Janet was born we moved to Carpenter Gardens in Winchmore Hill JK: Yeah, yeah
LK: And that's where we stayed until I was 16
JK: Yeah
LK: Uh 16 and a half and then we moved back up to Lincoln
JK: That's right
LK: And uhm and you lived in, you lived in Russell Street then, didn’t you?
JK: But your dad wasn't back
LK: No, no dad, dad had died, dad died in 1958
JK: ’58 was it?
LK: Yes, yeah so, he was, he was uhm 34, coming up to 35
JK: [unclear] He wasn’t very old when he went in
LK: Yeah, that's right mummy, that's right so
JK: He was on the bombers night after night after night, he was only a youngster himself yeah
SB: So after your dad died and you were all down there was it for, to family assistance that you all came back to Lincoln I presume?
LK: Uhm
SB: To support, I mean
LK: Uhm I did, I think, uhm to be honest, I think mum wanted to come back because my, her parents were getting older
JK: They only had me
LK: And they only had mum whereas my, my dad's mum and dad had, he had a sister, an older sister and a younger brother who were both still alive and lived fairly local to them
SB: Right
LK: And they died, uhm, well my nan died eight years after my dad and my grandad died ten years after my dad so
SB: Now I know on the way to church I can talk [unclear] before when I used to take, when I was taking your mum regularly to church
LK: Yeah, I remember
SB: We used to walk and drive through Newland Street West and up White hall
LK: Oh yes
SB: And she always said that that's where uhm where her dad’s mum lived
LK: Yes, that's right, Saint Faith’s Street, yes, yes Granny Cox and, yeah, that’s right
SB: I’m going off the track, it's just getting some background
LK: Yeah [laughs]
CM: I love it. It's amazing
JK: We moved a couple of times as well you see since then and since I’ve moved here, I’ve moved again, haven't I?
LK: Yes, you have, yeah that's right
SB: Presumably you ask her about the dispatches
US: Yeah, yeah, yeah
CM: What do you know about the dispatches mentioned?
LK: I don't know an awful lot that was, uhm to do with uhm when my dad was injured uhm because apparently the pilot wanted to bail out over Germany
JK: But they didn't
LK: And no and dad said, encouraged everybody and said, no we can get home, we can get home even though the plane was uhm sort of uh
SB: Damaged
LK: Damaged thank you [laughs] what word [unclear] do I want yeah, I was gonna say injured
US: [unclear]
LK: Uhm but and at the time uhm because of my dad, that everybody said the crew wise that survived that it was because of my dad encouraging them to get home
SB: Right
LK: That uhm, that they did get home and uhm and they so that's what he got mentioned in dispatches for
CM: Yeah
LK: But again
CM: Yeah
LK: Uhm his crewmates said that he should have had a medal for, for his for what he did
SB: Yes
LK: So that's and that's all I can tell you but and I know from obviously that goes back years, from what mum's told me
CM: So that was the flight that he got injured as well
LK: That was the flight he was injured on yes yeah yeah
CM: Impressive
LK: But he, he was actually to be honest he was, he was real stiff upper lip, you know just grip your teeth and get on with it type of person
JK: Well, he joined the RAF before he was 17 and he had to come out of it because he was too young
LK: Yes they told him to come back when he was old enough
JK: But presumably he was old enough and he went back again apparently, yeah
LK: Yeah
JK: So that's as far as
LK: Yes, he was anxious to do his bit
JK: Yeah, but he did lots of chores, didn’t he?
LK: Yeah well, well the um average survival rate was if you got through one tour you were lucky
JK: Night after night
LK: Yeah and I only know this because I I’ve read a lot as well and and uhm, yeah I had
JK: He used to talk to you
LK: Yes, he did but not he never really used to talk much about that, did he?
JK: I’ll never forget, he used to be standing behind his chair laughing
LK: And you, I just knew, I had a sixth sense that he wasn't very well he never said anything he just knew showed used to stand right now or sit on the arm of the chair with my arm around the back of the chair so yeah yeah
JK: [unclear] she chokes me [laughs]
LK: He thought I knew that apparently yeah, yeah, yeah. I liked to think I was always very sensitive to JK: Because I have two more young ones to look after [unclear] you say
LK: Three!
JK: No, no the others
LK: Ah, Malcolm and Janet?
JK: Yes
LK: Yeah, yes, yeah. Rob, Rob’s a year younger than I am yes.
JK: And Rob of course
LK: Yeah. That's what I said, three don't forget Rob
JK: Yeah [laughs]
LK: Yeah, don't forget Rob
JK: You're here to tell the tale
LK: Yes yeah. Yeah
SB: Are we still talking?
