Interview with Ron Mayhill

Title

Interview with Ron Mayhill

Description

Ron Mayhill was born in Auckland, New Zealand. He joined the Air Training Corp in 1941, automatically entered the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 1942, trained as a bomb aimer in Canada, and travelled on the Queen Mary to the UK in 1943. While flying Wellingtons at the Operational Training Unit, RAF Westcott, Mayhill formed a crew with pilot Jake Aitken, but the gunners pulled out due to the youth of the other members. Despite the rarity of brothers flying together, identical twins, William and Henry Monk, joined them at RAF Chedburgh, where they flew Stirlings before converting to Lancasters at No.3 Lancaster Finishing School, RAF Feltwell. The crew joined 75 Squadron based at RAF Mepal, undertaking operations between September 1944 and May 1945. He recalls the fascinating view of yellow flares, anti-aircraft fire, and searchlights from his window over Russelsheim, narrowly avoiding bombs dropped from an aircraft above at Kiel, and a daylight operation to Villers-Bocage. On his twenty-seventh trip, Mayhill's eyes were wounded by perspex splinters and he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for successfully completing the operation. Despite the squadron’s reputation for heavy losses, he recalls rarely feeling nervous and enjoying downtime with his crew, whom he remained friendly with after the war. Finally, Mayhill describes his opinions regarding the poor treatment of Bomber Command and the process of writing his eye-witness account, 'Bombs on Target', published in 1991. He also expresses his approval of recent recognition and describes attending the Hyde Park memorial in 2012, as the President of New Zealand’s Bomber Command Association.

Creator

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

Date

2019-03-07

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

01:35:34 audio recording

Language

Type

Identifier

AMayhillRD190307
PMayhillRD1901

Temporal Coverage

Collection

Citation

Glen Turner, “Interview with Ron Mayhill,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed May 11, 2021, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/17900.

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