Souvenirs from a crashed bomber

A Junkers 'Ju' 88 bomber in flight.

George Beardmore was working at a BBC transmitting station near Droitwich in the Midlands:

22 March

At six minutes past ten last night a Junkers 88, out of which the crew had parachuted some miles away, tore in flames past the Station masts, careered between Miss Maille’s half timbered Tudor house (in which incidentally two of our engineers are billeted) and its outhouses, tripped over the garden wall and burnt itself out.

This morning the office boy had his pockets full of machine-gun bullets, the rigging expert had found a pair of surgical scissors and five wireless sets (two for internal communication and three receivers) and when the rest of the office had had their pickings things like bomb-sights, bomb-racks, bomb-cases, altimeters, and odd bits of painted twisted metal were as common among the desks as bricks in a brickfield. One engineer says to another: ‘Swap you my bomb-sight for your live bomb.’

Over all this miscellany hung a faint cheesey smell which I noticed again in the lane beside the house. By lunch-time a belated guard had been placed on the wreckage. The house’s escape from destruction was miraculous for the plane’s wing-tip had actually scraped the ivy off its side.

See George Beardmore: Civilians at War: Journals, 1938-46.

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