JK: I told you as much as I can remember
CM: You're fine
JK: if I find anything else but I’d, I can't think I’m going to
CM: You're amazing, don't worry. She said you used to go out on the lorry with him
JK: We went through a lot
LK: I did yes um and apparently, I used to go and help him with his deliveries, didn't I, when he was working for Ferguson yeah and
JK: He wasn’t very well then
LK: I remember I used to take off the delivery sheet and I remember one day we'd got the windows open and when we got to the next delivery, I couldn't find the sheet. I said oh my god and he was, he was uhm because he would’ve been in real trouble of course and he was quite upset and then I found it down the side of the seat so thank goodness but yeah yes, I did. I used to like being with him. I used to go and help him clean the car
US: Yeah
LK: On a Sunday as well yeah
JK: She’s always got [unclear] patient these days. He used to say we choked him he used to say
LK: I know, I know yeah. I just, I just knew he was ill even though I didn't if you see what I mean
JK: Yeah, yeah
LK: Just a sixth sense yeah. But anyway, there we are
JK: Well you're the one that remembered most because you're the oldest on aren’t you?
LK: Yeah that's it and I have got a good memory thankfully so
JK: Yeah. The other [unclear]
LK: At the moment [laughs]
JK: It's much, it's strange how Malcolm’s a lot like him isn't it?
LK: Malcolm looks very much like him, yes
JK: But he’s a lot like him and his wife
LK: Yes yeah yeah you've always said that
JK: He doesn't remember his dad like he's, like the other one did he say but he's a lot like him in his wife than I think yeah yeah
LK: When he was about three or four years old, he used to go out and help
JK: Have you got Malcolm much of his pictures or anything like that? I don't think so
LK: I have. You know I have
JK: Yes?
LK: Yes, cause I took all of your photographs and, and took copies of them didn't I?
JK: I wonder what Malcolm’s got then
LK: And it was me that took that one and got it framed for you with the Lancaster in the snow
JK: Yeah, yeah, yeah
LK: And then you said you'd like to get that done for Malcolm and Janet and Rob as well for, uhm for Christmas one year we got, we got yes you know
JK: Did I?
LK: Yes I got, I got them framed for you, copies and, and you paid for it
JK: Sorry [unclear]
LK: Yes, I know you, you
JK: That's all we've got to remember him, wasn't it?
LK: Yes yeah
JK: Because he wasn't very helpful for a start, was he?
LK: No
SB: He didn't have any of his badges or anything like that
LK: I think, I'm not sure, I think Malcolm might have a couple just the um standard things. I'll ask Malc for you, I'm not quite sure about that
CM: You mentioned when we were starting
JK: The only thing we've got that's written on is it that picture up here that's
LK: The dispatches when he was mentioned in dispatches, yes
JK: Yeah that's it
LK: Yes, that's right
JK: That’s all we've got doesn't it
LK: Yeah but I’ve got a feeling Malcolm’s got some badges or something off his uniform
JK: Ah, Malcolm might have, yeah
LK: Yeah yeah
CM: You mentioned when we were chatting earlier about the severity of his shoulder injury
LK: Yes
CM: Did that cause him, uhm, did they manage to save his arm? Did they manage [unclear]
LK. Yes, uhm yes
CM: [unclear] later on?
LK: Yes, they did um they did and and everybody that I remember sort of said how amazing it was that he could handle the big vehicles with the injury and and he had some rehab at uhm Roehampton I think it was and uhm Dan Maskell who was a tennis coach at the time used to coach them with ten he used to have some rehab training with Dan Maskell, I remember mom saying that years and years ago as well but I don't, couldn't tell you any more than that but it was amazing what he could do he and as I say, very stiff upper lip and he, he just used to grit his teeth and get on with everything so never complained
JK: He wasn’t very old himself
LK: No, he never complained though, did he mum?
JK: No, no no
LK: No, no
JK: Well, they no, never, none of them did, no
LK: No, no, that's true that's true
JK: They were all a great lot like that
LK: Yeah
CM: Did he stay
JK: But it’s such a long time ago anyway
CM: Did he stay in touch with
LK: Sorry?
CM: Did he stay in contact with any of the rest of the crew?
LK: That I don't know that I don't know
JK: But they were all too young for that
CM: Yeah
LK: That I don't know yeah
CM: Yeah, that's fine
JK: [unclear] ago
SB: Did he ever go to any reunions?
