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Old 19th Aug 2010, 15:55
  #1975 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2008
Age: 98
Posts: 401
It is such a long time ago that I wrote about my stay at 150 Sqdn , there is a risk that I may repeat myself. So I hope you will forgive me if I do so. To go back and search for my last post would be too time consuming, so at the risk of being ‘shot down’ will ‘press on reward less.‘.

After V.E day you will remember we were flying to Pomigliano collecting and returning soldiers on Python leave. Our import/export business was booming, with us returning loaded with Cameo jewelery, wine , grapes, and peaches, but unfortunately most of the watches, cameras , binoculars had long since gone. . The soldiers had bought these, paying with the main currency , cigarettes.. Virtually any thing of use could be sold, in fact Paddy our Navigator sold his vest. We were visiting Salerno on our day off ,and had run out of lire, and Paddy asked an Italian if he could pay for two bottles of wine with his vest. The Italian agreed, resulting in three happy people. Below, hopefully. Paddy, Nav (minus vest ) and me in Salerno.

In between trips to Pomigliano, we jettisoned tons of high explosives, and incendiaries in the North Sea, but unfortunately this side of ‘the egg line’. I would imagine this concession would end on V.E day but I would be interested to hear if the boys on the Berlin airlift qualified.

Taffy mid upper. John bomb aimer, ?. Jock , W.O.P
?think? was our original bomb aimer (Australian) , replaced by Paddy (Dublin).

Rumours were rife that we would be soon flying out to the Far East, and it came as surprise when the crews were broken up and posted to different stations. I was posted to R.A.F Bruntingthorpe, but can’t remember why, what for, or what happened there, Wonder what sort of station that was at that time ? All I can remember is that I soon became friends with another pilot who came from Leicester, which we frequently visited, on my trusty Norton and stayed the night at his house We must have been there for some time as when some one dropped a bomb on Hiroshima the Japanese, capitulated and V.J day was announced. I don’t remember any one being upset at not earning an extra medal, in fact I detected a decided lack of enthusiasm about the whole prospect of visiting the Far East. The one thing I do remember is celebrating V.J day in Nottingham. It is hard to describe , euphoria, >? emotion ?ecstasy,? joy, excitement, ? Or relief , it was all there, Singing, and dancing with pianos in every street. Civilians thanking us , and offering drinks, Union Flags every where , Girls wearing soldiers , sailors and airmen’s hats. I have never seen so many happy people in one place since, and this was not only the servicemen who were happy. Practically all the civilians now knew there friends and relatives would now be coming home safely, but what they did not know was how long it would take. The Government decided quite rightly that they would use the ‘first in , first out policy’ and would only slowly demob the servicemen. This was for two reasons, one so as not to flood the labour market, and two , to have sufficient numbers to maintain law and order in the Axis countries. This meant some of the later recruits having to wait about a year for demob.

After recovering I was posted for a few days to R.A.F Catterick as I had been made ‘redundant’ ( a term I had never heard used in this way before, prior to that it was ‘sacked’). At Catterick I was told I had to choose a new trade, and given a list to choose three trades from. I chose, blacksmith and welder, M.T driver, and equipment assistant. The former as it could be useful in civvy street, and the other two as they were the best ‘skives’ I could think of, To my surprise, psychological tests indicated I was most suited to a clerical job. This was even though my life up to that time had always been connected with vehicles, plant, tools and engines. Well, those tests putting little round pegs in round holes and square pegs in square holes, being very scientific must have resulted in a correct decision. I was then told I was to train as an A/C 2 equipment assistant. So back to Bruntingthorpe.

Kevin (ICARE) Can you access my photobucket pictures on Face book ? Just thinking, if any one else is as silly as me ,that is posting to Facebook, they could possibly ask to become friends (with C.f Leach) and maybe access a few more R.A.F pics ( I can't delete the ref to FacePPRuNE it should read FACE BOOK.)
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