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Thread: rituals before take-off

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Prague, Czech Republic
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    Marcel I have forgot one important moment from 311 Sq - there was a young air gunner. He has tried "not to be afraid" so he started to fly on bombing raids on Wellington without his parachute. Later he was something like a talisman. Every crew wanted him to fly with them as he has some kind of instinct - he knew which aircraft would return. Sometimes a captain asked him to fill in his crew and when he refused the fate of the crew was laid...
    Later he was transferred to Soviet Union and he was an air gunner with Czechoslovak unit flying Il-2. Once he flew a sortie and his Il-2 has been attacked by Fw 190 which he finally shot down but was seriously injuded. When information reached former members of 311 Sq everyone was asking - does he took his parachute on this sortie? The answer was YES - he has again some strange feeling and took it this time. As he has it on his breast it took most of the hits and saved his life.

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Hi all,

    thanks for all your comments. I think this is a very interesting topic and it really could fill a book. It seems to have been very important for the flyers to cope with their dangerous task.

    Marcel

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