Most Memorable Operations
Carm has put together some interesting memories of his air force service which are too long to reproduce here but are well worth reading. Some extracts follow: ďI had only seven trips as a pathfinder on #614 Squadron (Celone, Italy). Of these only one stands out - to Karlovo airfield.
Ours was the second aircraft over the target. The first aircraft dropped his flares up to the edge of the field; I was able to drop mine across the field and it was lit up.....for the Wimpy aircraft following us .....which had a field-day bombing and shooting up the Jerry day fighters caught on the ground.
August 14, 1944 - First supply dropping on Warsaw (#148 Squadron, Brindisi). Lift-off was at 1940 hours in Halifax 11, JP254. We proceeded to target at 10,000 - 12,000. As we approached Poland a Jerry nightfighter made a pass at us from below as we turned starboard in our weave. He did not open fire - neither did we. Supply dropping Halifaxes had no nose turret or mid upper turret, to have as much load carrying capacity as possible. We had only a rear turret - this and a careful look-out were out main weapons. Coned by searchlights and struck by flak, the pilot took rapid evasive action and took the aircraft down as low as about 400 feet for accurate dropping of the supplies. Flying through a curtain of light and heavy flak our aircraft was hit again losing a 6 piece of the starboard rudder.
The enemy was not the only risk that he had to face. He relates and incident when they were skippered by a somewhat ropey pilot. Returning from an aborted op with the bomb load still aboard, the pilot levelled out too high, stalled, hit the deck, bounced, gave it full throttle to no avail, hit the deck again, bounced again and went wing-tip first into the ground. Having used most of their fuel, the aircraft didnít catch fire but Carm and the rest of the crew didnít wait around to find that out.