Ken Marshall’s Facebook Page

Ken Marshall has a Facebook Page honouring Bomber Command. He has written a book in 1996 and a revised edition which I have been reading since January.

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I have now a different view of the role Bomber Command played during World War Two. Ken Marshall has to be commended for his research on Bomber Command and Sir Arthur Harris who has been vilified much much too long.

Lest we forget.


Bomber Command Operations 1942.

75 years ago.

Night Ops, February 14/15th, Monday night and early Tuesday:-

1) Mannheim – 98 aircraft dispatched. 67 claimed to have bombed the city in difficult conditions. Mannheim reports only a light raid with 2 buildings destroyed, 15 damaged, some railway damage and 1 man wounded (he was outside his shelter) and 23 people bombed out. A machinery works employing 15 people had to close down until an unexploded bomb was cleared. No aircraft were ‘lost’, but three came down either in England or close to the coast:-
49 Sqdn, Hampden I, AE397, EA-G, P/O. Allsebrook (why does his name ring a bell?) and crew ran out of fuel and with both engines cutting out, the pilot ditched the bomber off the Isle of Wight. No injuries reported.

49 Sqdn, Hampden I, AT112, EA-?, Sgt. R. N. Hamer and crew also ran out of fuel and crashed while trying to make an emergency landing near Upwood airfield. Again, no injuries reported.
78 Sqdn, Whitley V, Z9320, EY-?, Sgt. J. C. Stevens and crew, while returning to base at Croft with its wireless equipment u/s, the a/c strayed off track and came down in the sea 20 miles S of Bournemouth. All were picked up and taken to RN Hospital Haslar for treatment to their injuries.

2) Minor Ops – 15 a/c to Le Havre and 1 Manchester on a Nickelling trip to France. All returned safely.

Just to keep up the Blenheim crews rest, there were no Daylight Ops on Tuesday 15th February.

I hope you all noticed that yesterday’s new Area Bombing Directive arrived at High Wycombe almost 10 days before Bert Harris!

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Painting by Joe Crowfoot

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Ken Marshall is sharing a poem

This was written by an air gunner, Harry Brown of 50 and 223 Sqdns after a visit to a Remembrance Service in the little Dutch town of Dronten with the Air Gunners Association.

Ken Marshall

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***

We did not weep – nor count the cost,
As one by one our friends were lost.
Nor wept we when the war’s great toll
Took all the best of our young men.
We did not weep as we saw them go
Down to the storm of the mighty foe,
We did not weep – not once – not then,
Nor in the years to come,
When on parade to do them honour,
Came Kings and Queens and Chiefs of state
In pomp and splendour to relate,
How their cause was just and justified
By the freedom bought as they fought and died.

We did not weep, not once – until,
In a little Dutch town, in a silence still;
The children came to honour our dead
Quietly – from out of the crowd,
With just a few flowers – their little heads bowed,
In a line they came to lay them down
By the Lancaster prop – in Dronten Town.
And then – and then – despite our will,
We felt our watching eyes o’erfill
With tears – and yet we smiled.
How great the power of an innocent child.

Requiem for an Air Gunner

Ken Marshall had shared this on his Facebook page.

This one was written by a R. W. Gilbert, whom I suspect may have been a gunner. It’s called……

REQUIEM FOR AN AIR GUNNER.
The pain has stopped, for I am dead,
My time on earth is done.
But in a hundred years from now
I’ll still be twenty-one.

My brief, sweet life is over
My eyes no longer see,
No summer walks, no Christmas trees,
No pretty girls for me.

I’ve got the chop, I’ve had it.
My nightly ops are done.
Yet in another hundred years
I’ll still be twenty-one.

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