LK: And that I don't know either. I've actually tried to look at, look into things like that and we actually, uhm going back years uhm actually wrote to the personnel department uhm, I think it was Gloucester at the time for the Air Force uhm and we had to get mum's permission to request his uhm war records and I did get a letter back but some of it didn't actually tally with what was in the log book and what we already knew and uhm they, they actually said they were very kind and they said but we’re sure you'll appreciate it and
JK: As it was in war time it wasn't all clear you see yeah
LK: Yeah and, and they said we're sure you'd appreciate that as it's uhm over 40 years ago, uhm the records aren't very thorough so, so we kind of accepted and as I say, we thought we had more with the log book and, and various other bits
JK: Jenna's the only one that could remember most of it yeah,
LK: Yes
JK: Cause Robert doesn’t remember anything
LK: No, he doesn't, no. That's why he suggested to Sandra that I might try and help when uh [laughs] when I came up so that's why. Although Malc's got uhm a fair, fair sort of knowledge of it, cause he's interested as I was
JK: And I can't remember how long but I mean after he died eventually I, we came back to Lincoln didn't I? I brought you back here
LK: You did, yes, I was 16 at the time, wasn't I?
JK: What were you 15?
LK: 16
JK: And then you went back on your own
LK: I did yes. Lincoln wasn't for me, was it? Wasn't, wasn't uhm
JK: No, no
LK: Interesting enough [laughs]
JK: Where did you go back, cause you, you went into a
LK: To London
JK: Yeah and what what
LK: And I worked
JK: It was like a club wasn't it? What was it called? It was something to do with a
LK: I worked for a store on Oxford Street didn't I originally?
JK: Yeah. I can't remember
LK: Because they had a staff residence
JK: That’s it
LK: And that was how you let me go yeah
LK: Yes
JK: And that's where I let you go didn't I?
LK: Yes
JK: Yeah, yeah
LK: Yeah, that's right
JK: And that was the start of it
LK: Yeah, yeah and I’ve been there ever since [laughs]
JK: What were you? About 16 and a half, weren't you?
LK: No i was 18 and a half when I went back yes
JK: When you went [unclear] You were as old as that?
LK: Yes
US: Yeah
LK: Yes, so I was here for two years and I said that's it
JK: I didn’t let you go too early [unclear] I’ve had enough [laughs]
CM: Do you have any other memories of your father?
LK: Uhm, I can remember, yes very much so um when the sun shone, we used to go out on picnics, didn't we? He used to say get the kids ready, Joan and we used to pack up a picnic and we used to go to
JK: Yes, yeah. Oh yes, we used to go out a lot
LK: Yeah, he used to take us out to Heathrow airport to watch the planes and uhm, used to go to a park in Tottenham that had all kinds of things for kids, they had like a mini road
JK: Yeah [unclear]
LK: Where you could hire a bike for a quarter of an hour
JK: [unclear] Picnics for us, where was that
LK: Pardon?
JK: Kind of perhaps you wouldn't remember that I can't remember where it was um it was a like a big picnic area, and it was halfway up the hill and your daddy was there then
LK: No, I don't remember that
JK: I can't well, you will ideal, she was the eldest [unclear] but she was
LK: Well I remember going out on lots of picnics but I don't remember that no. Downhills, at Downhills park we used to go to in Tottenham Downhills
JK: Downhill somewhere like that, anyway I can't remember probably, it’s a long time ago
LK: Yeah
JK: But your dad wasn't there then was it?
LK: Pardon?
JK: Your dad wasn't there then oh yes, he was yes
LK: He was, he used to take us, didn't he?
JK: Yeah [unclear] to start with yeah, yeah. But towards the end it didn't take him long to go, did it?
LK: No, I don’t mean, I don't remember that very well, but he was
JK: But no, no, no, his mum and dad, he went pretty you know, he wouldn't have known you know he made no fuss about it but yeah. Well once they got him into the hospital in town, I used to go all the way from north London right away in town didn't I ever?
LK: Yes, yes
JK: And he never came back that's where, that's where he had to be all the time
SB: Do you remember which hospital it was, Joan?
LK: It was the Central Middlesex um yeah and uhm the last time I saw him was on Christmas day in 1957.
JK: Yeah, yeah
LK: And I, since then I don't like Christmas anymore
JK: I can't remember the name of that hospital, can you?
LK: Was the Central Middlesex, wasn't it?
JK: That’s it
LK: Yes, it's not there anymore it's a block of flats and a car park
JK: Yeah and the other Malcolm and [unclear] and the other one weren't very old, were they?
LK: No, we went up there and they gave us a present off the Christmas tree, didn't they?
