Browse Items (266 total)

  • Tags: RAF Syerston

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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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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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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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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…

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Colin Wood grew up in Sheffield and worked as a plumber until he volunteered for the RAF. He trained in Canada and flew operations as a navigator with 106 Squadron from RAF Metheringham. On arrival at the station his pilot and three others made their…

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David Jackson tells of his father, Norman Jackson VC, born in Ealing, London in 1919 and who worked in an engineering company when the war broke out. After initially trying to join the navy, he then joined the RAF and classified as a fitter on…

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Denis joined the Royal Australian Air Force at 18 and married when he enlisted. He wanted to be a pilot but became a wireless operator/air gunner because he lacked depth perception. After Somers, Denis went to Victor Harbour. He then did a radio…

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Don Browning volunteered for aircrew and began his training as a wireless operator in his native Australia. His arrival in Brighton in the UK coincided with his first experience of an air raid. Don was posted to 463 Squadron at RAF Waddington. He did…

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Donald Watson was working in the print industry before he joined the Royal Air Force in 1941. After training he served as an armourer with 61 Squadron at RAF Skellingthorpe.

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Doug grew up in Kent. He joined the Royal Air Force at 18, as a flight engineer for 630 Squadron at RAF East Kirkby in 5 Group Bomber Command, flying Lancasters. He carried out 34 operations, followed by time as an instructor at RAF Syerston,…

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Eddie Edmunds was born in Walthamstow and was educated at a grammar school, then joined an oil company. He eventually moved to the Electric Supply Company and became an accountant. Eddie had always wanted to fly so he initially joined the reserve and…

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Eric Evans was born in 1923 in Liverpool and was just 16 years of age when war broke out. He served in the Royal Air Force, and serving with 463 RAAF Squadron, going from the rank of sergeant and leaving the service as a warrant officer, before…

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Fred Gardiner grew up in Oxfordshire and worked in a furniture factory before volunteering for the Royal Air Force. He flew five operations as a wireless operator / air gunner from RAF Syerston before his aircraft was shot down. He gives a detailed…

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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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Fred McCullough discusses his series of abstract art works which are an homage to his uncle, Sergeant Harry McCullough, a flight engineer with 61 Squadron. He was killed on his tenth operation and is buried at Durnbach Cemetery.

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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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Jim was born in New Zealand but grew up in Australia. He enlisted in Woolloomooloo under the Empire Air Training Scheme. He was sent to the Initial Training School in Somers and then went to the Elementary Flying Training School on Tiger Moths at the…

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Horace James Flowers was born and grew up in Huthwaite, Nottinghamshire. He became an apprentice butcher before being released to volunteer for the Royal Air Force in 1944. He trained as an air gunner at RAF Bridgnorth, RAF Wigsley and RAF Syerston…

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Jim Barr grew up in Scotland and worked as an apprentice engineer before volunteering for the Royal Air Force. He trained as a navigator in South Africa and flew operations with 61 Squadron. He describes what it was like to be a navigator with Bomber…

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Jeff Gray was a farm labourer in Aberdeenshire when he volunteered for the Royal Air Force. He trained to fly in Texas and completed 30 operations as a pilot with 61 Squadron. After leaving the RAF he worked for BOAC flying Yorks and VC10s.

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Joe Shuttleworth was born and raised in Brisbane but also spent a lot of time with family in the Melbourne area. He volunteered for aircrew and soon began training as a gunner. After initial training he sailed to the United States and on to the UK.…

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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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