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15 October 2014
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The excitement of the War

by BBC Southern Counties Radio

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Archive List > Royal Air Force

Contributed by 
BBC Southern Counties Radio
People in story: 
Hilda Norris
Location of story: 
R.A.F. Valley, Anglesey
Background to story: 
Royal Air Force
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
18 November 2005

I was twenty when I volunteered in 1942 for the W.A.A.F. Initial training - ‘Square Bashing’ as we called it, took place in Morecambe. We then went to Leighton Buzzard for special training as a fighter plotters before going to R.A.F. Anglesey. All of which was very strange, very different, and very exciting to a village girl from County Durham.

To learn of the horror and heartbreak of the War, it seems quite wrong to say that I truly enjoyed every minute of my war. It was the most happy and carefree time of my life. The first two and a half years were spent in the Operation Room and R.D.F room, plotting aircraft both friendly and hostile. This comprised of three groups of women working round the clock doing an interesting, but not so exciting job.

Then most of the R.A.F. and W.A.A.F. moved out and the United States Army Airforce moved in. I was sent with five other W.A.A.F to work in flying control right in the airfields, where we acted as assistants to the R.A.F. control officers and the U.S.A.A.F. control officers.

For me the excitement of the war was just beginning! Every few days a hundred huge fortresses and a hundred giant Liberators were received directly from America, and then dispatched to wherever they were asked to replace the Bombers in the South. The noise and the really hard work involved was quite something, but the feeling of being really involved was at last very rewarding.

This story was entered on The People's War Website by Stuart Ross on behalf of Hilda Norris, who fully understands the site's terms and conditions.

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