Interview with Kenneth Cook

Title

Interview with Kenneth Cook

Description

Wing Commander Kenneth Cook was born in Randwick in Gloucestershire. At Marlings grammar school, he joined the Air Training Corps. On the outbreak of war he joined the Royal Air Force and went to America under the Arnold Scheme for pilot training. He continued training in Canada as a navigator/bomb aimer. He returned to Great Britain and continued training at RAF Cottesmore and the Heavy Conversion Unit at RAF Winthorpe. His crew were posted to 9 Squadron at RAF Bardney. After ten operations, they joined 97 Squadron Pathfinders. Altogether he flew 45 operations, including several to Berlin. At the end of his tours, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Thereafter, he served at 1 Group Headquarters, and then RAF Fiskerton, RAF Fulbeck and RAF Syerston, tasked with checking the readiness of new crews, specifically the navigators. For a time he engaged in preparations for Tiger force. At the end of the war, he accompanied 617 Squadron on a goodwill tour of the United States. After the war, he remained in the Royal Air Force and was stationed in Aden and Cyprus. He was awarded the Legion d’honneur and rose to be a wing commander. He retired in 1968 and thereafter pursued a civilian career.

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

Date

2016-07-25

Contributor

Julie Williams
Janet McGreevy

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

01:20:59 audio recording

Language

Type

Identifier

ACookKHH160725, PCookKHH1601

Temporal Coverage

Transcription

PJ: Right. Interviewers Peter Jones and Sandra Jones. Name of the interviewee Wing Commander, Wing Commander Kenneth Cook DFC. Attending with him is his son Jonathan Cook. The date is the 25th of the 7th 2016 and it’s just 5 o’clock pm. The place is Chadlington, Oxfordshire. Thank you, Ken for agreeing to be interviewed for the IBCC. Ken, tell me about what you did before the war?
KC: Okay. Well I attended grammar school at -
JC: Marling.
KC: Marling Grammar School near Stroud in Gloucestershire and I was one of the first to join the Air Training Corps Squadron that was set up in Stroud, number 1329 Squadron and that helped to focus my attention on joining the Royal Air Force and while I waited until I was old enough to apply and a couple of years later I found myself on the train going from Stroud up to Paddington with an appointment to go to Lords Cricket Ground to be a part of what turned out to be over five thousand budding air crew that were joining the RAF on the same day that I was and after a few weeks staying in local accommodation in that area I was then posted up to Scarborough to the ITW [name number?]. That was at Scarborough Grammar School. So I did my ITW and then I was posted up, back up to the north west of England to wait for a boat because I was going across to America to learn to fly in America as a pilot and going across the Atlantic we were chased by a U-boat which gave us a bit of a turn and we got away from it and got to the other side alright and then got on a train that took us three days to go along through Canada right down through the centre of America to Georgia. And so my opening days were down there in very high temperatures erm which I enjoyed very much and we were flying an aircraft called a Stearman, the biplane, and I’d gone solo but they decided that I and one or two others needed a lot more time than they could afford so they asked me to go back to Canada to carry on my training there which I did but when I got to Canada I was told the pilot training schools were all totally full so I’d have to hang around. So they then asked me if I wanted to be an air gunner and I said no. And they made me hang around a bit longer and then eventually they said, ‘We’re opening up a new air crew job called an air bomber. Would you be interested in that?’ And I said, ‘Yes.’ I’d have a go at that and so I went on through a couple of courses spread over three or four months and I came out as the two guys that, I was commissioned as a young pilot officer off the course. There was two of us commissioned. I was one of them and so I came back home having gone out as an erk I came back to England as a pilot officer. Then having got back to England I found myself, believe it or not, posted to, what’s that airfield near High Wycombe, the grass over?
JC: Booker.
KC: Booker. Booker airfield, to fly Tiger Moths and so I carried on. Started my pilot training or continued my pilot training there and I’m lost now from where I go from there.
JC: Do you want to stop for a second Dad? Shall we stop for a sec? Can we just stop for a sec?
KC: Hmmn?
JC: Do you want to stop for a little break?
KC: Yeah.
JC: For a second.
KC: Yeah.
JC: So you -
[Pause]
SJ: Okay.
KC: So I was posted to the northwest England to fly. Can you stop it for a minute? I can’t think.
[Pause]
JC: Botha?
KC: Botha, yeah.
JC: Botha.
KC: Yeah. That was it.
JC: Yeah.
KC: Up there in Scotland. In the northwest. And then on to er what was I saying? Which one the -
JC?: Cottesmore.
KC: Cottesmore. That was the Wellingtons. Starting to learn night bombing and all that techniques. And from there I was posted to -
JC: Winthorpe.
KC: Winthorpe, was it? Yes.
JC: Heavy Conversation Unit.
KC: Yeah. HCU.
JC: Yeah.
KC: And then -
JC: And then Bardney after that for five [weeks?]
KC: And then to 9 Squadron at Bardney.
JC: Yeah.
KC: On Lancasters, yeah. Yeah. I did ten ops with 9 Squadron and a crew there and then we were invited to join them, they had just set up the Pathfinder force in Bomber Command and we were recommended as a crew that could join the Pathfinder force which I went on a course at Bourne in Cambridgeshire and then graduated on, as a Pathfinder crew in Lancasters [pause] and I did another thirty five ops with a Pathfinder crew. Altogether, I did forty five ops and I came out of that. Just after finishing ops I got awarded the DFC. And where did I go after ops?
JC: You went off to, where did you go then? You went off to Fiskerton didn’t you? To be the station radar nav officer. Was that right?
KC: Yes, I did. I was posted to RAF Fiskerton near Lincoln.
JC: Yeah.
KC: Having, I completed altogether forty five ops so I was now screened from any more ops but I then flew at Fiskerton. There were two Lancaster squadrons there and my job was to, as new crews came in from training I had to fly with each new crew to check them out, that they, that their navigators could operate the radar properly before they were allowed to go on ops. That was hairy because some of the pilots were new and they couldn’t land the Lancaster at night and we used to do what we called a few, what we called a few cannon balls going down the runway at night. Anyway, went through that period. The squadron then moved from, they closed the airfield and moved us to Fulbeck and so I went along although I was on the station and not with the squadrons I was instructed by Group Headquarters to go with them to Syerston on the Fosse Way and I stayed with them for about two years at Syerston flying with new crews when they came in. Checking them out on the radar and so on. Then what happened after Syerston?
JC: Okay. So you were getting ready for the Tiger Force. Is that right?
KC: Um.
JC: You went to back to the, posted back to Coningsby. Station radar nav officer.
KC: Yeah.
JC: And you were part of the build-up for the Tiger Force when you were due to head out to the Far East weren’t you?
KC: They were going, they were going out there. Yeah.
JC: Yes but obviously it was cancelled because the Japanese surrendered. Didn’t they?
KC: Yeah. That’s it.
JC: Okay.
KC: [?]
JC: So that took you to the end of the war. Right?
KC: Yeah.
JC: And so what was your first posting post war was at HQ1 Group at Bawtry.
KC: Bawtry yes. I was the group radar nav, group navigation officer.
JC: Yeah.
KC: At headquarters of 1 Group at Bawtry.
JC: Yeah.
KC: Yeah.
JC: And then in 194 –
KC: I was a wingco then.
JC: That’s, okay, well you were then offered a permanent commission in, that was 1948.
KC: Yeah.
JC: You were offered permanent commission?
KC: Yeah.
JC: Yes.
KC: Yeah.
JC: And then you went on to Thirsk. Okay.
KC: Well, ‘cause I went to Topcliffe.
JC: Yes.
KC: ‘Cause that was, had been set up to, to train all wartime people like me in to being proper peacetime navigators [laughs].
JC: That’s right.
KC: And I was one of them. How to use Astro and all that stuff and to navigate the aeroplanes.
JC: What’s Astro?
KC: Astro and also with the radar, of course. All the latest stuff.
JC: Okay.
KC: Yeah. What happened after Topcliffe?
JC: And then you went to a conversion course on night all weather fighters and you then moved to Coltishall flying in Mosquitos.
KC: Yeah. I had to go on to learn the latest air borne radar for night fighter navigator radar people and then I was posted to Coltishall.
JC: That’s it.
KC: Where there was a night fighter squadron and I joined the squadron. I can’t remember how long. About a year or more and then I was posted – when? I took command.
JC: That squadron, that squadron converted didn’t it? To –
KC: To Javelins.
JC: That’s, no, to Meteors I think it was.
KC: Meteor night fighters. That’s right.
JC: That’s right. Yeah.
KC: Yeah. From Mosquito to Meteor night fighters.
JC: Yes.
KC: When did I take command?
JC: You, so that was, I don’t know when you took command but in 1953 you were group navigation officer at that point and in 1956/57 you went to West Malling didn’t you? And you were appointed as a flight commander. Is that right?
KC: Yeah.
JC: Which was unusual for a navigator wasn’t it?
KC: I was one of the first navigators to be a -
JC: Yes.
