Browse Items (151 total)

  • Tags: perception of bombing war

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Gilly Street was born in Aglionby, Carlisle, and spent her early childhood in Tyneside before moving back to Cumberland at eleven. Street recalls attending grammar school in Brampton and her first flying experience on a Barnstormer. Upon leaving…

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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 mission aborted but not all aircraft…

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Writes about exams and passing. Mentions leave possibility and church parade. Speculates over embarkation and writes of being re-equipped.

Starts writing about a friend's experience of a bombing raid on Bath but then breaks off. Resumes to write…

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

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Sheila Wilmet grew up in Liverpool and was fifteen when war was declared. She describes the devastation of bombing in 1941, spending nights in an Anderson shelter, and navigating unexploded bombs during her commute. She volunteered after viewing a…

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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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A detailed account of Ken Thomas's life from his early years at school, through his ground crew technical training followed by his aircrew training, operational tour, short post war service and his civilian career, he revised the account in 2005.

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Geoff Payne has his first experience of the Royal Air Force with the Air Training Corps, at RAF Wyton in Cambridgeshire (home of 7 Squadron Pathfinders), where he had one of his first experiences of military humour. He joined in 1943 at the age of 17…

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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 raid, giving a…

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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…

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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…

AMackieGA171222.mp3
George Mackie served in the RAF as a pilot. He flew forty-four operations, fifteen as a second pilot. Was posted to 15 Squadron in 1941 and critically examines the state of Bomber Command at the time. He was posted for eighteen months to RAF…

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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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Mervyn Jones is a miners son from Wales. His father wanted a different life to that of a miner for his son and the family moved away to Slough where was plenty of work. Mervyn had always had trouble with his ears and so his father assumed he…

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Mark Johnson reminisces about John Blair. He discusses family life in rural Jamaica as a mixed-ethnicity person, highly respected by everyone. He was a qualified teacher, a lawyer, and a farmer. Reminisces other Caribbeans who volunteered and served…

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David Jackson tells of his father, Norman Jackson VC, born in Ealing, London in 1919 and who worked in an engineering company when the war broke out. After initially trying to join the navy, he then joined the RAF and classified as a fitter on…

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Thomas (Stan) Instone was working at a factory making Bristol Hercules engines but volunteered to be aircrew as soon as he was of age. Initially his application was unsuccessful but he persevered and trained as ground crew. He later remustered as a…
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