Molly’s Story – Life in the RAF

This is the second chapter of Molly’s life story.

 MOLLY’S LIFE IN THE RAF

  • At 16 and a half, she joined the RAF – she should have been 17 and a half but her mother helped her fiddle the forms to get in a year early.

 

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This is June with Molly on her right

  • She joined Flight Command Squadron 11 and she was called “Legs 11”, perhaps because she always liked to be around the boys.

Pint

This is Molly enjoying a “pint” with some friends”

sitting

Monopoly

This is Molly playing Monopoly with some Norwegian boys

Molly and four othersIMG_1316

 

 

 

 

Molly and guysScarf

Good times in the RAF with lots of different challenges and many new friends

 

  • In the early 1950’s she was stationed in Germany.  It was the time of the Berlin Airlift when there was significant tension between the Soviet Union and the rest of the Western World.   The RAF played a major role in providing supplies to Berlin and Molly was stationed in Germany at the time.
  • Travelling back home to Lincoln took two days on the train from Germany. Then on to a ferry from the Hook of Holland to Harwich. Then another train from London to Lincoln.
  • There were lots of flights from RAF Scampton to Germany. On one occasion to get back to Germany, she charmed her way on to a “A World War 2 Lincoln Cargo Plane” which was a modified Lancaster Bomber, that gave her two extra days leave at home.

AvroLincolnA73-20

Lincoln-B2

 

  • The plane flew from RAF Scampton to Wunstorf Military Airport. Molly had to fly in the cargo hold wearing an oxygen mask and an all in one suit, because there was no heating. There were also no toilets on the plane and on one occasion, when she got to Wunstorf and got off the plane, she was desperate to go to the toilet. She ran into the toilet in the control tower and formed a major ruckus because they thought she might be carrying contraband.
  • As a present from one of the air crew, she was given some Chanel No 5 perfume, which she didn’t open until she returned home. She had to get her father to help her open the bottle as it had a seal on it. In doing so, he broke the bottle and spilt the perfume all over himself.
  • While in the RAF in 1950/51, Molly went skiing in Winterberg, Germany.  She stayed in a hotel which cost 6 pence a day.  She was taught by a Swedish army ski instructor to ski without sticks.

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  • Other memories of her RAF days:

 

Cleaning

One of the many cleaning jobs while in the RAF.  Molly is on the back row far left

Party girls

Party girls – Molly is sitting on the floor in the middle

Sitting on a rock

Molly sitting on a rock in the summer in Germany where they do wild boar hunting

Larking about

Larking about

Cutting the cake

Molly cutting a cake with a friend.  ? 18th Birthday

RAF Hockey Team

Molly is in the back row, second from the right with an RAF Hockey Team.  In those days only public schools played hockey.  Later when she moved to Coventry to work for the NHS, Molly went on to play until she was 40 on the pitches on Humber Road

  • She finished life in the RAF when she was posted back to Plymouth. After three months she couldn’t settle in civvy street and decided to join the army.

Molly makes a career change in her next role – see tomorrow’s chapter!

 

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2 Responses to Molly’s Story – Life in the RAF

  1. THis blog is intriguing, and personally interesting.
    While living in a retirement village/complex, fellow residents, and visitors of a similar age grouping, when one gently involves them in a conversation(s) of past life and experience, then many common factors with in the living memories of all concerned can be exchanged! Such as WWII, post WWII experiences, national service, and other conflicts such as the Berlin Airlift, Control Commission Germany, British Army of the Rhine, Korean War, Service in Malay, and then the £10 Pom.
    It is all part of life rich pattern, and why those who have seen life before, now see some of life’s experiences now reappear before the newer generations.
    It is enlightening to see some personal experiences being portrayed, besides some of the social and political delema,s which the populous of the UK may now have to face.

