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15 October 2014
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A Few Memories of my time in the RAF during WW2

by gmractiondesk

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Archive List > World > France

Contributed by 
gmractiondesk
People in story: 
David Teacher
Location of story: 
Europe
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A4149362
Contributed on: 
03 June 2005

September 1942 - I was called up for service in the R.A.F. and was kitted out in Penarth. I did my square bashing in Weston-Super-Mare and then on to Weeden, near Blackpool to complete a course as a motor mechanic. After serving on several aerodromes in Scotland I eventually arrived in North Devon in May 1943. Whilst there, volunteers were asked to come forward to join Combined Operations, a completely new concept. The intention was to prepare for invasion of Europe. Number 103 R.A.F Beach Unit comprised of personnel, including officers. We were to land on D-Day and would be responsible for all men and equipment coming ashore. We would have a hand in helping the injured to return home and maybe P.O.W.s. We trained extensively for some 12 months and landed on Juno Beach at 7.45am and remained on the beaches until August 1944. We were very lucky to have suffered only 1 fatal casualty, and 1 repatriation home. He lost his nerve.

When the ports opened in Normandy and took over from the beachhead, I was posted to the R.A.F regiment as a motor mechanic with 2742 Reconnaissance Squadron. I was with F Flight, which consisted of 5 ten-ton Humber Super Snipe reconnaissance vehicles, 1 Jeep, 1 three-ton four wheel drive abd 1 motor cycle. Our first major operation was in the Ardennes where we were to assist the American 1st Army through Belgium and into Germany, where we were involved in the Battle of the Rhine. We crossed the Rhine by Bailey Bridge and eventually arrived in Bonn where once again we had 3 days rest. We did have a short stop in Nuremburg Race Track. Despite many skirmishes we did not suffer any fatal casualties. We were advancing some 75 miles per day and meeting less and less resistance. we entred Baden Baden some 300 miles from Berln. It It was there that we were told to rest up and advance no further as the Russians were going to take Berlin. We located a small convalescent home, which we duly occupied. We had proper beds, hot and cold water, electricity and wine in the celler. We had everything to make us feel thoroughly at home. We knew from reports that the war was soon to finish and on 7th May 1945 we started to celebrate. The wine in the cellar was not at all to our taste. Nevertheless, we consumed the lot. We had survived the war in Europe.

During the next week the C.O. called me into his office and told me I was going home. 'Going home', I said. 'Yes son, you are going home on embarkation leave to the Far East'. I was devastated. However, the Americans dropped the Atom Bomb on Japan whilst I was on my way to the Far East and I was diverted to the Azores where I stayed for about 8 months. This station was closing and I was returned home in March 1946 to be posted to the R.A.F. regiment camp not far from Scarborough until I was released in February 1947.

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