- Contributed by
- Barnsley Archives and Local Studies
- People in story:
- Henry Fogg
- Location of story:
- Background to story:
- Royal Air Force
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 14 April 2005
"This story was submitted to the People's War site by the Barnsley Archives and Local Studies Department on behalf of Henry Fogg and has been added to the site with his/her permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions."
I was born in 1922 and went to war in 1940. I joined up to the Royal Air Force. I just wanted to get it over with. There were no jobs worth having, only in the pit. I worked in Goldthorpe Colliery for three months, and then joined up. Joining up was like an adventure. Also, you were very well fed in the air force. I had two years in England and was last stationed in Norwich, with a fighter squadron where I mostly had ground duties.
In November 1942, I was on my way to North America. We thought we were going to Canada as we were given winter woollies. But we realised something had gone wrong when we got to the Mediterranean. We ended in Algiers on the 22nd November 1942, on the HMS Orien. It was a twenty six thousand tonner and we slept on a palias in the foyer. I was in 242 Group, 4 fighter squadron. We had no fears, everyone was together, we were only young and we didn’t know what war was until we got to Algiers.
We marched out of Algiers and there was such confusion. There were soldiers everywhere. We were first back up for the soldiers on the front line. Our airdrome was 10 kilometres behind the front line. There was a row of mountains and a runway. I ended up on motor transport. The first thing you did before even putting up a tent was to dig a six foot trench to get in to. I remember while in North Africa, Churchill came to Carthage and there was a huge parade.
After Algiers, I went to Italy as part of a communications flight, taking information up to headquarters. Then, I got posted to air stores part 136, in the Adriatic, on long distance maintenance journeys. I did a lot of travelling by lorry, fetching stores from the other side of Italy (Sorrento). I had a great time out there. I had my own lorry and I was away from camp 2 or 3 days at a time. I have been to every city in Italy except one. I remember going over the Appennines, going up Suicide Hill and going down Crash Hill. You had to go down in first gear and stand on the brake!
In 1945, I got 14 days leave. It was foggy and it took days to get home. I also had leave in June 1946, when I was sent to 12 Group in Nottinghamshire. I had to drive a Group Leader and his wife to Leicester. I went to see a film and the Group Leader paid me half a crown to go in.
I got demobbed in June, when I got a suit, a rain coat and £75 gratuity.
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