Browse Items (57 total)

  • Creator is exactly "David Kavanagh"

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Andrew Carswell volunteered for the Royal Canadian Air Force in his native Toronto. He trained as a pilot and on arrival in the UK and completion of his further training he was posted to 9 Squadron. His first operation was to Berlin. On their final…

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Bert Hammond was born and brought up in Norwich. He was a grocer’s assistant and an air cadet at the start of the war. He recalls bombing attacks on Norwich and a lone aircraft machine gunning female workers leaving the Coleman’s Factory. In…

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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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Bert Mason was born in Germany and worked in light engineering and driving ambulances before joining the RAF in 1942. He started training as a navigator before joining a crew and became an air gunner on 195 Squadron at Wratting Common. He tells of…

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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…

AMinnittPB170314.mp3
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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At the start of the war, Doug Beasley left school at 16 to start work. Initially a member of the Air Training Corps, he was sent for aircrew selection when he became 18. There was a 12-month wait to enlist as a pilot, so he opted to become a flight…

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Doug Begbie was an apprentice chef before he volunteered for the RAF. He trained as a rear gunner and was posted to 76 Squadron. He shot down what sounds like an Me 163.

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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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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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Elaine’s uncle worked as an armourer in RAF Scampton. He first joined the Royal Flying Corps before the organisation was renamed the RAF. He worked with Barnes Wallis at the time of the design of the bouncing bomb. He sustained an injury which the…

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Squadron Leader Eric Taylor joined the Royal Air Force in 1942 and served as a navigator. He served in North Africa and completed a tour of operations against targets in Italy before becoming an instructor in England. He describes the differences in…

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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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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…

AStanneyF160212.mp3
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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Originally working as a builder merchant, George Charles Culling’s town struggled constantly during the war due to the amount of bombing, which eventually forced his school to close. Finding an interest in navigation equipment, George joined the…

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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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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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Harry Algar worked as an office boy at Hay’s Wharf in London before the war. He entered the Air Training Corps before joining the RAF when he was seventeen. Started his training on Tiger Moths but was then sent to Canada to remuster as a bomb…

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Henry grew up in Bradford and left school just before the outbreak of war. He had various jobs like working in the mill, a greengrocer’s shop, the dye works and then garment cutting for the army. At 17 and a half was called up in London where he…

ACookJ150709.mp3
Jack Cook was born in Mexborough. He left school at 14 and went to work at a Gentlemen’s Outfitters. At 16 he worked on the footplate for LNER. At the age of 18 he volunteered for aircrew and trained as a wireless operator/air gunner; joined 100…

ALinakerJ150924.mp3
Jack Linaker was working in a reserved occupation as a steelworker before volunteering to join the RAF. He was originally told he would be trained as a flight engineer but as delays were frustrating he began training as a rear gunner. He joined 9…
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