JK: Yeah, that’s right, that’s right. Yeah
LK: He was very poorly very, very poorly
SB: Yeah because he died in the January
LK: Yeah, yeah, I remember when we were there uhm he had his eyes closed the whole time and a couple of the doctors came into the ward dressed as a horse and I can remember saying oh look dad look at that horse and he just kind of half nodded, he didn't even open his eyes so he was ever so poorly poor soul but there we are
JK: He just stuck it out
LK: He did, yeah, he did
JK: Can't remember the hospital he died in, can you?
LK: Central mid, oh he went to a hospice in Bayswater, didn't he? You went to a hospice in Bayswater. You had to go
JK: [unclear]
LK: You had to go to Bayswater
JK: [unclear] had to go every night
LK: Yes, it was yes that's right yeah yeah
JK: Yeah. That’s a long time ago
LK: It is, it is
JK: And he certainly suffered but no [unclear] about it
LK: No, no, he never made a fuss, did he?
JK: I don't know how many raids he did, do you?
LK: Well uhm, one tour of operations I think was 32 and he, he did uhm maybe,
JK: I think [unclear] 30
LK: Maybe, maybe about 12 on the second, second tour when he got injured
JK: It wasn't the second tour
LK: I can’t remember, it’s in the book, haven’t [unclear], I can't remember
JK: Yeah, a long time ago
LK: Yeah, it is a long time ago
JK: And they were all very young anyway
LK: Yes, that's right
SB: That’s a list of medals
LK: Oh, is it?
JK: What’s that?
LK: Mal, that's Rob's writing so maybe it's a list of medals. I’ve got a feeling Malcolm’s got those. I'll ask, I will ask him
SB: Because Rob told me he had nothing
LK: No, he doesn't, he doesn't. I think it's Malcolm that's got them to be honest there's, they're certainly not here and I’ve just got a feeling it's Malcolm because
JK: What you [unclear]?
LK: A list of medals that dad had
JK: I'll have a look when I’ve got [unclear] the folder there might be something might there? I’ve got the folder in the drawer
LK: No, no, no, this is this, I think Malcolm’s got them for safekeeping
JK: Are you sure?
LK: I think so yes, I’m going to ask him
SB: Bob seemed to, rob seemed to think that Malc had some stuff
LK: He does
SB: That he was showing people um and I think Rob thinks
JK: Did you talk to Malcom?
SB: That he took them to the Dambusters Pub, you know because
LK: Yes, I don't think, yes he would have taken them
SB: Not to lend them but to show them to somebody
LK: Yeah, yeah because the, well the chap who was the um the landlord of the Dambusters he had so much memorabilia there from the Dambusters because it was Scampton of course and uhm, cause mum and I, we went out, do you remember we went to the Dambusters pub in Scampton for Sunday lunch one time didn't we?
JK: Yeah
LK: And they had a picture on the wall which had which were had dad in it, it was
JK: Uhm yeah
LK: And it was the 57 squadron and I’ve got a very bent uhm picture of that you know the whole, cause they used to take the wide screen it's about that wide, I’ve got it somewhere but it's, you know, it's in sort of like three or four pieces because it was folded up before I ever came into, I think I got it from my dad's sister I think uhm but I’m sure Malcolm’s got those and I’ll ask him
JK: Oh, it’s right in the middle of the lot
LK: Yeah and Malcolm, uhm Malcolm, they had uhm part of the uhm uh control panel
JK: The night after night after night bombing
LK: The joysticks and things he, because the guy who lived, who ran the pub he used to collect all that stuff and he went, he went to France in the end and he died
SB: Have you've been there recently?
LK: No
SB: The, the pub has really been done up, you need to go again
LK: Really? Really?
SB: [unclear] got more stuff
LK: Has it? oh my goodness someone would do that then, yeah
JK: What was that?
LK: The Dambusters has got even more, the pub has got even more memorabilia now than it used to have
JK: I’m not surprised
LK: Yeah. Well the guy who started it he's um,
JK: They’re still open, aren’t they?
LK: Yeah, yeah. Maybe he sold it. Maybe he sold the stuff to them, I’m not sure.
JK. [unclear] to look at
LK: I’ll ask Malc, cause Malc knows all that kind of stuff
JK: probably [unclear]
SB: He’ll be still going strong.
CM: You mentioned when we were discussing the logbook earlier about the height tests
LK: Yes uhm yes, they were, uhm the dad and the crew went doing low-level flying training, didn't they at one point?
JK: At what was that?
