The memoirs of Jack Wall – Part 3

11th June 1945 to 16th September 1944 – Instructing at O.T.U.
I was sent to No.26 O.T.U. at Wing near Leighton Buzzard as an instructor in the Bombing Section. This entailed instructing airmen who had passed their initial course and had received their brevets. All were destined for Bomber Command and so all were straight Bomb Aimers with the letter “B” in their brevets instead of the “O” for observer that I was wearing. As far as I can recall the course for each group lasted 3 or 4 weeks and in that time we instructed on the different types of bombs, fuses and flares. We also told them what to expect on Ops and in general to advise on the different aspects of their job. During this period they dropped small practice bombs at a range outside Thetford using mainly Wellingtons.

On some occasions the instructors flew with them and of course next day we studied the results of their efforts after receiving the plots from the bombing range. While on the station I was sent to Manby on a Bombing Instructors Course and on return was put in charge of the section. Later on I was sent again to Manby on a Bombing leaders Course and this was more advanced than the previous course and included instruction on planning bomb loads in relation to positioning etc. for various types and fuel loads and targets

On the 24th June 1944 I qualified as Bombing Leader “A“ Category – I am not sure exactly what this “A” category meant but the Bombing Leader at Wing was well pleased with my efforts. After a year or so I was getting a little fed up with the routine being repeated every few weeks and it was a great moment for me when my Pilot from 75 N.Z. Sqadron flew down to see me. He said that he was going back on Ops with the old squadron and asked if I was interested in returning with him as his Bomb Aimer. I eagerly agreed but advised him that I was doubtful that I would be able to as I hal been on the Bombing Instructor and Bombing leaders Courses and that I understood that the the Bombing Leader at Wing was hoping for a posting and that I would take over. However he was pretty sure that he could use his Irish Blarney (he was an Irish New Zealander known as Irish Jack) and said that I would hear in due course. Sure enough a few weeks later I was told to report to No.3 L.F.S. at Feltwell which was a short Conversion Course on Lancaster

So on the 16th September 1944 I said goodbye to all my friends at Wing to start to prepare for my second tour………….

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