April 3rd 1945


I go up and try and loot Wesel but all I get is a bedside lamp. We pass ‘Monty’ himself on the way up. Down south of Welden the country is rich with German chickens etc and many undamaged farms. The Rhine is fast moving and we cross by an American built pontoon bridge.

I go out with Nick Bowen in Area 3 and we get alot of flak which I don’t see, though which he tells me about. Later I see flashes of light flak exploding, but a long way off. I had previously done a very successful shoot in the Stockhumer Bosch, north of Emmerich, on two camouflaged gun pits, with many direct hits, and seeing smoke issuing from an unobserved position nearby.

Today a signal from Group to the effect that armed recces, and presumably us, is to be pressed on regardless of weather conditions and crosswinds. Consequently we have to waive our ‘union rules’ of 3000’ and press on underneath. The result has been one spit (F/Lt Blundell-Hill), and two mustangs hit by flak. I have to do Area 3 and as the cloud is down 10/10 to 1000’, I send my No.2 home and press on. I get a bit lost at times, see nothing worthwhile, except one truck with its characteristic Bosch mottled camouflage, and near Wayringen I see a red golfball pass pretty close, so I leap into the cloud, cross the bomb line, and abandon the rest of my road.

But now? I have arranged to go on leave on the 5th, and had hoped to have seen Monica in Chelsea, but there are three days to go and I shall have indubitably have gone for a Burton by then…

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3 Responses to April 3rd 1945

  1. Michael Bowen says:

    Hi James, So here we are finally in 1945 and my dad’s flying with yours. Sorry not to have commented before but I have been away in Africa.

    First my dad’s name is Nick Bowen (typo?). His logbook for 31st March reads ‘Spitfire XIV Z ,OPS TAC/R, Utrecht-Amersfoort-Zalt Bolmel? 1hr 5mins No.2 (to) Flt Dunford-Wood DFC Some movement Light intense inaccurate flak’

    Your dad is now O.C B flight, taking over from Clifton- Mogg, who is now C.O following the death of S/Ldr Colin Maitland DFC. He was shot down on the 18th March. It all sounds somewhat light hearted from their various comments but we need to remember this was serious stuff!

    Second do yo have any further info about Peter Petit. I seem to remember the name as someone who moved to live in Southern Rhodesia after the war.

    Finally I am really enjoying your blog but confess that I have only just realised that these comments are all in a collection and I see that a couple of people have been asking me questions. I’ll make an effort to get back to them.

    Happy Easter!
    Michael

    • James Dunford Wood says:

      Hi Michael – apologies for that typo. I think it must be my mis-reading of his handwriting – I have changed. Peter Petit – I have no further info I am afraid. I will see if I can dig anything else out of the diaries on him. Happy Easter to you! James

  2. Cynny Sharp (nee Dunford Wood) says:

    The last paragraph of this entry is so telling………..wondering if he will last for even the next 3 days, let alone meet the dame. Poor Daddy.

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