LK: They did low-level flying training at one point
JK: Yeah, yeah
LK: Yes and uhm I remember mum saying at the time of course dad couldn't say what it was for and and they didn't know either uhm but it, it seems it was a pre-empt to uhm they were testing the crews for the Dambusters and, and as far as I’m aware because squadron leader Avis was such a valuable pilot and on the ground they didn't want him to go uhm and they said that my dad's crew could go with another pilot but he apparently said no if they don't, if they don't go with me they don't go. So, they'd done all the training and, and weren't sort of picked at the last minute because of their, their squadron leader pilot so that's what I understand
JK: That was the time when they were going to blast back to get in again, all of them
LK: They were going to do the dams weren't they?
JK: Yeah, yeah
LK: The dam busters
JK: That’s right
LK: Yes, so they they, flew over the Derwent water and places like that I think yeah
SB: Ladybower Dam
LK: Yeah, pardon?
SB: Ladybower Dam
LK: Yes that's it, yeah. See you know [laughs]
JK: She knows a lot about it
LK: I know she does, she does I know but uhm, but I did uhm as I say I read guy Gibson’s Enemy Coast Ahead and I’ve got a big book of uhm, on the Lancaster which my dad's brother gave me uhm and there's lots of stories from uh, from those days and I’ve also got a book called Bomber Boys which is also uhm, I just I’m just interested so
CM: Keeps a living memory, doesn't it?
LK: Well it does yeah, he said, well he's always been there for me anyway, you know even though he's not with us he's, he's very much there and I still talk to him
JK: So they weren't still around here when you were around?
SB: Sorry?
JK: They weren't still around here when you were around, weren't they?
SB: No
JK: No, awful long time ago
SB: I’m not that old
LK: [laughs] she's too young mum
JK: Yeah yeah [laughs]. Well, I forget how old I am
LK: Yes, she keeps asking me and adding a few more years
JK: Anyway
LK: This plane that he used to fly on, was it O for Oboe?
JK: It could be right
LK: I seem to remember that, I seem to remember yeah, I seem to remember grandma telling us
JK: Yeah, I think, I think [unclear]
LK: Years ago, that you used to listen to the radio
JK: Yeah
LK: And they used to announce so you knew whether, you knew, whether, you know, Dad’s plane was coming back,
JK: [unclear] Yeah
LK: Was it O for Oboe?
JK: Yes, it was. I could remember Grandad listening for it
LK: Yeah, yeah, I do, so that's a vague memory that's half right I don't know if it was [unclear]
JK: Yeah, yeah
LK: That might [unclear] somewhere
JK: [unclear] early hours in the morning, you see
LK: They were used to
JK: [unclear] getting ready for work in the morning
LK: Yeah, to make sure dad had got back safely
JK: Yes. O for Oboe, that that was it
LK: Was it?
JK: Yeah
LK: Oh, okay [laughs]
JK: He was remembered
LK: Well, I don't know whether I did [laughs]
JK: I can't tell you any more than that
LK: No, neither can I.
US: [unclear]
LK: Yes, uhm, oh no, no, that’s
SB: Doesn’t look like him
LK: Oh no, no, that was, uhm apparently, I think mum said he was a Canadian
SB: Alright
JK: There was a lot of Canadians
LK: A friend of dads in the Air Force and you, didn't you say he had a Canadian friend? One of the crew was
JK: I’m not, I haven’t heard of that
LK: A Canadian chap in the air force was a friend of dads
JK: I wouldn't know if [unclear]
LK: No, no see those are the originals
JK: Lots of British nationalities
SB: You've got copies of them
LK: Pardon?
JK: I thought they were all sorts of
LK: I know, I know but I seem to remember you saying that he had a Canadian friend who got, who got killed and you thought that one of those pictures might have been him
CM: So how long was he [unclear]?
LK: I don't, to be honest I really don't know
JK: [unclear] a long time
LK: That was when he was home on leave one time, that’s South Mimms in Hertfordshire
SB: Hold a pipe
LK: Yes, he used to smoke a pipe, didn't he? For a little while
JK: He did for a while, yeah
LK: Yeah
JK: He didn't always
CM: Did they smoke when they were flying?
JK: Yeah
LK: Oh yeah, apparently he, that poor chat uhm went walking past mum and dad when they were in, you were in South Mimms and you said uhm dad said he was the village idiot so that's why I put it in there
JK: [unclear] South Mimms very well [laughs]
LK: Yeah there you are
JK: Yeah. He did look like the village idiot
LK: Yeah, if there's, yeah, any any, yeah that's it, I think mum said he was three sheets to the wind in that one [laughs] or it might have been that one if his cap's a bit skewered on one of them I can't remember
JK: Is a long time ago
LK: Oh yeah that's the uhm
JK: Oh, a lot happened in those years yes



Claire Monk, “Interview with Joan and Linda King,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed July 16, 2024,

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