Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Jul

25

1942

‘Routine’ mining flight off the French Coast

Avro Lancaster B Mark I, R5626 'OL-E', of No 83 Squadron RAF taking off for Bremen, Germany, on the third 'Thousand-Bomber' raid, from Scampton, Lincolnshire.

I tried to rotate my turret but the hydraulics had been shot away. So I tried operating it manually. This time succeeding, I opened my turret doors and was met with intensive heat and flames. The sparks from the fire burnt holes in my scarf. I reached for the fire extinguisher, which was situated just outside the turret on my right. Ammunition was exploding all around me.