We were going up to Lossiemouth as a forward base.
And refuel there and a meal before, well rest before
and a meal and then about midnight or 1:00 in the morning
take off was scheduled, it was,
its almost as if the scene was made for a film
because it was a dark night, low clouds, and raining.
And we were all lined up around the perimeter track
of course there was no RT communication it was forbidden
and when you got a green signal you moved off.
Round the pay track onto the runway for takeoff.
Now the briefing was we flew individually
to the rendezvous point of Norway
and we were supposed to arrive there
at daybreak and make this rendezvous point
and form into a gaggle and approach the Tirpitz
from a point where they would never expect
one to, aircraft to be.
So we understood that and we were,
my aircraft was lightened up waiting for takeoff
and suddenly my flight engineer nudged me
and said well he didn't say anything, went like this
and looked up and there coming towards us
I know this sounds like a film, but it wasn't.
Coming towards us was a huge Lancaster undercarriage down
and I thought this is it, it's going to hit us.
Of course it was very low it had just got in the air.
Very low, and it swung off the runway
and coming straight towards us.
And I just sat there thinking there is absolutely
nothing I can do or anybody else.
We are now about to meet our makers, our maker we are.
But through sheer good airman ship on the part
of Turney Iverson who was flying the aircraft
and his flight engineer Des Phillips I think it was yes
they got the aircraft straight and just over the top
and I mean just over the top of the Lancaster we were in
I and the crew were in.
Not a very good start to a trip
with about five hours over the sea at night
and then making a rendezvous in Norway
in an effort to form up and bomb the Tirpitz.