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15 October 2014
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The Yanks Race to the Doodlebug explosion site

by BBC Southern Counties Radio

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Contributed by 
BBC Southern Counties Radio
People in story: 
Mr D A Farley
Location of story: 
Dartford, Kent
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
08 July 2005

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Wendy Wood of Hastings Community Learning Centre, a volunteer from BBC Southern Counties Radio on behalf of Derek Farley and has been added to the site with his/her permission. Derek Farley fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.

I was seven years old in 1939 when the war commenced, one of four children, and we lived in Stone about a mile east of Dartford, Kent. At about 12 years old in 1944 I cycled easterly through Dartford when I saw a V.1 (doodlebug) zooming in towards me after it’s engine had cut out. A man pulled me off my bike to lie in the road but the bomb did not reach us, landing about 600/700 yards away at the top of the hill I was about to ride up. After the explosion I continued up to the site of the explosions where several houses in Carrington Road had been destroyed. The amazing facet of the story was the fact that several jeeps containing American servicemen converged on the scene, having chased the descending doodlebug, wagering who would arrive closest to the explosion.
They then promptly set to helping with the rescue work. This in brief contradicted the story that “the “Yanks were overpaid, oversexed and over here, and nothing but trouble.”

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