|by Bill Bawden, PRO|
15 January 2008
Bombing Berlin - Twenty-Seven Times
The members and guests at the recent meeting of the AirCrew Association at Fairoaks Airport were given a dramatic account of an aspect of World War II bombing operations over Germany by Woking Branch member, Ted Dunford.
Ted told how he was mobilised as an RAF sergeant pilot on September 1st 1939, became a flying instructor in 1940, and was sent to train new pilots in Southern Rhodesia during the following year. Having been commissioned, he returned to Britain in 1944 to join 608 Squadron, part of the Light Night Striking Force. Equipped with the "wooden wonder", the fast de Havilland Mosquito, the LNSF carried out precision raids on targets in Germany, often flying ahead of the main force in an attempt to deceive the defenders of the ultimate target for the heavy bombers.
Despite having his aircraft severely damaged by flak on his 35th mission, Ted nursed it back to an emergency landing in Suffolk. For this superb example of airmanship and other actions he was awared the Distinguished Flying Cross and in all completed 55 bombing operations, of which no less than 27 were to the German capital.
Ted was seconded to BOAC in 1945 and later demobilised to join the corporation. He spent 28 years with BOAC and its successor, British Airways, becoming a captain and clocking-up 21,000 flying hours on several types of airliner.
Visit to RMA Sandhurst
This week a party of 20 members were guests of the Sandhurst Foundation at the Royal Military Academy. After a conducted tour of the Old College and the chapel, they joined the audience for a presentation by the Assistant Chief of the General Staff, Major General Simon Mayall, on the current and future tasks facing the Army.
Despite Gen Mayall's diplomatic efforts to avoid venturing on to political ground, it was impossible to escape the conclusion that the lack of resources being provided had resulted in the Army, and the other armed services, being severely overstretched by the commitments in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The visit concluded with a curry supper in, appropriately, the impressive Indian Army Memorial Room.
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