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(C) The Living Memory Association Edinburgh 2002 - 2016
All the planes used to come over form America during the night and then they were flown to all the other aerodromes. I watched them coming in. Once the invasion started the Met Office looked out onto where they brought the wounded in. All the American really badly wounded were flown to Prestwick. There was a Nissan hut hospital up at Adamton. It was a bit upsetting. The Americans had their own Met Office at Prestwick. There were a lot of American soldiers. They used to have musical evenings and they invited the WAAF to go. It was quite nice. Every afternoon the American van came with doughnuts for their soldiers and they often let us have some. It was quite a big camp.
The first time I ever went up in a plane, it was quite small. I was sitting right behind the pilot and in those days they all had Brylcreem. The plane had a Perspex roof and it was a very hot day. He took me away out on the Irish Sea and back again and I felt so sick from the smell of his Brylcreem. He asked if I’d like to go up again but I said, “No, thank you!” I got a free ride on the shuttle service to Black Bush which in those days was the airport for London. We went on this Dakota and stayed in the youth hostel for a couple of nights. I think we may have hitchhiked back, like you did in those days. When I had 48 hours off, I often used to come home, unofficially. I would hitchhike there and back and hope that I hadn’t been missed! I came home about once every six weeks. I think I had a fortnight’s proper leave but I only had that once a year.
I think I was at home for a weekend when the war ended. When I got back we all went out to celebrate in Prestwick town square. I found it difficult to adjust to civilian life. I missed the friends I’d made in the WAAF.