When we arrived over the Humber, the pilot called me forward and apologised-low
cloud had totally blocked the view of the Humber, he did show me three orange
rings in the clouds, these were from the blast furnaces in Lincolnshire. That
was the best he could do for me. I was quite happy though, I knew I was over
Hull and it gave me a nice feeling.
We eventually returned to the aerodrome. I was very tired and hungry but it had
been worth it. I went into the cookhouse to see what was on offer, all that was
available was a tray of cold fried eggs-I tried one – but gave up and went
back to my billet. I was very tired but had the knowledge that the aircraft was
airworthy and it would soon be on its way to bring the lads back from the war.
The reason they were to return by plane was due to the serious condition they
were in. These flights continued for a number of weeks and again I was posted-this
time to back to Henlow.
Henlow had a mixture of male and female mechanics, which gave me problems in
teaching them engineering terms about aircraft engines, but we managed to overcome
it. It was here that I first saw the new jet engine on a Meteor; this had one,
which had actually exploded on the test beds. Today, this tiny engine has devolved
into a massive engine, which is used on modern aircraft all over the world.
Personally, I was happy with the Merlin engine, this I knew so well and this
is what I taught others about.
The problem I had at this time, was not the recruits, it was the weather. Christmas
was here once again. This year it snowed and snowed, the whole of the country
froze, which meant that any leave for me was practically impossible. The result
was that over Christmas, the majority of the people on the camp were sent home,
except myself and one or two other instructors who had the job, along with the
last entry of recruits, to keep the camp as free as possible from the frost.
This was no easy job but we did it the best we could. With the freezing temperatures,
we spent most of our time wandering around with blowlamps, keeping things as
free as possible. Our huts were absolutely freezing at night though!
As time passed, my turn eventually came to be demobbed. By then, all the recruits
were back in training, learning about Merlin engines and all the other engines.
Looking back at it all, I had my highlights and I enjoyed it and I had my low
times. To come out of it all, this I now looked forward
I finished up going back to Kirkham near Blackpool. This was the demob place
and in due course, I received my demob suit, which was a blue one with big stripes
in. I received a ‘cheerio’ from the chap who was organising the suits,
and he wished me good luck coming back into ‘Civvy Street’.
What a change it was-but that’s another story!
This is my story; I hope you have enjoyed it. As you will appreciate, I have
had to leave some things out, but these are some of my memories that I have
shared with you.
For my sons Martin and Andrew, along with my grandchildren, you now have a
brief idea of what your Grandad did during the war, which along with many,
many others, helped to keep this country going.
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