Frank Dennis' memoir


Frank Dennis' memoir
Just My Story
Interview with Frank Dennis. Part one


In 1943 Frank completed an engineering apprenticeship and volunteered to join the Royal Air Force as a flight engineer. He completed basic training in London, where he witnessed the fatal crash of a C-47 and then went to Initial Training Wing at RAF Bridlington and then on to RAF St. Athan for his technical training. Frank joined his crew at 1659 Heavy Conversion Unit and at the end of August 1944 was posted to 419 Squadron.

Frank's first operation was against a V-1 site in France and his second was to the Ruhr Valley, where a propeller was damaged, causing severe vibration. On a sortie to Bergen they had to switch to a spare aircraft and were late taking off so two Mosquitos escorted them to the target.

Twice, due to poor weather at base, they had to divert to Norfolk, almost running out of fuel on one occasion.

Returning from Oberhausen they were attacked by a night fighter and two engines caught fire while a third was damaged. Five of the crew were injured and control was lost of the aircraft for a while. They were told to get ready to bale out. Then, having lost their attacker they made it to RAF Manston, where they crash landed. Frank received the Distinguished Flying Medal for his actions.

Three of the crew never flew again so the remainder often stood in for others on the squadron. At Nuremberg, Frank saw a ME-163 (Komet) get shot down by a Halifax.

Frank's pilot became medically unfit so the crew was split up completely. Frank had a lucky escape when he missed his new crew's first operation, on which they all went missing. So, crew-less again, he was posted to 427 Squadron, and discovered he had been commissioned..

His new pilot was a skilled flyer but prone to showing off and on one such occasion Frank got into trouble just for flying with him. His last war operation was to Wangerooge Island.

Frank flew on Operations Exodus and Dodge and at the end of 1945 became an Equipment Officer before being demobilised and becoming a woodwork teacher. After retirement he learned to fly gliders and became involved with the local gliding club. While there Frank was interviewed by a friend who offered to write Frank's memoir.

His memoir documents all of the topics covered in Part 1 of the interview. This is not a verbatim transcription of the interview.





70 page document with one photograph and some lines of poetry
02:15:48 audio recording


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BDennisFDennisFv1, ADennisF090301_1, ADennisF090301_2



Frank Dennis and Steven Payne, “Frank Dennis' memoir,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 23, 2024,

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