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15 October 2014
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My First Encounter with the Luftwaffe

by BBC Southern Counties Radio

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Archive List > Royal Air Force

Contributed by 
BBC Southern Counties Radio
People in story: 
Flt/Lt Jasper Warren Merriam
Location of story: 
Woodly Aerodrome, Miles Aircraft EFTS Reading
Background to story: 
Royal Air Force
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
23 September 2005

I obtained my Pilot’s Licence in 1938 with the Civil Air Guard and volunteered to join the RAF.

I was solo flying in September 1940, practicing at 2000 feet, when a German aircraft came alongside and the air gunner turned his gun on me! In panic I did a steep dive and got into a flat spin. I can’t remember how I landed, but when I revived my senses, I parked the Magester and made my way to the Falcon Hotel, which had been taken over by the War Authority.

I told them my experience in the pupils’ crew room, and several pupils were gazing through the large windows across the airfield, when an aircraft approached at low level. We all thought it was a Bristol Blenheim, until it opened its bomb doors! It released its load so low, that the heads failed to detonate in the centre of the field. However, it put an end to further trainings and the explosive situation was surrounded by heavy vehicles. We were subsequently shipped to 10A FTS Canada, with many other experiences to tell.

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by a volunteer on behalf of Flt/Lt Jasper Merriam, who fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.

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