Author Topic: BBC people at war  (Read 316 times)

Offline pete edwards

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BBC people at war
« on: Saturday 10 November 18 20:29 GMT (UK) »

www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/

some good memories on this site

Pete,  :)
Edwards, mainly Cound, Frodesely, Acton Burnell. Pitchford. and surrounding villages, Shropshire, /  Rowe, Cound, / Littlehales, Berrington, Shropshire / Radford, Dublin, /   Maguire, Acton Burnell, /  Rudge, Frodesely, /

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Offline Hornchurch

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Re: BBC people at war
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 02 April 19 15:57 BST (UK) »

www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/

some good memories on this site

Pete,  :)
'


 A really good call that one Pete : I was smitten with THIS particular page, below, when it came out & bookmarked it.

 Whilst other threads cover all situations (Army, Navy, Air-Force), THIS one concerns Bomber Command.

 Will make superb reading for those researching their ancestors & bring to life the hardships they endured.


 http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/19/a1073819.shtml


 I was particularly taken & heartbroken to read this snippet within.... "OULTON AIRBASE"

"While at Oulton, they had an engine crew made up of girls.
 They looked after the engines well and they never had a failure in the air.
One night they were going on operations but an engine was sounding quite sick. In knee-deep snow and an icy wind, the girls, wearing sheepskin jackets, jacked up another engine and installed it".

"One evening after the pub had shut, but while there was still daylight, Frank was returning to the base in a bus from Aylsham. This was unusual for Frank has he generally rode his bike. The bus was shot up by a German fighter (a Junkers.88), which must have sneaked through the screen. The bus crashed into the drainage-ditch and everyone took to the bushes in case the fighter returned. Once they had collected their wits, they went to see what they could do for the wounded. A lovely young WAAF whom Frank had helped to train was severely wounded and dying. She died in Frank’s arms as he tried to comfort her. Frank says, “Why the fighter bothered about a bus when there was an airbase full of planes, I’ll never know”.


Another segment which shows the frightening prospect of more or less instant frostbite in the night-time skies over a pitch-blacked out Germany, in temperatures that most of us could never even dream of, experience, or imagine, mostly colder than Siberia, which crews faced night after night after night....

"Their leather helmets had goggles in case of fire. On their hands they wore silk gloves, woollen gloves, electric gloves and leather gauntlets. The silk gloves were to prevent fingers sticking to the metal of the gun if they had to clear a stoppage. Frank never had to do this as he looked after his guns. At night in the winter, Frank wiped all the anti-freeze oil out of his guns, as the anti-freeze would freeze causing the guns to stop. He ran his guns dry and had no problems.
The electric suits had separate fuses for the slippers, suits and gloves.
 If a fuse blew, they had a minute or so in which to replace it before it was too cold to do so.
 Frostbite was considered to be a self-inflicted wound.


In the rear turret, sometimes the Perspex windows would ice over. By rubbing hard, it was possible to keep a little peephole clear but it was hopeless for looking for night fighters, so he would smash the Perspex with the fire axe. This would reduce the temperature even more, and an icy wind would blow in. Tears would then flow running down his cheeks, damming up and freezing around the top of the oxygen mask causing painful frostbite. The exhaust of the oxygen mask grew into a big icicle, which hung down like a walrus task. Icicles also developed on Franks’ eyelashes.
At hand was a small oxygen bottle, which would last for ten minutes if they had to bale out, as at the height they flew, they would be dead through oxygen loss before they would hit the air they could breathe."

   http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/19/a1073819.shtml

Lastly, this was pretty chilling & makes your average 'frightening rollercoaster ride' look pretty lame, by comparison...as in THIS case the full crew's lives were at stake...

"Franks’ crew finally set course for base and they got coned in searchlights between Cologne and the Ruhr industrial valley. While endeavouring to get out of this cone, one of the anti-aircraft shells exploded under the starboard wing and flipped the aircraft upside down.
They flew upside down for quite a way before going into a vertical dive, attaining a speed of 460 knots
(An astounding speed, for a 1940's propellor-driven Bomber, which might cause mid-air break-up !).
The controls were locked through sheer air pressure, due to the steep vertical dive.
The engineer, pilot and bomb aimer struggled with the controls but couldn’t pull her out.
They had lost 17,000 feet, when a second tour waist gunner shouted, “Use the trimming tabs
you (expletives deleted)...."
Far more life-threatening drama & hardship in one night, than most of us might ever endure in a lifetime.

The WW.II generation sure were made of stern-stuff & deserve huge respect for making Europe peaceful again.

 Good call Pete.
Am interested in N.W.Norfolk Hudsons in the Docking, Sedgeford, Heacham & Hunstanton regions,

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Offline Viktoria

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Re: BBC people at war
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 02 April 19 19:57 BST (UK) »
We have some super young people nowadays ,very aware of charities etc
but those young men in The RAF were very young,19 .
Likewise the cemeteries for Arnhem and Nijmegen have so many very young men there.
People rise to occasions for the most part.
I have not read all the articles but will do so.

Thanks for the link.
Viktoria.