Browse Items (2745 total)

  • Tags: aircrew

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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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Michael Heaton grew up in Worcester and was a member of the Air Training Corps. He worked in a bank before joining the Royal Air Force and trained as a navigator in Canada. He completed 22 operations as a navigator with 50 Squadron from RAF…

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Harry Winter grew up in Cardiff and worked in a paper mill from the age of 14. He served in the Home Guard before he volunteered for the Air Force. After training as a wireless operator at RAF Yatesbury he flew operations over Germany, France, and…

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Gordon Mellor grew up in London and was interested in aviation. He volunteered for the Air Force and trained as a navigator in Canada. On his return to the UK he and his crew were posted to 103 Squadron. Returning from an operation they were attacked…

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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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David Rose was born in Swanage, Dorset. His father had been in the Medical Corps during the First World War and suffered ill health afterwards. David believed his father had as much reason to be on the War Memorial as his two brothers who died during…

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Eric Brown flew operations as a flight engineer with 106, 97 and 57 Squadrons.

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Charles Baron grew up in London and volunteered for aircrew in 1940. He trained as a navigator and on radar. He later volunteered for overseas duties and was posted to India where he flew intruder missions over Burma.
After the war he worked…

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Alec Stuart Dixon volunteered for the Royal Air Force via the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. After training he flew Beauforts and Ansons, then trained as a Hudson pilot. He flew convoy escort missions and reconnaissance flights looking for…

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George was born in Mansfield and was bought up by his Grandparents until he was seven when he moved back to his parents in Leicester where his Father ran a coffee shop. He was a semi-professional musician playing violin, trumpet and mandolin. He…

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Alun Emlyn-Jones (known as Grem among his RAF colleagues) was raised in Cardiff and attended boarding schools in Oxfordshire. He worked manufacturing office supplies when he volunteered to serve in Bomber Command, hoping to avoid being called up to…

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Eric Varney completed 28 operations as a mid upper gunner with 207 Squadron from RAF Spilsby. After the war Eric worked as a bus driver, coal miner, long distance lorry driver and coal merchant.

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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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David Fraser enlisted in the Royal Air Force in 1939 and was trained as a mechanic. He remustered as soon as he was able and flew four operations as an air gunner with 115 Squadron before his aircraft was shot down over Hamburg, in May 1941. He spent…

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Harry Irons left a tailoring apprenticeship to join the Royal Air Force and trained as a wireless operator but actually became an air-gunner. He describes the uniform he wore and the unreliability of heated suits. Discusses the invention of…

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Richard Harrison was born in Germany to an English father and German mother and grew up in Gloucester. He served in the Home Guard and the Air Training Corps. He joined the Royal Air Force and served as a clerk at RAF Tempsford before being posted to…

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Frederick Ball grew up in Yorkshire and trained as a motor mechanic, before he joined the RAF in 1939. He completed two tours with 44 and 49 Squadrons, as a wireless operator flying from RAF Waddington and RAF Scampton.

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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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Harry Gough was born in Dewsbury, he finished school in 1939 aged fourteen, joined the Air Training Corps in 1941 and volunteered for the Air Force in 1943. He recounts his training as an air gunner and flying over the North Pole. After flying…

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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…

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Bob Lasham began an electrical engineering apprenticeship with British Thomson-Houston before volunteering for the RAF in 1941, aged 20. He trained at Babbacombe and Wilmslow before continuing to Clewiston, Florida, to complete his training as a…

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Frank Mannion was born in Manchester. When he completed his electrical engineering apprenticeship at Metropolitan Vickers he volunteered for the RAF. Initially he was ready to train as a pilot but was told there was a shortage of air gunners so…

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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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Ron Tomlin grew up in Birmingham and was an apprentice carpenter before working in a munitions factory. He volunteered for the Air Force at 18, and after training, flew operations as a bomb aimer with 10 Squadron. His aircraft was forced to ditch in…

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Five verse poem describing feelings the next morning after a harrowing night operation. Describes emotions and surprise that the crew survived.
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