Saturday, May 4, 2013

May

4

1943

The battle of the Ruhr hots up

An 8,000-lb HC bomb ('super cookie') is brought by tractor to a waiting Avro Lancaster of No. 106 Squadron RAF in its dispersal at Syerston, Nottinghamshire. The target on this particular night was Stuttgart, Germany.

I was lying on the floor with my eye fixed to the telescope-like bombsight. When the critical moment came, after the agonising few minutes of the run—in, I pressed the ’tit’, calling out ‘Bombs gone!’ as the plane lurched upwards after shedding its load. The pilot immediately pushed the nose down to build up speed and we rushed forward out of the target area — an enormous relief to all of us.