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15 October 2014
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Bernard (Taffy) Morgan Code and Cypher RAF

by Bernard Morgan

Contributed by 
Bernard Morgan
People in story: 
Bernard Morgan
Location of story: 
Normandy to Germany
Background to story: 
Royal Air Force
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
25 December 2004

16977478 SGT. Bernard (Taffy) Morgan R.A.F

From September 1943 until the cessation of hostilities in Europe, May 1945, I served in the Code & Cypher Section of No. 83 Group Control Centre, part of the 2nd Tactical Air Force (T.A.F.)
On D-Day 6th June 1944 I crossed the English Channel in an L.S.T. (Landing Ship Tank). and was amazed to see the huge armada, which was visible for many miles. Whilst anchored off the French coast at 05.00 hours I manned a bren gun for a two hour watch, prepared to deal with any low flying enemy aircraft. Our landing area was on Gold Beach. When we finally received the order to disembark at l8.30 I shall never forget seeing the beach littered with many dead bodies, some who had been shot, or drowned and others carried in by the incoming tide. A very sad sight never to be forgotten by a young 20 year old airman, seeing his first dead body. The first night ashore was a nightmare,we slept or tried to sleep, under our vehicles for some protection from continuous cross-fire from our own naval vessels and from the heavily fortified Atlantic Wall, which was blistering with guns. Throughout the night the sky was lit by tracers. Along with fellow airmen we were glad to have survived a most memorable day and felt lucky to be alive. 83 G.C.C. moved off the beach to our first Operational Site in France, at BAZENVILLE, where an ELG (Emergency Landing Ground) had been prepared by the R.A.F.Construction Unit.This was one of the first airfields to be used in France.En route to our site I manned a bren-gun, alone, at an isolated country road junction, surrounded on all sides by high hedges, for 30 minutes. until relieved by R.A.F. Regiment gunners. It was the longest half-hour of my life, and I certainly was extremely frightened, as we had been told there were still snipers in the vicinity. The final Operational Site for 83 G.C.C. was at SCHNEVERDINGEN, near Luneberg Heath. On May 7th the surrender of all German forces took place at General Eisenhower's H.Q. at RHEIMS. The final surrender was in Berlin the following day. I can well remember receiving this message in the Cypher Office, and also listening to Winston Churchill broadcast to the Nation at 1500, and King George VI at 2100. There was great rejoicing on the Unit. A large bonfire was prepared on site, and there was plenty of wine and beer available for all ranks. Operational work came to an abrupt halt.It was the 'end of the road'for Code and Cypher staff, no longer required in this theatre of war. The next posting for young airmen like myself, was the Far East, where the war against Japan was still continuing.

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