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15 October 2014
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Archive List > Royal Air Force

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Geoffery Diaper
Location of story: 
UK/United States
Background to story: 
Royal Air Force
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
27 May 2005

This story was submitted to the People's War website by Steven Turner, a Peoples War Story gatherer with the BBC Radio Cambridgeshire Action Desk. It was submitted at Duxford Museum during their VE celebrations, on behalf of Mr Geoffery Diaper and has been added to the site with his permission.

"I joined up in 1940 as an airman and trained at technical college in Wolverhampton. I finished the war with 35 Squadron at Gravely, Cambridgeshire. At the end of the war I flew as Signals NCO on a tour of the United States. We did lots of air displays in our Lancasters, across different towns & cities as guests of the United States Air Force. There were twelve aircraft in the flight. The Americans treated us very well. While we were out there one of the lads married a local girl, for which he was reprimanded!

I remember a couple of incidents during my service. I was posted to a Turbinlite Havoc Squadron at Hunsdon, Hertfordshire. One day I was in the radio caravan and I heard a British Pilot over France saying he’d been hit; “He’s got me, He’s got me, I’m bailing out”, he said. The next minute another pilot came over on the radio and said that he was covering him.

There was another time when we were at Castle Bromwich, we went to a cinema at Aston Cross, opposite the HP Sauce factory. The Film was Arthur Lucan and Kitty McShane (“Old Mother Riley”?). We met two girls and arranged a date for another night. My fellow airman said he couldn’t make it and I said I wasn’t going on my own so we didn’t keep the date. On the Sunday we went to the Bull Ring to see an aeroplane that was on display. We met the same two girls again. They said they had waited but the sirens had gone so they went home. The Cinema got a direct hit from a bomb.

My wife Beryl had a lucky escape of her own, she was playing outside her house in Lavenham, Suffolk, near to the American airfield. A bomb fell from an American aircraft as it flew over, it went past the playing children and buried itself 15 feet away without exploding!"

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