Browse Items (153 total)

  • Tags: Operation Exodus (1945)

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Don Southwell grew up in Australia and worked for RKO Radio Pictures and as an Air Raid Precautions Warden before volunteering for the Royal Air Force. After training in Australia and Canada, he flew nine operations as a navigator with 463 Squadron…

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Donald was born in Acton, London. He stayed at school until he was fourteen and then worked as a tea boy/general help for O. C. Summers, a firm that laid gas mains in Slough. When that job ended, he worked for another ganger in Shepherds Bush. …

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Allan McDonald was born in Hull and worked as an apprentice electrician before joining the Air Force. He passed the exams to become aircrew and trained as an air gunner. During training, his aircraft crash landed and he was soaked in petrol. He flew…

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Ted McRae volunteered for aircrew and trained as a gunner. He was usually in the mid-upper turret but would sometimes swap places with the rear gunner. On one trip repatriating ex-prisoners of war his aircraft crashed. He and the other gunner were…

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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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Frederick Bowman was born in Sydney in 1924. He was a member of the Air Training Corps, and when he was eighteen he joined the Air Force. He went to Kingaroy for basic training, and did his wireless course at Maryborough, and Evans Head for bombing…

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Geoffrey Conacher grew up in Australia and after a few months in the army he joined the Royal Australian Air Force in 1942. After training he flew 14 operations as a pilot with 622 Squadron. His aircraft was shot down and he baled out over liberated…

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George Rex Armstrong served in the RAF as a flight engineer. He was born in Belfast and grew up in Donaghadee. Decided to join the RAF because he wanted to follow his brother Ted, who flew forty operations with 617 Squadron. Mentions being in the…

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Graham Allen joined the Royal Air Force aged 19. He trained as a mechanic and worked on inspection and recovery of Spitfire aircraft. He later volunteered to be a flight engineer, and flew a tour of operations with 106 Squadron. His first operation…

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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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Harry Parkins discusses his training, his operations and life on an operational station. He discusses what it was like to be shot at, lucky charms and superstition, plus flying a Lancaster close to Lincoln Cathedral after the war.

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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…

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Ivor Foster of Plymouth volunteered for the RAF as soon as he was of age. He was initially accepted for training to become a Pilot, navigator or bomb aimer but decided the length of time for the training was too long and chose to train as a gunner.…

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Jack Webster applied to join the RAF in December 1942 and attended a selection board at RAF Cardington, and was eventually called up in June 1943. After initial training he went to 4 Radio School at RAF Madley passing out from there with eighteen…

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Born on 27 December 1924 in Aigburth Liverpool, James was 15 when war broke out in Europe. He intended to join as a pilot, navigator, bomber aimer in 1943 but due to shorter waiting list and training time he trained to become a wireless operator at…

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Jeff Mackay was born in 1922 in Ballarat, Australia and was working as a cadet engineer. He joined the Army but when the Japanese entered the war in 1941 decided to join the RAAF, and after boarding a ship he trained as a navigator in Canada and…

ACuthbertJ160507.mp3
John Cuthbert joined the RAF and initially trained as a wireless operator / air gunner but re-mustered as an air gunner. After training he was posted to 189 Squadron at RAF Fulbeck and flew operations as a mid-upper gunner. He talks about his…

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John Harrison grew up in Yorkshire and worked in the Civil Service before joining the Royal Air Force at 18. After training, he flew operations as a mid-upper gunner with 106 Squadron from RAF Metheringham before being shot down over Leipzig and…

APlenderleithJ151007.mp3
John Plenderleith was in the Air Training Corps before he volunteered to join the RAF. He was posted to 626 Squadron at Wickenby and when the crew were allocated their hut they were surprised to find it was still occupied with another crew’s…

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Ken Symonds was in the Air Training Corps when the unit was visited by a flight engineer. This meeting further inspired him, along with his cousin to join the RAF in a ground trade with the expectation of moving on to become a flight engineer. …
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