Browse Items (93 total)

  • Tags: Operation Manna (29 Apr – 8 May 1945)

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An unofficial diary kept by Alexander from March 21st, 1945 to May 2nd 1945.

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Bernie Harris joined the Royal Air Force in 1943 and trained to become an air gunner. His first operation was Operation Manna, dropping food on Holland at the end of the war.

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William Moore was born in Dunoon, Scotland in August 1924 and joined the Royal Air Force after spending some time in the Air Cadet Defence Corps and in the Air Training Corps. He volunteered for the Royal Air Force at the age of 17 and completed his…

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Frank Tolley was born in 1921 in Tipton and left school at fourteen to work as an errand boy for a grocer. He joined the Royal Air Force at nineteen as a ground gunner, and was in at the inception of the Royal Air Force Regiment. After eighteen…

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Jeff Hildreth grew up in a colliery village where his father was a miner. When he left school he started working at a tailor’s shop. He didn’t enjoy working in the shop and was happy to volunteer for the RAF and was accepted for to train as a…

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Len McNamara was born in Bristol in 1924. An apprentice plumber, he joined the Air Training Corps and volunteered for aircrew. Discusses his initial training at various stations, the gunnery course he passed with merit and honours, an escape and…

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Flight Sergeant Bob Porteous grew up in Australia and after spending time in the bush he joined the Royal Australian Air Force. After training and spending time in the United States, he travelled to Scotland on the Queen Mary. He flew operations as a…

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Anderson MacCormick grew up in Glasgow and joined the ATC while he waited to join the service. He trained as a flight engineer. He recalls the risks aircrew faced and some beautiful sight he saw in the air. On a flight as part of Operation Exodus an…

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Charles Frederick Green was born in Peckham, London, in 1921. On leaving school he began an apprenticeship with a printing company, acting part-time as a police courier, before becoming an Air Raid Precaution warden. He then volunteered for the…

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Norman Neilson was an apprentice engineer at St Rollox Locomotive Works when he volunteered. He had originally wanted to join the Navy but joined the RAF because the only way he could be released from his position was to volunteer for aircrew. His…

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Alexander Lamb grew up in Scotland and worked in the civil service before he joined the Royal Air Force. He flew five operations as an air gunner with 15 Squadron.

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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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Roy Briggs was born in Battersea, London. After leaving school he undertook an engineering apprenticeship with Benham and Sons, producing equipment for the war. He describes his life during the Blitz. When he joined the Royal Air Force he trained as…

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Langford "Joe" Green was born in Wales but moved to Marlow, Buckinghamshire with his family when he was still a child. He worked in a factory from the age of 14 until he joined the Royal Air Force. After training he flew operations as an air gunner…

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William Moore was born in Dunoon in Scotland in 1924. He joined the Royal Air Force after spending time in the Air Defence Cadet Corps, qualifying as an observer. William tells of his family history in wartime and his transatlantic trip, landing in…

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Hugh Parry was born in Oswestry and joined the Air Force in April 1943 and volunteered to be an air gunner. Knowing that there was a height restriction on air gunners of six feet he hid his height by wearing baggy trousers. After training, he was…

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Thea Coleman was born in 1933 in Holland. She experienced the invasion of her country and the increasing restrictions. When walking once with her father they were forced to stand and wait while prisoners were brought out of prison and executed while…

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Katherine Ellen Thompson remembers her time in Rotterdam during the war and particularly during Operation Manna. Mentions various episodes: food shortage, bartering linen and silver for food, members of the Dutch fascist party paraded through the…

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Geoff Golledge volunteered for the Royal Air Force and trained as a wireless operator / air gunner. For a time he served as ground personnel with 44 Squadron at RAF Waddington, on the flare path. One night he brought thirty five aircraft safely in to…

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Henry, living in Bradford, 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 was…

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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…

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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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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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