Wellington memories



Wellington memories


Memories of an early operational sortie for Ted Neale. An hour into the flight the cover of the photoflash spinner had come off. This could have caused the flash to ignite in the aircraft and brought it down.




Five handwritten sheets


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.





Reading the episode in a Wellington revived a memory which involved transiting a wimpey. I think about eight crews arrived on the squadron together, (it had been heavily depleted with losses) all having been at OUT together, most of the NAVS having all left England on the same boat for S.A. then through Air Schools together before going up to Jerusalem for O.T.U. Arriving at the Squadron all the newly arrived pilots went on their second dicky trip, One of the pilots came back badly injured by a cannon shell & was hospitalised before repatriation home to Canada. My pilot [inserted] an Aussie [/inserted] unfortunately didn’t come back, he was with a S.AAF crew on their 39th & penultimate trip they lie in a cemetery in Milan, the next night the new crews were put down for “ops’ when the navigator of one of them went sick & I was ordered to replace him. Fortunately having trained together I knew them quite well and off we jolly well went. We were about
[page break]
[underlined] 2 [/underlined]. an hour into our flight [inserted] when [/inserted] someone came on the intercom, yelling their heads off, it turned out that the w/op who was on shufty [sic] in the Astrodome had spotted the vanes of the spinner in the photo flash was circling round. It was normally covered by a tin lid which was attached to the tri-cell chute by a cable lanyard, the tri-cell chute was an armoured chute to the outside of the aircraft containing one foto-flash & two shufty flares, when any of these are released the lanyard pulls off the lid exposing the spinners which when meeting the air draught, spin out & start the events that ignite the flash. The W/op seeing the spinner rotate, fearing the worst was calling the bomb-aimer to come/back and deal with it.
Sqeezing [sic] over my NAV table to allow someone to pass by I wasn’t aware what was happening, it transpired that the b/aimer had jettisoned the flash & made his way back to see
[page break]
[underlined] 3 [/underlined]. what was happening, and somehow in all this Kerfufle [sic] the W/op had made his way forward to B/aimers position. Things eventually settled down & we went on and bombed the target, needless to say we didn’t get a picture. I had heard it said that a 15,000 candlepower flash was cabable [sic] of downing a plane. We never had a problem with oxygen, I don’t think we ever got much above 9,000ft.
[page break]
Reading the Wimpey episode, revived a memory which involved transiting [inserted] in [/inserted] a Wimpey. About eight crews arrived on squadron from O.T.U [inserted] near Jerusalem [/inserted] together (it had been heavily depleted with losses) at O.T.U. just near Jerusalem. Within days all the pilots went on their second dickey trips, one, a Canadian came back badly injured by a Cannon shell which finished his war. My pilot, an Australian failed to return, he had gone with a crew on its penultimate 39th trip.
The next night “ops” were on for all crews, when one of the new crew NAV’s went sick, being spare, I was pencilled in, joining a crew that I had trained alongside at O.T.U. and knew well.
After about an hour into the trip, someone came on the intercom yelling about the photo-flash, it was the W/OP who standing shufty in the Astro-Dome had spotted the spinner in the top of the photo-flash circling around, this spinner is normally covered by a tin-lid, the lid is attached to the tri-cell chute by a
[page break]
[underlined] 2 [/underlined] cable lanyard, so that when the flash is released from its cell the lid is pulled off, the flash leaves the plane and the wind spins the spinner, screwing it out and starting the firing sequence for the flash.
The W/OP seeing the spinner rotating, called for the bomb-aimer to come back to deal with it.
Squeezing over my NAV table I felt someone pushing past, it finished up somehow with the bomb aimer finishing up at the back and the wireless operator in the bomb-aimers position looking for him (or could it have been to distance himself as far away as possible from the exploding flash. However, things settled down and we went on to bomb the target, we didnt [sic] get a picture though, the B/aimer had jettisoned it. I had heard that a 15,000 candlepower flash could destroy a plane. We had no problems with oxygen however, I don’t think we ever got much above 9,000ft.



Ted Neale, “Wellington memories,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 6, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/16357.

Item Relations

This item has no relations.