Dave Leicester - "Corkscrew, skipper!"

Running time
1 min 51 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


If a rear gunner saw a fighter, he would say, "Corkscrew, skipper," and you'd go all around, up and down, to get away from the fighter so that you wouldn't be in one place for him to get a sight on you. Flying straight and level was absolutely forbidden. Once you flew straight and level, if you did, the people on the ground would be able to get a sight on you and let go.

So you've got 800 planes all, collision was always a very hard thing to avoid. Unfortunately, yes. You see planes go down. You don't know who they are or what squadron they're from, of course, but it's a very harrowing sight to see a plane go down, particularly, as we mentioned, being caught in searchlights. Coned.

We'd always have a meal before we went. It was usually an egg. And when you're sitting there having a meal before, you know, and eight hours later 20 of them are not there, it's unreal. Then you've got to ring up and tell their parents or their family, and then you've got to get, say if four planes are missing, you've got to get four in the next day, and you've got to get four more crews in. It was hard.

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