KC: A flight commander.
JC: Yes. Okay. And then in 1957 you went to 153 in West Malling.
KC: Yeah.
JC: And you were appointed commanding officer there.
KC: Yeah.
JC: And given the rank of Wing Commander at that point.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Yeah. And the aircraft you moved to then were Meteor.
KC: Meteor and, and yeah Meteor night fighters.
JC: That’s right.
KC: Yeah.
JC: They were 12s and 14s I think.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Were they?
KC: Yeah. Mark 12s and Mark 14s. Yeah.
JC: And later you converted to another aircraft.
KC: Yeah. Javelin.
JC: That’s right.
KC: Yeah.
JC: That’s right. Okay.
KC: Javelin. Night, all weather fighters.
JC: Okay. And then after that you were posted, you had an opportunity to improve your, your shocking education.
KC: Yeah. They sent me to the Staff College.
JC: That’s right.
KC: I went to the RAF Staff College for a year and they were obviously teaching me to read and write again you know.
JC: That’s right.
KC: I was at Bracknell in Berkshire.
JC: Okay.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Do you want to take another quick break? Just take a quick break dad?
KC: Yeah. Shall we do that? Yeah.
[Pause]
JC: So where did you go? You went off to the Middle East.
KC: Yeah. I went to Iran.
JC: No. No.
KC: No.
JC: That was post air force. You went to somewhere else. You went to Aden didn’t you?
KC: Oh I went to Aden, yes.
JC: That’s right.
KC: In the Middle East. Aden. And I used to have to tramp up in to the Persian Gulf from Aden.
JC: Yes.
KC: Visiting the air force bases and that all along the Gulf.
JC: Yes.
KC: And I was out there about two years wasn’t I?
JC: That’s right.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Until 1963.
KC: Yeah.
JC: And then you were posted back to a training command I think. Is that right? For a couple of years. And then you moved on to Signals Command at Medmenham near Marlow.
KC: Yeah, it was, it was, was it a Group Headquarters or a Command Headquarters?
JC: It was, it was HQ Signals Command it says.
KC: Oh the Command Headquarters then.
JC: Yes.
KC: As a staff officer I was there.
JC: Yeah. And what was your role there?
KC: Signals Command, Medmenham.
JC: Is it related to personnel? Wasn’t it? It says here you were a senior personnel staff officer.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Okay.
KC: Yeah. I think I was involved, yeah, in staffing matters there.
JC: That’s right.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Yes you were. And then you took retirement in January 1968.
KC: Yeah.
JC: And then started your civilian career.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Yes.
KC: Yeah
JC: So is that as far as you want to take it? There we go. That’s that bit. Now, shall we start again and I’ll, I’ll ask you some questions around this different things that you just want to give me there as well.
SJ: Those.
JC: Okay alright. So dad, so going back to so when were you, first of all just give your birthdate, dad. When you were born.
KC: 9th of April 1923.
JC: 1923. Okay and where were you born?
KC: Randwick.
JC: Randwick in Gloucestershire.
KC: Near Stroud.
JC: Yeah. Near Stroud in Gloucestershire.
KC: Yeah.
JC: And just kind of describe what sort of a place Randwick was back in those, those days?
KC: Well, Randwick was a small Cotswold village. Everybody knew everybody.
JC: Yeah.
KC: I went to Randwick village school.
JC: How many kids were there in that school? Roughly. Can you remember?
KC: There was about a hundred and fifty altogether.
JC: Was there? Okay.
KC: There were about three or, yeah, three classes total.
JC: Yeah.
KC: In the school.
JC: Okay.
KC: And I passed the eleven plus.
JC: And you also had, did some things in the village as well didn’t you? Weren’t you sort of active in the choir as I remember? Is that right?
KC: I was in the church choir.
JC: Yes.
KC: Yeah. The C of E church choir.
JC: Yeah.
KC: I became the head choir boy ‘cause I was the guy that would always get pushed in the back by the choir master saying, ‘Sing up Ken.’
JC: Fantastic. Okay. Alright. And so then you went, you passed your exam and went to Randwick School and where was Randwick School?
KC: Well it -
JC: Sorry not Randwick School. You went to Marling School.
KC: Marling. Marling School.
JC: And where was Marling School?
KC: Marling School was on the outskirts of Stroud.
JC: Which was how far away from -
KC: About four miles.
JC: Right.
KC: I used to cycle there on a bike every morning.
JC: Right. Okay.
KC: Yeah.
JC: And so you stayed there for a number of years until you were what? About sixteen were you?
KC: Yeah sixteen.
JC: Yeah. And then you left the -
KC: I then, I got a job with a company called Erinoid. It was in the early days when plastics were first being made in this country.
JC: Yes.
KC: And Erinoid were one of the early companies and I was invited to join their lab, their laboratory.
JC: Right.
KC: Where all the experiments was being done on the latest type of plastics.
JC: And so -
KC: I was an office boy if you like.
JC: Right.
KC: But in fact they made me look at everything that was going on with a view to picking it up.
JC: Right.
KC: Yeah.
JC: So you were almost like an apprentice there?
KC: An apprentice. Yes.
JC: That’s what you were kind of doing.
KC: Yes.
JC: Doing. Okay. And, and so you did that job. So we were now in 1939 so there would have, that would have been presumably you were working there at the outbreak of the war. Were you?
KC: Yes I was. Yeah.
JC: Right. Okay.
KC: Yeah.
JC: And what was, how did you feel about the outbreak of the war? What was, you know your initial thinking?
KC: Well one of the first things I did was to join the Air Training Corps in Stroud.
JC: Right okay.
KC: And from there -
JC: And what made you join that as opposed to joining the army or the navy? What was it about the Air Training Corps?
KC: It was about flying and I wanted to learn to fly.
JC: Right.
KC: Yeah.
JC: It seemed like a better option. Did it? Fair enough.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Fair enough. Okay. So you got to the age, I guess, of eighteen where you could potentially signup.
KC: Yeah.
JC: So were you conscripted or did you volunteer?
KC: I volunteered.
JC: You volunteered.
KC: Yeah.
JC: And where did you go to volunteer? At somewhere -
KC: I went to Weston Super Mare.
JC: Did you? Right.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Why did you have to go down there ‘cause that’s a bit of a way from Stroud?
KC: That was the sort of a holding centre.
JC: Right.
KC: Where you went down there and you’d find you were there with all sorts of guys and so on.
JC: Right I bet. Did any, did you go down there with anybody. Any friends go with you? Or?
KC: No.
JC: No you went off on your own did you?
KC: On my own. Yeah.
JC: And did you have to do anything before you went down there? Was there anything more local in Stroud that you had to do to -?
KC: Only that I was now an active member of the Air Training Corps in Stroud.
JC: So it was the Air Training Corps that helped you -
KC: That helped me.
JC: Yeah.
KC: Very much. Yeah.
JC: I see.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Okay. And so what happened when you went to Weston Super Mare? What happened when you went down there?
KC: Oh crikey. What happened at Weston Super Mare? I think we were, we were every day marched out on to the top of the cliffs.
JC: Yes.
KC: And made to parade up and down doing all sorts of, learning to drill, you know -
JC: Right.
KC: All the drill stuff.
JC: That’s where your drill stuff happened?
KC: Yes.
JC: Right. Okay. Good. And, and of course you had your mum and dad were back at home.
KC: Yes.
JC: What was their reaction to your having signed up and volunteered? Do you remember?
KC: My dad was almost, sort of well, ‘I expected you to do something like that Ken.’
JC: Right.
KC: Sort of thing, you know.
JC: Yes.
KC: My mum said, ‘I don’t want you to go.’
JC: No. I bet.
KC: 'I don’t want you to go.’
JC: As mums do.
KC: But I did. But I used to, you know come home on breaks and -
JC: Yes.
KC: See them.
JC: And you had, you had several older brothers and a sister. What were they doing during all of this?
KC: Yeah. Harry was the eld– , well Mabel was the eldest wasn’t she?
JC: Your sister. Yes.
KC: Yeah.
JC: That’s right.
KC: And she’s the one who kept, if you like, the family running.
JC: Right.
KC: Although she lived a few miles away.
JC: Yeah.
KC: She kept an eye on my mum and dad.
JC: Yeah.
KC: And really kept the family running -
JC: Yeah.
KC: Smoothly. And I had brothers like Harry.
JC: Yes.
KC: He was –
JC: Did he sign up for any, any of the services?
KC: Sorry?
JC: Did he sign up for any of the services? Or was he a bit, he was a bit older wasn’t he?
KC: A bit older. Yeah. Walter. Walter did.
JC: Yes.
KC: Yes. He did.
JC: What did he sign up for? Did he sign up for, was one of them merchant navy? I can’t quite remember what he was.
KC: It was something like that.
JC: Yeah.
KC: I think it was. Yes.
JC: Yes.
KC: Merchant navy. Yeah.
JC: Yes.
KC: Yeah.
JC: What about your nearest brother?
KC: Charlie.
JC: Charlie. What did he do?
KC: Well Charlie was in a reserved occupation ‘cause he worked for Newman Henders and he was a draughtsman.
JC: Right.
KC: And they were working on munitions and stuff.
JC: Oh right.
KC: And so he was screened. They wouldn’t let him go.
JC: Right.
KC: He had to get on with the war stuff that he was working on.
JC: Fine. Okay.
KC: On drawing boards and things.
JC: Okay. Alright. So -
KC: Yeah.
JC: So that’s what the family were doing and what they were thinking and you were off at Weston Super Mare and coming home at weekend, occasional weekends and things like that were you?
