Interview with Bert Hammond. Two

Title

Interview with Bert Hammond. Two

Description

Upon volunteering for aircrew, Bert Hammond completed basic training and formed a crew at 26 Operational Training Unit, RAF Wing. He joined 514 Squadron based at RAF Waterbeach and completed thirty operations, before instructing at RAF Manby. Despite training as a rear gunner, Hammond swapped with the mid-upper gunner due to his familiarity with morse code. He describes an emergency landing after anti-aircraft fire damaged instruments forcing them to turn back before reaching Gelsenkirchen, the terrifying view of the night sky over the city targets, and how his pilot once evaded a radar-controlled blue searchlight. He also recalls a royal visit to the squadron, experimental flying with a captured Ju-88 to test the airborne radar, and being featured in a film at RAF Benson. Hammond suggests that his most important role was not firing, but acting as the eyes of the aircraft to prevent collisions, therefore he routinely cleaned his turret before each operation. He postulates many planes were lost due to inexperience and lacking knowledge of night fighters shooting petrol tanks from below. He states the close bond and efficient communication between his crew secured their safety, hence upon completing their tour, they refused to join a pathfinder squadron after the wireless operator opted out.

Creator

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

Date

2019-02-12

Contributor

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

00:51:08 audio recording

Language

Type

Identifier

AHammondBF190212
PHammondBF1901

Collection

Citation

David Kavanagh, “Interview with Bert Hammond. Two,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 17, 2021, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/17132.

Item Relations

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