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Shot Down

  • Roy Finch
  • Interview by: Tod Nicol


The port engines started to play up,

I thought, well, nevertheless turn back for home.


as we went on more and more and more,

and quicker, quicker started losing more and more height,

and my job was to remove the astrodome,

and anything I could loose to lay hands on,

I would take, pick up, and throw out.

And the last things I threw out were the parachutes.

'Cause I knew by that time,

you couldn't use parachutes, we were too low.

And then, eventually the inevitable happened.

We just landed on the sea.

I managed to get up through the astrodome

along the top of the fuselage.

And I saw the rig,

and I was on the dingy holding on to the tail base,

said "For God's sake, man, hurry up!"

It was like a nightmare, trying to hurry.

Because a big aircraft, and just crawling along,

this fuselage seemed to go on forever.

I managed to get into the dingy,

turned around to help him, to hold on,

and he just couldn't hold on.

Some maniac at the squadron, a navigation officer, decided

that all the equipment that should have been in the dingy

be stored outside the dingy.

So there's no paddles, no Very Pistols, no rations, nothing.

I remember of the other four,

remember seeing three in the water.

Little floating lights.

The fourth one I never did see,

and we just couldn't get near them,

and we just got swept away further and further and further.

And that was it, eventually we just;

a very heavy swell, one moment we were up like,

on the top of a hill looking down to a valley

and the next one it was all reversed, you know?

And of course this is around about midnight time,

and that was it.

Eventually suddenly in daylight I thought,

"Am I imagining things or is that a little boat I can see?"

I looked again and said, "I think it's getting nearer."

And bit by bit I began to realize

it was coming nearer and nearer

turned out to be the Spanish fishing boat.

They were excellent, they hauled us on board,

'cause we were so cold, we couldn't move.

And they took their own clothes off,

and our clothes off and dried us.

Their own warm longjohns they put on to us.

Wrapped us up in a blanket and put us onto bunks.

And when we came to they gave us something to eat.

I remember going onto the aft deck,

and I felt on top of the world.

I thought, "I was still alive."

I thought this is my birthday present,

my 21st birthday present, being still alive.

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