Gordon WestwellAn eye-witness to a fatal crash on the Berlin Airlift.
Gordon Westwell – Film 1Like many young men who had experienced the Birmingham blitz in close quarters, Gordon was keen to do his bit. He joined the ATC (Air Training Corp) and went onto become an Aircraftman First Class in Transport Command. Transport Command would soon devote all its resources to Operation Plainfare.
Gordon Westwell – Film 2Gordon started his training at RAF Lyneham and then had a short stint in Gibraltar. Coming from postwar Britain it was a revelation to be in a place where the sun always shined. Shortly after hes back in England he has two hours notice to pack his bags and get ready for another flight to Europe.
Gordon Westwell – Film 3As one the first crews into Wunstorf his squadron had the pick of the accommodation and Gordon is amazed by the German standard of living. He also recalls his first encounters with an old foe.
Gordon Westwell – Film 4On the 19th of September 1948 Gordon carries out his usual service run on aircraft bound for Berlin. One plane doesnt make it and the number is etched into his memory for ever.
Gordon Westwell – Film 5Gordon talks in detail about the effect the crash has on him and his work. On another occasion Gordon is on a test flight when an engine fails at low level. Gordon details the how effective the flight crew were in dealing with a potentially catastrophic failure.
Gordon Westwell – Film 6Fraternisation was frowned upon and the methods used to discourage the men from meeting women were crude. Gordon just got on with his work but, did everyone else? Going back to England was an unsentimental process. You were told you were going, you packed your bags, you left. Many years later, hes still glad of the opportunity to do his bit in the first battle of the cold war. Thanks Gordon.
An eye-witness to a fatal crash on the Berlin Airlift.