Interview with Ron Saunders

Title

Interview with Ron Saunders

Description

Ron Saunders joined the RAF as a wireless operator rear gunner and served on 114 Squadron during the war. Remembers, as a little boy, seeing the airship R 101 and the Hindenburg flying in the distance. Describes his training in England and in Egypt at various stations and being posted to Italy afterwards. Mentions various episodes: the troop ship being attacked twice; seeing king Farouk passing by in a convoy in the streets of Cairo. Recounts various episodes of his service time in Italy: wartime hardships, the Prime Minister’s and the King’s visit to their airfield, joining locals at a village festival. Tells of how his squadron supported the Eight Army in the Battle of the Argenta Gap. Remembers then being posted to Aden, where he was put in charge of flight control. After the war, mentions going to London to see the queen’s coronation.

Creator

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

Date

2016-06-16

Contributor

Peter Schulze

Rights

This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.

Format

00:43:53 audio recording

Language

Type

Identifier

ASaundersR160616

Coverage

Temporal Coverage

Transcription

DB: Todays’ recording is with Mr. Ron Saunders of 114 Squadron in Stowmarket on the 16th of June at 2pm.
RS: This is really just a brief history of my life which started off being born in a place called Ewhurst on the borders of Kent and Suffolk, Kent and I beg your pardon, Sussex and Kent, maybe you’ll correct that, it’s Sussex and Kent, not too far away from Bodiam Castle. At that time my father was working for the Gypsum Mines over in Mountfield, Sussex and the journey was a bit too much so they, eventually they built two houses in another village called Netherfield, to which we eventually moved. However for my short time there I don’t remember going to school at all unless it was at the end of my seventh year which was when I moved with them I think, but the only notable thing I can remember is that one evening, after I’d gone to bed, being woken up to look out of the window and all I could see was a black mass with lights on which turned out to be the airship 101 on its fateful voyage where it crashed in France. Apart from that, as regards an interest, even young of having an interest in the Royal Air Force or airplanes in general. I was always given toys with the someone would just balsa wood which had a notch on and you had a catapult and you just, every time it had the same effect, they all finished up on the ground after half a loop. Then they went on to stronger, elastic bands with propellers, again not very strong, the same result, nothing lasted really long and it ended up on the deck. However, we then moved on to another field [laughs] and there life opened up really to me. I was at the right age, my father was very interested in cricket, he was a captain of the local village team so naturally I was drawn towards him, in that respect, and from then on I never lost my love of cricket. I was also, talking back to R 101, I was perhaps sitting idly not far away from where we lived, one Sunday afternoon, I think it was a Sunday, and I felt some sort of change in the atmosphere, I looked up and there was another airship, this time with a swastika largely emblazoned on the fin or tail and this turn out to be Hindenburg. In both cases I’ve, many years later, sorted out whether I was seeing things, which I wasn’t apparently, and you could tell by the route R 101 took it would have come over where we were in a direct line to Hastings, the other one I think went to Yorkshire. As I said, we moved to this property that the Gypsum Mines who were part of the British Plaster Board had built which four families occupied [coughs] the property that we now occupied was situated, one would say, very nicely because it sat in between two public houses, neither of them very far away, but these were not available to be not only have been young but mum and dad were quite strict chapel which of course I had to attend regularly. But nevertheless the country opened up for me and we could go where we liked, looking for dam chicks nests or plover’s eggs and joining the local haymaking, going up on the hayrick, and laid in the horses and I never lost my love of the country from that point. However on rainy days I was able to go into one of the public houses with the publican’s son and when it was not open to the public and have a game of darts or perhaps shove opening or whatever was available at that time [coughs] I’m trying to do it in short verse.
DB: Yeah, that’s fine, that’s
RS: It gives me a chance to get a thought.
DB: Yeah, if you find it easier, that’s a much better way of doing it.
RS: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
DB: You’re in charge [laughs]
RS: Yeah. Oh God!
DB: No, don’t worry.
RS: [unclear] either until I bring something up, that’s the trouble.
DB: Got it? [laughs]
RS: [unclear]
DB: Oh, Goodness gracious, I’m glad I didn’t turn up earlier for you.
RS: I don’t know what you would have done actually, left it till tomorrow. But you didn’t think it would be anything like this.
DB: No, I’m sure she didn’t. [unclear] for you while you cough.
RS: [coughs] Yes, I don’t want to cough.
DB: That’s alright, don’t worry. Don’t’ worry, you’re doing really well.
RS: It’s a pity about the cough.
