Ken FrenchKen served as a Bomber Command Navigator and remarkably survived 38 sorties flying with 115 Squadron. It's a wonderful account.
Ken French – Film 1Ken started out as a cartographer in the War Office. It was a job he enjoyed and it was only when they were issued papers that they would join the Royal Engineer survey unit that he decided change was a good thing. The RE survey unit would deb in advance of the advancing allies and generating local intelligence maps. The RAF sounded much safer!
Ken French – Film 2On the 4th of August 1942, Ken receives his papers and he reports to Air Crew reception at Lords cricket ground. At the same time hes bowled over by a young lady and has to then endure a 30 mile walk of shame
Ken French – Film 3Like many British airmen Kens flight training is in Winnipeg, Canada. He sails to America onboard the converted troop ship Queen Elizabeth and recalls guarding prisoners who are held in a special cell that has been built onboard. Ken suffered from air sickness and with as much pumpkin pie as you could eat, flying wasnt that enjoyable.
Ken French – Film 4On returning to England Kenneth undertakes conversion training on Wellington Bombers, Stirling and then finally Lancasters - a plane he adored. He goes onto talk in excellent detail about crew selection, the squadron base and navigation whilst flying as part of a huge formation.
Ken French – Film 5Kenneth recalls his first operation which was a bombing raid to Emmerich on the Rhine. He sees one Lancaster plummet to the ground when a bomb from above sheers through its tail. On another sorties he recalls seeing 18 aircraft downed Ken goes onto some good detail describing the role of a Navigator.
Ken served as a Bomber Command Navigator and remarkably survived 38 sorties flying with 115 Squadron. It’s a wonderful account.