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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
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Thousand Flowers tapestry (15th Century) - Beaune, France (detail)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

An RCAF Flight Sergeant's Diary

From "My Diary of Ops" - the notebook of Flight Sergeant E. Burnett, 419 Squadron R.C.A.F.
(part of a series)

Fri July 31/42
21st trip

Took off from base at 0046 hrs with own crew and air craft. Bomb load 2 1/2 ton. H.E & incendary
Target Dusseldorf one of many important targets of Germany. Arrived over target flak wan't too bad search lights were numerous
We started down to bomb when our starboard motor conked out due to broken oil line pulled out of 350 M.P.H. dive. Starboard motor seized up. Skipper started to feather prop as A/C was shaking like an old Modle "T" ford. S.M. caught fire, pull extinguisher thus puting out fire. losing hight all time. Started throughing guns and ammunition over board to reduce weight, were at 3000 ft with only two guns crossing Germany & holland. search lights picked us out at Rotterdam but never fired flak. Suspected E/A/C in vicinity but never encounterd any we lost another 1000 ft evading search lights, crossed coast between Ostend and Dunkirk Jerry gun post fired M.G. at us tracer could be seen coming up behind my turret
Landed at Marston air drome with every thing in tac. Most hectic do I have ever had up to date.

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