KC: Yeah. Yeah.
JC: Okay. And how, and so you did that for a bit and then you said before that you had to go up to, to Lord’s to kind of muster up there did you? Is that, is that right?
KC: Yeah. Yeah. Yes. I had to report to Lord’s.
JC: Yes.
KC: ‘Cause I wanted to fly aircrew.
JC: Yes. So that was where aircrew were sent.
KC: Aircrew. We all, literally I was absolutely shattered. Walked into the Lord’s Cricket Ground ‘cause I’d never been, even to London like that in my life.
JC: Right.
KC: And walked in and there with thousands -
JC: Yes.
KC: Guys like me and -
JC: And what was -
KC: We were there. They took over the expensive housing from, I’m not anti-Jews but a certain part near there a lot of Jew families, rich Jew families.
JC: That was St John’s Wood wasn’t it? Around the St John’s Wood.
KC: St John’s Wood.
JC: Yes.
KC: And the government kicked them all out.
JC: Yes.
KC: And took over all their sumptuous houses, I mean for me as village kid coming up there, going into their bathrooms and seeing all the ornate stuff they had in their bathrooms, you know.
JC: Quite something was it?
KC: It was. It was unbelievable, you know.
JC: And were you so you were sort of put into these, these kind of houses and apartments I guess in -
KC: Yeah.
JC: In London. And you were sharing with people from your part of the country or from around the country?
KC: All over the country. There were guys that could hardly add up to five.
JC: Right.
KC: Sort of thing.
JC: Yes.
KC: And there was, not cockneys but they had accents that you couldn’t understand half the things they said, you know.
JC: Right. I bet, I bet there were people that you hadn’t been exposed to many of those kinds of accents, had you?
KC: No. I hadn’t. No.
JC: Right.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Fantastic. Okay.
KC: Yeah.
JC: And so okay so you did, so you did that and then from there that’s where they sent you I think to Booker wasn’t it? To start the -
KC: Yeah.
JC: The training.
KC: FTS Booker.
JC: Yes.
KC: To start pilot training.
JC: That’s right.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Okay.
KC: Yeah. Yeah. That Booker was near High Wycombe.
JC: That’s it and that was for air experience wasn’t it? On, on -
KC: Yeah.
JC: What sort of aircraft? Those were on -
KC: Seeing if you were going to be airsick all the time.
JC: Yeah.
KC: Which, they would chuck you out of aircrew. Yeah.
JC: And that on what sort of planes were those you were flying?
KC: That was Tiger Moths.
JC: Tiger Moths.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Okay. Gosh.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Okay. And how did you take to the flying? What was your sort of initial memories of doing that?
KC: I felt quite comfortable about it. I think, I mean I wasn’t eliminated or anything like that.
JC: Right and could you have been eliminated at that point?
KC: You could have, yeah.
JC: Right.
KC: If you didn’t cope reasonably well they’d chuck you off the course.
JC: Right.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Okay and so, so that was sort of April May 1942 and then in June 1942 they put you on board this ship the SS Leticia.
KC: Leticia.
JC: Leticia that’s right. And that was -
KC: And we went across the Atlantic -
JC: And that was from up in Scotland. You had to go up to Scotland to catch -
KC: Yeah. Yeah.
JC: That didn’t you? From the Clyde.
KC: The Clyde.
JC: To go over to Halifax in Nova Scotia.
KC: Yeah.
JC: And –
KC: We were chased by U-boats going across the Atlantic.
JC: That’s right.
KC: Yeah.
JC: And then, and then from there you travelled down on the trains through to Georgia to -
KC: Albany, Georgia.
JC: Albany, Georgia. That’s right.
KC: Took about three days and nights on the train.
JC: That’s it.
KC: Thousand, hundreds of miles. It was a distance train trip.
JC: Okay. But you were flying from a place called Turner Field.
KC: Turner Field.
JC: Yeah.
KC: Albany, Georgia.
JC: That’s it. Okay. And then you were, what sort of planes were you flying down there? This was -
KC: PT17s. Stearman.
JC: Okay.
KC: A biplane.
JC: And this -
KC: The American version of the Tiger Moth sort of thing.
JC: Yeah.
KC: But it was a heavier airplane than the Tiger Moth.
JC: And why were you sent over to the States to do, to do this?
KC: Because they wanted air crew quickly.
JC: Right. But why not train them up here?
KC: The only schools we had were absolutely jam packed full.
JC: I see. Okay.
KC: And to, they needed to, they needed hundreds more.
JC: Right.
KC: So we were sent. I mean some were sent to South Africa.
JC: Yes.
KC: I was sent to Canada and America.
JC: Right. And America was still neutral at this time wasn’t it?
KC: Yes. Yeah.
JC: So, so, so but they were still happy for, for aircrew to be trained up in America on this -
KC: Yeah.
JC: There was -
KC: I don’t know how we got away with that but we did.
JC: Yeah. Okay and this was something called, there was a name for this scheme wasn’t it? What was it called?
KC: The Arnold Scheme.
JC: The Arnold Scheme. Okay.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Alright. Alright. So, so you did some training on these Stearmans and then they decided that you needed to do more flying and they sent you back up to Canada.
KC: Yeah.
JC: But the -
KC: They said they hadn’t got enough hours.
JC: Yes.
KC: To keep me down there because it was such a concentrated course down in America.
JC: Yeah.
KC: So they sent me back to Canada and they said I could carry on up there. All the lot of guys had got up there at this holding unit and I found I was there with about five hundred other guys who were also were waiting to carry on with their training.
JC: Right.
KC: And so I was there, I can’t remember how long I was there.
JC: So this was in, this was Trenton.
KC: Trenton, Ontario.
JC: Trenton, Ontario.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Okay. So -
KC: Yeah.
JC: This was in September 1942.
KC: Yeah.
JC: And I think you were there for some months by the looks of it.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Through until about January, I think.
KC: Yeah.
JC: In 1943.
KC: In the process they’d come every so often and say, ‘would you like to become an air gunner?’ And I’d say no.
JC: Why didn’t you want to be an air gunner?
KC: Well I didn’t, I thought that was an unskilled job.
JC: Right. Okay, Fair enough. Okay. And so, so then they offered you this thing called an air bomber.
KC: Yeah. Yeah.
JC: And what, what was that?
KC: Well, the air bomber, that was coinciding with the four engined bombers coming in to the RAF.
JC: Right.
KC: And -
JC: Like what sort of, examples of those, like what?
KC: The aircrew in the Lancaster.
JC: Yes.
KC: You had the pilot and the flight engineer.
JC: Yeah.
KC: Then you had two navigators. One was what they called the navigator plotter.
JC: Yes.
KC: His job was to work out time, course and so on and the other one was a navigator observer which was me.
JC: Right.
KC: My job was to do all the, operate the radar that we carried to drop our bomb loads using my radar. If we had to do visual bombing I had to also operate the bomb site down in the nose.
JC: Right.
KC: Of the Lancaster and I also was trained to use guns in the turrets in case we were attacked and the gunners were killed.
JC: Yes.
KC: My job was to get them out of the, out of the turret and take his place.
JC: Right.
KC: That sort of thing, you see.
JC: And wasn’t there some forward guns as well that you were supposed -
KC: Yes. In the, right in the nose.
JC: Yes.
KC: There was a turret.
JC: Yes.
KC: Right at the front and the gun protruded out the front.
JC: Yes.
KC: And down the tail end there were four guns in the tail end turret.
JC: Yeah.
KC: And the mid-upper turret -
JC: Yes.
KC: Were two guns.
JC: Right. Right.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Okay. Good okay. So you trained on this new job of air bomber for a period of several months. You came off and you were commissioned.
KC: Yeah.
JC: And coming out of the course. What rank was it again?
KC: I was a flight lieutenant.
JC: No. I think you were a pilot officer.
KC: Oh pilot officer, sorry.
JC: I think.
KC: Pilot officer. That’s right.
JC: That’s what you came out as didn’t you?
KC: Yeah.
JC: And then you were sent back to the UK at that time.
KC: Yeah.
JC: And you went up to Wigtown to fly these Bothas. Bothas. What sort of aircraft was that?
KC: Botha was a twin engine.
JC: Yes.
KC: Aircraft, it had been an operational aircraft but they reckoned it was underpowered so they took it off ops.
JC: Right.
KC: And used it as advanced training for people like me going on to ops.
JC: And had you formed a crew at that time or were you just randomly -
KC: No.
JC: Assigned to -
KC: I was a random guy at that time.
JC: Right.
KC: Didn’t -
JC: Okay.
KC: Didn’t, get a crew until you got to the OTU.
JC: Okay so that was the next thing. You went to the OTU.
KC: Yeah.
JC: At Cottesmore.
KC: Yeah.
JC: And you were flying Wellingtons.
KC: Wellingtons.
JC: So you got a crew there.
KC: There, yeah.
JC: And how did you, what was the process of choosing a crew. How did you -
KC: [Laugh] That’s a good question. We were -
JC: Were you carefully selected and matched up?
KC: We were a lump, a lump of aircrew there.
JC: Yeah.
KC: All sorts and sizes gunners and wireless operators and bomb aimers and navigators and pilots and so on and we used to wander around in a, you literally used to go up and say, ‘Have you got a crew yet mate?’ And whoever it was would say, ‘No I haven’t. Would you like to join with me? I’m a navigator.’ He’d say, ‘What are you?’ ‘I’m an air bomber.’ He’d say, ‘Yeah fine.’ And then we’d keep together and we’d go to somebody else, ‘Would you like to come in our crew.’
