diary of bruce johnston diary of bruce johnston






12 Operational Training Unit Edgehill, near Banbury, northwest of London

Flights - Operational offices and control centre for the squadron

Timms - Pilot and friend who trained with Johnston, and was later posted to 514 Squadron at Waterbeach

Kirsch - Canadian pilot and friend, who trained with Johnston, and was later posted to 90 Squadron at Tuddenham

Giffin - Canadian pilot friend who trained with Johnston, and was later posted to 514 Squadron at Waterbeach

Bashford - Instructor at 12 Operational Training Unit, Edgehill

Pilot Bombing - If necessary, the pilot could drop the bombs from his position in the airplane

Elsan - Chemical toilet carried on some airplanes

Bomb sight - Device used to mark the target to be bombed

GEE - Radio navigation system that allowed planes to determine their location by timing synchronized pulses sent from three transmitters in the United Kingdom. It did not extend over the horizon, and the Germans could jam it, but it was very effective over England and the North Sea

Mair - Pilot friend who trained with Johnston

Halifaxes - Halifax bombers. The Halifax was a four engine RAF bomber with a crew of seven, that could carry a payload of 13,000 lbs (5,900 kgs). Variations of this versatile plane were also used for special operations, reconnaissance, glider towing and paratroop transport.

Bay of Biscay - Body of water in the Atlantic bordering France and Spain

Ops Time - Total amount of time spent on operations/missions

Baker - Canadian pilot and friend who trained with Johnston in Canada and in England


February 1, 1944 (Tuesday)

Up as usual this morning and down to the flights. Went to the library and then Timms, Kirsch, Giffin and myself went up with Kirsch’s crew and Pilot Officer Bashford to do some Pilot Bombing.

I got the smallest error by quite a bit– only 61 yards (Timms was 220 yards). It was pretty bumpy – all the pilots felt green and Timms was hanging over the Elsan. What a trip – I had a hang of a time with the darn Bomb Sight.

Did an hour’s GEE with Kirsch this afternoon. It’s really something!

Sat around the mess a lot today – no mail. Mair showed up in the mess tonight – on Halifaxes over the Bay of Biscay (has 30 hours ops time in).

Baker’s funeral is tomorrow I believe – near Oxford I think. Mair heard it in the officers’ club so he came in today.


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