Ray Gough - Bomb Aimer
298, 644 Squadrons
Ray died in 2003
Detailed for an S.O.E. operation on the night of 24th September 1944 so, along to the flights in the afternoon with the rest of the crew to check our aircraft over.
My usual practice was to firstly borrow a ladder or set of steps and wash and polish the nose. The Halifax had a large Perspex nose cone which always got well spotted with flies and bugs and tended to make you see things which were not really there.
After that, inside to set the time release and release order on the bomb setting panel. No problem. I fiddled with buttons etc to my satisfaction then in a sheer act of utter stupidity pushed back the spring flap protecting the jettison bars and pressed.
By this time most of our load of containers of thirteen had been cranked up into place and connected by the ground crew so with what seemed an ear splitting succession of thuds they all hit the ground.
By an amazing stroke of luck no one was actually underneath at that moment. Each container weighed around 300 lbs or so and would certainly have seriously injured if not killed anyone unfortunate enough to have been hit.
With my face an extremely deep shade of crimson, all our crew and the ground crew set to and reloaded with no after effects except for months I was know as the B/A who jettisoned his load at nought feet regardless of personal danger.
Links & Notes
644 Squadron http://www.raf38group.org/644squadron
page last updated 28 June 2010: © ACA Surrey Branch 2010