William Walters Story
In The Past.........
1 Index
2 Roy Chadwick
3 William Walters
4 R.A.F
5 Operations Begin
6 Lancaster Bomber
7 "Big City" Berlin
8 Danger all Round
9 No Comforts
10 Bombs Gone
11 Occupied Europe
12 Whirlwind
13 Special Opps
14 Peenemunde
15 Aphrodite
16 30th Mission
17 Final Mission
18 Rescue Attempt
19 Final Chapter
 
 
 
 
Danger all round
Loading 4000lb cookie
Loading 4000lb cookie. Photo: Max Johnson
The Air War was lonely and dangerous for all bomber crews in the Allied Forces, they would fly from their bases in England and rendezvous over the North Sea hundreds of bombers at a time, then head across the sea over Denmark, as all targets to be bombed in Germany, the Ruhr, and Berlin took this flight path to avoid the thousands of anti-aircraft guns and enemy fighters that guarded the city.

The navigator would take about six minutes to plot the course to target as they flew to heights of 39,000 feet. Crews put on oxygen masks at the required altitude. If for some unexpected reason the oxygen failed the crew would blackout in 60 seconds…in 20 minutes they would all be dead!!!

Bomber crews froze in the confines of the aircraft as temperatures plummeted to –40° to –50° below zero, some suffering frostbite despite the sheepskin flying suits and boots. The crew’s last meal would have been prior to take off not eating for many hours until they if lucky returned back home. They had to contend with the continual fear of being shot down as they flew into enemy air space expecting at any moment a fighter attack, as well as the fearful, frightening barrage of 88mm anti-aircraft guns, so fearsome was the barrage that if hit, it would destroy the plane and crew in seconds nothing could be done to combat it…they had to fly through it… and hope they wouldn’t be hit.

Pathfinder Squadrons would fly in first, dropping Yellow flares which would indicate to the bombers high above the “approach to target” visual marker signal. Then fly on to the target and illuminate the final target by dropping Red marker flares. The first wave of bombers coming in on their bomb run would be at a height of 19,000ft and drop Green marker flares on top of the Red ones, known as "spot-fires" these would give out an incredible incandescent glow visible for miles, and would pin-point the exact target for all the other following bombers.
Aircraft in trouble

Exactly the same time as the bombs hit the target and exploded, a high-powered photo-flash would be triggered in the planes fuselage causing the inboard camera to take photos of the raid, these would be necessary for Bomber Command to examine and confirm that the bombs were on target.The photograph would also count in the crews records of operations carried out, when reaching 30 operations the crews would have a well earned rest, and their tour of duty finished for a while. However, if the camera did not function and no photos came out, it would mean that the crew would not be accredited the mission therefore they would have… to go again!!!