DB: Sorry, [unclear]
RS: You have it? It’s on. Also at the time there were many false alarms and the sirens would go and probably no one would have even hear an aircraft and the manager of the shop was getting a bit fed up with lowering the shutters every time the sirens went and having to put them up again and people in the shop could go below where they kept all the cheese, the eggs and all the meat and all the stuff which ran parallel with the shop as a sort of air raid shelter, eventually though he decided he would open and he put me up on the roof, I volunteered of course, to be a spotter for if there is anything in the area to which I could then warn them and he would just leave the main door open. For warning purposes to the shop below I was, had a bell available at my discretion, to use as and when I thought fit. However, this came to an end when on one day I was watching contrails up in the sky, there didn’t seem to be any risk of any danger to the vicinity when all of a sudden, a bomb hit the Plaza cinema, the front of it, which in a short distance, in a straight line from where I stood, I disappeared down where joined the rest of them underneath, but that was the only bomb which killed the manager. But the manager stopped any future activities up there and not long after that I volunteered for the RAF although I had to continue working for quite a while because there was a [unclear] of aircrew and I volunteered to be a wireless operator air gunner. Eventually I was called up to the Royal Air Force in 1942 in September and we were, went to the usual kitting out place and from there we went on to Blackpool for our initial training, ITW, I suppose it was, here we had a mixture of physical exercises, a bit of general walking about town, listening to Morse both in plain language and in code and once you had reached the required speeds in both of those groups, you eventually were able to pass out for the first stage after about six weeks. You then had to follow on to the radio school that was [unclear] of you, which was number 1 radio school at Yatesbury. Here we had a bit longer, a small discipline [unclear], I don’t know, I was put on a charge twice anyway, I’m not quite sure why, now I will gloss over that but you were surprised you know, once you got onto a charge you had to be very careful not to get another one, or it seemed that to me anyway. I did go on the first parade near the guardroom, I put [unclear] four packs I was a very clever and put a blanket and things in the back, which made it considerably lighter. Turned up on the parade ground, the first thing the corporal did was punch the back of it, I suppose he’d had this happen to him or knew all about it many, many times but I was naïve I thought I was being rather clever. That produced another judge, anyway to escape from that, we eventually passed out and the next move was to Madley, where we were to do air to ground training, communication that is and we had two types of aircraft there, initially six of you went up in a, as I said, the remaining part of the course was to confirm the ability to communicate with the ground station from the air. We flew initially with five others plus the instructor taking turns at the radio sets. The aircraft was a DH Dominie. Next was carried out the same exercise, only this time it was just yourself and the pilot. The aircraft was a Proctor. To our collective surprise we were given seven days embarkation leave at the end of the course having passed successfully. In due course we were called up and on 13th November 1943 I was sailing on a P&O line, now a troop ship. My accommodation was situated on the lowest deck, namely H deck and was consisting of a mattress and a small base alongside for kit bag and clothing. We were soon on the move and we were joining up with a convoy, twelve other ships plus escort. Sea legs were required across the Bay of Biscay and beyond but eventually past Gibraltar and entered the calmer waters of the Mediterranean. So far the trip had been uneventful but it then changed when two sustained air attacks took place on the convoy. Being down on H deck, we can only imagine what’s happening and, happening above and listen very intently to everything, there was a barrage of gunfire, bomb explosions, bomb explosions produce sort of shock waves which came with a thud against the hull. I must admit that nearly every eye on the deck was focused on the one set of stairs which criss-crossed up to the various decks and that was our only outlet from where we were. Many years later I obtained a copy of the voyage report, which part of the captain statement contained the following: “the convoy was attacked twice off the North African coast, the first by thirty enemy planes using glide bombs and tornadoes and the second by twelve dive bombers. The Ryan seemed to be the target of the second attack and then four near misses, one within ten feet of the ship which splashed the boardside and covered the deck with oil. The ship was severely shaken and the pumps and the engine were in stop for a few moments”. We were down there, everybody was looking at these stairs, cause it just crisscrossed like that once. [coughs] One finished on one side of the boat, the other [coughs]
DB: [unclear] A little bit of information right [unclear] be great.
