428 (Ghost) Squadron
Posted 05 January 2011 - 01:03 AM
There are many interesting personal stories from Bomber Command personnel on this site. Such as :
John Dale Elliott RCAF
"We crewed up at Operational Training School - where, unlike the Americans, we picked the people we would fly with. Our crew was very closely knit and this feeling stayed with us through Heavy Conversion Unit (where we changed from Wellington to Halifax bomber) and then a posting to 428 Squadron at Middleton St. George, in the county of Durham, England. With three commissioned officers and 4 sergeants it was an average mix. 428 (Ghost) Squadron was a Canadian squadron in a Canadian (6) Group of Bomber Command. By 1942 the second pilot position had disappeared although we quite often carried pilots with no combat experience to give them an idea what it was actually like Discipline on a Canadian Squadron was somewhat different from that on RAF and US units. Although this was a Canadian squadron the air crews were rarely 100% Canadian as we trained at a RAF unit (OTU) and it depended on who was there at the same time, for example, there were no flight engineers in the RCAF at that time, they were all British. Similarly the other groups had 36% Canadian aircrew members. While on the ground we had to maintain a position of respectability, but in the air everything was on a first name basis. The same thing held when we were in town with our ground crew (all RAF). This would shock army officers in pubs etc. To see a sergeant talking to a wing commander using his first name. - I recall one time an army type said to my pilot - "I'd have that man on charge if he spoke to me that way "- and he replied "If I'm flying the aircraft and the rear gunner says corkscrew starboard, I don't ask him why -- I do it". Luckily we had enough ground exercises in abandoning aircraft, dinghy drill etc. that when something happened in the air we were trained to react by rote. This eventually saved my life. "
"None of us realized that a fast track through the training system for many of us was just a quicker ticket to oblivion"
Posted 05 January 2011 - 08:37 PM
Thanks for the post they spent a lot of time flying round Yorkshire, and left a few
"Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees"
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