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15 October 2014
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Peter Dawbarn -Part 7: Dawbarn meets the Germans

by Genevieve

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Peter Dawbarn
Location of story: 
Lille, France
Background to story: 
Royal Air Force
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
28 June 2005

The first German I remember seeing was one day when we landed at this field, and there were two of our Lysanders on the circuit. Suddenly, out of the blue came two Messerschmitt 109's and shot them both down- that was the first thing we’d ever seen. We all stood there and gaped. They could have killed us all if they’d thought; but as soon as they’d shot the Lysanders down off they went. We were just standing there gaping at them - we were just kids.

The first time I remember actually running into the Germans was my second day in France, when we took off from Lille. It was astounding really. You didn’t have time to be frightened. Suddenly the air was absolutely full of aeroplanes. You made sure there wasn’t one on your tail and you tried to get round another one, you know, and then suddenly the sky was empty. By which time we’d lost two pilots: the flight commander and the sergeant pilot.

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Becky Barugh of the BBC Radio Shropshire CSV Action Desk on behalf of Peter Dawbarn and has been added to the site with his permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.

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