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Life with the Americans

by Wymondham Learning Centre

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Archive List > Royal Air Force

Contributed by 
Wymondham Learning Centre
People in story: 
Albert Humphrey (born 1929)
Location of story: 
Morley and Deopham Norfolk, England
Background to story: 
Royal Air Force
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
10 May 2005

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This story was submitted to the BBC People’s War site by Wymondham Learning Centre on behalf of the author who fully understand the site's terms and conditions.

I was about 13 yrs old at the time and living at Morley. We were talking to some Yanks when another approached and started accusing the R.A.F. of being cowardly, as they only went on night missions. One Yank said “Hold on I got friendly with some R.A.F. and went on a night mission with them when I was stationed on a mixed U.S.A.F. and R.A.F. base.

In the day the anti-aircraft fire only seems like a puff of smoke, at night it’s a ball of fire with red hot pieces of metal flying around — I’d rather be on a day mission any time”.

In the Yanks opinion it was planned, as the Yanks had half machine guns, which would shoot further but less bombs. The R.A.F. had 303 machine guns, which would shoot less far but could carry more bombs, suitable for night raids.

I belonged to the A.T.C. We went into the American base at Deopham through the fence -they were too strict on the gate! We would go into the operation room in our uniform and ask “Anything for testing today”? When we found out we’d go and pick up a parachute, then find the plane for testing and act as if we were going on to observe. I’ve been up in a B17 Flying Fortress this way, many a time.

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