RS: Yeah. There were no further allowance and after fourteen days at sea since leaving England the Ryan entered the Suez Canal, passing the statue of Ferdinand de Lesseps, to dock a short distance away. Up early in the next day and packed and a short walk across to a station railway side. NAAFI tea and catering available before boarding the train to take us to Cairo. The journey from Port Said was long and tiring mainly due to the hard wooden seats and it was dark when we arrived at Cairo where we were bundled into waiting lorries which took us to a transit camp. It was tented accommodation, six to a tent just a pile [unclear] for sleeping. We were there for six weeks, waiting for number one course to move out of the newly opened gunnery school before I was able to pay a visit to the visit [unclear] and after that we moved hopefully to be our last part of the training. We were now heading for 13 air gunnery school at El Ballah in Egypt, it was tented accommodation recently allocated by number 1 course, and in which we settled in for another six weeks training. This comprised mostly of courses of ground faring and then airborne exercises with accompanying an aircraft towing the droves to the target in order to demonstrate air gunnery skills, we all had more than one trainee on board, coloured tipped bullets were allocated, so that individual markings on the drove could be connected to the individual person having fired them. This gave you the necessary efficiency to survive the course and at the end of it there was a badge, an air gunners badge together with a set of sergeant stripes which were automatically given at the end of training for aircrew duties. We were then transferred back to the suburb of Cairo at Heliopolis at number 5 ME. This time the accommodation was in the pre-war palace hotel, although all the furniture had been removed it was a pleasant change from tents. Eventually my name appeared on the notice board for operational training unit. This transpired to be at number 20 OTU Shandur in the Canal Zone. We travelled by train from Cairo to Port Tewfik and then by lorry to the airfield at Shandur. South Africans were also there undergoing training on Marauders. Before crewing up it was a case of travelling in your own category, training in your own category, I beg your pardon, and this involved flying in Baltimores, tests were carried out in Avro Ansons for gunnery and all went well and then it became forming of crews, which was quite a casual affair. I was walking along with a [unclear] when the pilot invited me to join him, which I accepted, meeting up with his navigator and upper gunner later. We got on well together and on nineteen occasions we did some training exercises before completing the course. We then departed for a week’s leave at Alexandria, we both [unclear] a house I think therefore and reporting back to 22 PTC transit camp in Cairo. While we were at Alexandria, my pal and myself found ourselves travelling and having a look around and in doing so we visited a street well known for the attention given to you by ladies, however it was fairly dark when we arrived and after hearing some whispering and shuffling about behind a barricade of [unclear] we decided it was best that we took to our heels. On one of the occasions when myself and my pal Jimmy visited the centre of Cairo as we did on several occasions after dodging the bootblacks as we called them, who’d threaten you with the polish if you didn’t have your shoes clean, we were walking along and hearing this terrific crescendo of noise, cavalcade of motorcycles came by as in v-shaped formation and behind them was travelling along was the young king Farouk and we had a good view as he motored on. After Alexandria, after a few more days at our posting to 22 PTC we found ourselves on our way to Naples. One morning we left for [unclear] airfield nearby, we were put into some waiting Dakota, on the way we stopped at, sorry, Benina and Tunis before alighting at Capodichino airfield at Naples. Things were very different. There was a general shortage, the children were ragged and starving and we settled down in a Villa Drusi I believe it was called. In the morning as a [unclear] formed outside of folk, young and old, waiting for anything that we left over from our meals. This was not uncommon and our pilots, at one stage where we had to be careful of thieves, he had his complete kit bag stolen while he was asleep. And the Americans would often have armed guards on the back of food vehicles. One of the [unclear] who gathered at the gates every morning offered to do my laundry, this was accepted and it always came back and she’d be rewarded with a bit of bread or something as well. She was very grateful. Not long after this, a squadron CO came to interview the pilot and the result of which were we were posted to 114 Squadron flying Boston aircraft, a medium bomber, American, operating at night. Not long after we packed our kit and set off to join the squadron, which was situated at that time at the American fifth army front at Tarquinia. Here we found the squadron under canvas and the first task was to surrect tents for ourselves in a field of thistles, which even [unclear] through the socks which we were wearing. An interview of the CO followed who explained the squadron’s duties and one morning I was roughly awaken and sent off with the advance party to a field which was