Canada Goose Online Interview with Gerald John Castleton IBCC Digital Archive Canada Goose Online

canada goose coats on sale 01:28:26 audio recordingPL: Ok. I’m in the home of, It’s Pam Locker and I’m in the home of Mr Gerald John Castleton of on the 19th of July 2016 and I’m interviewing Mr Castleton in his home so can I just start John by saying thank you very much indeed on behalf of the Bomber Command Memorial Trust for allowing us to interview you. And I guess I’ll start by saying do you want to just tell us a little about your, your family?GJC: Yeah. My family?PL: Yes.GJC: Well, as the war started here in Southsea and the first bombing my mother and father went to live at Cosham. It was a bit canada goose jacket uk womens safer. And I stayed in the house on my own. From then on I had different jobs. I did demolition. I did a training course in metal but I was naughty at the factory and I got instant dismissal with a friend and I won’t say why, you know but I really wanted to work for this uk stockists of canada goose jackets firm that was putting up the chimneys, a hundred and, two hundred foot chimneys on the [electrolyte?] company with the furnaces and everything and I used to be up there and that was in the forties and sometimes the aircraft come around. We weren’t supposed to stay up there, you know. But from then on I went demolition and then I wanted this job at the labour exchange and they said you go so and so and I said, ‘I’m not going,’ you know. And they said, ‘You’ll get your calling up papers,’ you know. I was eighteen then and I ignored it. I got my job and the next morning, in forty eight hours I got my calling up papers from the labour exchange [laughs] and they sent me, sent me to the army recruitment office and I’d already, I’d tried before to join the air force but they told me to join the, you know, the cadets and get some in. Anyhow, I didn’t do that. Anyhow, when they sent me down to the army office I went into the air force and I didn’t know it then I suppose but they were getting short on men. They were taking the fitters and that, putting them into aircraft and as they couldn’t stand it so I joined. I waited a year to join. I joined on 20th, 20th of December and I went, I went to Oxford, you know [laughs]. Keble College. For forty eight hours, you know, doing basic maths and a little essay and I thought I’d passed and anyhow when I eventually goes in to the air force I was going in as a gunner/radio canada goose outlet boston operator but I had an aptitude test for radio and Canada Goose Parka they scrubbed that and they, I didn’t know then but I got made into an engineer’s course which was a direct, I was direct entry number six and from then on it was six, three, six half a year in a classroom. We used to exam every week verbally of bits and pieces. The old aircraft and that. Yeah. And while I was in training I witnessed two Spits colliding one afternoon. It was a lovely sunny afternoon. One pancaked into the, into the station. The other went into a field at the back and then, but this is wartime, you know and so many things happened, you know. Anyhow, I did my six weeks, six months rather and we were saying so and so’s passed and someone says, ‘He’s been shot dead.’ And we said, ‘No. He can’t be,’ you know. You didn’t believe it. He’d only been in the classroom. But that’s what it was then. Anyhow, I got, I passed out. That’s the only canada goose online shop germany time they gave me a decent uniform ’cause I had second hand boots, tatty old trousers and a tunic which was near worn out so I sewed my new tapes on them and went down the road. I didn’t go a hundred yards, got ordered to go back and they dished me out with a new suit. You got a, you got sheets once you became aircrew. Before that you just had blankets. Yeah. And of course in training you were doing two guards a week. One station guard, one wing guard and a spell in the cook house peeling spuds. You know. It was a, and you used to get a ration of cigarettes in them days. Twenty five fags or something like that. ‘Cause your money was low wasn’t it, you know? I think it was about a guinea a week you know and I used to send five shillings home to my mum but had some good times there though. Anyhow, eventually I get sent to Rufforth. That’s outside York and there we crewed up. Must have done about ten hours training and the first time I went up I was as sick as a dog. I fell out the aircraft. I couldn’t stand. And I can remember the officer saying, ‘How long has he been like this?’ And I was sliding up and down inside. That was, that was terrible. Anyhow, they sent me to the doc and they gave me tablets and that cured me and I found after I’d been flying a fortnight like I could leave them off and I never got sick on an operation. It’s funny that, you know. And I went from Rufforth then we got posted to the squadron and that’s, they all decided I hadn’t had leave for, I had a week earlier in the year but I had nothing, you know and they said they got our crew together. We were on that night and I was, I protested, you know. I said, and I know it sounds corny but I did. I kicked up and I said, ‘I’d like to see my parents.’ I mean once ’cause [there was those tales you were getting?] Anyhow, they, they scrubbed, the crew already had, they all went on leave and I was put with another crew and he wrote a book, “The Pilot Walks Home” ’cause he got shot down the next trip but they all got out, you know. Yeah, but I went. It was the worst night of my life. I’d never kept a proper log, I did it all off the instruments, they couldn’t believe it when we landed. And I said you know I can do that lot and I can remember 6 o’clock in the morning walking down the road and getting a lift on a lorry full of old tires into York. Yeah. That was my first trip and I had my, my lonely er you got canada goose outlet chicago these leaves but when you got home everyone was working or, or your mates were in the services or something. [?] They were great days though when you look it and the life in York during while the bombing were, on the bombers. A girl gave me a theatre seat. I could always remember that. In the front row and I had too much to drink and fell over the wall, you know. But I did have an unusual thing. I went down and used to go to The Ouse Inn. It was a little pub down on the river and I used to come out of there, I used to get in a rowboat and have a row and I’m rowing this out but who should I see? My brother in law. He’s in the King’s Scots, King’s Scottish Borderers you know. The Cosby’s. Yeah. I won’t mention the girl. A nice girl. But then when after about, I did about five trips and the thing I remember mostly about them is Flamborough Head. You know coming over the, over the, just near Hull, Bridlington. Out over there and you could, in the distance you would see Flamborough Head and you’d see the Northern Lights. Lovely at night. I liked that. I found, strangely enough, on bombing raids you got the odd bump and that, you know, but I used to, you had, and in the Lancaster er Halifax you had to move back to the centre of the aircraft to change tanks and that and I used to sit there ready to change my tanks and it was a certain peace you know. It was really nice but but er then frightening things of searchlights. Yeah. But like I said I was lucky. I had a good life and I enjoyed that and the night I was shot down it was all over in seconds. We’d gone through a barrage and I was stood in position and I saw a little flame of light come through the wing and it, within minutes, seconds had shot back to the tail and the wing peeled off. All the top just peeled away and it’s, I didn’t see it then but I looked out the back and I saw this trace and I thought, ‘They’re not trying to shoot us from the ground are they?’ It wasn’t. It was a fighter wasn’t it? Tracing. He drove in. He hit us. Nobody was hit in it though. There was this, ripped up the floor a bit and he broke away over our port wing and the next thing I know is the skipper tells the mid upper because he’s only a kid really to look in the dark side. Don’t look at the fire. He said he was hot and he said don’t look at the fire. Turn to the dark side, you know and me he gave the order to release the locks. Well, when you think about it for no reason at all whatever went through his mind at the state of the aircraft he should have given the, I ponder with this now, he should have given a baling out ’cause I never moved ’cause he didn’t tell me to bail out. [I knew better to do that] and while I was struggling to get to the midships to get to the locks I looks around by that and then daylight inside the aircraft with the fire and I could see two of them baling out the nose and I thought [laughs] ‘Something’s not right here.’ Anyhow, straightaway I made my way. I picked my way, I picked up my chute, made my way to the front and there’s the bomb aimer standing there. He never had his chute on or nothing and I don’t know where, you don’t know what goes through men’s minds do you? They did nothing and they, they went so. Anyhow, I just jumped straight through and the wings then, I could always remember as a I come past the pilot I tapped him on the leg and the wings were coming up, engines still running flat out and we were going into a spin and that’s what made it difficult getting to the escape. Anyhow, I got through, fell back and oh that’s lovely. I can remember now how cool and suddenly I remembered I ought to pull my chute and it was clipped the wrong side. I went like that and there was nothing there. Luckily I just went like that and used the other hand and I opened it up and I looked around. I thought it’s totally black. I couldn’t see a fire anywhere. And suddenly I looked down like that and that was underneath me. I covered my face and as I covered my face there was an explosion and I landed on my back. And I stood up and I was embarrassed saying all this but I relive and relive that. I stood up. I cursed. I swore. Ridiculous really. The back end was still standing and there was one pile of, what’s that, I thought four were in it and I stood there while it burned and canada goose outlet los angeles then I thought, then I turned around and I covered my chute up. I put it under some bushes and that and started walking in the night and it was like a heath. Mass of bushes and that sort of thing. Anyhow, I came to a road and I started off along the road and as I as I started along the road I looked up and I could only see shadows because there was no wind, no movement and I see a barn and I thought, ‘Well I’ll get my head down. Have a bit of rest.’ I got in this barn, found a sack and laid down with this sack and suddenly I heard a noise and I got up and I went towards the doors, big doors and looked out the crack and I could see three figures and, with a lamp coming towards the barn and you don’t know what, whether they’re guards and that and I think well there’s no good doing anything here. Anyhow, I’m not going anywhere with these flying boots. So I stood in front of the lights. They came up. Held my hands out like that. Stood in front of the light and they took me into the farm house. Well, evidently, well I think they were, they must have been because no German would be working on the farm the farmer and there was these two young blokes and they took me into the farmhouse. None of them spoke. I tried, said gendarmes and silly words like that and I got nothing out of them but you won’t believe this the one sat in the corner they were laughing and he played Tipperary on a mouth organ. It’s unbelievable isn’t it? Yeah. Anyway, they kept me there and then the Gestapo came. Two. And they called me English bastard. That’s the first. Women and children baby murderer. And I said some things. What about Pompey, you know. Anyhow, they takes me down the local, there’s a little wooden bench on a chain against the wall. That was for the night. The two, the navigator and the bomb aimer er the navigator and the wireless op were already there. They’d been taken so they must have come down near the aircraft and all but we had to stay there. Well we slept there and six in the morning we were taken outside and that’s was the only time I felt a little bit uneasy. It was a little stone courtyard, they stood us against a wall and said, explained to us we’re going, you’re going to go to the station, you are going to walk down the middle of the road, the guards will be either side. So the three of us had to walk down with the guards each side and when we got down there, there was another engineer been picked up. He’d been hit with a shovel though ’cause you never know. You could understand them I suppose, it’s just your luck isn’t it. If you’re going to land somewhere where you’ve dropped bombs canada goose outlet store new york you’re going to get it in the neck aren’t you? But anyhow we waited for the, the train. We got on the train and we, ordinary train. We sat there. Two guards. They were drinking schnapps and carving up a loaf. Never spoke to us or nothing, you know. And they stayed like that and they took us all the way into Frankfurt. Frankfurt we went into the, into the cooler and all the Yanks, there was a load of Yanks with us, been shot down and they were all in their underwear ’cause they used to take all their, they used to have all the flying kit you know. The old leather coats and that and the Germans used to have canada goose outlet winnipeg address all that off them and they’d be standing there in those big electric boots that were no good for anything. Standing in them you know with no, in their underwear and the officer who was in charge of us we went on the tram and the tram someone wrote in the paper the other day about it. They remembered the tram. The tram to the, where we were locked up and the chap in charge of that turns out, he was a Nazi but he turned out to be from New York but Germans that worked overseas or anything like that if they went back to Germany or anything they automatically got snatched and put into uniform. Yeah. Yeah. Strange isn’t it? Anyhow, then I started my confined to, to my little wooden box.PL: So where were you taken to, John?GJC: Pardon?PL: Where were you taken to?GJC: Where er PL: Whereabouts were you taken to, when you became a prisoner of war?GJC: Whereabouts I was?PL: Where was the camp where you were taken to?GJC: ErPL: Was that near Frankfurt?GJC: Er well no it must have been a couple of hours train ride to Frankfurt. I’ve got it on paper somewhere. What’s the name, but um you were taken up there anyhow and you spend, I spent from the 21st to New Year’s Eve in solitary.PL: Good gracious.GJC: I was taken out once and they asked me where I was from, where’s your identification and I said I’m wearing the King’s uniform and I left it at that and they put me back inside again. They all seemed rather nice [at times?] yeah. But there was a slice of bread. One guard used to unlock the door, the canada goose outlet other’d throw a slice of black bread on the bed and you’d get a tin of, a cup of mint tea. Used to get that every day. Mint tea. And when we were at the end, New Year’s Eve, I can always remember it, we had salmon and potatoes. Tinned. canada goose repair uk Through the Red Cross. That seems so ridiculous doesn’t it? You know. Yeah. But one of the most unusual things that happened apart from the navigator saying he wanted to recommend, we should recommend Lou for a medal and they were the sort of things that always get up my back. I could never see the point. I know some people earn them, they do and that but when it goes to people I can’t understand it and I said, ‘What for?’ Well, to him maybe he saved his life but he also neglected Nobby I think. He should have given a bale out order canada goose coats on sale.