Home   News   Article

Roy tells modern airmen of his wartime Stirling raids from RAF Lakenheath




Roy Smith, an RAF Stirling bomber navigator during World War Two, and his wife, Doris, visit RAF Lakenheath where he was based with 199 Squadron '(U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Erin Trower) ANL-160102-103923001
Roy Smith, an RAF Stirling bomber navigator during World War Two, and his wife, Doris, visit RAF Lakenheath where he was based with 199 Squadron '(U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Erin Trower) ANL-160102-103923001

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



COMMENTS
()


Iliffe Media does not moderate comments. Please click here for our house rules.

People who post abusive comments about other users or those featured in articles will be banned.

Thank you. Your comment has been received and will appear on the site shortly.

 

Terms of Comments

We do not actively moderate, monitor or edit contributions to the reader comments but we may intervene and take such action as we think necessary, please click here for our house rules.

If you have any concerns over the contents on our site, please either register those concerns using the report abuse button, contact us here.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More