- Contributed by
- Wolverhampton Libraries & Archives
- People in story:
- Ken Ashbury
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 17 November 2004
It was July 1944, Cosford, having passed out as a flight mechanic, engines. I was waiting to be posted to a squadron along with the rest of the course - about 90 men - when we were called out on parade. Twelve names were read out, mine included, and to our surprise we were told we had been given a week’s leave for a “special job,” which was mysterious as all leave had been cancelled due to the invasion on 6th June. Of course we twelve were delighted, and the envy of the rest of the course members. We couldn’t wait to draw our passes and be on our way home.
After an enjoyable leave during which all the possibilities were discussed as to our destination, we got back to camp, and were stunned to be told our “special job” was to be transferred to the Army - which didn’t meet with our approval as we knew the difference in discipline etc between the two services especially the uniforms. But of course that didn’t matter to the powers that be. Within two days we were bound for Catterick and the Royal Armoured Corp, to be trained on various armoured vehicles, mine to be a 40 ton Churchill tank. What had happened was due to the losses in Normandy - 10,000 men from the RAF and Royal Navy were drafted to make up the loss of manpower in Armoured Corp.
Very few people seem to know this happened and I have been looked at a little strangely when I’ve said I’d served in both Army and Air-force, but I count myself lucky to come home without a scratch after serving in India and Malaya after my “special job”!
Ken Ashbury RAF, RAC, RECCE
[This story was submitted to the People's War site by Wolverhampton Libraries on behalf of Ken Ashbury and has been added to the site with his permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions]
© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.