Browse Items (113 total)

  • Tags: perception of bombing war

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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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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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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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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The interviewee recalls her wartime years at Cordenons, starting from the day the outbreak of the war was announced on the radio. She describes how she anticipated the air raid siren with a mixture of elation and fear, being somewhat eager to skip…

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Marco Pederielli describes his father’s career as a Regia Aeronautica officer, providing details of his service in North Africa. Describes his personal situation after the fall of the Fascist regime, when he reluctantly joined the Aeronautica…

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Carluccio Intropido recalls his early life as an orphan studying in Pavia at the Artigianelli, a boarding school providing technical training. He recalls that children used to watch aircraft en route to Milan, until Pavia was bombed owing to the…

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The informant recollects his wartime memories in Voghera. Emphasises how bombings, strafing, and Pippo flying at night became part of everyday life and how the population tried to cope. Gives a vivid and detailed account of the August 1944 bombing,…

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The informant reminisces about her wartime experiences in the Voghera countryside, at the time when her three brothers where enlisted and it was hard for her parents to run the farm.
She remembers how she narrowly escaped an aircraft trying to…

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Lidia Vendramin reminisces her childhood in Sacile including details on her primary schooling, family, and town life. Contrasts the public manifestations of joy the day the war was declared, with the shock and dismay of her parents, whose lives had…

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Guido Toccaceri remembers his wartime experiences as a schoolboy in Milan: the day war broke out, food shortages, his father working at an airfield near Bergamo, train strafing, basements used as makeshift shelters, being evacuated outside Milan with…

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Annamaria De Manzano Vici recalls her wartime childhood in Trieste. Describes the struggle of her women-only family, coping with fear, hunger, and difficulties in finding food supplies. Remembers the run to the public shelter and the terror felt…

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Leonardo Gravina describes his early life in the rural district of the Puglia region, near the towns of Foggia and S. Giovanni Rotondo. Remembers seeing formations of aircraft taking off and landing from an airfield nearby. Speaks with affection of…

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Gilberto Martina reminisces his childhood in Chiusaforte and in the Canal del Ferro area: disrupted schooling, fear of Germans, subsistence farming, saboteurs, and one of his mates being killed by a bomb found in a pile of litter. Stressed how the…

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The informant describes two bombings he eye-witnessed in the Sesto San Giovanni and Niguarda area. During the first, he was in a basement adapted as underground shelter: he recollects women reciting the rosary and a queasy sensation in the stomach…
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