Browse Items (97 total)

  • Tags: perception of bombing war

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George ‘Johnny’ Johnson comments on Paul Brickhill's book and on the 1955 film of the same name, expressing disappointment that there was no mention of the Sorpe Dam. He voices contempt for the unscrupulous people who have made money by selling…

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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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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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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…

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Paolo Bottani recalls wartime memories of a working-class family in Milan. Describes the widespread enthusiasm for the declaration of war, followed by a relatively calm period. Mentions alarms as greeted initially with joy because classes stopped and…

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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…

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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…

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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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Angela Bianchi remembers wartime life in the outskirts of Pavia, where she lived on a farm with other families. Recalls her experiences of being bombed while working in a clothes factory situated close to one of the most important Ticino bridges,…

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Pietro Varesi describes wartime life in Pavia, focussing on the Borgo neighbourhood. He mentions the Ticino bridges as primary targets for bombers; recalls bent shop shutters and debris on the streets; stresses the limited accuracy of bombing and the…

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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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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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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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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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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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Adriano Landini (b. 1930) recalls his childhood living in the poor Santa Croce neighbourhood in Reggio Emilia. Describes the profound sense of solidarity in wartime, stressing the community spirit among the so-called
"popol giost" (the salt of the…

AMazziG170420.mp3
Giglio Mazzi (b. 1927) recalls his early life in Reggio Emilia, born in a family with strong anti-fascist sentiments. Describes his first job at the Reggiane works, then at the local labour inspectorate where he was attached to a debris clearance…

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Alessandra Rivalta recalls her early life, first as member of Opera Nazionale Balilla then as an undergraduate student at the faculty of humanities. Describes the start of the war, early anti-aircraft precautions and wartime life: food shortage,…

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Paola Giorgina Pasini provides details of her early life in a family of agricultural workers and compares favourably their condition with those living in urban areas. Recalls the ominous sight of target indicators and flares, and remembers Pippo…

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Lucia Muratori recalls her early life in Bologna in the family of a well-off foundry owner. Stresses that she had less traumatic war experiences compared to many other people at that time, the only disturbing episode being eye-witnessing the killing…

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Anna Maria Serafini recalls her teenage life in Bologna as the fiancée of Luigi Pasetti, a civilian pilot later enlisted as torpedo bomber pilot. Describes how she got married and mentions Italian First World War pilot, Ferruccio Ranza, who acted as…

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Vic Farmer volunteered for the Royal Air Force at eighteen and trained as a navigator in South Africa. He describes his experiences of crewing up and serving in 550 squadron, RAF North Killingholme. He saw action on D-Day, and participated in…

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Neville Shenbanjo was born in 1945, the son of Akin Shenbanjo. Flying Officer Akin Shenbanjo DFC was born in Nigeria and served as a wireless operator / air gunner with 76 Squadron. His crew named their Halifax 'Achtung! The Black Prince' after…

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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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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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