Bomber boys were on target

PPearceAT16030015.jpg

Title

Bomber boys were on target

Description

Top right - newspaper cutting notes that rain an poor weather nearly led to the cancellation of the RAF Victory fly-past over London. Report by correspondent airborne in formation. Fly-past of 307 planes of RAF and Fleet Air Arm. Notes that 35 Squadron will shortly leave for goodwill tour of the United States.
Left top - photograph of Lancasters parked in line on airfield.
Left middle - air-to-air view of formation of six Lancasters.
Bottom left - air to ground view of Waterloo bridge over Thames in London.

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

Date

1946-06

Contributor

Bradley Froggatt

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

Three b/w photographs and one newspaper cutting mounted on an album page

Language

Identifier

PPearceAT16030015

Spatial Coverage

Temporal Coverage

Transcription

Bomber boys were bang on the target

RAIN and poor flying weather nearly “scrubbed” the R.A.F. Victory fly-past over London yesterday, writes a “Sunday Chronicle” reporter who flew in the wedge formation of the Lancaster bombers belonging to the famous No.35 Pathfinder Squadron.
But, despite the poor visibility, I saw from 1,300 feet the surging Victory crowds.
Whitehall and Trafalgar Square were a sea of white faces framed in splashes of colour from flags and bunting. Along the Mall, the blue square of the R.A.F. marching column was just coming up to the Saluting Base – at what seemed a snail’s pace.
The fly past of 307 planes, which may be one of the last formation flights by R.A.F. and Fleet Air Arm planes for some years, was led by a tubby Battle of Britain Hurricane, piloted by the Unknown Warrior of the R.A.F.
His identity will never be known because he will symbolise all living and dead Fighter Command pilots.

The Timing was split-second
I was an operation of split-second timing.
The Lancaster Formation left the ground at Graveley, Hunts, aerodrome at 30 second intervals. They flew over Cambridge, turned at Dittisham to Colchester, and over the mud flats of the Colne Estuary to Maldon.
They were guided by the unseen hand of ground control interception, used in operations to spot German aircraft in the Battle of Britain.
At Romford the sky darkened, at Leyton fine rain started falling, and the weather worsened steadily during the run up to London.
As the planes left Buckingham Palace and passed over Kew, the leader, Wing-Commander A. J. L. Craig, D.S.O., D.F.C., shouted through the inter-comm [sic]: “Good show, chaps; the weather couldn’t have been worse, but you were bang on target.” It was just like the old days coming back from a raid on Germany.

Won Seat By Toss Of A Coin
The pilot of my plane was Flight-Lieutenant Ken Clarine, who won the D.F.C. on his second operation, and twice brought home his plane with the nose smashed in.
His only other passenger was a pretty W.A.A.F., L.A.C.W. Jeanne Forbes She earned her trip by working overtime for two months on the squadron’s V-Day preparations.
In the next aircraft was a 28-year-old W.A.A.F. Sergeant, Edna Coate, who won her seat from her friend, Sergeant Sally Speere, by the toss of a coin.
But this is not the last Victory Fly Past of No. 35 Squadron. On July 5, they leave for America as the only representatives of the R.A.F. in the U.S. Army Air Force Day and Victory celebrations in New York, Washington and other American cities.

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Citation

“Bomber boys were on target,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed May 27, 2020, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/17612.

Item Relations

This Item dcterms:relation Item: Six Lancasters airborne
This Item dcterms:relation Item: Waterloo Bridge
This Item dcterms:relation Item: Line of Lancasters parked on airfield
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