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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Too young for the Job.

by Action Desk, BBC Radio Suffolk

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Action Desk, BBC Radio Suffolk
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John Curtin
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14 June 2005

I was 7 years old in 1944 and we lived in Hornchurch very near to the aerodrome.We had experienced many broken windows!! I was swinging on our front gate when our A.R.P. warden walked past with a boy in a German air uniform crying profusely.George (the A.R.P. warden) told my mother that he was only 14 years old but had been used as a pilot.As soon as he crossed the channel he was so terrified he just bailed out.Apparently many schoolboys were used at the end of the war.

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Message 1 - Too young for the Job.

Posted on: 14 June 2005 by Peter - WW2 Site Helper

Do you have any idea how long it takes to train a fighter pilot, or the level of skill required?

Presumably the young aviator started his air force career aged 12; that would be in 1942 when things were going reasonably well for the Germans. One wonders how he got time off from school to train.


Message 2 - Too young for the Job.

Posted on: 15 June 2005 by Ron Goldstein

It was also fortunate that George (the Air Raid Warden) spoke German!


Message 3 - Too young for the Job.

Posted on: 15 June 2005 by Peter - WW2 Site Helper

Sorry, I missed that. I had assumed that the young genius was also an accomplished linguist, British Air raid Wardens being notoriously weak in that field. I now see that George must have been the exception, clearly acting as interpreter here.

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