Letter From Bill Knight, navigator 143 Sqdn. RAF Banff - Scottish History Online
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 Email Received from: - John Bashford.
 

They say "every little helps" so i hope this gives a small bit of (second Hand ) information for the Banff site.

Some years ago now, I had the privilege of working with a dental Technician Charles Day who told me of the time he spent in the RAF. I cannot remember all of his stories but here are a few. If you would like more detail get in touch.

Charles was a navigator in Beaufighters in Alexandria and later in 248 SQN Banff. The only information of him in Africa that I can tell you was that he took a picture of a ground looped Beau "G George" which ended up flat on its back. He and his Pilot were involved in offshore flying, including some convoy work.

He told me that he worked with Max Akins group and that "Akin was a bit rebellious. In one story having had 50 gallon drop tanks fitted to his Mosquito in error he abruptly "Dropped" them at the airfield and had them replaced with 100s! Charles also told me of a taxing accident in which one committed Mosquito on the runway took off the heads of the crew in another which had formed up at the incorrect end of the runway. He had flown the Mosquito type which had the single large cannon in its belly, telling me that it was usual practice on raids for this type of aircraft to follow the other aircraft in and finish off with the large rounds. He had many photographs relating to this time in his squadron. On one occasion on one raid the squadron were jumped by 109s and they pushed the mosquito as hard as it could go out to sea, he described that the tail was flexing quite a bit. His pilot was later killed in a training flight after the war, however my memory is a bit fuzzy about! ! this. The only reason that I am writing to you about this is to remember what was a very kind and remarkable man. He did not glorify his experience but related it with pride which you could feel. His kind including my father "B17gs and Wellingtons" will be missed.

 

John Bashford.

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