Roy tells modern airmen of his wartime Stirling raids from RAF Lakenheath
RAF Lakenheath helped turn the clock back for 93-year-old World War Two bomber navigator Roy Smith last week when the USAF 48th Fighter Wing hosted his return to his wartime base.
Roy, who lives near London, visited the base with his wife Doris and family to see how much it has changed since he first boarded a 199 Squadron Stirling bomber there as a 21-year-old in 1943.
The Stirling was the RAF’s first heavy bomber but had poor performance so the squadron moved to dropping radar-jamming ‘window’ foil or supplies to the resistance, from which they once returned with a tree branch in the tail.
Though the average number of sorties completed by a crew was then 11, Roy’s did 43.
Roy’s son Steven said: “One of his most vivid memories was of waking each day in the hut and seeing seven empty beds next to their own,”
USAF photo by SA Erin Trower