Browse Items (984 total)

  • Tags: air gunner

ALeithJM170112.mp3
James McKenzie Leith was a swimming instructor before he joined the RAF. He trained as a gunner and was posted to 429 Squadron at RAF Leeming. On their first operation their aeroplane was damaged and they attempted an emergency landing but this was…

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John Thorp was born and raised in Manchester where he attended North Manchester Grammar School. At seventeen he joined the Home Guard. When he was eighteen he volunteered for the RAF with dreams of becoming a pilot. While waiting at Heaton Park to…

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BBC 78 RPM vinyl disk Gordon Cruickshank recorded in August 1944.

Joined RAF in 1938 and Bomber Command in 1941 as an air gunner. Started operations in 1942 and completed first tour of 31 trips at end of November 1942. Says was badly shot up on…

PNorthGJ1611.jpg
Caricature of a man in uniform striding to the left with hands in pocket. Caption 'F/O Johnny North DFC, one of Path Finders Aces, Johnny North goes south - (Crafty 48")'.

MDyerJH1217992-160108-01.pdf
Note from his niece which gives outline of operation to Berlin on 2 January 1944. Mentions that Missing Research and Enquiry Service contacted his parents with news that his remains had been found and he and rest of crew were buried in the village of…

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A biography of Arthur Pritchard written by his daughter. It covers his training, operations and the night he was shot down. Despite speaking no French he was assisted to a hideout in Paris where he remained until Paris was liberated in August 1944.

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Describes the role played by the air gunner and his attitude toward danger. In the afterlife, the air gunner goes straight through the Heavens's gate as his wartime suffering is considered equivalent to expiation.

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Cyril Abbotts volunteered for the Royal Air Force while he was an engineering apprentice with W T Avery at Smethwick. After his reception at Lord’s Cricket Ground and initial training,he trained as a pilot at RAF Bowden and Moose Jaw in Canada. On…

ADarbyC150630.mp3
Charlie Darby joined the Royal Air Force in September 1943 and recounts in great detail, his training as an air gunner/wireless operator on Wellingtons and Ansons at RAF Bridlington, RAF Bridgnorth, RAF Castle Kennedy, RAF Acaster Malbis and RAF…

AGreenLW160428.mp3
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…

AAtkinsG160929.mp3
Glenn Atkins was born in Newport Pagnell and was called up for National Service in 1951. He was involved in exercises to test the defences of Europe during the Cold War. When he was released from National Service he returned to his former company…

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Warrant Officer Harry James flew operations as a rear gunner with 166 Squadron.

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Douglas was born in Aberdeen, the eldest of 5 children. He signed up for the Royal Air Force in October 1938 and trained as a Flight Rigger, becoming a Leading Aircraftsman after training.
During his time as a Leading Aircraftsman, he tells of…

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Jim Copus was born in Watlington and volunteered for the Royal Air Force when he was eighteen. After training, he flew operations as a mid-upper gunner with 97 Squadron from RAF Bourn. On one operation he realised that it was very quiet. He could not…

ADobleRG151117.mp3
Ron Doble grew up in London and joined the Air Training Corps and the fire watchers when war was declared. He volunteered for the Air Force when he was 18 and trained as an air gunner. He talks about the conditions in his turret and the mishaps he…

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He was born in London and worked for some time as a clerk until joined up the Royal Air Force. He did not like the idea of serving in the Army or in the Navy but - as a Londoner - he was keen to take part in the war having experienced the Blitz. He…

AOrmorodJ170207.mp3
John Ormerod left school at 14 and worked in the textile industry before he volunteered for RAF. At first he trained as flight mechanic but later remustered to be a flight engineer. He talks about synchronising props and the German speaking eighth…

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Jan Black Stangryciuk was born in Poland but his family emigrated to Argentina in 1934. He volunteered to travel to England to join the Royal Air Force in 1939. He recounts his journey, why he made this decision and how he joined the RAF. He was…

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Ken Johnson was born in Doncaster. At the start of the war the family was living in Sheffield but his father decided they should move back to Doncaster to avoid bombing. Ken started work as a joiner and later made cables for barrage balloons. Despite…

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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…

ABradfordS161031.mp3
Stanley Bradford was working in a Reserved Occupation until he volunteered. The three services were represented but as he approached them in turn the army and navy both rejected him because of his work. The RAF said that since he was in Reserved…

AColbeckJC170524.mp3
Joy Colbeck was born in Maidstone, Kent and served within the Women’s Royal Naval Service during the war. Her brother, John, joined the RAF on the 28 of April 1943, qualified at as an air gunner in April 1944, before being transferred to an…

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Allan Avery Farr was working at the market in Birmingham before he joined the RAF. He wanted to have the quickest entry to see action and so trained as an air gunner. He trained in Canada where he was offered a post as an instructor but he wanted to…
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