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
 
 
 
 
No Comforts

The Lancaster had no comforts or luxuries for the crew, they had to survive long tiring cold flights in the confines of the cramped bomber. All the armour plating that protected the crew from 88mm cannon fire, and enemy fighter attacks was removed, so the bomber could carry greater bomb loads, a total of 22,000 lbs.

Loading bombs for the next operation. (right)

Loading bombs for the next operation

There was no room for the crew to wear their parachutes so they had to be stored close to their position on the bomber, if they were attacked and the plane shot to pieces and crashing was imminent, the crew would in a frantic scramble try to locate their parachutes in the blackness of the aircraft and don them while searching for the escape hatches... as the massive bomber hurtled vertically earthwards to its oblivion carrying them all to certain death if they didn’t bale out… consequently only 1 in 5 of the aircrew ever escaped from a crashing bomber!!!

The lonely rear gunner always on the look out.
The lonely rear gunner always on the look out.
The crew depended on the rear gunner keeping a constant vigil sitting in the glass blister at the far end of the plane, a very lonely place, scanning the skies, alert, watching.

When he saw fighters approaching he would scream to the pilot via the inter-com to take evasive action as fighters attacked tearing up the plane with cannon fire, the pilot on command would throw the great hulk into a “Corkscrew” dive to port dropping thousands of feet in seconds, then a turn to starboard and dive dropping, twisting, turning as the bomber strained under the massive “G Forces” inflicted upon it, he would fight the controls endeavouring to haul the great heavy bomber up on its tail desperately trying to shake off the enemy attackers, it seemed endless for the pilot and crew, all hoping beyond hope that the fighters had gone and they wouldn’t be shot down.