Browse Items (140 total)

  • Tags: Lancaster finishing school

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Six page document courtesy of the late Allen White - 44 Squadron Historian. Reproduces narratives from three 44 Squadron crews involved in the operation. Overall the operation lost 37 crews from 120 launched against Wesserling oil refinery near…

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Arthur Atkins grew up in Melbourne, Australia. As a Boy Scout, he experienced a flight in an aircraft and knew he wanted to be a pilot. He transferred from the army to the Royal Australian Air Force and started pilot training in Australia. He…

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Allan Joseph Couper grew up in Australia and joined the Air Training Corps as a teenager. He was employed by the State Electricity Company until he volunteered for the Royal Australian Air Force. He was accepted for aircrew training as a pilot and…

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Les Loosemore describes his upbringing and employment history in Swansea before joining the war in 1945. He describes the Blitz in Swansea before training to be a mid upper gunner for 61 Squadron. He describes his rather intensive training, including…

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Michael Heaton grew up in Worcester and was a member of the Air Training Corps. He worked in a bank before joining the Royal Air Force and trained as a navigator in Canada. He completed 22 operations as a navigator with 50 Squadron from RAF…

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Eric Varney completed 28 operations as a mid upper gunner with 207 Squadron from RAF Spilsby. After the war Eric worked as a bus driver, coal miner, long distance lorry driver and coal merchant.

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Bill Spence was born in Middlesborough. He abandoned his teacher training and joined the Royal Air Force in 1942 becoming a bomb aimer. He completed 36 operations during his time in Bomber Command. Bill tells of his experiences while training in…

BSpencerAHGSpencerAHGv1.pdf
Memoir of the life of Arthur Spencer. Includes details of childhood and growing up. Continues with his joining the Royal Air Force and his training in the United States as a pilot and then navigator. Followed by training in England and then posting…

BGoodmanLSGoodmanLSv1.pdf
Begins with his decision to cease his studies and join the Royal Air Force. Covers recruitment activities and life during initial training including employment as ground gunner while waiting for flying training. Describes basic training on Tiger Moth…

MThomasWH152984-150721-01.pdf
He describes his first interest in the RAF, in 1938. He joined the Air Defence Cadet Corps, and later in 1941 the Air Training Corps. He was called up by the RAF in February 1942, and proceeded through initial training and the Initial Training Wing…

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Eric William Harrison joined the RAF in 1943 and trained as a flight engineer at RAF Locking, RAF St Athan, and RAF Chedburgh, where he flew Stirlings and recollects that they were a terrifying aircraft compared to Lancasters. Harrison formed a crew…

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Basil Ambrose was born in Reading. He left school at fourteen and became an apprentice turner. He joined the Royal Air Force in May 1942 and trained as a turner before transferring to aircrew as a flight engineer. He trained at RAF St Athan, and…

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John Firth was a flight engineer with 50 Squadron at RAF Skellingthorpe June to August 1944. He was shot down in August 1944 on his 20th operation and became a prisoner of war at Stalag Luft 7.

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Jack Hayley was born in Caterham and worked for an insurance company before he joined the Royal Air Force and trained to be a pilot. He trained to fly in Canada and after going through an Operational Training Unit in England, he was posted to 625…

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Benny Goodman grew up in London and hoped to become a pilot. He volunteered for the Air Force and was originally posted to RAF Abingdon as a ground gunner before beginning his flying training. After qualifying as a pilot in Canada, he became an…

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Ken Kileen was called up and reported to ACRC in London at the beginning of 1942. He commenced flying as a navigator at 12 Air School, Queenstown in South Africa flying in Oxfords and Ansons. On his return to UK in 1943 he joined 83 OTU at Peplow…

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Mike Peel was a Lancaster pilot and served on two squadrons before becoming a prisoner of war late in 1944. He was an active sportsman and played tennis in his eighties but unfortunately is no longer with us. Using his logbook, letters, and…
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