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Destiny shaping our ends

by Basil Grose

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Archive List > Royal Air Force

Contributed by 
Basil Grose
People in story: 
Basil Grose
Location of story: 
Over the Baltic Sea and Japan.
Background to story: 
Army
Article ID: 
A1281142
Contributed on: 
13 September 2003

An acquaintenance was an air gunner in the RAF and was serving in a reconnaisence role. Although primarily not engaged in combat his plane was armed with bombs in case a target of opportunity appeared. The Baltic was clouded over and so the pilot jettisoned the bombs before aborting the mission. To the surprise of the crew soon afterwards the clouds lit up with flashes, they'd hit an ammunition ship. The crew received well deserved commendations.

An even more significant coincidence occurred when Japan was attacked by the USAF. After the war I met General Montgomery, no not "Monty" but General "Tooey" Spatz' right hand man in the air campaign against Japan. After the war he was on General MacArthur's staff in Japan and met a a Japanese professor who had been working on nuclear research in conditions of utmost secrecy. When his laboratory was bombed it was felt by the Japanese Government that if the US could penetrate their highest security to this extent then this was another factor against the hope of carrying on the war successfully.

This came as a surprise to General Montgomery who was well acquainted with important operations as this would have been. Concealing this surprise he consulted the records and found that there was a photographic mission over Tokyo on the day concerned but as there was 10/10 cloud the pilot aborted the mission and dropped at random the bombs he was carrying.

Two odd stories.

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