Wartime Boyhood

A Memory of Blackbushe Airport

Living just off Park St, Camberley, our house was on the landing approach flight path. With my dad's binoculars from the First World War I watched the Boston III's and Mitchells coming back from daylight raids with holes and bits missing, flying low right over our house on long approach.
I spent my days and nights watching the air, giving me memories of every type of aircraft that existed, including captured German planes out from the RAE. (At the post-war RAE shows I had a close-up of those German aircraft and actually sat in an Me 163 rocket plane.) I also used to cycle over to the RAE and stand at the gate watching the flight path. One day I was rewarded with a terrific roaring sound and coming toward me was the Gloster jet with a P in a circle on its fuselage. I hurried home to tell of the plane without an engine. Later I stood amazed at the huge number of Flying Fortresses coming over, glinting in the sun from their aluminium bodies, and then all the planes suddenly had black and white stripes.
In the late 1960s to 1970s I flew a Cherokee 140 GAXSZ as a student pilot and on visits there were Heinkels 111K parked alongside me, and in circuit once I had the owner of Blackbushe in his Spitfire cut across me heading for a quicker landing.
During the war us kids used to hear of a German plane down and rush over to collect aircraft bits, which my brother also brought me back from France and Germany, including cannon shells, insignia and documents and leaflets. Then again I was a friend of Charles Church who talked about his interest in flying before he became a millionaire and indulged in many Spits, a Mustang etc and sadly died in a replica Spit of his. Wonderful memories and experiences.

A memory shared by André Goddard , on Jan 25th, 2009.

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