- Contributed by
- CSV Action Desk Leicester
- People in story:
- ERIC (GREAT UNCLE OF HENRY JAMES)
- Location of story:
- LEICESTER AND EUROPE
- Background to story:
- Royal Air Force
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 03 August 2005
My great uncle Eric served as a photographer in the R.A.F. Although he served mainly as a Spitfire Pilot and he combined the two skills in Reconnaissance operations over enemy held territory.
He must have been quite an adventurous and sturdy person because I believe that he go shot down at least 9 times. I remember that he served with the famous Dam Busters, because of course they would need accurate recce intelligence for this precision bombing run.
The RAF personnel mainly started off at Cossington, and then went up to Lake Windermere to practice their bombing runs.
Recce Spitfires very often were fitted to fly fast and light, many did not carry weapons or armaments of any kind. They generally had to swoop in low and quickly take the pictures before the enemy could react. Some would fly low at sea wave level in order to avoid radar fixing and most operation aircrew had to change course several times to attempt to confuse the enemy. Of course if the recce aircraft were intercepted, especially on the return journey, the only defence they would have would be agility and speed. Not much comfort if you have to dodge large calibre cannon fire.
Unfortunately that is all I know, in 2005 I am a teenage film student, so it is just another example of disappearing information of our heritage.
This story was submitted to the “Peoples War Site by Rod Aldwinckle of the CSV Action Desk on behalf of Henry James and has been added to the site with his permission. The author fully understands the terms and conditions of the site
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