Buzz Bomb Attacks
This story that I recall vividly, is the night the first buzz bomb came across our base. We had certainly experienced air raid alerts before, but from the beginning this one seemed different to all of us. The first alert was sounded over our Tannoy loud speaker system and almost immediately following an air craft overhead alert was sounded. It was during the night and we all ran outside and saw what appeared to be a small piloted German jet fighter plane, as there had been talk that the Germans had started building jet planes and the flames were flying out of the rear of this air craft. The sound of the engine did not sound as a prop plane sounds, so we were putting two and two together in our minds. In a very short time the sound of the engine stopped and there was almost immediately a large explosion. After this excitement we all returned to bed.
Early the next morning we were all given the word that we were all confined to the base until further notice. Later that day we got the word that whatever it was had hit a farmers chicken house near our base. Some of our personnel were taken out to the site to retrieve the parts that were left. I remember seeing a large funnel shaped object that we assumed was where the thrust flames came out of the engine. After 2 or 3 days the silence was broken and our base was taken off of confinement. Then the story appeared in the Stars & Stripes and all of the English papers in a day or two.
We quickly found out that first buzz bomb incident wasn't a one shot deal, as we were regularly awakened throughout the night by the sound of the jets and the air raid alerts. We finally got to calling them nuisance attacks, as the Germans never sent them over in groups, but always in 30 to 45 minute intervals to keep us from getting a full nights uninterrupted sleep.
I remember one early incident where we were awakened in the middle of the night from a sound sleep. Herbert Adolphson, a tall Swede buddy of mine out of Port Angeles, Washington came out of the Nissen hut staggering and still half asleep trying to slip on his one piece fatigue coveralls. When we saw him we all started laughing , as he was trying to slip his big feet through the arms of the coveralls. One other incident that happened early on was after an air raid, when one of my Nissen hut buddies complained about his feet hurting and sure enough-he had slipped his work shoes on the wrong feet. It didn't take us very long to realize that there had to be a better way! From then on we all laid out our issued sheepskin flying clothes by our beds, which were very easy to jump into and get outside.
I also remember witnessing the first V-2 rockets that the Germans sent over to blast various targeted cities in England. We could look toward the coast and see the vapor trails that were emitted when they were launched and also see the vapor trails when they were descending on London. All of this seemed very scary at the time, but after we got the upper hand we would all sit around talking and laughing about all of the funny incidents that happened to us. I guess the humor sort of helped us pass the time away.