Which explains how and why these memoirs came to be written: in hospital many years later the author starts to relive his experiences....
September 9, 1939 He is 18. War is declared, and he joins the RAF. As an apprentice motor mechanic, he is allocated to transport. First, there is basic training...
January 1940 to December 1940 On active service, driving huge lorries and mobile cranes, recovering crashed planes. The first horrors of war, transport issues, and breakdown problems in South Wales.
January 1941 to August 1942 First time abroad, Cairo not much like Roadwater, Somerset. On into the Western Desert, war not going well. Injured by a booby trap, badly burned in an accident, bombed, a couple of promotions, and problems with an officer and the censor. Then retreat and withdrawal.
August 1942 to July 1943 In the desert, arrival of Montgomery, the change of fortune with the war, being bombed, another injury, camping out, in Libya and Tunisia, Tripoli, Tobruk, Sfax, plane problems and the usual technical problems.
July to September 1943 Landing on the beaches, pimps, lack of planes, crashed Spitfire
September 1943 to April 1944 Landing at Reggia, landmine death of a child, saved from posting to the Far East, disorganisation, problems with lorries – not enough vehicles, too many types, engines burning out, and an arrogant US major On to Naples, conned over underwear, more problems with Americans, attacked by planes and injured again, at Monte Cassino then leave and Vesuvius erupting.
April to August 1944 Under air attack again, shortage of lorries again, stress telling, hard work and long hours. Officer problem, technical solutions, innovative stuff, more attacks, issues with the Americans, unarmed combat training, and off again.
August 14, 1944 to November 1944 D-
December 1944 Old uniforms and new kit, adjusting to the changed UK, start of leve, going home, reunions, five days to organise a wedding, a honeymoon and a new posting.
Campaign medals, more work, promotion, a scam detected, Victory in Europe, becoming a father, and released at last.