Browse Items (204 total)

  • Tags: fear

PWilsonJS1601.jpg
James Stanley Wilson remembers serving as a flight engineer on 626 Squadron during the war. Tells of his baptism of fire on his first operation to Berlin, when his aircraft was targeted by enemy fighters. Mentions marking targets on D-Day. Talks…

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John Robert Watson joined RAF Bomber Command in 1943, volunteering after he witnessed his next-door neighbour's house being destroyed by a bomb. Against his father's wishes, John joined Bomber Command initially as a wireless operator, before…

PWagnerHW1701.jpg
Henry Wolfe Wagner was born in Ireland. The family moved to England when he was young and settled near Reading. Henry attended Reading University for two years joining the University Air Squadron. He then volunteered for the RAF and began training as…

AWadmoreGVE171227.mp3
Gwendolen Wadmore was born in London in 1922, and lived there throughout the Second World War. Her early memories are marching with the Girl Guides. She left school at 14 and began work in a tailor’s shop; at the start of the war she was employed…

ATrotmanPJ180604.mp3
Applying for RAF Bomber Command in May 1940, Percival Trotman was called up in September 1940, training as a pilot at RAF Towyn in Aberystwyth. Being present at Coventry when the town was bombed, he recalls deciding that the Germans deserved to have…

PTownsendE1702.jpg
Ernest was born in Marylebone, London. He tells of his childhood, how he helped his father on his milk round and became a butcher's boy at Shepherds Market before serving in the Air Training Corps. He joined the Royal Air Force at the age of 17 and a…

PTillbrookEHA1603.jpg
Ernest Hector Angelo Pedrazzini was the son of an Italian father and an English mother. After the war he changed his name to Tillbrook. Ernie’s father escaped from a prison camp during the First World War and finding his way to Russia and…

AStathamR160627.mp3
Rex Statham was born in Luton. His father died in a motorbike accident when he was very young. Although Rex had been very keen to join the Navy he volunteered for the RAF as a flight mechanic. When he realised that many trained mechanics were being…

AScottSO150904.mp3
Owen Scott served as a Lancaster pilot during the war. Mentions always having a passion for flying since he was little boy. Remembers training in Canada and the United States to become a flying boat pilot in Coastal Command and then surprisingly…

ARossiterHC150913.mp3
Harry Rossiter grew up in East London but his family moved to Essex which gave Harry a “ringside view” of the Battle of Britain. He volunteered as a bicycle messenger and tried to join the Royal Navy as a telegraphist. He was encouraged to join…

APragnellJ160526.mp3
Jack Pragnell and his twin brother Thomas volunteered together for the RAF and trained together. Jack flew operations as a bomb aimer with 51 Squadron. His brother joined a Canadian crew. Jack was plagued with health problems and was suddenly told…

APeelE161018.mp3
Eric Peel worked in the Cotton Exchange in Liverpool before he volunteered for the RAF. He trained as an armourer and was initially posted to 56 Squadron at RAF Sutton Bridge where he worked on Hurricanes. He then was posted to 103 Squadron at Elsham…

ANeedleR171004.mp3
Ron Needle, from Birmingham, flew operation a a rear gunner on 106 Squadron Lancasters at Metheringham. Operations included Norway, Dortmund Ems Canal and Munich; he was one of two survivors after his aircraft crashed in France. Ron was aided by…

AMulhallJE180703.mp3
James Mulhall trained as a flight engineer and was posted to 75 Squadron at RAF Mepal. On one operation the crew were surprised to be presented by the ground crew with a 303 bullet which proved that they had been the recipient of friendly fire. On…

AMulhallJE160823.mp3
James was born in Gorton, attended Catholic schools, and became an apprentice plumber. In November 1942 he joined the Royal Air Force. He then trained as a mechanic at RAF St Athan before being posted to RAF Henlow to assemble Hurricanes. He then…

AMartinA170830.mp3
Alfie Martin was born near Belfast in 1920. He applied for the Air Force but his mother was worried about the dangers and so he withdrew his application. He joined the army and when the RAF advertised for soldiers to transfer the RAF he volunteered.…

BHiltonPHiltonPv1.pdf
Nine accounts of flying activities during the war.

Additional information about this item has been kindly provided by the donor.

'David Joseph's son Brian met Paul Hilton in the 1980's through work, and he was wearing a prisoner of war tie. In…

B[Author]JosephDv1.pdf
Includes David Joseph's service in the RAF, his training in Canada and his operations on Halifaxes at RAF Holme-on-Spalding Moor and his movements after being shot down 18 March 1944 and becoming a prisoner of war.

PMaggsRW1602.jpg
Robert Maggs lived in London until his family were bombed out and moved to the seaside. He joined the local Air Training Corps and later volunteered for the RAF and trained as a gunner. During training his plane crashed and he was left trapped. He…

AMacraeWM161116.mp3
Bill McRae’s earliest memories were of the end of the First World War. He worked for a major bank during the Depression and was fortunate to be amongst a group of Australians who were sent to work in London. He volunteered at Australia House and…

PMaconachieN1601.jpg
Norm Maconachie volunteered for aircrew as soon as he was of age having already been a member of the Air Training Corps. While sailing to the UK he was woken at 3am to the sound of the guns on the Aquitania firing on a Focke Wulf Condor which was on…

AMackieGA171222.mp3
George Mackie served in the RAF as a pilot. He flew forty-four operations, fifteen as a second pilot. Was posted to 15 Squadron in 1941 and critically examines the state of Bomber Command at the time. He was posted for eighteen months to RAF…

AKnottS151001.mp3
Sidney Knott was from Leigh on Sea and recalls the day, with invasion apparently imminent, that signs were put up on the local shops advising people that they had to be ready to move within an hour and taking only one suitcase with them. Sidney’s…

AHolmesWC151105.mp3
William Holmes remembers his time as a pilot in the RAF. Gives a vivid and graphic account of the dramatic crash-landing which left him badly injured and brought him to join the Guinea Pig Club. Remembers various episodes of his operational life:…
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