Browse Items (57 total)

  • Creator is exactly "David Kavanagh"

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Douglas Smith grew up in Bressingham, Norfolk. He joined the Royal Air Force in October 1940, at the age of nineteen, and trained as a wireless operator. He joined a crew on Wellingtons at No 10 Operational Training Unit, RAF Abingdon, before…

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Upon volunteering for aircrew, Bert Hammond completed basic training and formed a crew at 26 Operational Training Unit, RAF Wing. He joined 514 Squadron based at RAF Waterbeach and completed thirty operations, before instructing at RAF Manby. Despite…

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Born in Peterborough, Eileen Widdowson’s father died when she was quite young, which resulted in the family moving to Grantham. With the East Coast main railway line and also a munitions factory, Grantham was a regular target for the Luftwaffe.…

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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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Lacey Peter Webb remembers his role as a flight engineer in the Royal Air Force during the war and flying thirty operations on Halifaxes and two on Lancasters. Retraces his training in various stations, among them St John’s Wood, where he was…

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Maurice Stoneman was posted to 57 Squadron at RAF East Kirkby as the flight engineer on Lancasters in 1943. He recalls that on returning from operations they used to fly around the Boston Stump and around Lincoln Cathedral before finally landing. In…

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Sidney was inspired to join The Air Force when he was working as an Air Raid Precaution Warden and one night his own home was bombed. The house next door was also destroyed and the lady who had offered him a cup of tea only hours earlier died. He…

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Frank Stanney was working on the land before he volunteered for the RAF. After training he flew operations as a wireless operator with 61 Squadron. One day his pilot took off as a twenty year old and returned as a twenty one year old as it was his…

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John was living on a farm and working there when he left school at fourteen. The family of five lived in a two-bedroom cottage and John remembered hearing a plane crashing near Westborough one evening, all but one of the crew being killed. The…

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Tony Snook was an air gunner and served on 115 Squadron in the later stages of the Second World War. A member of the school air training corps, he had his first experience of flight when his squadron partook in a summer camp. He describes how an…

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Sydney’s father died when she was a baby. Her mother remarried and had another daughter and son. The son became ground crew in the Royal Air Force.
Sydney lived a few miles from London and attended Byron Court School in Webley. She was five when…

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Before the war Joan worked as a hairdresser. At 17 and a half she applied for the Land Army and was interviewed in her home town of Sheffield. Her first posting was to a farm in Fulbeck. She and about fourteen other girls stayed in a hostel with…

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Ken Sleaford was born and raised near Coningsby on the family farm. Tells of life on the farm before and during the war, when it was handed over to the Air Force, to be converted into an airfield and incorporated into RAF Coningsby. Mentions various…

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Frank Saunston joined the ATC in 1941 and then the RAF in 1942. He worked as a transport driver at RAF Peplow and then as a forklift driver at RAF Methwold on the bomb dump. Describes his role and his duties and gives details regarding the bombs…

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Betty (nee Jackson) worked in a library in Macclesfield before the war. When the war broke out, she went to Manchester to volunteer for the Air Force and trained as a telephonist. She did a course at Sheffield General Post Office before being…

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Neil Ramsey flew operations as a pilot with 75 and 105 Squadron Pathfinders.

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Ron Priest worked in accountancy before the war and then served as a rear gunner, flying twenty five operations with 149 Squadron from RAF Lakenheath all on Stirlings. Describes his training in England, Canada and the United States, under the…

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Jack Pragnell and his twin brother Thomas volunteered together for the RAF and trained together. Jack flew operations as a bomb aimer with 51 Squadron. His brother joined a Canadian crew. Jack was plagued with health problems and was suddenly told…

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George Plant was a farm worker. He was waiting for a bus one day in February in 1945 when he witnessed Lancaster PB 812 crash behind Caythorpe Railway Station with the loss of all lives. Years later the relative of one of the casualties put an…

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Ray Parke worked on the railway before joining the RAF in 1943. Remembers flying forty operations as a flight engineer with 218 Squadron by the time he was twenty. Tells about operations on Essen and the Ruhr. Discusses the Dresden operation, giving…

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Aneurin ‘Taff’ Owen was born neat Dolgellau, near Penmaenpool in Wales, and joined the Royal Air Force at the age of 18 in 1942. Taff was a farmer’s son and as such was put into a reserved occupation, so some of the areas of the Royal Air Force…

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Bruce Minnitt served in the Second World War flying Wellingtons on maritime reconnaissance in the Mediterranean and B-24s in India. When war started Bruce joined the Home Guard, and in 1941 when reaching 18 years of age, he enlisted in the Royal Air…

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Harold Mercer served in the RAF initially as a transport driver and then trained to become an air gunner. He worked as a milkman before being called up in April 1942. Was sent to Weston-super-Mare, where he played in the military band. Was then sent…
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