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  Books :: The Airborne Years - J A Campbell

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Updated: 10 Nov 09

J.A. CAMPBELL, MID-UPPER GUNNER IN 463 SQUADRON, RAAF, AND 61 SQUADRON, RAF

J.A. CAMPBELL, MID-UPPER GUNNER IN 463 SQUADRON, RAAF, AND 61 SQUADRON, RAF

We are grateful to J A Campbell for permitting us to reproduce his personal account of his wartime experiences in full.

This fascinating narrative covers his training in Canada and the UK and focuses on his tour of operations on the Lancaster. His memoirs span 14 OTU at RAF Cottesmore, RAF Saltby, 1654 HCU at RAF Wigsley, training at RAF Fulbeck and then operations on 61 Sqn RAF from RAF Syerston and 463 Sqn RAAF from RAF Waddington before posting back to the training sytem after completing his operational tour. Download the book in full (see below) or visit the station and squadron pages for extracts.

Contents

Introduction

Part One
A recruit — 6
School in Hamilton — 8
No. 1 Manning Depot, Toronto — 10
No. 1 Initial Training School, Toronto — 13
No. 9 Elementary Flying Training School, St. Catharines — 13
Composite Training School, Trenton — 16
The Way West —

Part Two

The West — 18
No.3 Bombing and Gunnery School, Macdonald, Manitoba — 20
Winnipeg Weekends — 21
Embarkation leave — 26
RCAF “Y” depot, Halifax, Nova Scotia 27
New York – the “Queen Elizabeth” — 28
Trans-Atlantic — 29
Greenock, Scotland — 29
Southward by rail — 29
RCAF Disembarkation Depot, Bournemouth — 30
First trip to London — 31
Bournemouth under attack — 31

Part Three
No. 14 Operational Training Unit, Cottesmore — 33
RAF Station, Saltby — 34
“ Crewing up” — 34
Flying with the new crew – 38
1654 Heavy Conversion Unit, Wigsley, Lincolnshire — 37
Disaster at Fulbeck — 39
Advanced flying exercises — 39
An operational crew — 40

Part Four
61 Squadron, RAF Syerston, Nottinghamshire — 43
61 Squadron, RAF Skellingthorpe, Lincolnshire — 62
463 Squadron, RAAF Waddington, Lincolnshire — 69
The attack on Germany — 85
Switch to NW Europe, April-July 1944 — 92
The flying bombs — 100
Our tour completed — 104
postings to the OTUs — 105

Five
No. 22 out RAF Wellesbourne-Mountford — 109
Flying Again in the Wimpeys — 109
Meeting the chief-honcho padre — 111
Back to work — 112
“You’re going home” — 116
RCAF Repat Depot, Warrington, Lancashire — 116
Greenock, Scotland — 118
The last of the four stackers — 118
Westward on the Atlantic — 119
New York — 119
Rockcliffe, Ottawa — 119
Toronto Union Station — 120

Endnotes — 121

> download the complete book (PDF, 131 pages, 1.0MB)

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