- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Horace Parker
- Location of story:
- Coningsby, Lincolshire
- Background to story:
- Royal Air Force
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 23 June 2005
This story was submitted to the People's War site by Philip Stearn on behalf of Horace Parker and has been added to the site with his permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.
I was stationed at R.A.F Coningsby in Lincolnshire with 97 Squadron. This Squadron was "adopted" by the People of Malaysia who sent Food Parcels and other aid. On one occasion I receieved a ten foot long scarf in airforce blue. It could be wrapped around me several times and was a great comfort in winter.
97 Squadron originally flew Manchester Bombers then changed to Lancasters. I was working as a Flight Mechanic although Flight Crews encouraged Groundcrew to get time in the air.
The most important raid for 97 Squadron was the attack on Augsberg. This was the home of M.A.N , where Diesel Engines for U-Boats were manufactured. It would involve treetop flying deep into Germany. On the 17th April 1942 at about 8.30 , I saw the Bombers leave for the Mission. Thet had been loaded up with 1000 Pounders , so we knew it was a " Special" although the target was unknown to us on the Ground. We saw them return at around 4 and celebrated with Beer from the Boston Brewery.
We transferred to Bourne in Cambridgeshire. Unfortunately the Cook remained at Coningsby and we soon felt his absence. Food was in very short supply . This caused quite a lot of unrest and there were rumblings around the Base. The C.O got wind of this and gave everyone a telling off at Pay Parade.
A Crew was needed on standby at all times for repairs and servicing aircraft. I used to volunteer for weekends as the food was O.K.
I met King George when he visited the Base in 1942. I also met Amy Mollison ( formerley Johnson ) who was delivering aircraft as part of the Air Transport Auxiliary.
My friend throughout this time was Jim Somerset , who I met on my first day in the R.A.F. We kept in touch after the War and I am still in touch with his widow.
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