Browse Items (207 total)

  • Tags: perception of bombing war

ACockbillDFA171008.mp3
Born in Newport, Denis volunteered for the Royal Air Force as he was tired of bombing, wishing to get his own back, he joined the Air Corps at 17. Wishing to train as a wireless operator because of his interest in radio technology, he officially…

ADerringtonAP150715-01.mp3
Dr Arnold Pearce Derrington grew up in Cornwall and joined the University Air Squadron at Exeter. He joined the Royal Air Force in 1942 and completed training at RAF Ansty, South Africa, RAF West Freugh and RAF Moreton in the Marsh, where he trained…

AHawkinsDH151001.mp3
Desmond Hawkins volunteered for the Royal Air Force and became a navigator. After training on Wellingtons and Manchesters, he flew Lancasters for 44 Squadron and completed a tour of operations. He was commissioned as flight lieutenant and after the…

AEssigD180320.mp3
Dieter Essig recollects the 23 February 1945 Pforzheim bombing, which he eyewitnessed at six. Mentions the long hours he spent inside a shelter, describing his wartime years as wasted childhood. Speaks of the 1 April 1944 bombing stressing how he…

PBrowningDJ1601.jpg
Don Browning volunteered for aircrew and began his training as a wireless operator in his native Australia. His arrival in Brighton in the UK coincided with his first experience of an air raid. Don was posted to 463 Squadron at RAF Waddington. He did…

PBrowningDJ1601.jpg
Don Browning was posted to 463 Squadron at RAF Waddington. On one operation two aircraft collided and Don lost friends he had undertaken training with. On an operation to Calais the weather was very poor and the attack aborted but not all aircraft…

PSouthwellDE1603.jpg
Don Southwell grew up in Australia and worked for RKO Radio Pictures and as an Air Raid Precautions Warden before volunteering for the Royal Air Force. After training in Australia and Canada, he flew nine operations as a navigator with 463 Squadron…

PSutherlandD1901.jpg
Don was brought up in Newcastle, where he worked for a number of years. He attended a meeting a year before the war began, about alternatives to war and that war didn’t have to be accepted as inevitable. Don joined a community which organised…

PMcDonaldDA1501.jpg
Donald McDonald grew up in Australia and worked for a general store before he volunteered for the Royal Australian Air Force. He flew operations as a pilot with 466 and 578 Squadrons. He returned to Australia after the war where he became involved in…

PBeasleyDG1727.jpg
At the start of the war, Doug Beasley left school at 16 to start work. Initially a member of the Air Training Corps, he was sent for aircrew selection when he became 18. There was a 12-month wait to enlist as a pilot, so he opted to become a flight…

PBegbieD1701.jpg
Doug Begbie was an apprentice chef before he volunteered for the RAF. He trained as a rear gunner and was posted to 76 Squadron. He shot down what sounds like an Me 163.

ADerringtonAP150715-02.mp3
Dr Arnold Pearce Derrington grew up in Cornwall and joined the University Air Squadron at Exeter. He joined the Royal Air Force in 1942 and completed training at RAF Ansty, South Africa, RAF West Freugh and RAF Moreton in the Marsh, where he trained…

PSmytheE1701.jpg
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…

PSmytheE1701.jpg
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…

PColombiE1701.jpg
Efrem Colombi recalls his care-free childhood, initially in the Bergamo countryside and then in Milan. Emphasises his life-long radical anti-Clericalism and recounts how he ran away several times from Catholic boarding schools because of his…

AMarianiE171209.mp3
Enrica Mariani recollects her wartime experiences in Milan: her brother dying of bronchitis after spending too much time in the shelter and her father working in an armaments factory. The aggressive fascist militiamen and the long hours she spent in…

PBartonER1701.jpg
Flying Officer Eric Barton flew operations with Bomber Command. Eric Barton talks about the various aircraft he flew in, and recalls an incident at Banff in Scotland where following a night exercise his tyre blew out on landing. He gives an account…

PHarrisonEW1903.jpg
Eric William Harrison joined the RAF in 1943 and trained as a flight engineer at RAF Locking, RAF St Athan, and RAF Chedburgh, where he flew Stirlings and recollects that they were a terrifying aircraft compared to Lancasters. Harrison formed a crew…

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…

PRighiF1601.jpg
Ferdinando Righi recalls his early life in Monfalcone, brought up by his mother while his father served as a submariner. Describes daily life in wartime: how he used to sleep fully clothed, waiting for the air raid siren. His mother would put some…

PBergomiF1701.jpg
Ferruccio Bergomi recalls his early life as a street urchin in the Precotto neighbourhood in Milan - describes monkey business, horseplay, fierce rivalries, melees, pilfering sundries and street games with friends. Gives an eyewitness account of the…

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…

ATolleyF150702.mp3
Frank Tolley was born in 1921 in Tipton and left school at fourteen to work as an errand boy for a grocer. He joined the Royal Air Force at nineteen as a ground gunner, and was in at the inception of the Royal Air Force Regiment. After eighteen…
Output Formats

atom, dc-rdf, dcmes-xml, json, omeka-xml, rss2