How I Went To War - 11
- 12th May
- Turned out to be a lovely day with clear sunny skies. During my
stint on the spotter telescope I watched a Jerry plane out to the east
followed by a parachute falling from it - someone had got a shot at him.
We camouflaged the Command Post “to look like a dung heap” as one of the gun numbers remarked and there was a ‘stand to’ all day.
There were several alarms that turned out to be French Bloch planes landing.
(Great news - I have found my greatcoat)
We received reports of massed Jerry parachute landings up North.
- 13th May
- Started with a heavy mist at 04:30 hrs when we did our routine ‘check dials’ drill before an all-day ’stand to’
Ted and I stood in as ammunition numbers on No.2 gun and later manned the Bofors gun before guard duty from 22:00 hrs to 23:59 hrs.
- 14th May
- Another hot day and after the routine gun drills and the maintenance work until noon, Ted, Alf and I went down the cliff path to the beach for a much needed bathe in the sea.
In the evening, being off duty, we caught the ‘Liberty Wagon’ into town to see a film at the Rex cinema: “Murder at Arsenal Stadium”, followed by fried egg sandwiches at Les Mouettes cafe.
The beach is about 2km from the gunsite.
- 16th May
- Camp fatigues and piquet for us. Ted had sunburn.
- 17th May
- More reports of Jerry parachute landings and we manned extra machine gun posts around the site. Many ‘stand to’ calls during the day.
- 18th May
- At 05:00 hrs there was some gunfire from the direction of the airfield as a friendly plane was landing. For us, cookhouse and guard duties occupied much of the day.
- 19th May
- This was the day when things began to ‘hot up’ as far as action was concerned. It turned out to be a fine, clear morning ideal for the regular Jerry reconnaissance plane,
once again too high for us to have a go at him. By 21:30 hrs we have an ‘alert’ followed by a full Jerry raid on the French airfield lasting three hours.
We were firing continual barrages until the ‘stand down’ at 04:30 hrs. Then followed the frantic replenishing of ammunition and re-setting of fuses on the shells by moonlight. I became deaf in my right ear.
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