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TOPIC: An Instrument Basher with 178 Squadron

An Instrument Basher with 178 Squadron 5 years 1 month ago #1311

  • Gary
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Here are a few words about my time in Foggia as an Instrument Basher with 178 Squadron.

Before I could settle in I with other ground crew flew to Malta where one of our Libs had to false land, we flew back next day having sorted the problem out, on the way back our Pilot Flew around Vesuvius for a smashing view, which blew up a month later, the Volcano that is. 

My main job was servicing the T1A Bombsight, I think the English version was the Mk14A.for this I had to go on a Course in Bari. Another job was to operate the old Italian Cine projector in the “Dining Room” actually it was a converted Barn. The films were collected from Town which gave me a day off.

One day on one of these visits I got back to find Brother who was in the Army serving up the “Front” and getting a break he decided to find me. I actually found him in a Nissan Hut Getting drunk on “Vino” with the rest of our section.

Next day having been given the day off by the boss I took Brother round and showed him the inside and out of a B24, one of them he wouldn’t go near because it was Bombed up, we never gave them a second thought providing the wires were still attached to the fuses.

In Benghazi, I remember a Camp Concert we had where we made a grand Stage and put on a show about “Little Nell” {that was me!].  A “Kite” went to Base and came back with Drink for the Officers Mess and a cheap set of Drums for me. The play was set in a Pub and whilst in rehearsals were drank Water instead of Gin, on the night it was the real thing and at the end of the show I passed out! It was a hard life!

Foggia was not a nice place and we unfortunately lost quite few “Lib’s” and their Crews. Having read the A History of 178 Squadron RAF.it was very surprising to learn that in the short Three years of the Squadrons existence we lost 27 Aircraft and of course the Crews.

When we first got to Foggia the area was alive with Mosquitoes [the biting kind] and I caught Sand Fly Fever which “Doc Band” or to give his proper title Flt.Lt Band cured me. The South African Lib squadron with us lost some crashing into the surrounding hills, a few days later we moved further back so the takeoff did not line up with the hills.

There are so many memories of life with 178  and it would be good if this could wake up a few more from other Erks who served with me and your Granddad.

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'Yea, Though I Fly Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I Shall Fear No Evil. For I am at 50,000 Feet and Climbing.'
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An Instrument Basher with 178 Squadron 5 years 1 week ago #1862

  • Louise D
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Hi,
I read your article anfd found it very intersting. Not only because my late Dad was at Foggia on Liberators but he also got Sand Fly Fever.
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Re: An Instrument Basher with 178 Squadron 5 years 1 week ago #1863

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Hi Louise, welcome to the site.
I'm glad you enjoyed the article, there's a few more yet and more to come. Over the coming months I'll be adding more and more records from 178 Squadron so make sure you come back and keep up with all the changes going on around here.
Thanks
Gary
'Yea, Though I Fly Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I Shall Fear No Evil. For I am at 50,000 Feet and Climbing.'
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