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15 October 2014
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US Plane in Flames in High Street

by cambsaction

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Dorothy Bailey (nee Gould)
Location of story: 
Wandsworth and Wellingborough
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
26 September 2005

[This story was submitted to the People’s War website by a volunteer from BBC Radio Cambridgeshire on behalf of Dorothy Bailey and has been added to the site with her permission. Mrs Bailey fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.]

I remember I was living near Wandsworth Common, and I was travelling on the number 49 bus when we heard the sound of the doodlebug overhead, travelling in the same direction as the road we were on. The bus driver put his foot down to try and get to the end of the road so we could turn right and get out of its path. The awful thing was that we were wishing it would pass over us and hit someone else!

We spent every night in the Anderson shelter with the family next door — we managed to make it quite cosy. My father noted each morning how often the Elephant and Castle was hit. I almost lived in the shelter for 9 months because I was so frightened of the doodlebugs. Because of the stress, I suffered from terrible headaches, then in 1944, we moved to Northamptonshire and the headaches disappeared immediately.

One day, I remember seeing a US plane returning to the base in flames. It came lower and lower then flew down Wellingborough High Street, where I was shopping, trying to make it to the airfield. I passed out and eventually ‘came to’ in Boots the Chemist!

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