Dave Leicester - Crewing up

Running time
1 min 48 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


Well, the first crew on Halifax's were all RAF. All English, yes. They were all English except me. But we formed a very strong bond within the crew and we completed 41 ops together. Uh, 31, I'm sorry, ops together.

The crewing up was quite unusual. At what was called the heavy conversion unit where pilots all went to convert onto four-engined bombers, well, as a navigator finished his course, they would be sent to the heavy conversion unit, and similarly with the gunners and the wireless operators.

So eventually, at the heavy conversion unit we had all these various bods coming in and we just said, "Hey, do you want a pilot?" If they said yes, we crewed up. It was just like that. We didn't know who they were, just that they, I wanted a pilot, I wanted a navigator, and I wanted a bomb aimer, and I wanted a gunner and so on, so I just looked for someone with the badge on their chest and asked if I would do for them for a pilot. That was it, and we stuck together like glue.

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