My first cousin, Joseph Coley, and
he was eight years older than me.
What can I tell you.
His date of birth is the 22nd of February,
I think it was 1922.
He joined up
when he was 17 into the R.A.F.
and I think he did fairly well when he was
oh, he became a navigator.
And I know that by the photograph
a wing and an ‘N’ in the middle,
And he also got three stripes, which meant
he became a flying officer.
Well, when I found out the RAF
were doing an article about Jewish heroes.
I asked Mum if there was any in our family
And it's her first cousin, which
When we looked up about Joe,
we found out that he's
And he was in the raid,
which was the 17th of August 1943,
which involved 596 RAF heavy bombers.
And that was a very successful
They had their secret
with sufficient damage caused to delay
This book lists Joe as a mid upper gunner,
so in 43 he was no longer a navigator.
He did many, many
but two of his missions, he was shot down
and one of them for 48 hours,
he was apparently floating in the sea
I mean, that's two days
He was awarded
and he and mum said
and he and his mum and his wife went
to Buckingham Palace.
And we've got a picture here of him
At that time we had an aunt
and she was so excited that Joe got a DFC
that she sent the information
And I think she must've told him about it,
or he found out about it
And we never knew why.
Just “I don't want it in.
There is nothing to do with me.
I don't consider myself Jewish.”
because his father wasn't Jewish
and maybe that's
Joe apparently didn't really talk
about being Jewish,
And that could be for many reasons.
If you think a lot of Jews
War said they would be immigrants
there was a lot of anti-Semitism about
telling everyone they were Jewish
Plus, if you imagine if you got shot down
shot down twice and was saved,
but imagine getting shot down
and then and then being picked up
Because you're Jewish.
So I'd imagine it's probably quite normal
I wanted to tell this story about Joe
because of the way
and I want everyone
So I'm really, really proud
I think it's fantastic.
I mean, I think people if you're Jewish,
the reality of the Second World War,
that if the Germans did
If they had won the war, they'd come here
So I think the Jewish heroes,
I think they were fighting more
I think they're fighting for their