at Cecina, being much nearer to the front line and the realities of war. With a lorry and ten days rations we slept under some trees which were mostly taped off as dangerous, in fact there was one who trod on a butterfly bomb and one of the ground staff later on, we also found ourselves that we could go down onto the beach for a swim, I more or less learned to swim there, however it was rather puzzling when after a few days we’ve been doing this the Americans turned up and starting having metal detectors along the beach, which we’ve been using. Anyway all was well. I don’t know how bad the danger was. 114 Squadron was a part of 232 Wing which contained also the Squadrons numbers 13, 18 and 55 and they were occupied in similar duties. We converted to Bostons, which took nearly a month due to heavy rain. In particular one heavy storm, at all four Squadron crews, ground and air, walking along the runway to dislodge stones had been thrown up by the rain, we carried out our first sortie from here which was bombing the marshalling yards at Medina, followed by a short recce. The main thrust of the Italian campaign was taking place on the Eastern side of the country where the Eighth Army were engaged in heavy fighting against Field Marshall Kesselring’s forces. We were set out various strategic defence lines as they retreated northwards. Once again we did another move, the crews were split up, the pilots flying the aircraft [unclear], our game was on the road party, the convoys several vehicles, sleeping the first night in the [unclear] post office and the second was Assisi. We reached Chiaravalle where we were to stay pending the completion of an airfield at Falconara. Before we left Cecina, we were visited firstly by Sir Winston Churchill, followed soon after by his Majesty King George the Sixth. Both were met by the American general Mark Clark, Commander of the American army. King George the Sixth stopped to walk along our lines but Winston Churchill seemed to disappear almost straight away. Chiaravalle was a very small town and the building we occupied was, used to house all of us was having a basement and a small yard for the cook house. After a few weeks with Christmas 1944 approaching we moved five miles to an empty building in Falconara close to the airfield in which we resumed our flying duties. We did our best to make ourselves comfortable and keep out of the cold. The first thing was to put in a fire and this was helped by someone from the MT section. It was ok when the wind was in the right direction otherwise we were smoked out. One item we were lacking was a wireless, so myself and a pilot from the same squadron hitchhiked around the area initially without any luck until we came across an army camp which was New Zealanders who were on the move home and they had a home-made wooden box set who reluctantly parted with it. Having a wireless was a great assistance to us and greatly helped as well by the member from the MT unit managed to fix us out with the necessary power. Our crew took some leave from here going back to Rome and while we were away we, the squadron lost a third of its crew, including two COs, which rather made us feel a bit subdued having not taken part in what obviously was a bad time. With the arrival of March, we heard that we would have moved nearer to the frontline and the next day the field we would have occupied was at Forli. Before we left Falconara, we carried out our twentieth sortie, which was a bit different aircrew, we were briefed directly on the airfield of Vicenza. The difference was taking off in daylight when previously we had flown only at night. Was a strange feeling to be so visible, dusk soon fell and nothing was seen but we were receiving some interest for the ground so we bombed the runway and went for home. For memory, the attention we were receiving from the ground was basically only one gun but it was getting very, very accurate firing arm piercing stuff which coloured green as you know.
DB: [unclear]
RS: Ok. With the rest of 232 Wing we arrived at Forli airfield were allocated with billet in an empty house on the main street, we set up our beds into red tents and helped with the mess necessary to be erected in the back yard. We were very busy there in support of the Eighth Army who had started a new offensive, many of our sorties were under radar control, one particular area where the army was held up near Argenta at 3 am on the 19th of April, forty-five crews took off at two minute intervals to assist for the breakthrough. For aircrew it was our fiftieth sortie. The area was a mass of smoke and the artillery were firing red marker shells to give the air crews and bomb aimers some idea of where they should be aiming their missiles, something like that. Oh, we are doing well now. Of course, did I take it off? Out of line of further twelve sorties, attacking ferry points, bridges, rivers and any moment generally we were then stood down. The day came and everyone joined in the celebrations which is very low key, as a crew we had been pleased, we were very pleased to be still around and thankful to the ground crews that had looked after us and in various aircraft. With regards to the ground crew, we often had a chat and a cigarette before the take-off and their reply on the V-E-Day was that the party of them we would a large floodlight down the street to a