Play / pause Joining 617 Squadron

Joining 617 Squadron

  • Benny Goodman

Transcript

We got posted to Sireston,

which is, was the Lancaster conversion unit,

and did that,

it was 10 or 11 hours I think,

and I then got called to see,

to the flight commanders office.

And my crew says,

well what on earth have you done now Benny,

and I said, honestly nothing,

and of course they all laughed

and said, I don't think, haha.

So I went there with great trepidation

thinking I was for the chop

or something I'd done that I'd forgotten.

And there were some several officers I didn't know,

senior and a couple of wing commanders,

I think and squad leaders sitting there,

and the flight commander,

and I thought well this is it,

what have I done.

And they talked to me generally first

about flying the Lancashire,

and I thought it was a good aircraft,

and I said I think it was splendid to fly.

And they said,

how would you like to go to 617 squadron.

And I truly didn't think I'd heard correctly

because it was unheard of.

And he said to me, didn't you hear me,

I said, yes sir,

I'd love to, and I'm sure the crew would.

He said right, you will join 617 squadron.

So I, in a daze,

I went back to the,

to my crew,

and they said what happened,

and what trouble are you in now,

and I said, nothing.

And I said we're going to 617 squadron,

and they said, come on,

what's the truth,

what trouble are you in.

And I had to convince them that I meant we were going.

Now the only crew,

in fact we were the first crew

without operational experience

ever to go to the squadron,

the only crew that went before us

was Tony Iverson,

but he had been a battle of Britain pilot.

Although the rest of his crew I believe,

were not, hadn't been on op's before.

But, albeit being the captain of the aircraft

I had no operation experience at all.

And that's how we ended up on 617 squadron.

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