JC: So it was -
KC: And that’s how it was done.
JC: So obviously it was a scientific and carefully managed process so –
KC: Yeah.
JC: So that was good. So tell me a bit about the crew that you, that you ended up with. What was the skipper’s name?
KC: Jim Kermans[?] He was much older. I mean, we were, I was twenty one, twenty two and he was twenty nine. He was the dad of the crew.
JC: Right.
KC: Twenty nine.
JC: And where was he from?
KC: He was an Australian.
JC: Yeah.
KC: Very staid sort of person. Not much sense of humour.
JC: Yeah.
KC: On thinking back he must have been worried to hell on every flight he did. That sort of impression.
JC: Did he give you that impression while you were there or did you think he kind of took it in his stride quite a bit?
KC: He did it a bit when I was there.
JC: Yeah.
KC: ‘Cause I had to get very close to him.
JC: Yeah.
KC: The pilot. With some of the things I had to do -
JC: Yeah.
KC: Was directly on behalf of the pilot.
JC: Right.
KC: So I had to get to know him.
JC: Yes.
KC: I mean he had a flight engineer.
JC: Yes.
KC: But er -
JC: What was the flight engineer’s name?
KC: Ken Randall.
JC: Right.
KC: Yeah.
JC: And where was he from?
KC: The other navigator, what was called the navigator plotter was Don Bowes.
JC: Where was he -
KC: Who was an out and out Yorkshireman.
JC: Oh was he?
KC: He could hardly speak English. It was all Yorkshire stuff [laughs].
JC: Alright. What about, what about Ken Randall. Where was he from?
KC: Ken Randall, he was a Birmingham, brummy.
JC: Was he? Right Okay.
KC: Yeah. Yes.
JC: So you were meeting people from around the country that you’d probably never met people from that part of the world before.
KC: Yeah. It’s amazing how we welded into such a good crew.
JC: Yeah and what so what made a good crew do you think? What was -
KC: I think -
JC: How’d that work?
KC: You were individuals. In a crew of seven you’d find two or three of you were buddies and then suddenly a fourth one in the crew would sort of latch on to us ‘cause we’d go to a pub and he’d be there on his own.
JC: Right.
KC: And you’d say, ‘Come on. Have a drink,’ Sort of thing, you know.
JC: Yeah.
KC: And that helped to bring them in, you know.
JC: Right. So the pub was important then?
KC: Yeah. Oh yeah.
JC: Yeah.
KC: The village pub.
JC: Yeah. Yeah.
KC: Yeah.
JC: And where was the village pub? So you were -
KC: Bourne. Well when doing ops from Bourne -
JC: Yeah.
KC: We used to go down in the village pub, literally was in the village of Bourne.
JC: Right. Yeah.
KC: And we used to brews[?] in there and have a few.
JC: Yeah.
KC: And then get back and get to bed ‘cause we probably had to get up early morning to do some flying the next day.
JC: So, so on a so you obviously with Wellingtons you found your crew now.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Who else on the crew? So let’s just finish the crew off. So you’ve got your flight engineer, you’ve got your navigator, you’ve got your skipper who’s the pilot.
KC: Yeah.
JC: What about the, so you’ve got two gunners haven’t you?
KC: Yeah. We had, the mid upper gunner was a Canadian.
JC: Yes.
KC: And the tail gunner was an out and out broad Scotsman.
JC: Right.
KC: He used to get excited when we were on ops and he’d talk about this thing coming in and he used to shout and scream but it was in broad Scots and none of us could understand [laughs].
JC: [laughs] Brilliant. Okay. Good. So, Okay, so you’ve got your crew and you’ve moved over to the, to Winthorpe and then on to Bardney where you started operations in Bardney.
KC: I did ten ops at Bardney, 9 Squadron.
JC: And that was on Lancasters.
KC: Yes.
JC: On number 9 Squadron.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Okay and, and what sort of place, what was, what was Bardney like as a place to kind of work from?
KC: Bardney was very much a new airfield with Nissen huts.
JC: Yes.
KC: Everything was Nissen hutted accommodation.
JC: Right.
KC: And it seemed that, you know, everything was sparse there but it was just about enough for human people to live and be fed.
JC: Right.
KC: And then, but you were going off on ops and that from there and you used to think coming back oh I’ve got to come back to that bloody den downstairs again sort of thing, you know.
JC: Right. Right. And what so if you had an op, when did you know when you were flying on an operation. Did you -
KC: We were all, all the aircrew had to go for the briefing which was always held on the night of ops. The briefing was at two o’clock in the afternoon.
JC: Right.
KC: So all the aircrew that were about on the station would go straight towards the briefing room which was -
JC: Yes.
KC: Quite a huge room.
JC: Right.
KC: And they had table after table in there.
JC: Yeah.
KC: And they could pack a couple of hundred or three hundred aircrew -
JC: Right.
KC: In there.
JC: Yeah.
KC: And you’d walk in and then the far you came always came in at the back door. You walked in and you looked straight ahead because there were the maps of Germany and the continent ahead of you and there was the route you were going to fly that night and [?] we’d say, ‘Oh not bloody Berlin again.’ This was after I’d done about eight ops to Berlin, you know.
JC: Yeah. Yeah.
KC: And so, you know, we used to talk to one another, ‘Oh bloody Berlin again,’ you know.
JC: Yeah. Alright. So, so had the briefing room there. And who ran the briefings?
KC: The squadron commander.
JC: Yeah.
KC: And his flight commanders.
JC: Right. Okay.
KC: And of course they had specialists. I mean they had the guy who looked after the wireless operator guys.
JC: Yes. Yeah.
KC: And he was the radio wireless op king sort of thing.
JC: Yes. Yeah.
KC: And I think that was about it. What other trade was there? Oh the engineer.
JC: Right.
KC: Station engineer.
JC: Yes.
KC: Was always there.
JC: Yeah.
KC: And he would say something about what had happened to some of the aircraft. They had to do some modifications or.
JC: Right.
KC: And he also would cover anything wrong with the radar gear that we carried on board that had -
JC: Yes.
KC: Been modifications to it dadedadeda.
JC: Right.
KC: And all that stuff.
JC: Right. What other things came out of the briefings? I guess you would have some intelligence. There would be an intelligence officer there.
KC: They showed the route and they had a large scale map on the wall, the big wall at the end of briefing room but all they had shading areas showing where all the searchlight belts were -
JC: Yes.
KC: Over Germany.
JC: Yes.
KC: And where the night fighter air fields were -
JC: Yeah.
KC: In Germany.
JC: Yeah.
KC: And heavily populated areas. They were brought out to show you that -
JC: Yeah.
KC: You know don’t go flying over these on the way because they’ll shoot you down.
JC: Right.
KC: If you get mixed up with some of these other cities.
JC: Yes.
KC: On the way in to, in to your target in Germany.
JC: Yeah. Okay and so how long would a briefing typically take, would you say?
KC: Sorry.
JC: How long would a briefing typically take?
KC: I should say minimum of two hours.
JC: About two hours.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Okay.
KC: Yeah.
JC: And then would there be a break and you could go off or did you then go straight to -
KC: They would tell you what time briefing was going to be.
JC: Yeah.
KC: For the raid.
JC: Yeah.
KC: They would announce what time the night flying meal was arranged for.
JC: Right.
KC: So you had a good cooked meal before you went.
JC: What sort of things would you have before you go up?
KC: Eggs and bacon ‘cause eggs were rationed. Eggs and bacon and you know tomato and things like that.
JC: Right.
KC: Lovely.
JC: Lovely, yeah. Yeah. Fantastic. There’s got to be some pros to it I suppose. So, that’s good. Okay and so you have your meal and then what happens? You go to your dispersal do you?
KC: You went back to your room in dispersal and if it –
JC: How did you travel around the base did you –?
KC: Bike.
JC: On bike.
KC: [We were drove?] or bike.
JC: Right. Okay. So you would ride out and it could be a half a mile away or that kind of distance.
KC: Yeah.
JC: To your -
KC: A couple of miles.
JC: A couple of miles.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Okay.
KC: Could be. Yeah.
JC: So it could be getting dark by this point and you’d be cycling off to –
KC: Yeah.
JC: And the plane would be there and there would be a building next to the plane that you would, you would sit in prior to -
KC: Yeah.
JC: Going off would you?
KC: Well remember we had to go back to briefing.
JC: Yes.
KC: For the raid.
JC: Yes. Okay. So that’s in addition to that. So you had a second meeting then -
KC: Yeah.
JC: Do you?
KC: Yeah.
JC: Right. Okay and what was, what was the purpose of that? That second meeting.
KC: Sorry?
JC: Have a drink. Have a drink, dad.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Sorry. I’m getting you to do too much talking.
[pause]
JC: And what would, what would the purpose of that second meeting be dad? The briefing. What was different from that from the first, the first briefing in the afternoon?
KC: Any changes of timing.
JC: Ah I see. Okay.
KC: Something might come through from group head or command headquarters.
JC: Yeah.
KC: That they’d found out something about Jerry tactics or something was going to happen.
JC: Yes.
KC: So that might modify the way you were going in. They may even change the route.
JC: Right.
KC: ‘Cause they were ‘cause your original route would take you right into the middle where all the German night fighters were.
JC: I see.
KC: So they would re-route you.
