Play / pause The Mission

The Mission

  • Benny Goodman
  • Interview by: Ewan Burnet


There were in fact not 30 miles away

a Luftwaffe squadron,

converting from Messerschmitt 109s

to Focke-Wulf 190s and if they'd got up in time

on the second and third trips,

if they'd got up in time they would have,

well on the second trip,

I think the whole squadron would have been shot down.

I'm convinced of that.

There was absolutely no way out for us.

And with these fuel tanks inside

with all the fumes,

I think a spark from a bullet,

that's all it would have needed.

I'm sure of it.

I've always been convinced.

So have other people, I've always been convinced of that.

I remember we were 21 I suppose, I don't know,

the average age was about, and it never occurred to us

that we were in danger.

The chap either side of us may have been, but we weren't.

That, probably that's very fortunate

if you're young I think

and it's a great excitement to be going on a trip like that.

Although you didn't show excitement, I mean,

you knew it was.

And once you got out to the aircraft

and in and settled down to the job,

you really didn't think about it.

You thought about what you had to do.

I'm talking about the pilots now.

Some of the chaps, apart from the navigator,

were sitting there until you hit the coast and then,

even then they were waiting for the (mumbles)

and the others, either waiting for fighters

or waiting for the moment when you did the run-in.

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