Mimic Air War over South-East England

NLutwycheCE170703-01.jpg

Title

Mimic Air War over South-East England

Description

A newspaper cutting dated Summer 1939 referring to air manoeuvres over SE England. Handwritten is an annotation 'I led this raid Bill'.

Coverage

Language

Type

Format

One printed newspaper cutting

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

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.

Contributor

Identifier

NLutwycheCE170703-01

Transcription

By CAPTAIN NORMAN MACMILLAN,
who acted as observer in one of the Bombers

WYTON AERODROME, Huntingdon, Monday.

Mimic air war began over South-East England tonight. [inserted] I led this said Bill. [/inserted]

But even before zero hour (6 p.m.) telephone wires were humming, for an ultimatum had been delivered, and orders for the bombing squadrons were coming through the local intelligence room in anticipation of the impending war.

Both squadrons at this base had received orders to attack certain targets.

Sharp on zero hour a flight of Hind bombers left the ground followed by a flight of Blenheims ordered to raid Thames Haven.

[underlined] SPARTAN PILOT [/underlined]

A Second Blenheim flight received an order to bomb Colchester Gas Works at 7.50 p.m. I was appointed to the observer’s place in one of the Blenheims taking part in the second raid.

My pilot was a sturdy looking blue-eyed Spartan pilot – an excellent specimen of British youth that has entered the expanded R.A.F. Now 20 years of age, he began flying in March last year.

By the etiquette of the Service I am not allowed to divulge his name. But his flying was a credit to the training he has received.

My flight leader had orders to be ready to leave at 6.15, but with the speed of the machines at his command it was unnecessary to take off until nearly half-an-hour later.

Strapped into my parachute harness I took my place in the observer’s seat alongside my pilot.

[underlined] DODGING 220 FIGHTERS [/underlined]

Try to picture what the cockpit is like. An array of instruments for flying and for the twin engines, others for blind pilotage through clouds, and still more for bombing and navigation. About us the little windows in the nose framework look like an Epstein conception of an ancient lattice window.

At 6.44 we were off the ground with the speed of a fighter, pulled up into the air by two 800 h.p. engines.

Our job was not only to bomb the target, but also to elude the 220 defending fighters.

An additional complication was added because this aerodrome lies within the “enemy” area, so we had first to turn away from our target, and approach the line of our theoretical base.

[underlined] RAID DIARY [/underlined]

Here are my impressions of the flight.

We began climbing at 130 m.p.h. in a loose formation of three machines, flying in a westerly direction with low cloud-banks ahead. Within the cabin the curious drone of the twin engines drums in our ears.

6.48 p.m. – Passing through low cloud at 4,000 ft.

6.50 p.m. – Climbing at 160 m.p.h. at 6,000 ft. with the engines running at 2,000 revolutions per minute. There is

Continued in Page 10, Col. 3

Collection

Citation

“Mimic Air War over South-East England,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed February 6, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/34831.

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