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If you had to be in WWII, which bit would you choose?

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If you had to be in WWII, which bit would you choose?

Old 24th Jun 2016, 08:12
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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SOE agent somewhere in France where there is a supply of decent wine and cheeses.
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Old 24th Jun 2016, 08:43
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Advisor to Churchill..
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Old 24th Jun 2016, 09:14
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Churchill's wine merchant.

Failing that, posted to the West Country for the duration. Bloke I worked with once was on a radar site "Somewhere in the West" and claimed rationing didn't really exist when surrounded by farms.
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Old 24th Jun 2016, 09:33
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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I'll take Bletchley Park then. Vitally important, fascinating work but safe.
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Old 24th Jun 2016, 09:38
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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A good friend of our family was a B-24 pilot and spent some time in Corsica including ferrying aircraft to the front lines of the air war. In listening over the years, some of the stories this good man shared were pretty tough, but many of his fellow airmen made it out and back time and again and were treated very well on that island.
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Old 24th Jun 2016, 09:43
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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The stores, deep underground!
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Old 24th Jun 2016, 09:47
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Two of my neighbours (both now dead) volunteered. One was sent by the Army to Burma and endured hell against the Japanese. The other joined the RAF and spent his war on a beach in the sun in North Africa having a whale of a time. He never saw a German but still got his medals. War is a very fickle beast.
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Old 24th Jun 2016, 09:58
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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For me-radio engineer in RAF or RN in Bermuda.

i had a friend whose father was there working for a private company when war broke out, got co opted/volunteered for that role in UK services, cannot remember if it was RAF or RN , and stayed there for the duration . Too difficult to send him home and too difficult to send a replacement as all personnel transport was very limited and on a priority basis
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Old 24th Jun 2016, 10:17
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Spitfire pilot - I know it's taken but at the last count there were well over twice as many ex 'spitfire pilots' as were ever trained as spitfire pilots in the war!
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Old 24th Jun 2016, 10:54
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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I'll settle for what I actually was, which was being a small boy on my parents' farm in Devon whilst others endured the war at closer quarters. As said in post 23 rationing had little impact if the farm grew most of its food, and we often had visitors to stay!
It only got dangerous when the US Army set up camp in one of our woods, prior to taking part in D Day.
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Old 24th Jun 2016, 11:08
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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My wife's grandad spent his war driving lorries in the RAF, first around the New Forest then later in France. Cheese, Wine etc.

Apparently they had a great stash of funny money that could buy pretty much anything but was worthless back home. They spent what they could and left it for the next guy.

I'm not sure he wanted to come home. Given that it took around 12 men to keep 1 in combat there must have been plenty who never heard a shot fired.
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Old 24th Jun 2016, 11:15
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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ATA pilot. You get to fly just about everything.
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Old 24th Jun 2016, 11:27
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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... or test pilot at one of the major aircraft works at either side of the front lines. Of course, this might have involved testing vile rides like the BI-1, the Reichenberg device, the Natter or the like, but nevertheless...
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Old 24th Jun 2016, 11:46
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Eric Brown RN. Except the getting sunk bit.
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Old 24th Jun 2016, 12:01
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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A DH Mosquito instructor in Canada .
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Old 24th Jun 2016, 12:32
  #36 (permalink)  
Danny42C
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Mr Oleo Strut,
...War is a very fickle beast...
As we said: "We each had to fight the war we'd been given". No two individual war stories were alike - for you didn't choose your war - It chose You !

funfly,
...but at the last count there were well over twice as many ex 'spitfire pilots' as were ever trained as spitfire pilots in the war!...
And there were plenty of genuine ones too ! Did a Spitfire OTU at Hawarden (75 hrs Mks.I and II) in summer 1942.

Then posted to India (where at the time there were no Spitfires - triumph of RAF organisation over logic, how did we ever win the war ?). Gave me a Vultee Vengeance instead. Never flew a Spitfire again for seven years until I crept back in in 1949. Flew a few hundred hours on them at 20 Sqn at Valley. Now the Mark XVIs, a bit heavier and more powerful, but nice as ever.

What would I choose to fly if I could roll the clock back 70+ years ?...What I got ! The nearest thing to "safe" ops in WWII. We lost a fair number of people in India/Burma, dive-bombing, but the Jap was responsible for only a few (we mostly killed ourselves, accidentally, of course). If you were careful and kept your wits about you, you could die of old age at our job.

Happy Days !

Danny42C.
 
Old 24th Jun 2016, 13:18
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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Danny42c, I take my hat off to you. Thank you so very much.
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Old 24th Jun 2016, 13:27
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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Hello Danny,
Did you happen to know a chap named Tullett? Not sure of the first name but I came across his logbook a while back (ex-girlfriends ex-husbands father..!!) and he flew the VV and went onto Mosquito's and was killed in an accident.
Richard
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Old 24th Jun 2016, 13:30
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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. . . .. and me too HIFLYMK3 as we know how much this fella is THE GOODS

a Dutch mercenary would be amongst last choices. The late Hans Moes-Bollen (whom I had the good fortune to spend the night with in Airlie Beachh Queensland while getting outside a bottle of his Bundaberg OP rum together . . Hans (aka Tex) ) at age sixteen in Amsderdam learned the fine art of coming up behind a German , usually gestapo and a known target of the resistance . . pulling out his length of piano wire from the lining of the lapels of his jacket for a swift garrotting . . . highly trained job it was. Hans went on to fly Tigerschmitts in Western Australia after the war. He crashed one day . . awfully common for ag DH82s in Australia when hundreds were pressed into service. (Han's crash cost him a leg . . .at least not an arm and a leg. )_

so that is an example of a non-choice. As to a preference . . . jeeese .. who cares ?
people rave on (well some do) while all I can hear is that hard faced shiela in the movie THE CASTLE saying 'getcha hand off it Darrell. .'

alright then if I must .. post me please as a weather observer or coast watch agent to a remote desert island with ample provisions ample booze and reading matter plus (essential) a dusky maiden or two strumming softly on her guitar…to the palm trees sway . .

Last edited by Fantome; 25th Jun 2016 at 06:27.
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Old 24th Jun 2016, 14:43
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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Being my dad. He was in the RAF and had some kind of skill which he had to teach to others. He was posted to Canada in 1942 and the only dangerous part of the war for him was the transatlantic crossing.

He spent much time visiting his family in California including quite a bit of time in Hollywood hob nobbing with famous movie star Ray Milland at his home.

I have his photo album from this period and it looks like a pretty good time was had!

On the other hand my mum was back in Blighty with three children spending nights in the Anderson shelter as Mr Hitlers lads rained explosives down on them.....
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