RAF Bomber Command in Norfolk - a few words
As to why my father never really said much about his time in the RAF, I found that out when I grew older. My father had lost a lot of friends in the war. I recall he told me the many times he stood by the Control Tower waiting for aircraft that would never return. He sounded very upset, even then in the 1980s. And a pair of flying boots that I fondly thought to have been my father’s had in fact belonged to a particular pal of his who had been shot down and killed. Father kept them to his dying day, and now I keep them.
So for my father, for his pals - whether they returned or not - and for all the others who served in Bomber Command, I am proud to write this book.
As the title of this book suggests, the main subjects are the men who fought in Bomber Command in Norfolk during the war. For those readers with a wider interest in the RAF who want to learn more about Fighter Command or Coastal Command as well as about the airfields and unit histories I can do no better than advise you to purchase “Norfolk Airfields in the Second World War” by Graham Smith, also published by Countryside Books, which makes a fine companion volume to this.
Of course, a book like this cannot possibly be the work of just one person. I would particularly like to thank Flight Lieutenant Andrew Smith for his help in making contact with various serving and retired officers and men of the RAF. I would like to thank Antony Robinson of the Massingham Historical Society’s Sister Laurence RAF Massingham Museum for all his help and for giving me permission to reproduce photos and documents from his archives. Such photos are credited as “Massingham MHSSLRAFMM”. Acknowledgments must also go to Paul Garland of the Feltwell Society for permission to draw on his archives. The Feltwell Society can be found on and contacted through the website http://www.feltwell.org/index.htm. The operational base of RAF Marham has a magnificent History Room, and I would like to thank the RAF for permission to draw on it for illustrations. I must also thank the staff of Darby Nursery Stock Ltd who were kind enough as to help me when I got lost trying to find the site of RAF Methwold - and all the others who gave me directions or helped in other ways. I would also like to thank Shaun Smith, a retired RAF officer, for the use of his fine library of photos of RAF-related sites and memorials. He can be emailed on firstname.lastname@example.org and is happy to provide copies of his photos for a small charge. I would also like to thank Abigail King for her help with the research. Finally I would thank my father for his inspiration and my wife for her patience.
from "Heroes of RAF Bomber Command in Norfolk" by Rupert Matthews.
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