JC: Right. So they’d have updates on intelligence.
KC: To try to avoid that.
JC: Okay. So they’d have updated information. Alright. So you’d have that second briefing and then you’d go off to your dispersal area. Right? Is that -
KC: Yes. Yeah.
JC: Yes. Okay and then would you go straight in to the plane or sit around in the dispersal area for a bit or how, how long a -
KC: We used to sit in our room.
JC: Yes.
KC: You know, I mean it was Nissen huts where I was. I probably had about four or five guys on beds in the same Nissen huts -
JC: Yes.
KC: That I was.
JC: Yeah. Yeah.
KC: So I we’d have a chinwag or you know you’d, you may have wanted to go and have a bath or something like that.
JC: Right.
KC: You know.
JC: What else did you do to kind of while away the time ‘cause obviously there was lots of sitting around waiting isn’t there? So -
KC: Yeah if this lady wasn’t here I’d tell you exactly what we were doing [laughs].
JC: Right okay fine I think we’ll leave that to the imagination there, dad. That’s fine. Okay. [laughs].
KC: Yeah.
JC: What about things, did you play cards or anything like that or -
KC: Some of the guys did. Yes.
JC: Yeah.
KC: And -
JC: Yeah.
KC: And card games or poker and things like that.
JC: Yeah.
KC: Well, you know, poker’s a card game.
JC: Yeah.
KC: Things like that.
JC: Chess and things like that?
KC: Chess, yeah.
JC: Yeah. Yeah. Okay, alright so then the time came and you had to get in, get in to the plane.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Presumably you had to suit up. Just describe what you had to wear before you -
KC: Well, you’d, you obviously would put your flying overalls on.
JC: Yeah.
KC: But we used to have odd pockets in these flying overalls and so each chap would decide whether he wanted to take a knife, bars of chocolate stuffed down the leg or something like that.
JC: Yeah.
KC: In case you bailed out and -
JC: Sure.
KC: You wanted, you know. That was the idea was to take something like bars of chocolate.
JC: Didn’t you have ration packs as well?
KC: Oh yes.
JC: Did you have emergency rations?
KC: Yeah. Had a -
JC: Or something.
KC: Ration pack, yes.
JC: Yeah. Yeah that you carried with you.
KC: Yeah. Yeah.
JC: Right. Okay. So you had your overalls on and what else? What other things did you have to put on before you climbed in to the plane?
KC: Well, obviously the Mae West.
JC: Yes. What’s a Mae West for those that wouldn’t know?
KC: The Mae West was, was the, if you came down in the sea you wore it. You had your flying suit on and also your underclothing and anything like that and then this Mae West went over the top and it had a system of buoyancy.
JC: Right.
KC: But also you could inflate air. The little bottle -
JC: Right.
KC: With air and you could pull a plug plunger and that would shoot air and this thing would, from being close to you would suddenly you were in the middle of a floatation -
JC: Right.
KC: Gadget.
JC: Yes.
KC: Sort of thing, you see.
JC: Yes. So like a lifejacket almost. Yes.
KC: So if your aircraft came down in the sea and you had to get out of it whatever happened ‘cause it was going down with you on board –
JC: Yes.
KC: This was how you made your thing work so at least you.
[phone ringing]
JC: Yes. Yes. Okay so we’ve got that. And then what else? You presumably have a flying jacket would you, as well? That you would need to, to wear.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Yes.
KC: During the war they changed those quite a bit. I had one that was very woolly and fluffy.
JC: Yes.
KC: But it was also a nuisance ‘cause it was all padded in the wrong places and things like that for wear.
JC: Oh really.
KC: So it wasn’t, it wasn’t sensible.
JC: Oh right.
KC: So we chose not to wear that. We wore them in the middle of winter of course.
JC: Right. Yeah.
KC: But if we could get away without it we’d put an extra jumper on.
JC: Yes. Okay. Okay, alright so you put, put all that clothing. What about a parachute? Did you have to wear one of those?
KC: We all wore harness.
JC: Yes.
KC: What they called parachute harness.
JC: Yeah.
KC: With clips on the front and your parachute was a pack about that wide.
JC: Yes.
KC: Which was stored somewhere handy for where you sat.
JC: Right.
KC: In the aircraft.
JC: Right.
KC: And the idea was that if you had to get out the first thing you don’t enquire, ‘Where’s my bloody chute?’
JC: Yeah.
KC: You took it with you and as you went out of the aircraft you clipped it on.
JC: Yes.
KC: You pulled the thing so you come down alright, you know.
JC: I see. Okay.
KC: That was the drill that you were taught.
JC: That was the idea was it okay. And this was all -
KC: And I was pleased not to have to do that.
JC: Yes that’s good. Leaving a perfectly good plane. Yes.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Okay so that’s how you dressed. So you climb into the plane and then presumably what happens then the kind of engines on and you’ve got sort of checks that you have to do before -
KC: Yeah and you had checks to do and you got in to the aircraft. Each of us had our pre-flight checks to do.
JC: Yeah.
KC: You know, I had to get all my equipment, bits of equipment that I carried.
JC: Yes.
KC: To do my job. And if I was using radar which I was had to set up the radar sets. [ ?]
JC: Have a drink. You’re not used to talking this much are you dad? Actually, you are used to talking this much. Yeah.
[Pause]
JC: So you’re getting your radar sets ready. Yes.
KC: Yeah. Getting it all set up and you know you’d obviously plug in your leads to make sure you were on the air with everybody else in the aircraft.
JC: Yes.
KC: And just check that out.
JC: What about oxygen and stuff like that?
KC: Oxygen. Yeah.
JC: Pre-test that?
KC: You each had your oxygen point where you sat.
JC: Yes.
KC: [Excuse me] and plug that in.
JC: Yes and did you have if you needed to move around the aircraft you had presumably a kind of mobile -
KC: Yes. A portable bottle that you could -
JC: Yeah.
KC: Pick up. They were stowed in two or three places in the aircraft.
JC: Right.
KC: So if you I mean for instance if you wanted to use the loo in the Lanc.
JC: Yes.
KC: You had to go right to the back of the bloody aircraft.
JC: Was that presumably where the rear gunner was, was it?
KC: You went right near to the rear.
JC: Yeah.
KC: Gunner.
JC: Yeah.
KC: But to get there you had to climb over what we called the main spar.
JC: Yes.
KC: Which went right through the middle of the main wing.
JC: Yes.
KC: But also went through the cockpit bit where we were.
JC: The fuselage. Yeah.
KC: So to get to that you had to literally climb over this thing.
JC: Yeah. Yeah.
KC: With all your garb on you know.
JC: Yeah. Yes. And -
KC: Not popular that.
JC: Yes and a slightly personal question but what was it like going to the loo on a Lancaster?
KC: Shall I tell you?
JC: Go on. Yes.
KC: Well on one occasion my bottom froze to the, to the pan.
JC: Did it? ‘Cause it was a metal toilet seat.
KC: We moaned about these things and then they changed this seat from metal to plastic because of that. Because not only me but some of the other guys had gone to the toilet and found they couldn’t get their bottom of the toilet. It was frozen on. It‘s absolutely true.
JC: Oh right okay. Alright.
KC: And -
JC: Yes. So -
KC: Yeah. I don’t think I’d better say any more about that.
JC: Okay dad. There’s enough detail there. Thank you dad. That’s good. Alright. So, so you’ve done your pre-flight checks, you’re in the plane and then you’re kind of taking off. Now that must have been quite a spectacle being there with lots of aircraft taking off at one time.
KC: Oh yeah.
JC: Yeah.
KC: Yeah.
JC: What was that like? ‘Cause I guess you were able to, where you were sitting, look out and see -
KC: Yeah.
JC: Other aircraft around were you?
KC: See. Yeah, all the aircraft encroaching towards the beginning of the runway.
JC: Right.
KC: So they might have come right across the other side of the airfield. The airfields were pretty big.
JC: Yes.
KC: So they were taxiing around the peri track, they were.
JC: Yeah. Yeah.
KC: And suddenly all converge and all these aircraft were coming from all directions to -
JC: Yes.
KC: That one point.
JC: Yes.
KC: To get to the end of the runway.
JC: Right.
KC: That used to be a bit nightmarish at times because -
JC: You could have crashed into each other.
KC: Some of the guys used to get too bloody close and -
JC: Yeah.
KC: Bang the tips of their wings and things like that.
JC: Right okay so alright so can you, have a drink dad.
KC: Yeah.
JC: I was just going to ask you what your memories are of your early operations because that must have been quite, quite, you know, scary as a new crew.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Relatively new crew. Can you -
KC: It was, it was horrific.
JC: Yes.
KC: Is the fair way. In terms of there were these guys on the ground shooting up and trying to get you and you were flying along and suddenly there was a bloody great explosion out to the right and somebody’s been hit by ack ack and he’s exploded with all his bombs on board. The first time you see that is quite an eye opener I can tell you.
JC: I bet.
KC: And I used to see, we used to see it on almost every raid we went on. Some poor sod would get a direct hit from -
JC: Yeah.
KC: German ground ack ack stuff and what they, of course they had their night fighters up as well.
JC: And what sort of planes were those. Those were -
KC: They were –
JC: Messerschmitts, were they? Messerschmitt 109s.
KC: Messerschmitt and they were twin engine Messerschmitts.
JC: Yes.
KC: Yeah.
JC: And they had a tactic.
KC: The ME109 was single.
JC: Right.
KC: But they had ME110s.
