- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Alec Rogers
- Location of story:
- Ellingham, Suffolk
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 09 July 2004
When the war broke out my friend and I went to Norwich to try and join the airforce. The chap asked us what job we were doing and when I told him that I worked on a farm, and my friend did also, he told us that that was a reserved occupation and we had to go home.
I was working on a farm near Gillingham when two Spitfires collided over us. We knew there were three Spitfires, then heard a sound like the tearing of paper. We ran to the scene. One landing wheel had ploughed a furrow through the field. We found the remains of the pilot. He was blown to pieces. The other Spitfire came down with its tail cut off.
I was living in the council houses at Ellingham when I remember this Liberator coming over twice firing out red Very lights. I saw two members of the crew falling out. One had his arms and legs spread wide open but no parachute. The other one his parachute opened just as he disappeared. He fell down on his back on the telephone wires alongside the railway line through Ellingham. I spoke to him hobbling on the road. He said it saved his life. The other one his parachute didn't open. He was smashed up.
The plane crashed near Shipmeadow, where the old workhouse was. This plane was right black. I think it was 1944.
If it wasn't for the Americans I don't know what we would have done. We used to watch the open trucks coming up the railway line full of bombs for Seething and Flixton. There was a huge petrol dump at Ellingham.
This story was submitted to the People's War site by Michael Huskisson of Suffolk Libraries on behalf of Alec Rogers and has been added to the site with his permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.
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