Many thanks to Jill Williams for sending us this news sheet, which came from the collection of her late uncle, Ernest Roy Pinson.
The figures of R/P fired alone give some idea of the work put in by the Armourers, and the number of sorties flown are a tribute to the excellence of all who helped in the Aircraft Maintenance.
These wonderful records were not accomplished without the sacrifice of many gallant comrades, to whom mere words can never pay the proper tribute.
Ground Crews, Fitters, Armourers, Flying Control, the less spectacular office jobs and the mundane tasks of others, the men who kept the Trtansport going, the Doctors and Medical Orderlies, the Police, the Signals, the ever cheerful Padres and the Messing staffs, the RAF Regiment, the A.I.O.s and their men; all these, and many others, played their part in helping to defeat the Hun, and proudly bring the Wing to final Victory and Peace in Europe.
One of our Pilots has summerised the activities of the Squadrons in the following review:-
Looking back over the past historic months to the early part of last Summer, when we began our fight to dislodge the enemy from his dominating position athwart the continent of Europe, one cannot resist the temptation, now that our task has been accomplished, of saying 'We have put up a good show'.
We have done a great deal of which we aught rightly to be proud, since that first great day in June last year when the Wing took up it's station upon the Continent at St. Croix, near Bayeux, in Normandy.
For two months, suffering the combined hardships of shelling by day, bombing by night, lack of water, incredible dust which made life almost unbearable, support of our ground forces was maintained at a tremendous pitch with devastating attacks upon enemy strongpoints, Headquarters, tanks and motor vehicles.
These attacks precipitated the commencement of the great rout of August 17th, which we proudly entered in our authorisation book as 'The Great Slaughter of the Falaise Gap'. We shall never forget those great three days which left the roads of Normandy ablaze from end to end with wrecked enemy transport; grim testimony to the lethal power of the Rocket Firing Typhoons.
In order to maintain contact with the Army, who, having advanced across the Seine, were forging ahead without opposition, we moved to Danville, thence to Amiens, and finally to Bruxelles.
The memory of that gay city and the sincere welcome given us by it's liberated citizens, will never fade. After the rigours of Normany the city seemed to use as Paradise must seem to a tormented soul. Our stay was an all too short duration.
30 Corps, in co-operation with the Airborne Divisions, commenced their great operation 'Market Garden', designed to force a crossing of the Rhine and capture a bridgehead at Arnhem.
In it, a final objective failed, due to a combination of various unforseen factors, including weather: but it showed, if any showing was necessary, what magnificent courage and devotion to duty belonged to those selfless heroes who are known simply as 'The men of Arnhem'
We played our part in that battle, moving up to Windhoven during the course of it, afgter having carried out an op, with our gun bays stuffed with our beding and toilet kit.
From then on we carried out more and more Armed Reconnaissances, as, one by one, the last strongholds of the Hun East of the Maas were over-run by our troops.
During the late Autumn and early Winter our morale began to decline somewhat, an inevitable result of the combined effects of filthy weather, increasing opposition, and heavy losses in men and aircraft, with lack of replacements imposing a heavy strain on our nerves. Nevertheless our work remained of a high standard, and day by day our score of locomotives increased as we forged deeper and deeper into Hitler's 'Impregnable Fortress'.
Christmas brought with it a wonderful spell of fine weather and a break through by Runstedt in the Ardennes. Both of these factors gave a burst to our spirit, and we surged into the battle with all the ferocity we could muster, often against phenomenally heavy flak opposition, until the tide was turned and stability restored to the lines.
We lost seventeen Pilots in the short month.