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Mend these broken wings.

by gmractiondesk

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Archive List > Royal Air Force

Contributed by 
gmractiondesk
People in story: 
Harry Higham
Background to story: 
Royal Air Force
Article ID: 
A4488429
Contributed on: 
19 July 2005

I, Paul Ridyard, understand the conditions detailed on the bbc website when transcribing this account of Harry Higham.

I was repairing aircraft during the war, they were coming from the squadrons that were too much for them. Also, we received aircraft coming from the factories so we could get them ready for combat, fitting them with guns and everything.

I finished up as sergent, 99674. I went into the airforce as a tradesman and served over here.

The aircraft that came in were too damaged for the squadrans to repair. So, we took them in to fix wings, engines, new turrets and armaments. It took 3 or 4 days to repair a wing. A bomber, a Lancaster with 4 engines, would take 2 days - quite easy really.

My airfield was never attacked as far as i know. My airfield in Gloucester, we looked upon Bridesnoughton which was being bombed. I was 21 yrs old at the time.

At night we went to the local pubs. we used to get into fights regularly. It was more over money than girls. We gambled for ale mostly.

The young men of today wouldn't drink that beer, you had to chew it before you could swallow it. You could paint the outside of an house with it - lovely stuff!

I was married during the war, but we were posted miles apart form each other.

I don't remember celebrating VE Day. I was more interested in getting to my wife, so I spent that day travelling to see her. She was up in manchester. She was a nurse at St Mary's baby factory.

From there we lived in Moss Side. It was bombed and we had a struggle to get back onto our feet. We had to survive. Neighbours came and helped in the re-building and we eventually had a home.

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