Browse Items (97 total)

  • Tags: perception of bombing war

MHorshamES1869854-170105-01.pdf
A poem about bomber operations

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Eddy Smythe’s father, Johnny Smythe was a navigator on a Lancaster. He was originally from Sierra Leonne. On one operation he was injured when anti-aircraft fire damaged the aircraft but they continued to target. One engine had been damaged and so…

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Geoff Rushton worked as a bank clerk before he volunteered for the Air Force. He trained as a navigator in Canada and after crewing up flew 20 operations with 15 Squadron from RAF Mildenhall. He and his crew were then posted to 186 Squadron at RAF…

AMorrisM150720.mp3
Malcolm Francis Morris, who was a child when war broke out, remembers joining the RAF as a boy entrant and then serving as an armament technician during the Cold War. Describes his training at St Athans and being then posted to Aden, where he was in…

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Ronald Last grew up in Dorset and worked as an apprentice for the local Gas and Water company before volunteering for the Air Force. He attended the reception centre at Lord's Cricket Ground and describes the medical tests and inoculations recruits…

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Harry Hughes flew as a navigator on 102 and 692 Squadrons. Remembers various episodes: training in the United States and Canada; taking part at various operations over Germany, including The Battle of the Ruhr; describes the Hamburg firestorm; how…

ACattyMA180822.mp3
Martin Catty grew up in London and was evacuated to Westward Ho! with his school at the beginning of the war. He completed a short training course at Cambridge University in 1942 and joined Air Force. After training he flew 40 operations as a…

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A newspaper article reporting on East German and Soviet vilification of the Allied bombing of Dresden in 1945. The article refers to the bombing of Dresden having been carried out five years ago. The aim was to gain sympathy for German communists in…

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Colin Atkinson was 12 at the outbreak of war and grew up in Lincolnshire. His father was a Lieutenant Colonel in the army. He worked as a trainee reporter for the local paper and served as a messenger for civil defence; his post was on the Castle…

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Two letters written by Dwight Eisenhower to Sir Arthur Harris. The first compliments Harris on his performance at Caen. The second reflects on the Normandy campaign and thanks Harris for his skill and dedication.
On the reverse 'These enclosed with…

MLarmerLO430037-151112-01.pdf
1 - news cutting concerning a 92 year old Second World War veteran penning an apology for bombing German cities. 2 - letter from Laurence Larmer while offering no apology, regretting that the operation he flew on 11 April 1945 resulted in the loss of…

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Bert Turner was a member of the Air Training Corps before the war. He volunteered for the Air Force and was called up 2 August 1942. After training he became a flight engineer with 196 Squadron. He flew some bombing and mine laying operations before…

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Jacqueline Assheton discusses her father's career in the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force and his post war work establishing Safmarine shipping line and his friendship with Jan Christiaan Smuts. Her father did not talk about his wartime career,…

APetenatiJ180622.mp3
Jutta Petenati recollects her wartime life in Berlin while she was a young girl. She recounts various episodes: the black market; removing incendiary bombs from her house; seeking shelter in an underground train station instead of her house basement,…

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Helga Wynne was born into a family of twelve in 1926 in Kiel, Germany. She describes her childhood and her father working as a shipbuilder in the dockyards. She left school at 14 and went to work on a farm. She fell through the hayloft opening,…

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Eddy Smythe reminisces about his father, John Henry Smythe, who was from Sierra Leone and served in Bomber Command during the Second World War. John flew as a navigator until his aircraft was shot down in November 1943. He became a prisoner of war in…

AMarshallS150826.mp3
Sydney Marshall grew up in Lincolnshire and was working as an engineering apprentice when he decided to volunteer for the RAF. He asked initially to train to be a pilot but when the basis of his apprenticeship became clear it was inevitable he would…

AMannA160130.mp3
Alan Mann was born in Lewisham, London and left school aged 14 to begin an engineering apprenticeship at RAF Kidbrooke and with de Havilland. He describes being bombed and what it was like in the workshops. After the war he had a career with de…

ALaphamR160714.mp3
Rosemary Lapham is the daughter of Roy Chadwick CBE, the designer of the Manchester and Lancaster aircraft. She tells her father’s story. Her father was born in 1893 and when he left school at the age of fourteen he became a draughtsman at…

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Jack Brown Franklin grew up in Liverpool and worked in a paper merchants. He discusses Liverpool being bombed and his service in the Local Defence Volunteers. He joined the Air Force in 1941 and trained as an engine mechanic. He served with 109…

AColesT150928.mp3
Tom Coles was born in Watford and signed up for the Royal Air Force at the age of 18. He went to Canada for training, a period saddened by the loss his sister who was in the Womens Auxilliary Air Force. Tom flew Manchesters, then went to 158 Squadron…

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Gavino Pala reminisces about his childhood in Sardinia, describing schooling and paramilitary training. Recollects the 17 May 1943 Alghero bombing, explaining how part of the population had left the city the day before and slept among olive trees,…

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Leontina Giovanetti (b. 1913) reminisces about her early life with three sisters, her father who was a typographer and photographer and her mother a house-wife. Describes musical training at the Milan conservatory, stressing the demanding attitude of…

ABendzkoHW180328.mp3
Hans-Walter Bendzko reminisces about his wartime experiences as a young boy in Berlin, before being evacuated. Describes his time at Wannsee, being properly looked after while surviving one of the Berlin bombings. Mentions incendiaries falling into a…

General Adolph Galland remembers his early life and subsequent career as a Luftwaffe pilot. Recounts various episodes: flying gliders as a young boy; changes in Luftwaffe fighting tactics during the Spanish civil war; the Luftwaffe refraining from…
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