Browse Items (212 total)

  • Tags: perception of bombing war

AMacKenzieR190509.mp3
Roddy MacKenzie’s father, Roland, joined the Canadian Royal Air Force in 1942. He trained as a pilot and worked as an instructor in Canada before being posted to RAF Kirmington, where he joined 166 Squadron and received the Distinguished Flying…

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Thomas Edward Noton was born in Greenwich on the 4th of April 1923. Upon leaving school he began a toolmaking apprenticeship, however, before finishing the course, Noton decided to join the Royal Air Force at the age of eighteen. He explains why he…

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Notes written by Arthur Harris to Hamish Mahaddie about Bomber Command. Included is a signed photograph of Arthur T Harris.

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Helga (00:00-34:00) was born in Kiel in 1926. Her father was a sailor, who then worked at Krupp shipbuilding yard; her mother was a tram driver during the war. None of her brothers were called up, either because of age or disability. Mentions Hitler…

AWyldeHJ161218.mp3
Herbert James Wylde was working in local government in Glasgow before he volunteered for aircrew training with the RAF. He started pilot training and had gone solo when he was sent to Canada to continue training. While there he began training as a…

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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…

AWilliamsRS180115.mp3
Roland Spencer Williams was born in Christchurch, New Zealand. Wanting to get involved in the war he joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 1942. After initial training in New Zealand, as an air gunner, he sailed on the SS Nieuw Amsterdam to San…

ATurnerP170529.mp3
Penny Turner’s father, Flight Sergeant Albin John Turner, pilot of a Wellington bomber was killed in action during the first bombing operation on the 4th September 1939. Years later, when she was five years old, her mother told her that her father…

ATiptonJ170610.mp3
John Tipton grew up in Tenby and studied law at University College London. He volunteered for the RAF and trained as a navigator. He was posted to 40 Squadron where he began operational flying before the squadron were posted to Malta. After his tour…

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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…

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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…

ASeckerFE170815.mp3
Frances Elizabeth Secker is a lifelong resident of Feltwell. She was still at school when RAF Feltwell opened in 1937, and she remembers the Harrow being the first aircraft to arrive, followed by Wellingtons.
Elizabeth has clear memories of…

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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…

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…

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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…

APriestR160720.mp3
Ron Priest worked in accountancy before the war and then served as a rear gunner, flying twenty five operations with 149 Squadron from RAF Lakenheath all on Stirlings. Describes his training in England, Canada and the United States, under the…

APriceSTG151001.mp3
Gwyn Price was living a rural lifestyle until he volunteered for the RAF. His dream was to train as an RAF pilot but since there was a surplus of pilots he chose to train instead as a flight engineer. On operations Gwyn observed the surreal feeling…

APlenderleithJ151007.mp3
John Plenderleith was in the Air Training Corps before he volunteered to join the RAF. He was posted to 626 Squadron at Wickenby and when the crew were allocated their hut they were surprised to find it was still occupied with another crew’s…

PPayneG1702.jpg
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…

AParkeRG161019.mp3
Ray Parke worked on the railway before joining the RAF in 1943. Remembers flying forty operations as a flight engineer with 218 Squadron by the time he was twenty. Tells about operations on Essen and the Ruhr. Discusses the Dresden operation, giving…

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Norman Neilson was an apprentice engineer at St Rollox Locomotive Works when he volunteered. He had originally wanted to join the Navy but joined the RAF because the only way he could be released from his position was to volunteer for aircrew. His…

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…

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…

AMatherR171229.mp3
Upon leaving school, Ronald was employed first as a pawnbrokers assistant, followed by butchers assistant. In 1943, upon reaching the age of 18 he followed his brothers footsteps and enlisted in the Royal Air Force. After initial training, he…
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