Browse Items (334 total)

  • Contributor is exactly "Julie Williams"

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Reg Harrison grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan and enjoyed watching aircraft when they flew over. He had his first flight as a youngster when he was lent five dollars by a shopkeeper. He volunteered for aircrew as soon as he was of age and began his…

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Jack Newton joined the RAF in 1938. He trained as an air gunner and was posted to 12 Squadron at RAF Binbrook. Just before midnight on the 5th of August 1941 Jack and his crew set off for Cologne. They were attacked by a night fighter. One engine was…

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Ralph Ottey recounts an occasion when he came to the rescue of a local lady who found herself in difficulty while swimming in the local river.

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Ralph Ottey joined the RAF from Jamaica. After the war he returned to Jamaica. However, he had met the woman he was to later marry while based in the UK and returned to the settle here. He settled in Boston and had a long career with a local firm. On…

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Ralph Ottey was born in Jamaica in 1924. Brought up by his grandparents, he describes his education and family hopes that he would become a teacher. He left school at 16 and a half but was too young to attend teaching college so worked for his uncle…

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Don Browning was posted to 463 Squadron at RAF Waddington. On one operation two aircraft collided and Don lost friends he had undertaken training with. On an operation to Calais the weather was very poor and the mission aborted but not all aircraft…

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BBC 78 RPM vinyl disk Gordon Cruickshank recorded in August 1944.

Joined RAF in 1938 and Bomber Command in 1941 as an air gunner. Started operations in 1942 and completed first tour of 31 trips at end of November 1942. Says was badly shot up on…

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Jack Harris resumes describing his post-war career in the Royal Air Force. In October 1955, he became the commanding officer of 542 Squadron, a special duties squadron responsible for sampling radioactive fallout produced by American and Soviet atom…

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After completing thirty-seven Bomber Command operations during the war, Jack Harris remained in the RAF. In February 1949, he was posted to Singapore, where he joined 48 Squadron and undertook transport command services on C-47s. He describes…

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Jack Harris was born in Gillingham, Kent. At sixteen, he undertook employment as a clerk in the intelligence department of the Air Ministry.He describes the brief evacuation of his department to Harrow in 1939 and receiving permission to leave his…

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Herbert James Wylde was working in local government in Glasgow before he volunteered for aircrew training with the RAF. He started pilot training and had gone solo when he was sent to Canada to continue training. While there he began training as a…

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Gabi Wilson grew up in Berlin and was a schoolgirl in 1939. She discusses one brother training as an interpreter and another brother returning from Russian prisoner of war camps. She worked as an apprentice at a publisher firm. She met her husband,…

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Vivian Williams was born in Wales but began working in engineering in London. After serving in the Territorial Army in a searchlight unit, he volunteered for Air Force and trained as a flight mechanic. He discusses his recruitment, training and…

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Roland Spencer Williams was born in Christchurch, New Zealand. Wanting to get involved in the war he joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 1942. After initial training in New Zealand, as an air gunner, he sailed on the SS Nieuw Amsterdam to San…

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Norman Wilkins was born in West Norwood. At the age of fourteen he joined the Air Training Corps and became a member of Brighton and Hove Air Cadets 176 Squadron. He then joined the University Air Squadron at Oxford, with fees being paid by the…

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Erik Wilkin worked on the railways before he joined the RAF. Initially he wanted to be a pilot but it would be a significant wait for training. He trained as an air gunner and was posted to 115 Squadron. On one occasion his aircraft made an emergency…

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David Wilkie was born in Edinburgh. He volunteered for the RAF and began training as a flight engineer. While training at St Athan he met his future wife, Kathleen. He was posted to 432 Squadron with a Canadian crew. He witnessed the gathering of the…

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Robert Whymark’s father John ‘Jack’ Whymark took part in three tours of operations. Initially Jack was trained as a mechanic and was posted to 17 Squadron at RAF Debden and RAF Martlesham Heath. He then volunteered for aircrew and trained as a…

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Kenneth White trained as an air gunner. He was not sent to an Operational Training Unit but was sent straight to a squadron at RAF Oulton. He flew in B-17s with a special operator on board. On one occasion during an air test there was a fire on…

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James White worked as a wages clerk for the Co-op before volunteering for the Air Force. He had intended to join the navy but he saw some recruits being shouted at so he turned around and crossed the corridor to join the RAF. He had always had an…

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John Waye grew up in London. He was ten years old when he was hospitalised with diphtheria. When he was discharged he discovered his mother had died while he had been in hospital. John was working in the retail trade and was in the ATC before he…

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Henry Wagner describes more of his experience of being a prisoner of war at Stalag Luft 7 in Bankau. He took part in the Long March and recounts how those who were not able to keep up would have been left at the roadside to die of exposure.

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Henry Wolfe Wagner was born in Ireland. The family moved to England when he was young and settled near Reading. Henry attended Reading University for two years joining the University Air Squadron. He then volunteered for the RAF and began training as…

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Gwendolyn Wadmore was born in London in 1922, and lived there throughout the Second World War. Her early memories are marching with the Girl Guides. She left school at 14 and began work in a tailor’s shop; at the start of the war she was employed…

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Coby Van Riel was a child of about six when the Germans invaded Holland. She lived in a fishing port area of The Hague where her father had a number of jobs to make ends meet in the difficult days before the war and her mother ran a chemist shop. She…
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