Memoire of trip to France and events after D-Day

BWareingRWareingRv2.pdf

Title

Memoire of trip to France and events after D-Day

Description

Starts with hand drawn map of Normandy marking main towns. The author records his experience on or around D-Day of bailing out of an aircraft shot down and on fire, and the subsequent aid given to him by the French Resistance. He also records a return visit to France, along with surviving crew to honour those members of his crew who didn’t survive being shot down and were buried at Saint-Vigor-d'Ymonville. Records meeting French Lady who helped him as relates story of the rest of his return trip to France.

Creator

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

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

Seven page handwritten document

Language

Identifier

BWareingRWareingRv2

Transcription

[underlined] D DAY 6th JUNE 1944. [/underlined]

[diagram]

SIX HOURS BEFORE LANDING 10 Batteries in concrete gun emplacements 100% guarantee that these would be inoperative. One gun of 10 Batteries only able to operate manually & was soon silenced our Battery at Forét de Cerisy.

[circled 19] after June [underlined] 5/6th. [/underlined] to 7/8th August Marking near Caen followed by break through at the Fallaise [sic] gap.
1) [underlined] BAYEUX [/underlined] [inserted] stayed at Grand Hotel Luxembourg, [/underlined] First town to be liberated 18th June 1944. At their memorial by coincidence when there was a ceremony with [indecipherable word] flaming fire & the address of the late General De Gaul [sic] was read.

[circled 18th June De Gaul. [sic] ]

[page break]

- 2 -

On Wednesday 19th June we went at midday to Notre Dame de Gravenchon some 30 miles E of Le Havre to meet Madame Jacqueline Drony (Rillot). She was a teacher of English at a local school [indecipherable word] often used by the Resistance as an [deleted] interpreter [/deleted] translator & we recounted the events of 7/8th August 1944.

We had been marking at Caen & were on our way back being routed East so as not to hinder the bridgehead. Unfortunately a 110 with the upward firing cannon eventually caught us after much evasion & it eventually hit us in the starboard wing & the centre of the aircraft & we were immediately on fire. Unfortunately, the inter com went so it was not possible to speak to any member of the crew. The fire [indecipherable word] rapidly no [three indecipherable words] just wagged the wings as a signal for the crew to abandon ship. The fire eventually filled most of the cockpit & in order to get out I had to drop through the flames to the escape hatch which fortunately

[page break]

- 3 -

the crew members who had got out had jettisoned & much to my amazement I was out of the aircraft with the skin burnt on my hand & legs & my face to a lesser extent. Fortunately the parachute canopy held although the pack was smouldering. On looking down it seemed as though I was over sea & I was amazed to strike soft ground. It was a marsh area & there was at ground mist which had given the impression of water.

I then manage to rid myself of the parachute harness & decided to make for cover of some sort & eventually came to a farm. Some of them could speak English I knew no French except bonjure [sic] or bon sior [sic] & eventually mlle Pillot came along with a French Dr. Evins who [deleted] had apparently attend [/deleted] dealt with me. Mlle Pillot cut off my wedding ring & Dr Evins put on some goo & bandaged my hands in splints to keep the fingers appart [sic] & also dealt with

[page break]

[circled 4]

my leg & face burns. Dr. Evins worked with the resistance & was obviously a [deleted] fearless [/deleted] [inserted] [two indecipherable words] [/inserted] man. I asked Madame Drony what had happened to him & she said he died about 55 yrs of age from much booze & women. However, she said we should remember him for the extremely [inserted] good [/inserted] caring work which he bestowed on his patients for which he was noted rather than his few [indecipherable word].

Madame Dory with her husband Henri took us to the cemetery at St. Vigor where the four deceased members of our crew were buried The radio signals officer F/O Reg Blayden who walk back over the Pyranese [sic] after having been shot down on a previous occasion he held the [indecipherable word] The other 3 members were BOMB AIMER W/O Ted Howker, MID UPPER W/O Wilf GAUCHRAN & REAR GUNNER F/Sgt BERTIE CAMPBELL.

NAVIGATOR ALAN HILL, F/LT NAV2 BOB KING W/O. JOHN TORRENS f/ENG & SELF SURVIVED. [underlined] THE GRAVES WERE BEAUTIFULLY KEPT. [/underlined]

ALAN Hill & John Torrens were apparently out first & were not burnt & eventually were assisted by monsieur Francis Marical & mlle Pillot was

[page break]

[circled 5]

used as interpreter for them & were also dealt with by Dr Evins

[circled x] Francis Marical (later mayor of Saint-Vigor)

[page break]

JUNE [underlined] 14th [/underlined] By road to Paris

15th Versailles

16th Eiffel Tower & drive round Paris

17th Bayeux – Grand Hotel Luxembourg.

18th to visit tapestry UK one at South Sea – Portsmouth explanation by earphone price equivalent of 50p in numbered sections each section explained as you progress round the tapestry.

19th N.D de GRAVENCHON to meet Madam Jacqueline Drony [inserted] husband Henri [/inserted] daughter Anne Marie & son Phillip. [deleted] She took [/deleted] we had an enjoyable meal with them & afterwards went to ST VIGOR churchyard where the 4 unfortunate members of the crew were buried. Reg Blayden DFM Ted Howker, Wilf Gaughran & Bertie Campbell.

Then to see Monsieur Francis MARICAL. – Certificate awarded for help given to our forces for help given. Signed by A.C.M. Lord Tedder. Also a certificate from the French Ministry of the Interior for courage & devotion.

[page break]

[underlined] 1. [/underlined] TELEGRAM. 8th AUG 1944.

[underlined] 2. [/underlined] Alan & Paddy arr. England. 6th & 7th Sept. escapees

[underlined] 3. [/underlined] BROADCAST GERMANY RADIO.

[underlined] 4 [/underlined] PRISONER CONFIRMED [deleted] LATE [/deleted] 30th OCTOBER. 1944.

Collection

Citation

R Wareing, “Memoire of trip to France and events after D-Day,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed May 11, 2021, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/28087.

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