British civilian worked for Vickers Armstrong in GB, 1931-1941; NCO and officer served as navigator with RAF in GB and Canada, 1941-1945; officer served with 431 Equipment Depot, RAF in Hamburg, Germany, 1946-1948
REEL 1 Background in Southport, GB, 1917-1941: family; education; employment with Vickers Armstrong, 1931-1941; reaction to reserved occupation status. Aspects of enlistment and training as navigator with RAF in GB and Canada, 1941-1943: volunteering for RAF; obtaining release from Vickers Armstrong; training as navigator; training in Canada; relations with Canadians and Americans; system of navigation prior to the advent of radar. Aspects of period of employment with Vickers Armstrong in GB, 1931-1941: increase in production, 1938; attitude towards coming war; preparations for war; arrival of female workers in factory.
REEL 2 Continues: Aspects of training and service as navigator with RAF in GB, 1943-1945: training and early postings: navigation training in Scotland; radar training at RAF North Luffenham; work as navigator on Avro Lancasters; assignment to equipment branch at end of war. Recollections of period with 431 Equipment Depot, RAF in Hamburg, Germany, 1946-1948: duties managing engineering supplies; war devastation of city; procuring Volkswagon vehicles from reopened Wolfsburg Motor Works; relations with Russians in Hamburg; beginning of blockade of Berlin by Russians; impact of airlift on duties; theft of supplies.
REEL 3 Continues: duties maintaining supplies of spare parts for aircraft; employment of Germans; question of policy of non-fraternisation; attitude towards German people; confiscation of heavy machinery from Germany by Allies; attitude of German people towards airlift; fears of war between Soviet Union and west; attitude towards demobilisation, 11/1948; types of supplies that arrived in Hamburg.
REEL 4 Continues: co-operation during airlift. Reflections on Berlin Airlift, 1947-1948: collection of money in Berlin for Airlift personnel and families; formation of Berlin Airlift Association; returning to Germany to mark 50th anniversary of end of blockade; importance of Berlin Airlift to Berliners today. Reflections of conditions in Germany, 1946-1948: condition of German POWs returning from Soviet Union; living conditions for civilian population in Hamburg; attitude towards war after period in Germany.