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15 October 2014
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Contributed by 
BBC Cumbria Volunteer Story Gatherers
People in story: 
Keith Findlay
Location of story: 
South London
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
08 August 2005

I was about 16 or 17 and working for a builder in south London reroofing a bomb damaged house. I heard a quiet whooshing about 20 feet above me. It was a V1. V1's were the size of a small fighter aircraft. The engines had stopped. It glided over the end of the terrace where I was working and hit the next street.

About a week later we were working on a different house where a flying bomb had hit. I saw bombs heading towards us and threw myself over a hedge, landing in front of a bus. Luckily it stopped in time. The bomb dropped on the other side of the house and hit an air raid shelter. It killed 2 workers from our gang. One guy was left hanging out of the chimney. One man in the shelter had all his clothes blown off. The only thing left was the elastic round his waist from his underwear.

An old lady was in Walthamstow High Street.She saw a bomb coming, panicked and couldn't move. She stood stark still against Burtons window. Lots of people were killed but she wasn't hurt.

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Message 1 - V1 fear and destruction

Posted on: 08 August 2005 by Peter - WW2 Site Helper

Dear Mr Findlay

I read your story with interest. However, could I respectfully point out that V1s didn't have any bombs underneath nor attached to them in any other way. The V1 itself was the bomb, a complex flying bomb with a 1,870 lb Amatol high explosive warhead.

Best wishes,


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