David Mattingley - Hit by flak

Running time
1 min 36 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


Yes, the 23rd operation was a daylight. Mostly they had been done at night but some were by day light, and this was to a city called Dortmund, which was in the Ruhr Valley and all went well 'til we were just got over the target when the aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire, flak, which fortunately didn't damage the aircraft much.

The engines kept going but all the perspex in the cockpit was blown out and some of the instruments, petrol tank's holed and so on, and having the perspex blown out was a good thing in one way because I was wounded in the hand, and knee and in the shoulder and had a fractured skull and the fresh air coming into the cockpit sort of kept me awake and so then it was just a question, we dropped our bombs and headed for home via a couple of emergency airfields which we could land on if necessary.

But the flight engineer sort of patched me up with bandages and things and managed to fly it back to the first one emergency airfield, which we decided we could go further than that and back to our base in Lincolnshire, and from there to hospital .

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