This history is chronological so “Flying Log Books” may not be in sequence.
Everything that is being shared is on behalf of his children Paul, Diane, Tracey, Tania and Jean-Claude and all our present and future generations.
The information about our father is based on his documentation and what has been shared by his fellow airmen, if you have any information that you feel we could benefit from please email Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
A NEW START
Early in the month of March 2020 I decided to review all of Dad’s documents and photos that I had of his, thankfully most were still there. (Now we have a worldwide crisis due to the Corona Virus and being self isolated I have all the time I need)
I had already scanned many of his photos in 2008 and reviewed some of his documents, unfortunately many images had been corrupted, probably due to the fact I have transferred them several times from computers, USB’s then large external hard drives.
I also had an old briefcase of dads that I had never really sorted, I remember back in 2008 taking a quick look and it seemed to be just paperwork.
Well, I was pleasantly surprised when I finally opened the briefcase and emptied it out, there were so many different booklets and documents, even maps.
The one’s that really struck me was the “Observer’s and Gunner’s Flying Log Book” and his “Airman’s Pay Book” both of which I have now scanned.
Once I finished scanning the “Observer’s and Gunner’s Flying Log Book” I went through it thoroughly page by page, it was almost as if I was reliving everything he had encountered, the good and the bad during that period of his life. Now I understand why he never really talked about it.
The next few weeks I spent everyday researching information I already had, plus a multitude of French and English websites, in fact the research is ongoing.
I have been slowly putting the pieces of this jigsaw together, endeavouring to fill in the gaps, there are still a few gaps which I am sure I will sort, after all of that I decided to begin with Dad’s “Observer’s and Gunner’s Flying Log Book” first, of course this will lead to many more moments of his story.
Of course as dads story evolves I will introduce other stories and the people with whom he shared so many important moments and I would have to say who played their part in dad being one of those who was fortunate to survive!
COMMENTS: A famous saying is “A picture is worth a thousand words” I disagree, it can be worth far more in fact it’s limitless. Every image and document I have scanned tells a tale and leaves you endeavouring to interpret what your eyes have seen, then what and how your mind analyses and interprets that image.
A TALE TO TELL: Yes every image in this story has a tale to tell, as you view each image give yourself time to visualise, let the image talk to you, let it tell you a story, what part it played in this wartime story of dads, not only his, but hundreds of thousands of other women and men who were involved in before, during and after another horrific time in the history of humanity.
TODAY versus WWII: Technology has advanced so much, that we take for granted all that we do and share, try to imagine the struggle every person affected by WWII must have faced with almost no means of communication. A simple telephone often out of action due to bombing, the sounds of bombs falling then a lonely silence, even a shared time in a bomb shelter would have been frightening not knowing if you could escape uninjured or what you would find once outside.
Time to move on to the history, but first let us remember!
LEST WE FORGET
Below is the front cover of Dad’s Royal Air Force “Observer’s and Gunner’s Flying Log Book”
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© Paul L T Mara 2020