JC: Right.
KC: Which was a two man crew.
JC: Right.
KC: Yeah. And they were deadly.
JC: Yes. On what –
KC: ‘Cause they had the latest radar as we had the latest radar.
JC: Right.
KC: So they could pick us up.
JC: Right. And what was their tactic? You said about them using to try and fly up underneath.
KC: Yeah.
JC: I remember you saying about that.
KC: Their main tactic was to get A, to get themselves into the bomber stream.
JC: Yes.
KC: Our bomber stream.
JC: Yes.
KC: And then they had to use their own radar to pick us up.
JC: Yes.
KC: Bearing in mind we were going across twenty or twenty five thousand feet across coming up from the ground.
JC: Yes.
KC: From Germany and across the North Sea and so on.
JC: Yes.
KC: So they would suddenly find they were up among us.
JC: Right.
KC: And we soon knew they were there because suddenly, you’d be going along all nice and dark and suddenly boom an aircraft blew up just in front of you.
JC: Right.
KC: ‘Cause they, if they attacked us on the way to the target we all still had all our bombs on board.
JC: And was that the tactic that they used to try and shoot up into the bomb bays as well.
KC: Yes they used to fly. If that was me flying along with my crew along there they used to come up there.
JC: Yes.
KC: And they’d open up because they knew all your bombs were in the bomb bay.
JC: Yes.
KC: On the bottom side of the aircraft.
JC: Right.
KC: So their idea was to explode our bombs.
JC: Yes.
KC: To blow us up.
JC: Right. Right. I see.
KC: And the nearest I ever had in my crew was when they did that ‘cause they did it several times but this particular occasion the, they were so close they were too close when they opened fire.
JC: Right.
KC: So the cannon shells came through the bottom of the aircraft, missed all our bombs but they ended up some of them in the front cockpit just missing me and the pilot and the other navigator.
JC: Right.
KC: But it was so close, bearing in mind we were wearing oxygen masks, the bomber crew.
JC: Yeah.
KC: But it was the cordite when the shells exploded in the aircraft.
JC: Yes.
KC: Was so strong even with oxygen mask I could smell, smell the cordite.
JC: Right.
KC: From the cannon shells exploding -
JC: Right.
KC: Inside the aircraft.
JC: That’s amazing.
KC: But also of course they came through and didn’t just stop. They kept flying through and this particular case of the attack they broke our plexiglass nose.
JC: Right.
KC: It shattered.
JC: Yes.
KC: So we had a gale blowing in the front didn’t we ‘cause there was no blooming plexiglass to protect us.
JC: Right.
KC: I’ve never forgotten that one. Yeah.
JC: Because didn’t you have to go down there as well to do the bombing?
KC: Visual. If the radar didn’t work.
JC: Yes.
KC: You didn’t bring your bombs back. You went down. I had to be able to use the visual bomb sight.
JC: Yes.
KC: The Mark 14 bomb sight.
JC: Right. Right.
KC: Lying prone and looking through the actual bomb site and directing the pilot verbally over the intercom telling him which, to go left, right, up or down whatever the case might be.
JC: Yes.
KC: Because I was using my bomb sight.
JC: Yes.
KC: To aim at what I thought was the target we were going for.
JC: And, and so what stopped you from just dumping the bombs and heading off home? Why, why would that, you know.
KC: Well we weren’t going to do that. Fly all that bloody way and not drop our bombs were we?
JC: Yeah I know but why, why was it so important to, to kind of, you know, get, get them on target. Would you have been required -
KC: Well -
JC: To come back again if you -
KC: Because when you operated the bomb release.
JC: Yes.
KC: You set in motion a line overlap camera.
JC: Right.
KC: There was a camera built up in the bomb bay.
JC: Yes.
KC: And when your bomb doors was open and you pressed the bomb button to release the bombs, it operated this camera.
JC: Yeah.
KC: Which then took a line overlap the ground that you were flying over so when you got over that back to base the station photographic officer came in and took the camera thing out of the camera, whatever they called it, you know.
JC: Yeah.
KC: Part of the camera away.
JC: Yes.
KC: And developed it and could, they could plot and decide whether you’d bombed your target or you’d bombed ploughed fields or something.
JC: Yes and so if you hadn’t hit the target they’d send you back there again the next night basically.
KC: That wouldn’t have counted as an op.
JC: And wouldn’t counted it as an op. So you would have -
KC: And your crew would kill you.
JC: Yeah. Yes.
KC: ‘You didn’t do it properly Ken. You made us do another bloody op Ken.’
JC: So but I guess on the other side of that there would be occasions where you were over a target being shot at.
KC: Yeah.
JC: And searchlights going everywhere weren’t there?
KC: Yeah.
JC: And you were trying to make sure you hit it and they probably wanted you to leave quick sharp didn’t they?
KC: The rest of the crew.
JC: Yeah.
KC: They’d say, ‘Ken drop the bloody thing. Drop it.’ [laughs]
JC: Yeah. Yeah okay. Alright.
KC: And I didn’t.
JC: No. No. No.
KC: And so when we came back I knew I had a good photograph of what we’d actually, where we’d bombed.
JC: Yeah.
KC: We had bombed the proper target.
JC: Okay so you did those early, those early operations in 9 Squadron and then you were moved to 97 Squadron as part of the Pathfinder force.
KC: Yes.
JC: Why, why were you selected to go to the Pathfinder force?
KC: I think we discussed as a crew because if you went there you got a promotion.
JC: Right.
KC: You got another rank.
JC: I see.
KC: Okay.
JC: Yeah.
KC: Yeah. And we felt that we’d done ten ops on main force.
JC: Yeah.
KC: What we called main force. We felt we were ready to upgrade ourselves.
JC: Right.
KC: And so we volunteered and went through the, of course we had to learn all the latest radar which the main force -
JC: Did you automatically get put on to Pathfinders if you volunteered or is there a selection process that you had to go through. Did they, because presumably they wanted?
KC: There was a selection process.
JC: Right.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Okay.
KC: But they knew your record if you’d already done ten ops on. As I had.
JC: Yes.
KC: As we had on 9 Squadron.
JC: Yeah.
KC: They knew that you knew what was going on.
JC: Yes.
KC: Sort of thing.
JC: Yes.
KC: And they still put us through this course to learn the latest radar.
JC: Right.
KC: That the Pathfinders had that the main force didn’t have.
JC: So tell, what was the role of the Pathfinder force? What was that really about?
KC: The role of the Pathfinder force was obviously to find the target and mark it with pyrotech markers or whatever –
JC: Yeah.
KC: You were, had been told to use. It was also part of our job was to put down route markers because some of the main force would lose their radar on the way.
JC: Right.
KC: So we’d put markers down which were at their briefings they would be told that route markers would be dropped and look out for a red/yellow or whatever pyrotechnic coming down. That’s the one you aim for going towards the target and things like that you know.
JC: So it was like breadcrumbs was it?
KC: Yeah. Yeah.
JC: Laid for you and you did they breadcrumbs.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Right. Okay. Okay and why, why did they need you to put markers down? Why couldn’t every, every crew just - what, what was the purpose of marking?
KC: They were not highly trained like we were.
JC: Right.
KC: We had been put through these special courses when we joined the Pathfinder force. We had special courses to try to get us to work to the odd minute.
JC: Yes.
KC: Of time.
JC: Yes.
KC: Bearing in mind we were going on a twelve to fifteen hour flight and to talk about getting within the minute or two or whatever was quite a tall order.
JC: Right.
KC: But we did it.
JC: Yeah.
KC: The guys who were, like me who were Pathfinders. That’s what we had to be able to do.
JC: Okay.
KC: That’s why I got a DFC at the end of it.
JC: Good. Yeah. Your timekeeping. That’s good.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Good. So you, so you did this role and you, you marked the targets. Were you also dropping live munitions as well or was it just markers that you were dropping?
KC: Oh every time we dropped bombs.
JC: Yeah. You dropped bombs as well.
KC: Well when I pressed the button to let go the markers.
JC: Yeah.
KC: On that stick of bombing that I was using.
JC: Yeah.
KC: We were getting rid of incendiaries, sometimes incendiaries.
JC: Yes.
KC: Would go down.
JC: Yeah.
KC: A shower of them or it could be incendiaries plus five hundred pound bombs were going down.
JC: Right.
KC: It could be a whole stick of all that stuff.
JC: Yes.
KC: And then in the middle of that we were dropping stuff called Window.
JC: And what is Window?
KC: Window was the code name given to stuff that we used to throw out, disperse out of the aircraft to try to muck about with the ground radar system so it would instead of just getting, picking up our aircraft this was a massive metalised thing that dropped out of our aircraft and it caused consternation to the Jerries on the ground because instead of getting one clear blip of a bomber suddenly there was a bloody great cloud of stuff and you couldn’t pick out the bombers.
JC: Right.
KC: Because of our, the stuff we dropped out of the aircraft.
JC: It sort of confused.
KC: One of the tactics we were doing things against them and they were doing things against us.
JC: Right.
KC: But this was the sort of thing that we were trained to do.
JC: Right. Right. Okay. Okay and so were the Pathfinders always ahead of the main force or did they, ‘cause they had to mark the target.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Or did they have to -
