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15 October 2014
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by cambsaction

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Archive List > Royal Air Force

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Paul Gaunt, Dad - Philip Gaunt (nickname Tubby)
Location of story: 
England & Croatia
Background to story: 
Royal Air Force
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
21 December 2005

my dad joined the civil air guard in 1938. In 1939 he volunteered for the airforce as Air Crew. He trained as an air gunner (WOP/AG), then did a tour with 49 Squadron, going through til July 1942. Because he wasn't initially accepted as a pilot he re-mastered and was then accepted for training. he went to Marshall's Flying School in Cambridge and did preliminary training. He then went to Petersburg in South Africa, trained as a pilot, then went up to North Africa (Palestine) to an O.T.U (Operational Training Unit). He then crewed up, then went on Foggia (Southern Italy) and flew another 21 operations. A lot of the operations were supplying Tito's partisans in the Balkans.

On one of the these trips the aircraft iced up and crashed. He went down in a small valley on the Croatian/Slovenian border - a place called Vode (means water). The locals helped them, notified the partisans who contacted the authorities in North Africa. The partisans set up an escape route (200 miles) for dad and his crew. The route went to a place called Zadar. From there they put aboard a British Warship (HMS Wilton) which took them to Bari in Italy. They were then sent home on a troop ship and got into Liverpool at the ebd of March.

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