The big black bomber

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The big black bomber or it was at least to me at 10 years old….

Kessingland Beach School was about 5 miles south of Lowestoft, Sufolk and I was in the so-called upper class, there were only two teachers, one of whom had taught my mother, who ran the school of about 60-70 children, mostly sons and daughters of drift net fishermen. Mrs Williams was the head teacher.

The day in question was dull and cloudy and from memory quite cold with Christmas not far away . The normal lunch time was about 12 o/c, I was’nt sure because I could not tell the time, however the upper class left by a door on the west side of the school and the “littlens” as we called them by the east door (having been given a 5 minute start over the older children)

Our teacher Miss Hunter was a lady of about 30 years and had a red pimply face, even the army garrison of several hundred could not find a willing suiter it would appear. Miss Hunter stood outside the exit to supervise any fighting that broke out and as I left the exit I looked to my right and there approaching very quickly (probably around 100mph !) and to me it looked big and black, I know now that it was a German Heinkel 111 bomber, and was up to no good .

Miss Hunter hustled us back into school and shouted to get under the tables which in fact were small card tables about 60 cm square tops. There were about twenty tables and about twenty five children so under the tables was quite a joke.

A few seconds passed followed by huge bangs and flashes and all the windows caved in , there was dust and debris everywhere, including most of the children because the only parts covered were the children heads.

Poor Gussie Williams was so frightened that we could all hear her teeth rattling whereas Miss Hunter stood there without a hair out of place, where she got to during the raid who knows.

How did I know it was a Heinkel Bomber ? I was in the RAF and was priviledged to work with the historic aircraft flight and the Heinkel was an exhibit on Horse Guards parade in London of which I took part.

Written by: John B Catchpole

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Trained in Engineering then joined RAF, more training, qualified on Airframes at No1 School Engineering, started eng business 1957 ,rtd but still director. Add up my experience and it comes to 150 y/o at least.

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