What a discovery! Dad contributed to a book on 7 Squadron…

I’m a Facebook user and have a page dedicated to dad’s book using part of the title as the page name. With all the fun and interest currently happening as a result of VeRa’s visit to the UK there are lots of folk posting their pictures and giving lots of information about various aspects of the planes themselves and WWII. Bill in cockpit of Lancaster

I posted a photo of dad sitting in the cockpit of a Lancaster (presumably at Duxford) when he was clearly tickled pink by it all.  It got a lot of ‘likes’ and quite a few comments about his moustache… his trademark!

A chap called Mike Chandler got in touch to say that he’d read something about my dad in a book about 7 Squadron and let me know the name of the book. I downloaded it immediately from Amazon and found the contribution dad had made. He was writing in connection with a new WAAF who had joined the staff of Oakington and how much he liked her.  He was so enamoured that he asked her to the Thursday night dance!  However, in the meantime he’d had an operation to Emden and, unfortunately, been shot at by Oblt. Ludvig Becker in his night-fighter – so they had to bale out over Blija, Holland:

“As I waited my turn to bale out I was quite unafraid. After all I had my premonition of survival, trust in God and the wonderful girls of the Parachute Section who looked after our parachutes for us, Then it hit me! How was I going to get back to Oakington in time for next Thursday? I was frightened that I might not manage it. I was frightened that that handsome womanizing friend of mine should try to step into my shoes. I was frightened that I would be unable to prevent him from trying to have his evil way with her.

I was the unwilling guest of the Luftwaffe for just under three years, putting my feet back on English soil during the early hours of VE Day. I cannot remember the name of that delectable WAAF, but will never forget anything else about her!”

The book by Tom Docherty is excellent… lots of details about operations, life on the base and loads of contributions by veterans… definitely worth a read for those interested in Bomber C0mmand and 7 Squadron in particular. Available on Amazon as a download and Pen and Sword Publishers.

7 sqn book cover tom docherty

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