KC: They were always the primary markers.
JC: Yes.
KC: They were Pathfinder primary markers.
JC: Yes.
KC: And you did that when you were, had become very -
JC: Yes.
KC: Experienced Pathfinders.
JC: Right.
KC: But then because some of the raids we had seven or eight hundred aircraft on.
JC: Yes.
KC: There had to be marker crews coming in towards the end.
JC: Yes.
KC: To drop markers for the last lot of ordinary bomber boys that were coming in.
JC: Yes.
KC: They still needed to find and put their bombs down on the target.
JC: Right.
KC: So the Pathfinder guys, believe it or not, we used to hate that. If you were one of the unlucky sods to come at the end you know you would get everything shot out of you because -
JC: Yeah.
KC: By the time you got there the Jerries knew you were coming anyway.
JC: Right.
KC: And their night fighters were up amongst you.
JC: Yeah.
KC: But usually very experienced Pathfinder crews that came in towards the end.
JC: Right.
KC: To make sure that the rest of the main force had some markers to aim at.
JC: Right. Okay. Okay that’s good. Alright. So, any particular, so you obviously did quite a few operations. You did forty five in total didn’t you?
KC: Yeah.
JC: And any, any, any of them stand out in your mind at all for any reason?
KC: Um -
JC: You mentioned Berlin as a difficult place to go to.
KC: I did ten ops to Berlin.
JC: Yes.
KC: I think what was the, there was, also we did trips to the Ruhr area.
JC: Yes.
KC: Which was full of anti-aircraft. That was a terrible lot to go over because they used to try to knock you out of the sky straight away. There were some trips. I’m trying to think. I’ll think of it in a minute.
JC: Well just while you’re thinking about that the other thing is obviously during your operational time was the, of, was preparations for D-Day wasn’t it? Going in to -
KC: Yeah.
JC: 1944.
KC: Yeah.
JC: And so you started to intersperse operations over Germany with operations over France.
KC: Absolutely.
JC: And so what was your role really in the kind of run up to D-Day?
KC: We, we were given targets, German targets on the beaches.
JC: Yes.
KC: The Normandy beaches.
JC: Yes.
KC: We were given targets for about three nights in a row.
JC: Yes.
KC: To cover the Germans.
JC: Yes.
KC: They had built quite hefty defence systems behind the beaches of Normandy and we went over, and we came down lowish to do it. We didn’t do it at twenty odd thousand. I think we were dropping stuff over, over the French coast about ten thousand feet.
JC: Right.
KC: And so the idea was to make sure that you clobbered all the German ‘cause they had tanks on the beaches.
JC: Yes.
KC: And they’d built in gun systems.
JC: Yeah.
KC: Into the rocks and so on the beaches and so we used to go and drop sticks of flares to have a look and then when we could see them we’d turn around and do a visual run over them and clobber them.
JC: Right. Right.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Okay. So that was a, was a slightly different role then from what you’d been -
KC: From normal.
JC: Normal operations.
KC: The normal mass bombing.
JC: Yes. Yes.
KC: We did in places. The big cities in Germany.
JC: Yes. Okay. Alright. So you, so you did all that and that took you up to, to around the time of D-Day which is when I think you had your, your last operation. July 1944 in fact was your, no, sorry, April 1944 was your final operation I think.
KC: Where was that too?
JC: I don’t know. I haven’t got a note of that but your, certainly your latter ones you did, I think, ten or twelve operations over France.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Various parts of France.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Including the Normandy, the sort of, the immediate environment of the beaches.
KC: That’s why I got that gong.
JC: That’s right. Yeah so that was why you got the Legion d’honneur.
KC: Yeah.
JC: So yes you did that. Then you moved on to do sort of training type roles didn’t you? After -
KC: Yeah.
JC: Preparing other crews to go up.
KC: Yeah. That was one of the worrying things in my life.
JC: Yeah.
KC: Whenever I flew with people I’d say, I’d say to, when I got down I’d say that bloody Pardew[?] he can’t land it.
JC: Yes.
KC: He was doing what we called a kangaroo landing every time he landed.
JC: Oh really. Bouncing down the runway.
KC: Yeah.
JC: With inexperienced crews.
KC: Yeah.
JC: And your role with them was to prepare them on the radars and that sort of thing.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Okay. Okay and how were you feeling at this kind of time? What was the sort of, ‘cause you’d done forty five operations so an experienced hand at doing all this so what was your sort of feeling about things? Do you recall how, how that was?
KC: Yes. I felt that I was due for a rest.
JC: Right.
KC: I felt I was happy to come back again.
JC: Yeah.
KC: But I felt we’d had some real tough ops.
JC: Yes.
KC: We’d been on Pathfinders.
JC: Yeah.
KC: And I thought enough is enough for a while.
JC: Yes.
KC: And that’s the way it went.
JC: Yes and you had, I think at least one or two operations where you come back and you’d lost engines.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Yes and so -
KC: Yes, that’s, yeah at its believe it or not I was never terribly worried about that as long as –
JC: Yeah.
KC: We had two or three engines left.
JC: Yes.
KC: The Lanc would fly on it alright.
JC: Yes.
KC: But if you lost two engines -
JC: Yes.
KC: Particularly on one side.
JC: Yes.
KC: That could be, that meant that meant the pilot really, it was it was really critical because he had to operate the pedals to offset the fact he hadn’t have any power on one side.
JC: Yes.
KC: He’s got all the power on the left side.
JC: Yes.
KC: Or the right side.
JC: Yeah.
KC: And it needed quite a bit of physical effort to control that.
JC: Right. Right. Okay -
KC: But we had this chap Jim Kermans [?] who was a bloody good pilot.
JC: Yes.
KC: He was mature. He was twenty nine years old and we were all about twenty one.
JC: Right.
KC: The rest of the crew.
JC: Yeah.
KC: And he was mature, he was a trained lawyer in Australia.
JC: Yeah.
KC: And you know he was, he was a great guy really.
JC: Right.
KC: I didn’t like him too much as a man.
JC: Right.
KC: ‘Cause he hadn’t got any sense of humour.
JC: Right.
KC: But as, as an aviator he was tops.
JC: Yes. Got you back safely all those -
KC: Yes.
JC: All those times.
KC: Yes.
JC: Yes. Yeah, so that’s good and what happened to the crew after you finished your forty five operations. Did you stay in touch with them or did you all disperse to do other things?
KC: We soon dispersed off.
JC: Yes.
KC: To do, you know, different members of the crew, whatever their job was, they were sent to training schools.
JC: Yes.
KC: To, like the wireless operator guy would go -
JC: Yeah.
KC: To help train new boys and so on and that sort of thing. Yeah.
JC: Yeah. Okay, alright. And at the end of the war you were you did this goodwill tour as well which we hadn’t spoken about so -
KC: To America.
JC: Yes. So, tell, tell us about that. That was with quite a famous squadron wasn’t it?
KC: 617.
JC: Yes with 617.
KC: The one that Guy Gibson when they did the -
JC: Yes.
KC: Eder dams and all that.
JC: Yes that’s right. The Dambusters.
KC: They were based at that time at Binbrook.
JC: Right.
KC: And the AOC asked me would I like to go along -
JC: Yes.
KC: And fly on that trip to America with 617.
JC: And what was the purpose of the trip? You said it was a goodwill tour.
KC: Goodwill.
JC: So it was to -
KC: We were going to first of all flew across the Atlantic to Washington DC.
JC: Yes.
KC: And whilst we there of course we, the public were invited to come and look at our aircraft because you know we had, we had operational bomber aircraft.
JC: Right.
KC: So the public were invited in, in their droves.
JC: Yeah.
KC: To see our Lancasters.
JC: Yeah.
KC: You know, and it was quite a sight.
JC: Yeah.
KC: To have the whole squadron of Lancaster lined up on their airfields.
JC: Yeah.
KC: And the crowds would come in literally in their hundreds and thousands.
JC: Right.
KC: To see them.
JC: Right.
KC: You know.
JC: And what’s your memories of America having gone from wartime Britain. You know, immediately after the war to what was your lasting memory of America?
KC: I thought they were lucky sods.
JC: Yeah.
KC: Yeah because -
JC: I guess the food was slightly different wasn’t it?
KC: Oh yeah. Yeah, that was lovely you know ‘cause we were still on rationing back home.
JC: Yes.
KC: But there we had the best of everything.
JC: Yes.
KC: That we could lay our hands on.
JC: Yes.
KC: You know.
JC: Fantastic.
KC: Sorry that sounds awful but you know what I mean.
JC: Fantastic. Okay and, alright so, and so you toured around the States with this -
KC: Yeah.
JC: Good-will tour. Okay. Right -
KC: We were on Lincolns by the way.
JC: You flew on Lincolns. Not on -
KC: Not Lancasters.
JC: Right.
KC: They’d just brought the Lincoln in and we were, we took, was it twelve or fourteen Lincolns across to America? And of course everywhere we went, the first thing we would arrive we would do a flypast.
JC: Yes.
KC: Bloody great Lancs flying over the town.
JC: Or Lincolns, yeah.
KC: Or Lincolns rather.
JC: Yeah. Yeah.
KC: Flying over their towns.
JC: Yeah.
KC: Which they seemed to enjoy and we went right across. I mean we started off in Washington DC was our first port of call and then to Detroit. Across America to Detroit and from Detroit across to Kansas and Kansas to LA and from LA coming back more south. What was the place in the south? I’ve forgotten the big cities across the south.
