By Mel Rolfe
With the passage of time quickly depleting the ranks of WWII strive against veterans, the opportunity to profit what conflict used to be like first hand is quick disappearing. not anything can relatively surpass a fair own account of such stories to remind us of the braveness of the younger but additionally to dispel the parable that struggle is by some means glamorous. In his choice of 20 brief tales, relating to him by means of the lads themselves, best-selling writer Mel Rolfe has performed simply that. this can be a must-read for a person drawn to the topic.
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Additional info for Flying Into Hell : The Bomber Command Offensive as Recorded by the Crews Themselves
I got a string of fixes from British airfields so we knew how we were progressing and they knew where we were if we went into the sea. So would the Germans, of course, but fortunately we didn’t go in. It took a while to find the best speed to fly at to avoid losing height, and that turned out to be 137 knots. ‘We didn’t take the chance of going all the way to Scampton, landing instead at Horsham St Faith, which is now the civil airfield at Norwich. It was a good landing but when I endeavoured to turn round and taxi on to the perimeter track I got a wheel off the runway and we got bogged down.
In April 1942 Hauxwell, sometimes known as ‘Hawkeye’, joined 78 Squadron, which flew from Croft, near Darlington, having just converted to Halifaxes from Whitleys. Two months later the squadron moved to Middleton St George, and would soon be commanded by Wing Commander Willie Tait. Hauxwell recalls the gifted bomber pilot, who in two years would be in charge of 617 Squadron: ‘He was slim, taller than me, with dark straight hair, brushed back. He walked on his toes like a spring-heeled jack. A tough disciplinarian, if anyone fell down on the job the roof caved in.
The entire station and the surrounding countryside would have known if they had had a rough landing. When Mick Tait developed glandular fever in August his crew flew as odd bods with other pilots, but he was back in February 1943 when they were briefed one night to drop two 1,5001b mines off the Frisians, a long chain of islands in the North Sea, which stretch along the coasts of Holland, Germany and Denmark. They were now based at Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire. Pilot Officer Ray Keen, a Tynesider, was wireless operator.