Bob Cowper - D Day from the air
Department of Veterans' Affairs
The big day came and it's going to be hard to tell you what it looked like. It was sort of just absolutely out of this world. The aircraft that were flying over towards Normandy, pulling gliders and all those sorts of things – so many – the air was just covered in, it was like a couple of thousand bombers raids, the numbers – and the noise of the engines of all the aircraft – you could feel it vibrating – I said that I could feel it through my feet – it was just like to ground – you know what one or two aeroplanes are like – you know when there are thousands of them are all going – and a lot of them were old type of aircraft – you know pulling gliders and that – Whitley's and things like that – anything that would fly a glider.
So they went over, and on the sea, you could look out to sea, and just see ships everywhere. Cause we weren't involved at that stage till the night-time comes – as our job was at night. So we saw all the day preparations and all the aircraft – blokes going over there – we knew all about the weather changing – some of the water-bourne troops had to stay in their ships – being sea-sick and being cold at night – because the weather was too bad – some of them were to going to go on June the 5th I think and they to had change because of the weather.
Just seeing the build up of it all was just absolutely fantastic. So we were flying at night – and the first night of D Day one of our members – two of our members shot down a big German bomber – on the first night of D Day. That was the start of it. We were all – most of us were very successful – we were just luckier than some – and Bill and I over a period of about 17 days, I think, 15 days or something – we shot down four German bombers over Normandy.