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15 October 2014
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Things that get bombed in the night

by Researcher 231568

Contributed by 
Researcher 231568
People in story: 
Location of story: 
RAF Uxbridge
Background to story: 
Royal Air Force
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
18 June 2003

I joined the WAAFs inlate 1940 and became one of the first ladywireless operators. I think about 25 of us trained at the old Vicarage in Chiswick and it took about 6 months to become not only touch typists but to be able to receive and send morse at 25 code words a minute. After that, were sent to relieve male wireless operators at AirForce Stations. I was posted to Uxbridge which was the head of 12 Group Fighter Command. Our commanding officer was Group Captain Leigh Mallory, the station commander was Group Captain Beamish, and our wing commander was Maggilicuddy, of the Reeks!! Both Irishmen, and as my name was Murphy in those days, we were all Irish, and I had hunted and danced with them both at Hunt Balls before the I knew them...but as I was only lowly ACW2...we could not fraternise, so to speak, on the fact I had to salute them both when on duty! Anyway, one night when I was on duty on the SOS wireless receiver I took down a Mayday call from the SS Hibernia, which was the steamer which crossed the Irish Sea between Liverpool and Hollyhead, and on which we went on leave to Southern Ireland not infrequently So I went to the operations room where the plotters were all at work and on duty that night was Dermot Maggilicuddy who said , the enemy cant bomb the Hibernia its Neutral,and anyway I am going on leave next week, and hope to get a days hunting with the Duhallow Hounds! So he called up the station commander George Beamish (who wasnt too pleased as it was the middle of the night) but when he heard it was the HIbernia being bomed he said call out the RAF to protect it, Ive got some leave coming soon and I want to get home to Cork! So while that was being put into action the HIbernia radioed back that the attack had stopped and it was a friendly plane jettisoning its bombs before returning to base. So we all got over to Ireland for our next leaves quite safely. That is one of my memories of the early days of WW2

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These messages were added to this story by site members between June 2003 and January 2006. It is no longer possible to leave messages here. Find out more about the site contributors.

Message 1 - Things that get bombed in the night

Posted on: 25 March 2004 by Peter - WW2 Site Helper

I quite enjoyed your story, there is nothing like getting your priorities right :)

Best wishes,

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