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'Bombs and Barbed Wire'

by Wilf Hodgson

The wartime memoirs of a RAAF Bomber Command Pilot and POW

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Wilf Hodgson enlisted as aircrew in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) during World War II, was trained as a navigator/bomb aimer (observer) and was posted to the UK.  Here he was further trained to an operational standard and joined a squadron in Bomber Command in October 1943.

The author explains that "the agenda was to complete thirty operational sorties to compete a tour of operations.  If the crew survived, they were transferred to instructional duties for a period of six months and then the process was repeated.

After completing 29 of the required number of operations, our crew was unfortunate to be shot down in occupied France while dropping supplies to the French Résistance underground army on 9 May 1944, just prior to D Day.

All of the crew survived the resulting night time crash without any major injuries.  Accompanied by the mid upper gunner, I spent several weeks evading capture by the Germans while attempting to reach Spain, where repatriation to the UK was possible.

Finally, we were captured in southern France by a German SS division and spent some time in a Poiteres prison before being transferred to a Gestapo prison in Paris.

For the remainder of the war , we were incarcerated in a prison camp in Silesia until finally liberated by the Russians in May 1945.

This book was compiled by my son, Neville Hodgson, who resurrected my various wartime dairies and records from the family archives and arranged for the printing of 'Bombs and Barbed Wire'.  Most of the text used was written prior to the end of World War II, at time when the incidents related were fresh in my mind, unlike similar accounts published which rely on a memory span of up to 50 years".

 

Reviews

The Bob Baxter's Bomber Command website ( follow the links via the sitemap to the book reviews or direct to the review of Bombs and Barbed Wire ).

110p, Bookshelf size 160mm (6.25ins. ) wide, 230mm (9.05ins.) high. ~320g inc packaging

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