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15 October 2014
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Life in the Desert Air Force

by cambsaction

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Contributed by 
People in story: 
Ernest James Mansell
Location of story: 
Desert Air Force
Background to story: 
Royal Air Force
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
21 December 2005

RAF Service in the Middle East

My father started off in catering. I do not know why, but he moved to join Middle Ferry Control, LG224, Cairo West, in 1942. He said his first missions were from Malta. He was a radio operator on board Lancasters, firstly with 147 Sqn in 1942. He then moved to 178 Sqn in 1944. Whilst in the east, he learnt to speak a little bit of Arabic. He was involved in the raids on the Ploesti Oilfields, and said it was one of the most frightening raids; a lot of men were lost. In one raid a piece of shrapnel hit the aircraft. My father thought he was hit, but luckily it had been lodged in his seat. I am now showing some photos of my father during his service.

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