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8:45am Thursday 17th May 2012 in Letters
Messrs Peter Theaker’s and W Feetenby’s letters refer to 110 ATC (The Press, May 7 and 15).
It may be of interest that 110 ATC Squadron was formed in about 1940 at Nunthorpe Grammar School, when I was a 15-year-old pupil.
We had no uniform, paraded in after-school hours and could attend York Technical College evening classes in Clifford Street, being taught basic air mechanics.
My recollection of the 1942 blitz was taking refuge under the stairs with my parents and my brother and sister in our Fulford Road Victorian house.
Nearby bombs in York Cemetery removed roofs from houses in Cemetery Road; the front door and windows of our home were badly damaged.
Needless to say I volunteered for RAF aircrew in 1943 when 18, and subsequently served as flight engineer with the RCAF Bomber Command, completing 30 operations, flying Lancaster and Halifax bombers from Skipton-on-Swale.
During 1944/45 I well remember throwing bundles of “window” out of a hatch near the front of the aircraft.
I still have occasional contact with relatives and friends of my Canadian comrades.
Recently a niece called and accompanied me to place a wreath, brought from Canada, on the wall of the ruined control tower at Skipton-on-Swale.
J Beisly, Osprey Close, York.
• APROPOS the Baedeker raid, even New Earswick had a taste.
I was six at the time but still remember the events of that night and how they affected me.
We lived at 13, Cherry Tree Avenue. My father was medically unfit to serve, having been wounded in Mesopotamia, now Iraq, in the 1920s.
However, he was a sergeant in the Home Guard and was on duty on the night of the air raid.
My mother, on hearing the siren, shepherded my brother and myself into our “shelter” under the stairs and tucked us up in blankets while calmly reading nursery rhymes to us.
Then we heard something we’d never heard before: the whistling of falling bombs. Three bombs dropped, luckily on open fields, but my mother’s voice never wavered.
Once the all-clear siren sounded, we went upstairs to look across at York, which seemed to be shrouded in fires.
Fortunately those were the only bombs to drop near New Earswick, despite the proximity of the Handley-Page, Halifax bomber, repair facility at Rawcliffe Airfield.
Philip Roe, Roman Avenue South, Stamford Bridge.