April 1, All Fools day, Easter Sunday 1945. Operation Iceberg
We were promised that the time darkness fell that day we would have enough excitement to fill our minds for years to come.
At the time I was serving on the Battleship HMS King George V. as a seasoned sailor of two years and aged only 18 & 9 months, one of many children serving as cannon fodder in the British Royal Navy during WW2.
The previous day Action was aborted; this was due to the tail end of a typhoon preventing the need for air cover from the Five fleet A/C Carriers, of the British Pacific Fleet, in the expectancy that an attack on the Japanese airfields At Miako Shima and Ishigaki by the Brits drawing off enemy air power from the Americans about to invade Okinawa the following morning would lessen the problems for the invading Americans. Well whether it did or not, the mayhem created the following day was not at all good for the faint hearted, and a taster for eight more weeks of similar activity to come.
Vest's action station was on the Air defence Platform, fairly frightening up there - brown trouser stuff, nowhere to duck.
Go to Wiki for 'Operation Iceberg' The Yanks give us Brits a Small mention, nothing unusual about that. Oh BTW I survived many other silly conflicts the Brits became involved in.
Watts Naval Training School (Barnardos Homes)Nth Elmham Norfolk U/K received a **25 pound sterling finders fee for each young boy delivered to the armed services , ages ranged from 15 years- mostly to The Royal Navy, this happened over several decades involving possibly thousands of these youngsters , finally Watts closed in 1949 ending this tragedy. ** Ten week's average lowest income in the 1940's
My youngest Son posed this question in 1986 when visiting what remained of the mosly demolished WNTS School. "Why are all the boys in the cemetery mostly under twelve years of age", I replied , Son; "Only the toughest of us were meant to survive".
Vest.... Back soon.
BTW,Your shoelace is undone. .....AF.
Tuesday, 1 April 2014
To advise that Vest (Les Bowyer) passed away this morning. Regards, Chris (Son).
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