Frank Ward's story
Francis (Frank) John Ward was 19 years old when he joined up in December 1942. He trained in Canada for 6 months between May and November 1943 as part of the Empire Air Training Scheme (EATS). Frank recalled the training and classification undertaken, as well as the coming together of the crew in England early in 1944.
Frank was attached to RAF No 467 Squadron on 7 August 1944 and was commissioned as a pilot officer in December 1944.
Bombing raids were fraught with danger. Frank described the encounters with night fighters and the uncomfortable experience of being 'coned' by enemy searchlights, a situation when numerous searchlights 'locked onto' a plane and drew the anti-aircraft fire. He described the severe wounding of his plane's bomb aimer on one mission. With good humour, he recalled another mission when his damaged plane was seeking to crash-land near Norfolk and was fired on when mistaken for a V-1 'buzz bomb'.
Frank was discharged on 12 July 1946. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal.