You want to know…

Why I am writing this blog…

This is why…

‘Imagine finding out your own father was the bravest man you ever knew, after he had died …’

This is what Peter Smith wrote about his father in a foreword of an article to be published in the newsletter of the RAF 100 Group Association.

Click here to visit their Website.

Peter gave me permission to use some parts of his article so I could share it you.

‘Imagine finding out your own father was the bravest man you ever knew, after he had died …’

That was one of the things I wanted to share.

This is another…

It was at Tommy’s funeral one of his grandsons, Jake, would say to me, ‘What did Granddad do in the War?’ In the midst of my grief I had to admit I had no idea. It was one of the few moments in my life where I felt genuine shame: not knowing about my own father, and the events that would shape his life forever after, and our lives thereafter.
Tommy left two tiny diaries from 1940 and 1941, only one being readable. I quickly realised that more than a long essay was not possible: and most of the aircrew from that time had already taken their last flight. So, with my family’s help, I began remembering the stories he used to tell; those about other members of 23 Squadron, where he felt his efforts in the war were realised. I also realised fairly quickly that I knew nothing of the RAF, then or now, and I was not an author, being an engineer by trade.

To uncover my father’s story it meant uncovering the story of 23 Squadron at RAF Little Snoring. I had no idea what a voyage of discovery my journey would become. I have travelled all over the UK, to Canada, Holland, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany.

Last year I became part of his journey and we tagged along with my story on Eugene Gagnon.

One last thing I want to share with you is this…

All this was made possible by Tom Cushing.

As Peter wrote in his article…

My journey would start with Tommy Cushing, present owner of Little Snoring airfield, and a boy of seven at the time of the Second World War. He knew all of the Squadron, including my father and his navigator.

He has kept the Squadron alive for seventy years, along with the memory of its aircrew still out on ‘ops’.

It is as if the airfield is waiting …
waiting for them to return home.

Tom Cushing collection


3 thoughts on “You want to know…

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this Pierre. I do hope that one year I will be able to visit the airfield at Little Snoring where my dad and his pilot George Stewart spent close to two years. Peter’s article is very moving to read.

    Diane (née Beaudet) Carlucci

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