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The Only Incident That Day.

by GMascoll

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Gary Mascoll
Location of story: 
Waddon, Croydon
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
11 November 2003

This is not my story, but the story of another. It's nothing special, but as a child around the age of 10, war must have touched this wonderful woman deep down. She still breaks into a sweat when she hears an air raid siren. I had the pleasure of talking to her at my local church during our confirmation classes.
She told me that she lived in Waddon close into Croydon. If you don't know the area, Waddon is situated almost centre between Croydon town centre and what was then Croydon airfield. During WWII, Croydon airfield was home to up to 7 Spitfire and Hurricane squadrons.
She told me that she and a friend were in the street playing. The vision of the street she gave me was of terraced houses on either side and no cars parked anywhere. The sun was out and they were happily playing in the middle of the road and it was so quiet that day you could hear the very birds singing.
The calm was broken and both of them froze as they heard the growl of an aircraft engine getting closer and closer. Suddenly from over the rooftops at the end of the road appeared a Messerschmitt. She tells me that at the time she can remember thinking that it was amazing that he hadn't clipped the chimney pot as he was that low. Literally as the Messerschmitt appeared, on it's tail, and rather close, was a Spitfire blazing a trail of bullets. The pair of them travelled the entire length of the road and vanished over the houses at the other end. At this point the two little girls dropped the toys they were playing with and just ran, at top speed for home.
She told me it was the only thing that happened that day. She also said it was rather loud and rather scary. She could not tell me whether the Messerschmitt got away or not, but apparently a boy was injured a short distance away by a hot shell casing.
There were other days when she would watch the dogfights over head, but that was the day that stayed in her mind.

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