Just a couple of stories which I seem to remember from long ago. Jimmy Edwards said that he was towing a glider on D-day and was one of the first across the channel. Unfortunately he got lost and had to turn back. This apparently caused chaos because he was now flying head on into the following aircraft. True? Who knows with Jimmy. Also John Pertwee (an early Doctor Who) was injured, presumed dead, and woke up in a mortuary. Don't know if this was in action but I hope somebody can enlighten me. If these memories are confused I apologise since my mind does seem to play tricks lately as witness some of my earlier posts.
Recall reading an article by Jimmy Edwards when he claimed to have spent some time flying the immortal Fairey Battle (after it had been ignominiously retired from frontline service) as a target tower. Allegedly, one day while droning across the south of England with mind in neutral he looked up and was horrified to see an echelon of Messerschmidts perfectly positioned above him. Before he had time to react, they peeled off - and shot hell out of the target! They then formed up, flew past while the leader saluted him. It was a crack squadron - and they considered it beneath their dignity to shoot down a Fairey Battle. I do hope it might be true.
Just searched out my copy of "Huston we Have a Problem", the fascinating autobiography of Ossie Morris, the very distinguished Director of Photography - he won a DFC for bomber ops with 44 (Rhodesia) Squadron, and an AFC for transort ops later in the war. I had the great privilege and pleasure of knowing him in my teens, and when last I heard a few years ago, he was still teaching film studies students at Bournemouth University - in his 80s
Location: Teetering Towers - somewhere in the Shires
My apologies to "Professor" Jimmy Edwards - it was a DFC (sorry, don't trust Wikipaedia!) for which I found the details .....
"Professor" Jimmy Edwards managed to avoid the flak in KG444 and cleared the Arnhem area on his way back to base. He told his wireless operator, Bill Randall, to get the sandwiches and coffee flask then suddenly there was a tremendous noise and the aircraft shook violently. Jim thought that they had been hit by flak but looking out of his window he saw the ugly snout and yellow spinners of an FW190, who proceeded to rake them again. The engines suddenly went into fine pitch - Jim gave the order to bail out, which second pilot Alan Clarke and navigator Harry Sorensen promptly obeyed. Then Jim collected his parachute, put the automatic pilot in and raced down the aircraft to bale out through the open door. But lying near the door were the four air despatchers and Jim yelled "Why haven't you jumped." "Can't, sir" came the reply, "all wounded in the legs". So throwing his chute down, Jim went back to the cockpit but he couldn't see through the windscreen which was now covered in black soot and oil. So he knocked out the escape exit in the roof and by standing in the seat with his head in the slip stream he brought the aircraft down into a small wood where the small saplings broke his speed without breaking the aircraft up. As he landed the nose dug in and catapulted Jim out of the top hatch and on to the ground where he was joined by Bill Randall who had also stayed on board. Jim said that they felt very vulnerable lying there in the yellow Mae Wests but as the Fokker came in for the kill, he ran out of ammunition for only three rounds were fired. Jim had many burns to his face and ears, his ears shrivelled like cockleshells (the reason he wore his hair long to hide them) and for his brave action Jim received the DFC. The greatest disappointment of this gallant sacrifice by our aircrews who flew these suicidal missions for four days on the trot, was that less than 20% were received by the paras on the ground for there was no radio communication to tell our pilots that the DZs had been captured.