Browse Items (294 total)

  • Tags: Spitfire

AColensoF170522.mp3
Frank Colenso grew up in Cornwall and worked for a local newspaper at the outbreak of the war. He recalls the return of injured survivors from Dunkirk into Falmouth Bay. He joined the local defence volunteers following the bombing of Falmouth and…

ABoutcherFL180318.mp3
Frank Boutcher worked as a junior clerk for Southend Borough Council before the war. He wanted to join the Royal Navy but they only required able seamen on a long commission, so he joined the RAF instead to train as an engine fitter. After passing…

AHookerFJ170826.mp3
Fred Hooker was a mid-upper gunner on 102 Squadron at RAF Pocklington, where he flew three operations before being shot down. Born in Hartley Wintney in 1924, Fred’s first experience of the RAF was visiting RAF Odiham as a member of the Air…

AParkerF171130.mp3
Fred Parker was born in Skegness and worked with boats and built pillboxes before the war. He later joined the Royal Air Force and served as ground personnel, where he worked at an air gunnery training unit at RAF Silloth with target tugs. Fred spent…

Gunther Rall was raised in Stuttgart and, as a youngster, enjoyed outdoor and sporting activities. He was also a Boy Scout. He became a cadet in the army and joined the 13th Infantry Regiment. He met a friend in the air force and decided it was the…

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Geoffrey Spencer grew up in Birmingham and worked with his father in tool making, carrying out fire watching as a youngster. He joined the Air Force in August 1943, aged 18. After training, he served as a flight mechanic and fitter with 49 Squadron…

AHextellGJE160104.mp3
George Hextell joined the RAF as a flight engineer and flew operations with 51 Squadron on Halifaxes. After being shot down over Holland, he became a prisoner of war. Gives a detailed account of how his capture, imprisonment and liberation. Describes…

ACastletonGJ160719.mp3
Gerald John Castleton was born in Southsea. He worked in demolition until he joined the Royal Air Force. He flew operations as a flight engineer but was shot down and became a prisoner of war.

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Gerald Abrahams was sixteen when war was declared. He volunteered for the RAF the day after the Armstrong Vickers factory where he worked was targeted by the Luftwaffe who bombed the local school resulting in the deaths of many children. He trained…

AAllenG150917.mp3
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…

PHodgsonH1701.jpg
Harry Hodgson was ground crew during the war. He was based with 10 Squadron, working on Halifax Bombers at RAF Melbourne. Harry said it was a very busy time patching up the holes from both anti-aircraft fire and bullets on the Halifax. He remembers…

ARobertsonIU150824.mp3
Iain was a National Service air gunner in the 1950s and served with 214 Squadron at RAF Upwood in Huntingdonshire after being called up at the age of 18. Upon completion of training, he flew on Wellingtons and fighter affiliation with Spitfires. He…

PFranklinJB1616.jpg
Jack grew up in Liverpool. His brother was the famous ballet dancer, Frederick Franklin CBE. He describes the Liverpool May Blitz and the paper merchants’ firm, where he worked, was bombed. He returned to his job after the war.
After the Local…

PFlowersJ1501.jpg
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…

PLambJ1702.jpg
Jim joined up as an aircraft technician as soon as war broke out, thinking it would not last long. He joined 75 Squadron at RAF Feltwell on Wellingtons, then went to RAF Mildenhall, returning to RAF Feltwell. He went to RAF Oakington and RAF…

SRAFIngham19410620v040001-Audio.mp3
Jan Stangrycuik (Black) was born and raised in Poland. When he was a teenager, his family emigrated to Argentina for a better life. When the British Embassy called for volunteers to join the war effort, Jan answered the call and sailed, with seven…

PLancasterJ1501.jpg
Jo Lancaster grew up in Cumbria and joined the Air Force as soon as he was able. After training as a pilot he flew a tour of operations with 40 Squadron from RAF Alconbury. He then became an instructor before his second tour flying Lancasters with 12…

ABondsJA180702.mp3
John Bonds was brought up in London and remembers bombs dropping near him. He joined the RAF as an engine mechanic and after training worked on Spitfires before being posted to bombers. He was injured in an accident in a hangar and spent some time in…

PEppelJW1702.jpg
John Eppel grew up in Australia and joined the Royal Australian Air Force. After training, he completed 30 operations as a navigator with 550 Squadron. He describes initial training in Australia and the journey by sea via the United States, then…

PDeanJEH1701.jpg
John Dean’s childhood memory of watching a Spitfire and a German aircraft having a dogfight in the sky above him spurred him to want to become a Spitfire pilot. He didn’t achieve his aim of becoming a Spitfire pilot and instead became a…

ABrandonJP180302.mp3
June Brandon was born in India, returning to England when her father died. She joined the WAAF and went into the Photographic Section, loading cameras on Spitfires then carrying out development of the films. She served at several RAF stations,…
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