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Thread: Tail End Charlie.

  1. #1
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    Default Tail End Charlie.

    A contact has asked if I could find more info on the events related in the book 'Tail End Charlie' by Manning and Granstrom.
    The book was obtained at the Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington.


    It tells the story of the authors Father in WW2, as a teenager at the outbreak, joining the RAF as an airgunner , serving with 28 OTU in Wellingtons on a 'Window' dropping mission , then onto 180 Sqn in Mitchells ending with his wounding during the Battle of The Bulge & hospital.

    Excellent children's book with lots of detail and facts.

    The rest of the crew mentioned in the book are Bill, Com & Paddy.
    Bill Anderson RNZAF being the Skipper.
    Anyone have a record of the date Charlie Manning was wounded?
    The squadron code on the aircraft in the book is given as EV-N. EV being 180 Sqn. More details of the Mitchell would be most welcome.

    I believe 180 Squadron were at the time of the Battle of the Bulge operating with the 2TAF
    of which I have no details.


    As always any help is most appreciated.

    Regards
    Peter.
    Last edited by peter; 1st November 2008 at 11:50.

  2. #2
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    Default

    The power of Google Peter!

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/scotland/article4878156.ece

    An extract of that article is:
    "Sadly Manning's father, Des, is not around to see his stories in print. In 1977, at the age of 52, he died of a heart attack while headmaster at a school in Keighley, Yorkshire. During the war, Des Manning and his crew supported advancing troops in the Netherlands with low-level daylight operations in a B25 Mitchell, carrying out raids on tactical targets such as bridges, marshalling yards and tank supply depots.

    During his 13th mission, on December 23, 1944, he was knocked unconscious after being hit in the face by flak. He awoke in hospital on Christmas Day and was told by doctors that, had it not been for his oxygen mask absorbing most of the impact, he would have been killed.

    His jaw smashed and his war over, the 19-year-old was given a desk job where he met Mr Manning's mother, Muriel, a member of the WAAF - Women's Auxiliary Air Force.

    Manning was able to track down his father's old crew from the Second Tactical Air Force, including pilot Bill Anderson and navigator Ian Comrie, both of whom had returned to their native New Zealand after the war.

    “I got fantastic letters from them which confirmed that my dad's stories were true,” says the author. “It was very exciting for me. It brought it home that they weren't just stories - they were real experiences.”

    Tail-End Charlie by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom is published by Frances Lincoln, £11.99 (hardback)"

    Its a start any way.

    Bill Anderson
    Ian Comrie
    Des Manning
    ?
    ?
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

  3. #3
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    Dennis,

    Fantastic stuff. Many thanks for your reply, I'll pass this on with the appropriate credit.

    Most appreciated.

    Regards
    Peter.

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