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ErrolFlying
08-10-2007, 04:39 AM
Met a bloke through work the other day. He was an old vet and looked around his home I noticed that he had some pictures of RAF aircraft on his walls so naturally, being the curious type, I asked him how he had served. Turns out he enlisted in the RAAF and following flying training was sent to the UK where he found himself in a RAF squadron at the controls of Short Stirling Bombers. Now the Stirling as you probably know was the first of the RAF's 'heavies' and whilst it handled very well due to it's short wing span it couldn't fly very high therefore making it a rather attractive target. It was soon put into secondary roles once large numbers of Halifax's and Lancaster's became available and this is where old Mr Turner had his 'fun'. He told me that he flew supply drops over occupied Europe for the Resistance and Partisans. My first thought was that he was just a glorified 'truck' driver but he soon had me thinking anything but. According to him these missions were flown at night, at altitudes of 500ft, partly to avoid radar and partly so that he could see the lay of the land. These guys flew alone and the navigation required to find very small isolated drop zones in the dead of night was astounding. The drops had to be precise as a misplaced one would not only hand the goods into the lap of the enemy, but if they fell amongst innocent civilians the Germans would assume that they where the intended recipients and would make reprisals, dealing very harshly with them. A failed drop due to not locating the target not only meant taking the goods back home and the feeling of failure associated with it, but meant a return trip to get the job done. Finally, as he rightly pointed out, it doesn't matter what you've got in the bomb bay...whether it's bombs, ammunition, radios or supplies of food and clothing...the enemy still shoots at you with the same bullets!
These missions were every bit as dangerous as any other on 'ops' and the look in his eyes when he mentioned mates that never came back has given my a real appreciation for the bravery of men, and women, who fought their war in such unheralded ways. To you Mr Turner....I salute you.

ErrolFlying
08-10-2007, 04:39 AM
Met a bloke through work the other day. He was an old vet and looked around his home I noticed that he had some pictures of RAF aircraft on his walls so naturally, being the curious type, I asked him how he had served. Turns out he enlisted in the RAAF and following flying training was sent to the UK where he found himself in a RAF squadron at the controls of Short Stirling Bombers. Now the Stirling as you probably know was the first of the RAF's 'heavies' and whilst it handled very well due to it's short wing span it couldn't fly very high therefore making it a rather attractive target. It was soon put into secondary roles once large numbers of Halifax's and Lancaster's became available and this is where old Mr Turner had his 'fun'. He told me that he flew supply drops over occupied Europe for the Resistance and Partisans. My first thought was that he was just a glorified 'truck' driver but he soon had me thinking anything but. According to him these missions were flown at night, at altitudes of 500ft, partly to avoid radar and partly so that he could see the lay of the land. These guys flew alone and the navigation required to find very small isolated drop zones in the dead of night was astounding. The drops had to be precise as a misplaced one would not only hand the goods into the lap of the enemy, but if they fell amongst innocent civilians the Germans would assume that they where the intended recipients and would make reprisals, dealing very harshly with them. A failed drop due to not locating the target not only meant taking the goods back home and the feeling of failure associated with it, but meant a return trip to get the job done. Finally, as he rightly pointed out, it doesn't matter what you've got in the bomb bay...whether it's bombs, ammunition, radios or supplies of food and clothing...the enemy still shoots at you with the same bullets!
These missions were every bit as dangerous as any other on 'ops' and the look in his eyes when he mentioned mates that never came back has given my a real appreciation for the bravery of men, and women, who fought their war in such unheralded ways. To you Mr Turner....I salute you.

knightflyte
08-10-2007, 07:04 AM
Good story and analysis of Mr. Turner's participation in the war.

I'm not fond of night missions in IL2. It gets disorienting. I can't imagine doing it for real with REAL ammo being shot in my direction......with no escort either.

danjama
08-10-2007, 12:53 PM
You should feel lucky and privileged to meet this man, offer him my respect and gratitude if you can. Thanks for sharing this golden nugget of a story.

Friendly_flyer
08-10-2007, 01:06 PM
I second that!

Hmm, that story gives me some ideas for a very tense co-op.

igitur70
08-10-2007, 03:00 PM
As a frenchman, I salute and thank Mr. Turner for his bravery. I point out the modesty of the man. The missions he flew were more risky than many others.

B16Enk
08-10-2007, 03:36 PM
Nice and a ~S~ to Mr. Turner from me too http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif