|Norfolk Airfields - under RAF 100 (Bomber Support) Group|
Writing is something I do each day. It has become such a part of everyday life I miss it if something gets in the way. I remain absolutely passionate about writing.
My other passion in life is the RAF No.100 (Bomber Support) Group Association. For almost 20 years now we have been a Family reaching right around the world. And again, it is a vital part of my life. As Secretary it remains an honour to serve in whatever way that might be, these remarkable people who served in this very secret Group during World War II. Their main task was to identify and jam enemy radar. But they did so much more and in very dangerous situations. Working with them, I have learned so much more about my mother's wartime fiance Vic Vinnell, a Navigator and Special Operator with them, who flew with Canadian pilot Jack Fisher. Along with so many others, their final fateful journey happened on the night of 26/27 November 1944. For 10 years, my mother and I followed their journey, trying to understand what became of them. To this day, they have no known grave. It is believed they had engine trouble and went to land on the French coast, with no idea it was mined. My mother never got over his death, and until her dying day, worked with me on a book about their love against the background of the war, which was published on the 60th anniversary of his death, 27th November 2004. My mother passed away with cancer before that came to pass.
However, she was able to write and talk and share with people her fiance had known. To see her eyes light up as she spoke about him, to hear the things they had shared, and the passion which pulled them together as if by an invisible cord ... love is unending. My mother taught me that. True love never dies.
Now their best friend, Phil James MBE, together with so many others who served alongside them in RAF 100 Group's lead Squadron, 192, has become very special to me, that same invisible cord drawing us together each year as we come together for our annual Reunion in Norfolk where the airfields of RAF 100 Group were based. Their names live on, as do the memory of who they were, what they achieved, and the courage they showed. Through their Service and death, they gave us the freedom we enjoy today.
It is humbling to hear these people's experiences. Vic and Jack will be forever young.
It was an honour when I was asked to re-produce a series begun at the start of the Association by Len Bartram. His widow, Evelyn, remains a very dear friend. I willingly took on the task, and it has led me on a journey, stepping through a portal in Time to see the world through their eyes, lifting up into the skies in a Mosquito, a Spitfire, or any one of the aircraft used by them, using their words to describe what it was like, making history a part of today.
I have continued the series on, wanting to include those airfields Len was unable to write about before his untimely death now ten years ago. And these booklets are now a way of bringing alive the past, showing readers the path to take so that they too might enjoy the experience of climbing through the portal in Time and seeing what life was like in war. We can hear about it, but never really know. And these booklets, written in the words of men and women who were there, give them voices from the grave, kindred spirits, sharing what they knew of the world, and the war which cut down so many men in their prime.
These booklets are available only through me, and all monies go to charity - The RAF 100 Group Association, Help for Heroes and The British Legion, to help continue on their good works. They are £5 plus postage and packing. And you need only to write to the email given below for a copy of any one of those listed here -
RAF No 100 Group Bomber Command, 1943-1945
RAF Foulsham, 1942-1954
RAF Oulton, 1940-1947
RAF North Creake, 1940-1947
RAF Langham, 1940-1958
RAF Matlaske, 1940-1945
RAF Docking & Bircham Newton
RAF Swannington, 1944-1947
RAF Little Snoring
RAF West Raynham, 1939-1994
RAF Great Massingham
RAF Swanton Morley, 1940-1995
RAF Swanton Morley, 1940-1995
JANINE HARRINGTON: firstname.lastname@example.org
Each of these booklets contains snapshots of the past, unique and never-before-seen photographs taken at the time. They offer a glimpse into a world rarely seen, never talked about today.
Many of the secrets of RAF No.100 (Bomber Support) Group still remain today under a 100 Year Rule. The first recognition of Bomber Command was made last year, on 28th June 2012, when a Memorial was unveiled in Green Park, London, dedicated to all who served under Bomber Command through WWII. And yet the name of this special secret Group is never spoken, not yet recognised, while the veterans who served pass away, taking their secrets to the grave.
It is the reason I remain passionate about collecting their stories, writing about their past, so that we who live today might know and understand what they lived through and the Service they gave to their country.
It is with great humility and yet great pride I remain dedicated to this Group of people I call My Family ... as Secretary, and also as Editor of the Association magazine: 'Confound & Destroy'.
Membership is just £15 per year, and is open to anyone who served in any of the Squadrons under RAF 100 Group during the war. It is also open to their family and friends, and indeed to all seeking to know and to understand the secret work in which they were involved.
My aim is to bring these booklets together under one cover for the future.