by John Pearl, Air Gunner 2/45-4/45

John Pearl's book was published by Lancfile Publishing in December 2007. This is what it says on the back cover:

John Pearl was born in Nottingham in 1925. He finished his schooling shortly before the outbreak of World War II in 1939 and became apprenticed to a shoe maker, but later took up employment as a menswear sales assistant for a Yorkshire clothing company.

Enlisting in the Royal Air Force in 1943 he flew as an air gunner in Bomber Command until the end of hostilities. He then served overseas in India where he remained until demobilised in 1947.

After a spell in the Civil Service he relocated to a nationalised industry where he spent 30 years in an administrative capacity before taking early retirement in 1981.

John's late father was a Great War veteran and John himself has a interest in that conflict. He has made several visits to the Western Front battlefield and hopes to continue to do so.

His other main interest is equine with two horses stabled in a Nottinghamshire village. Although no longer a rider he enjoys working with horses and attending equestrian events with his two grandaughters, both successful riders.

He says "The bomber boys were an all-volunteer select group of flyers, the bravest and the best. I am proud and privileged to have lived among them. Here is my story - I hope it will prove to have been worth the telling."

ISBN 978-0-9549547-4-1
Copies are available from Lancfile Publishing, Lancaster Farm, Tumby Woodside, Boston, Lincolnshire PE22 7SP: tel 01526 342249: email mjhodgsonATlancfile.demon.co.uk (replace AT with @ before sending).
The price is 12 including P&P to addresses in the UK or 13.50 inc P&P to non-UK addresses. Cheques should be made out to MJ Hodgson.
The book will be on sale at the Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre.

Editor: John died in 2013. He had been a member of the Association for many years and regularly attended our reunions. His crew were shot down on 11 April 1945, in Lancaster ME472 EM-O in an attack on the Wahren railway yards, Leipzig. Both starboard engines were damaged, as was the mid-upper gun turret. F/L Peter Anderson RCAF managed to maintain control until his flight engineer reported oil pressure on the port inner was dropping fast. At 4,000 feet, as ordered, the six survivors baled out and all were soon in safe hands. F/L Anderson RCAF is buried in Brussels Town Cemetery. On an Association visit to Belgium in 2005 John laid a wreath at his pilot's grave.
see http://www.207squadron.rafinfo.org.uk/belgium0505/anderson_pm_110445.htm

page last updated 17 Jan 2008: 23 Dec 13