  2. Another View point- I hope it is acceptable.
    Early life.
    As a youngster 5 to 7 years of age, my father and mother lived in Hamburg in a flat, in the Hamburg District 20, with other British families, who were attached to the CCG (Control Commission Germany_ British Sector).
    We travelled out to Germany Hamburg via Harwich, Cuxhaven and the Elbe, and back in 1949 by rail Hanover and the Hook of Holland, Harwich and Liverpool Street.
    There was myself and my sister (Gloria), with our brother Antony who later died, and was buried in the Military Cemetery Hamburg (Between early 1947 and late 1949).
    Later in 1948, my sister Diana, was born to Mum in the Military Hospital 49- Hamburg.
    Gloria and I went to the local British Forces Infant school. We have a few memories of Hamburg at the time, and of Germany during this period.
    Transport for families from Hamburg 20 to Central Hamburg, on the shores of the Alster was either by bus-dedicated to the British Forces only, British families were discouraged from travelling on the tram or ‘U’ Bahn service which was for the German citizens and their families, or by river/Alster River boats coloured GREY, the green coloured river boats which were for the German Citizens and families.
    The centre of Hamburg was as I remember it? A site of bombed devastation from the war time campaign. The main two buildings I remember was the main Bahnhoft (railway station) and the ‘Rathouse’ City TownHall. There were shops and café’s : However as a family we were encouraged to shop in the ‘Naffi’ stores as I believe while the German/Hamburg shops had goods and wares, because of shortages and rationing for both the German citizen’s and British Forces, were requested to shop in the ‘Naffi’ I remember when Mum and Dad brought shopping home from the ‘Naffi’ it was in zipped up hold all’s, and totally closed so that what was purchased in the ‘Naffi’ could not be seen, or evident when walking to and from the local transport (British) back to one’s flat.
    Fraternisation with German families was discouraged unless officially cleared by the authorities. We had a visiting Hairdresser, Herr Kakenmister, a domestic help Amy, and the House Keeper Herr and Frau Barden who lived in the basement Flat, of the block of flats we lived in. Herr and Frau Barden lost their son in WWIII on the Russian Front. Herr Barden’s Hobby was photography. As a child I was intrigued by the request, of my Mum and Dad of used tealeaves to the ‘Barden’s’ who used them for a second brew, as their rations was coffee. The Barden’s bread ration was mainly the black rye bread.
    For days out we went to the seaside town Charbauchts near Kiel on the Baltic Coast, which was lovely and sandy and flat. WE had a holiday, initially in Nordenee on the German Friesen Islands and then next year in the Hartz Mountains Gosslar/Alturnae, and the nearby city of Brunswick. The Hartz Mountains was wonderful and green. Brunswick had been bombed level to the ground, and the local sewage discharges had been turned/directed into the city moat and in the summer time we were there as a family it absolutely ‘stank’! Dad took us all around one of the Third Riceght Collages for the perfect Ayrian Race based in Brunswick. While travelling from Brunswick to Gosslar/Alturnae on the bus system, as British Forces/family: However the German Population travelled as well as they could on the railway system hanging all to all vantage points on the travelling train AS child I did not appreciate the closeness of the Russian Sector, which divided the Hartz Mountains District.
    Dad’s work with the CCG Food commission, took him sometimes to the port of Hamburg, were I accompanied him witnessing the loading of ‘Sunderland’ Flying boats taking part in the ‘Berlin Airlift’. And yet on another visit to an island in the Elbe, where Ferguson (British Government) were demonstrating the then new Massy Ferguson Tractor and its adaptations for modern farming. Then again Dad was at the Nazi trials in Nuremburg as an observer??? The reason Dad never explained.
    AS a family we had a great Aunty and Cousin who were naturalised Germans and lived in Wiesbaden. My Great Aunty original was a British citizen and prior to WWI had married a German Army Officer who died in WWI while in action on the Western Front. My Great Aunty and cousin had a hard time during the rise of the Third Richt Political system. Later after WWII they were asked to work in the American Sector, and Dad, visited them when he could, and his work permitted such visits.
    My dad, mum and my 3 sisters returned in the 1970’s to visit Hamburg, to visit old places. The people that Mum and dad knew other than the Brits, had passed away. I myself went back in the 60’s as a seaman to the port of Hamburg, and on one of these visit with my wife travelling as crew We visited the old flat and district around it: Travelling this time on the ‘U’ Bahn as a normal person.

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