camp nearby parking outside the main gate they treated the Germans to a few patriotic songs. After weeks watching the German prisoners come through, the news came that we would have moved further north to an airfield in Aviano. Soon afterwards we flew in formation with the CO. And so ended the nights appearing into the darkness, throwing out flares by hand, dropping propaganda leaflets, and surrender invitations to the Italians. At Aviano, this was a large airfield situated on the Lombardy plains, well away from the road at the foot of the lower Alps. Our first job was to find a decent tent, wasn’t it always? And settle in for flying formation training. This was because the CO wanted to do a flypast over [unclear] in Southern France, obviously had some connection there, apart from that we did the old country exercise. This time Marshall Tito was making his demands over Trieste which resulted in the aircraft shuttling to and fro to bring the bomb ship, bomb dump up to the required level that may be needed. We visited a nearby village where local girls were taking care of her laundry and where local partisans were showing themselves probably more than they had done before now that it was at peace, theoretically and they were distinguished by coloured neckerchiefs. They were still patrolling in the mountains and at once I was invited to join them but I declined. On one visit we attended several of us a local dance and I was dancing around with a young lady who had a headscarf on and I eventually noticed that under the headscarf there was very little hair. To this end, I was apparently receiving the attention of one of the local young men and one of my pals tipped me off between dances which decided me that we would probably leave and we went back to the lorry and in due course got back. There was quite a bit of head shaving I believe going on in the village of the girls that had associated themselves with the Germans while they were there. One evening in the camp we were alarmed by a large explosion and columns of smoke came up from the bomb dump. German incendiary bombs had been set off by an Italian civilian who was severely injured. There were no camp railings, it was barely an open altogether so they were able to just wander about, though not many of them bothered to do so but he did apparently and the [unclear] dump for personal bombs was swiftly removed by many hands. And the same night we had a severe storm which hit the camp, leaving tents in a bit of a mess to say the least. I woke up looking at the heavens and feeling rain on my face. Sorry [unclear]. A few weeks later the CO pulled us all together to say that the squadron was now being posted to Aden and the other three squadrons were going to Greece. We thought then as we got the worst deal before of us. I was on leave when the main party left to go by sea but on my return I was put in charge of a small party and we flew down from Udine to Bari in two Marauders and we met up with others there who were still waiting for a boat. The Winchester Castle arrived at Taranto taking us direct to Aden. We thought we might be going to Egypt but we were right, we had to disembark at Port Said and go back to 22 PTC, we repeated the journey that we had carried out quite some time before. After that we waited for another ship which eventually arrived, I forget the name, which took us down the Red Sea to Aden and we joined up with the rest of the squadron at Khormaksar airfield. The squadron was posted there to releave 61 Squadron which slowly departed. Unfortunately a Wellington bomber belonging to them with eight people on board took off, circled the airfield, established radio contact, set off for Egypt but unfortunately nothing more was ever heard of them. Our crews flying carrying out ten more flights around the area, including one across to Somalia at a place called Hargeisa. On hearing the news that the squadron was to be disbanded and the Mosquitoes would be replacing our [ unclear] Bostons, we were to be split up into various duties in the area. In my case, I was put onto flying control, this included [unclear] the control towers at Khormaksar and shake off satellite airfield four miles further inland and two weeks at Masirah Island. When going into Masirah I travelled in a Dakota, I stopped at Salalah on the way, my only company in the, was a goat. I ended up then after that on the main traffic air control centre in the area at headquarters and then I awaited my clearance to return to England and demobilisation.
DB: Yeah.
RS: Yeah. The SS Alcantara arrived to accomod us for the return home, so at 1700 hours we were told that we had to be on board at 1900 hours, naturally we accomplished this. The boat made a short stop at Naples and then on the afternoon of the 17th of October 1946 we docked at Southampton, two [unclear] away from the Queen Mary. After approximately three years continuous service overseas it was with mixed emotions to see a double, red double decker bus passing along a nearby road. I was demobbed at 1 POC Kirkham Lancs and after that I set off to Hastings having warned my mother in advance. I finished up taking the milk train and arriving at Warrior Square Gardens at Saint Leonards on the train to be awokened up by a lady, grey-haired lady who at first I didn’t immediately see but this was of course my mother having spotted me snoozing away and being in uniform she was very lucky, I might’ve had to go onto Hastings otherwise and woke me up, quite a shock. But it was a lovely feeling.
