Veterans Personal Remembrances
Wilf Hemingway 42K
"I guess it all began for me in early '42 at Marshalls Flying School, Cambridge. We were suddenly called in one Friday morning , told to mark our kitbags ARNOLD/FISHER - in blue - and report to Heaton Park, Manchester Monday morning. Within 48 hours we were boarding the troopship SS Banfora at Gourock. On this ship I was to spend the most miserable 18 days of my RAF career. Halifax, Moncton and eventually over to the States on our way to Turmer Field, Albany, Georgia. Here life began to change somewhat. Good food, climate etc. On our way down in the train we had an outbreak of sickness - several of the lads were taken off at Chattanooga with German Measles. Of our small group, you will recall we use to collect in small groups, the following completed the course. Jack Bibby, George Palmer, Johnny McGoff and Harley......."
Wilf Hemingway was posted to Basic Training at Souther Field, Americus and was 'washed out' after about 60hrs. He finished the war as a Nav(B) with 180 Sqdn 2nd TAF on Mitchells. After the war he became a School Master.
Pictured: 42K group at Turner Field, Albany.
L to R Dudley, Hyslop, Bibby, Hawkins
Richard F Bailey 42E
"Nothing of special noteworthiness at Carlstrom, Cochran or Napier except my special gratitude to my Carlstrom Instructor, Edgar B Todd, a genial giant of a man from the wide-open spaces of Montana. But for his enduring patience and sound, instinctive grasp of human psychology, I should undoubtedly have 'washed out' at the first hurdle."
Following graduation RFB was posted to an instructional tour at Cochran Field from 1 June 1942 through 25 March 1943, serving in the squadron / flight in which he had been trained (No.3), initially under the command of Capt. J T Patterson and latterly Capt. John Monaco. His total instructional time was 820 hours with 50 trainees recorded in his log book, the vast majority being Americans, although between 14 October and 4 November 1942 a certain 'Cann R J B' of 43C featured.
Members are invited to e-mail or send their anecdotal or diary memories to the Register for inclusion on this page.
We particularly would like descriptions of your experiences whilst under training in America and the transatlantic journeys.