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True, I did sleep rather badly for the first week, and there must have been some effects of stress which I had not consciously been aware of till then. Jimmy Ward, we heard, was affected slightly more severely, but he recovered quickly after a short spell of rest. I travelled up to my old London Office to see my boss, Harold Slater, and all the chaps there. I went up to Sheffield to the company Head Office to show my face and be reassured, as I had been by letter, that my old job still awaited me.


Of course, I was still in the Forces and I had to await news from the Squadron about what was to happen to us now that the War in Europe was over. It was not long in coming – perhaps a couple of weeks, to the best of my recollection. I had a ’phone call from W/Cdr Forbes to say that the Squadron had been ordered to prepare to proceed to the Far East, where the War with Japan still raged. He told me that the choice was mine – to rejoin the Squadron and go out there with them as a Squadron Leader, or to be demobbed fairly soon, as my category of volunteers was the first to be released. I fear I took little time to reply that I would get myself back to civvy street, the family and the job without bothering to win the War against the Japs. I think he told me that we were to be engaged in transport duties in the Far East, and this did not sound too intriguing.


So there then came a summons to report again to Cosford (I think it was Cosford but I have no record and my memory is not good enough to recall this episode in detail) for demobilisation. The main interest in that exercise was my medical examination, for I had indeed been getting deafer and deafer as the months had passed, but not so seriously that it had in any way interfered with my operational flying. However, the medical board I attended and which was part of the release procedure for all leaving the Service got themselves interested and a bit worried about my deafness, which of course they had no means of attributing to anything except my years of flying. So it was suggested that I should delay my discharge for further examination, as it was felt I might even need a pension! I staunchly resisted any such notion. I was quite sure I could earn my living perfectly adequately, and told them in no uncertain terms to get the piece of paper signed which would release me in equally no uncertain terms.


‘OK’, they said. ‘The responsibility is now yours.’ And off I went, with my ill-fitting demob suit and terrible trilby hat which were the gifts of a grateful Government to all deserving ex-Servicemen. My War was over.


I did not know it until later, but for one member of my crew the War had


already ended. Jimmy and I had both experienced what was either target practice or a real attempt on our lives as we fluttered down on our parachutes just above rooftop height in Essen. There was perhaps the same attempt made on Jack Frost, but, sadly, a successful one. He never appeared again. He may


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