Wise, Colin (Oral history)

Catalogue number
  • 17609
Production date
Subject period
  • whole: Duration 110, Number Of Items 4
Alternative names
  • object name: Oral history
  • object category: IWM interview


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Object description

British NCO served as air gunner with 625 Sqdn, RAF in GB, 1944-1945

Content description

REEL 1 Background in Hessle, GB, 1925-1943: family; education; reaction to declaration of Second World War, 3/9/1939; employment; German Air Force raids on Hessle and Hull areas; attitude to bombing; public morale in Hull; attitude towards German aircrews. Aspects of enlistment and training as air gunner with RAF in GB, 1943-1944: background to volunteering for RAF; processing at aircrew selection centre in Doncaster; call up, 11/1943; move to St John's Wood; initial training as wireless operator/air gunner at RAF Usworth; re- mustering as air gunner, winter, 1943-1944; keenness to get on operational service prior to end of hostilities; move to RAF Stormy Down. REEL 2 Continues: gunnery training at RAF Stormy Down; dealing with stoppages with guns; crewing up at operational training unit; position of crew in Avro Lancaster; character of mid upper turret; clothing worn on flights; rations and drink taken on flights; smoking; wearing oxygen masks during flights; chances of using toilet during flights. REEL 3 Continues: use of intercom during operations. Recollections of operations as air gunner with 625 Sqdn, 1 Group, RAF in GB, 1944-1945: posting to squadron at RAF Kelston, summer 1944; squadron morale; treatment of lack of moral fibre cases; work of Pathfinder Force in guiding bombers to aiming point; reaction of crew to release of bombs; story of how poor navigation got aircraft ahead of Pathfinders on raid to Geilenkirchen, summer 1944; monitoring accuracy of bombing; occasion when he saw German night fighter; question of when air gunners should open fire; postcard given to crew for hitting aiming point at Plauen, Germany, 10/4/1945. REEL 4 Continues: areas where anti- aircraft fire was worst; aborting of operation due to fuel leak; places raided; incendiary raid on Pforzheim, Germany, 2/1945; attitude to bombing civilians; sight of bombed German cities, 5/1945; dropping food supplies to Netherlands, 1945; role of Bomber Command during Second World War. Reasons for staying on in RAF after Second World War.

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