Us: [unclear] 1952. [laughs]
RS: Returning home I didn’t go back to my job at [unclear] so I was in several others occupied that position before during the war and I finished up in RAC records office which was a place where, if they didn’t know what to find you with from the employment, they would put you up there and you filled a hole, I did nothing and they put me in a room which unfortunately was occupied by a bookie who spent all his time going around this very large building collecting bets. Nobody ever came into the room I did a few letters if I remember, but eventually got away from it and found other employment. Strangely enough this employment was back at the Gypsum Mines which my mother had not wanted me to go to at all, but this time I suppose she thought that I wasn’t qualified to do anything other than going down the mine but this time a friend of mine had given me the whisper that the current job was available, I applied and I got it and I worked there and I was trained by an ex-navy lieutenant who also had been demobbed and spent mostly twelve years there. At that time we were, where were we living, Doris? My wife, I’m just asking a question now cause I forget the answer.
US: Silverhill, I should think.
RS: At Silverhill, we were living at Silverhill [unclear] and we used to cycle something like eleven miles there and back, or I did, not my wife, with my mate too, who also worked there, was about twenty two miles a day, I put that down the fact my legs are still going there, nearly ninety three. After that I felt that I could do better on my own which was a mistake really. I took another job in a garage, also sold cars for hire and this sort of stuff and left there after about a year. One thing I should mention is that I married my wife Doris in March 1952 and in 1953 both of us with the two friends took a coach from Hastings central and went up to London to witness what we could of the coronation of our present queen. To do so we had to sit in the rain in one of the London main streets, I forget which one, Bond Street or Regent Street and the happiest memory was seeing Queen Charlotte drive by unexposed by any in a carriage, waving to the crowds whereas everybody else was in closed carriages.
DS: Lovely.
RS: You’re alright?
DS: Yeah, absolutely fabulous. No, that’s fine.
US: [unclear] in Kent, not Lincolnshire.
DS: No, don’t worry. Yeah, don’t worry. Yeah, no, cause I know some of the places as well, cause I, no, no, don’t worry about it, I mean they may not use that little bit anyway, so, it’s no problem.
RS: No, no. Yeah, that’s right.
DS: No, that’s brilliant, lots of little bits that they can pick out of that.
RS: Yeah, that’s right. They can actually do that then, they cut their own tape of it.
DS: Yeah, what they’ll do is they’ll take the bits out that they want and put them all together and that sort of thing, so, yeah, there’s lots of little bits in there that, you know, the whole point is to let you just talk.
RS: Yeah. That’s it, yeah.
DS: So that you just say things. A bit like your, you said about your friend and you going down with [unclear], they’ll love that sort of thing. And the little sort of side you put in and that sort of thing. It’s all extra interest.
RS: Obviously [unclear] at the same time.
DS: No, of course. No, no, no, that’s fine, I mean.
US: [unclear] well, I could have said that.
DS: Well, [laughs] that’s always the same, there’s always, afterwards there’s always stuff that you think of that you could say but I wouldn’t. [file missing]
RS: One item I forgot to mention was a fact that shortly after joining up, at Blackpool I chummed up with a Scotch fellow by the name of Jimmy Sneddon. One thing I could have mentioned which presumably is not unusual but I thought it was, was the pal I mentioned when we were in Alexandria and doing a walkabout, we actually got together when we were at Blackpool, we went through obviously not unheard of to do what you are training together but after that we were both posted on 114 Squadron, we joined up with two a crew each of which the two pilots had also trained together and this meant that we kept on leave, we were going together and all the events, and he was with me when we arrived at Aden, we travelled together in the boat then in the Red Sea, but he had a class B posting and was able to get away from Aden a few months before I was able to, but he was a good friend and we met up twice after the war, it was a long time afterwards mind you because we drifted apart and you sort of lost track with everybody but it was good to have someone like it on your side, someone who could deal with all the day events and go on leave with, talk about, unfortunately we smoked too much and I’m suffering for it. End of story. After becoming a sergeant, which was automatic in those days, I carried on flight sergeant and when I left Aden I was a warrant officer and pride to wear the badge on my sleeve.

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Citation

Denise Boneham, “Interview with Ron Saunders,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 13, 2019, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/11602.

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