JC: Was it Dallas or somewhere like that?
KC: Dallas, yeah.
JC: Yeah.
KC: Dallas was one of them.
JC: Yeah.
KC: Yeah and then back up to Washington eventually.
JC: Right.
KC: And from there and then we took off and flew back to England.
JC: Right. Right.
KC: It was, to me it was an absolute education ‘cause I mean we saw the states you know all the time.
JC: Yeah.
KC: Seeing places we’d read about and never been to.
JC: Yes, fantastic alright. Good. Okay so you came back and then you had your post war career and you carried on flying Mosquitos and then you converted to some of the early jets didn’t you?
KC: Yeah.
JC: And what was that like? Going from a sort of a propeller-driven plane to a, to a jet.
KC: That was an education.
JC: Yeah.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Yeah. So that was, that was the early Meteors and then on to Javelins wasn’t it?
KC: Javelins. Yeah.
JC: Yes. Yes, okay.
KC: Yeah.
JC: So, good -
KC: Super planes they were. I thought anyway.
JC: Okay and you took and you took some of these planes on overseas didn’t you? I remember seeing pictures of you in places like Cyprus.
KC: Yeah.
JC: You went on training.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Operations didn’t you? Down -
KC: Yeah.
JC: Down there.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Were you involved in any of the sort of post war, so there was obviously problems in Cyprus and then there was -
KC: Yeah, we were there.
JC: In Suez and things like that were you?
KC: What aircraft did we have to go there?
JC: It would have been either Meteors or, or Javelins I’m assuming. Was it?
KC: I think it was Javelins.
JC: Yes.
KC: Yeah ‘cause when we were there we were the air commander of Cyprus [billed us?] we were told quickly, ‘You are now part of my defence force.’
JC: Right.
KC: Sort of thing and I was going off at night in the dark. My crew and other members of the crew and so on ‘cause they were having problems with the, what are they called? The Jews. You know the -
JC: The Israelis.
KC: Israelis. Yeah.
JC: Yeah.
KC: They were being a nuisance and coming over Cyprus and things like that.
JC: Right.
KC: And into the Cyprus airspace.
JC: Yeah.
KC: So we’d get scrambled to go and chase them off.
JC: Yeah.
KC: At night.
JC: Okay.
KC: But they were also Turkey were reinforcing their own people because there were a lot of Turks on the island of Cyprus.
JC: Yes.
KC: And the Turks were bringing in, we found out through flying -
JC: Yeah.
KC: They were bringing it, dropping in at night on parachutes.
JC: Right.
KC: Down to their own people in the villages.
JC: Yes.
KC: So we, more than once I’d been up the backside of one of these guys dropping stuff to the Turks from Turkey.
JC: What? Transport planes -
KC: Yeah.
JC: Coming over.
KC: Yeah I used to hone in on them I used to tell our control downstairs, ‘Got one, I’m locked on to him. I’ve got one.’
JC: Right.
KC: And they used to say 'Monitor him. Keep an eye on him.'
JC: Yeah.
KC: For the -
JC: Right okay fantastic. And then you say you carried on and you actually moved. Did a permanent stint out in Aden. What was going on in Aden? Why, why was there an air force base in Aden?
KC: I’m trying to think what made me, what made us go there.
JC: It was a British protectorate really wasn’t it?
KC: It was a British protectorate and I think that, I can’t remember how I ended up going there, what made me go there but that was a very interesting part of my life because you know we were the forerunner of what later was going to be problems up in the Persian Gulf.
JC: Right.
KC: From Aden I used to jump on aeroplanes and go up to some of these towns, biggish towns and so on the Persian Gulf which later became real trouble spots.
JC: Right.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Okay. Okay so that was that and then you came back and I think you did sort of some MOD type roles until the end of your air force career in 1968. Moving around. Non-flying duties. Yes. Yeah, okay.
KC: I’d had my innings.
JC: You’d had your innings at that point. Had your innings at that point. Okay. Good.
KC: I was very lucky to get away with it, with what I did when I think when I look back at what I did and what could have gone wrong, you know things like that. Amazing.
JC: Amazing. Yeah absolutely.
KC: Yeah.
JC: Good. Alright.
KC: You’ve got a history book now.
SJ: We have [laughs]. So did you have any lucky charms or superstitions?
KC: No. I honestly didn’t. I didn’t believe in it.
SJ: Yeah.
KC: No. No.
PJ: They say a lot of crews are superstitious or they were weren’t they, you know and there was always this little teddy bear in their -
KC: Yeah. I don’t think I had anything like that.
PJ: Coat or something.
KC: No. No. No.
JC: No. You didn’t believe in all of that.
KC: No.
JC: Just a good square meal.
KC: That’s right.
JC: What happened, what happened when you got back from flying, as well? Presumably you got another, there was a debriefing.
KC: No.
JC: Was it a debriefing?
KC: We got a night flying supper.
JC: You got a – did you?
KC: That’s what it was called. The night flying supper.
JC: Oh right. So you had a good meal before you went and a good meal when you came back did you?
KC: Yeah.
JC: Oh right.
KC: When we came back there would be plates of eggs and bacon.
JC: Again.
KC: Beans and things like that again you know.
JC: Yeah.
KC: We, well we’d been flying for the last ten hours.
PJ: Yeah.
KC: Things like that and we were a bit, bit ravenous.
JC: Yeah. Did you take presumably in addition to your kit could you take things up in the plane with you?
KC: Yeah.
JC: A flask of coffee and things like that, did you?
KC: Yeah Mars bars and things like that. Stick it down there.
JC: Yes.
KC: There was a zip pocket in your trouser leg.
JC: Yes.
KC: And so on to stick a couple of Mars bars in there and things like that.
JC: Keep you going yeah?
KC: Just in case you had to bail out.
JC: Yes.
KC: People used to try and think ahead and think well at least I’ve got a couple of Mars bars I can have something to eat for the next couple of hours or so.
JC: Yes. Yeah, okay.
PJ: Did you all used to go out for a drink together? ‘Cause there was always this thing isn’t there, they say, that good crews -
JC: Well I -
PJ: All stuck together, and they all went out together like family.
KC: Well we did a lot of it. The strange thing was that some of my crew were not terribly social. Only one or two of them and we were seven in the crew of course and there was probably three or four of us that did that and there were a couple who always had a reason for not coming. Yeah. But you know we used to get on and let them do with what they wanted to do.
JC: Was there anybody out of the crew you felt particularly friendly with compared to the others?
KC: Em, Ken Randall, our flight engineer was a lovely chap. Brummy. You know, Birmingham. He was almost naïve but he was absolutely a totally professional flight engineer. He knew everything about all the engines. He could hear noises nobody else could hear coming from the engines and things like that and nice boy, nice fella.
JC: Yeah.
KC: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Our tail gunner was absolutely, absolutely, absolutely broad Scotch so if we were being shot at, being chased he would shout but he was shouting in Scot and we couldn’t understand [laughs].
JC: Okay was, he was from Glasgow or somewhere wasn’t he?
KC: Yeah.
JC: Yeah. Yeah. Right. So, yes. Fantastic. Good. Any other questions? I think I’ve got most of the ones from here.
SJ: Yeah. How do you feel that Bomber Command has been treated since the war?
KC: Pretty grim I think. Politicians I think are absolutely shysters. They want, you know they want things their own way and, but they don’t realise how people are doing trying to please them and I always felt that some of the things I’ve read that were going on around me were absolutely terrible. Politicians, on the whole, I have no time for them. They’re just there for the moment and they get what they can at the time and that’s it. But then that’s me. I could be quite different from anybody else on that.
PJ: What about a medal? A campaign medal?
KC: Yeah.
PJ: Do you think it’s, that you should have had a medal because they never had a medal did they? They had the bomber clasp they just brought in. A campaign medal.
KC: Well, I had medals.
PJ: Yeah but a campaign medal for, you know like for actual the bombing duties and -
JC: You had, you had a war medal.
KC: Yeah.
JC: You have an Aircrew Europe Medal, you had a defence medal and a Pathfinder Eagle.
KC: Yeah. And I got a DFC.
JC: And you got your DFC as well.
KC: Yeah.
JC: But yes there was, there were campaign medals for others weren’t there but not for Bomber Command?
KC: Bomber. We didn’t get anything special campaign for the -
JC: No.
KC: All the raids we did. No.
JC: No.
KC: You know we were going off night after night in the Lancasters with a bomb load. Not just bombs. We had bloody great loads of incendiaries we were taking to cart and drop down. It was, when you think back on it was a dirty war really but we did what the Germans tried to do to us didn’t we? I think we were a bit more successful.
PJ: Well, thank you Ken for letting us interview you for the IBCC.
KC: Okay.
PJ: It’s been a pleasure to hear your stories.
KC: You’ve got some notes.
PJ: Thank you.
KC: Yeah. Good.

Collection

Citation

Peter and Sandra Jones, “Interview with Kenneth Cook,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed September 22, 2019, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/3379.

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