Browse Items (94 total)

  • Tags: military ethos

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David Fellowes tells of how he used to build model airplanes and fly them in the fields when he was a boy. The son of an engineer, he first joined the Air Training Corps and then volunteered for the Royal Air Force at the age of 17. Describes his…

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David Leicester grew up in Australia and worked as an office boy before he volunteered for the Royal Australian Air Force. He completed 68 operations as a pilot with 35, 158 and 640 Squadrons and as a Master Bomber with Pathfinders. He describes how…

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Doris Reddish attended Sleaford High School followed by commercial college. She worked at Moore, Cooper and Burkett’s in Market Rasen until she joined the Royal Observer Corps. She trained in Lincoln for aircraft recognition then served as a table…

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Geoff Payne has his first experience of the Royal Air Force with the Air Training Corps, at RAF Wyton in Cambridgeshire, where he had one of his first experiences of military humour. He joined in 1943 at the age of 17 and a half hoping to become a…

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George was born at Whitstable and was 17 when war was declared. He joined the local Defence Volunteers which became the Home Guard. When he reached 18 he volunteered for air crew. He was interviewed at Chatham and sat an exam and selection board to…

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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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Harold Allen’s parents travelled to the UK to escape the pogroms in Europe. He lived in London during the Blitz. When Harold volunteered for the RAF he trained as a wireless operator on the ground. He did not want to join aircrew because he was…

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Harold Kirby joined up the Royal Air Force encouraged by two friends, but ended up training as a flight mechanic at RAF Halton on medical grounds. Harold became them airframe fitter, volunteered as a flight engineer, passed the physical but was then…

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Harold Kirby grew up in London and worked in an accounts department before joining the Royal Air Force. He served as a fitter with 460 Squadron at RAF Binbrook before remustering as a flight engineer. He flew two tours of operations with 467, 97 and…

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Harold Gordon Foster (known as Harry) tells of his childhood, passing the eleven plus exam and his enjoyment of learning, and the need for him to earn money for his family rather than going to grammar school. He first worked for CL Equipments,…

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Horace Burchett joined the Royal Air Force at the age of 17 and rose to the rank of Flight Engineer, serving in an all Austrailian Squadron at 1654 Conversion Unit in Wiglsely in Northamptonshire.
Posted to 463 Squadron at Waddington, still with the…

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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…

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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…

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Ian Denver grew up in Australia and joined the Royal Australian Air Force as soon as he was old enough. After training he completed 60 operations with 625 Squadron and 156 Squadron. He met and married his wife, Pat who was an intelligence officer at…

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Beginning the war in a reserved occupation, Jack eventually volunteered for the Royal Air Force, however, it would take the majority of the war before he joined. Eventually being called up for Bomber Command in 1944, Jack trained as a wireless…

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Born on 27 December 1924 in Aigburth Liverpool, James was 15 when war broke out in Europe. He intended to join as a pilot, navigator, bomber aimer in 1943 but due to shorter waiting list and training time he trained to become a wireless operator at…

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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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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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Jim Penny joined the Air Force in July 1940 when he was eighteen. He recounts the training which he undertook before he became a Bomber Command Pathfinder pilot for 97 Squadron at RAF Bourn. He explains the crewing up process and details those who…

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John Hanks joined the RAF and served as an armourer. Describes his role and his duties. Tells of his posting at Swinderby and East Kirkby. Gives a graphic and vivid account of an aircraft crash at RAF Swinderby. Describes comradeship between ground…

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John Norrington was a lorry driver when he volunteered for the Royal Air Force. After initial training, he went to RAF Sandtoft on Lancasters and Halifaxes; he crewed up with Flying Officer James, then was at RAF Hemswell for the Lancaster Finishing…
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