Roof over Britain - the official story of the A.A Defences, 1939 - 1942

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A JERRY WENT SMACK INTO' MY CABLE” 81 Then two women came running to the car, asking tome help them. 1 look the ladies to‘ B 'Flight Headquarters, gave them a stimulant and put them in the shelter. Then I took the ambulance and picked up a number o f people who had been h u rt.” The report goes onto say :“The Flight Commander went out whereto a delayed- action bomb had fallen 70 yards from Headquarters. He would not allow anyone togo near it and took care of the boarding-up himself.” Special mention is also made of two airmen, of whom it is said :‘‘They would not take shelter and their tireless work in visiting the Sick Quarters and organising generally was invaluable.” An Officer Bat“ ”Flight makes the following observations: “All the windows of our Headquarters were blown in and several D/A bombs fell within a few yards. Huts on sites 18 and 40 were destroyed. The crew o f site 18 evacuated to their dug-out, but aD/A fell adjacent to the wall of the dug-out and they had to leave that, too. When a delayed-action bomb fell about 10 yards from the bed o f Site 8, the men were in their Anderson shelter, but on hearing the balloon cable was falling, they turned out, hauled down the balloon and bedded it. Then they returned to their shelter. From“ D ”Flight comes the news that the “blitz ”started whilst anew balloon was being inflated. The crew of Site 59 had to leave the inflation and deal with incendiaries.’’ A message came to Flight Headquarters from the First Aid Post 40 yards away, that they wanted help to change the punctured wheels of ambulances. All the R.A.F. drivers and the Flight Commander agave hand. Afterwards seven men volunteered to help with First Aid. Later, personnel from“ D ”Flight offset for Coventry in buses and ambulances, helped to evacuate people and to dig other luckless victims out of shelters. When the ‘Raiders Passed ’signal was sounded the Balloon Barrage set about replacing its many casualties. Many problems had to be faced. The complete breakdown of telephonic comm uni­ cation and the blocking of the roads were not easily overcome. In spite of the many casualties and obvious difficulties encountered, the Balloon Barrage was up to strength and flying by 12.00 hours on November 16th, 1940. The part played by the Officers, N.C.Os. and men of C oventry’s Balloon Barrage was quiet and unspectacular, but it was definitely a contribution—and avery real contribution—to the part played by the people of Coventry in the most terrible attack Britain had ever experienced.
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