Moving memoirs of war pilot
A SECOND World War pilot who risked his life in Hurricanes, Spitfires and Typhoons has written a moving account of his experiences. It is 60 years since Jerry Jarrold last flew in anger for the RAF, but the 84-year-old decided to put pen to paper about his conflict after a little persuasion from his friends.
A SECOND World War pilot who risked his life in Hurricanes, Spitfires and Typhoons has written a moving account of his experiences.
It is 60 years since Jerry Jarrold last flew in anger for the RAF, but the 84-year-old decided to put pen to paper about his conflict after a little persuasion from his friends.
The Lawford pensioner has now completed his book, Did You Survive The War?, named after his former commander who asked Mr Jarrold that very question at a reunion.
Although his memories of the conflict had faded, his flight logs proved an invaluable asset when writing the book which covers his time training for the RAF and going into battle over countries such as Italy, Yugoslavia and France.
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Yesterday, Mr Jarrold revealed his RAF career almost failed to take-off after a mix-up with his medical left him working on radar duty after he joined up.
He said: “They said I was not fit to fly which was devastating at the time - it was a mix-up, but I did not know that so I was sent to Castle Rock near Londonderry.”
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But after a few months the mistake was realised and he started his training in Tigermoths before he was posted to the Middle East, flying Hurricanes with 80 Squadron.
He went on to fly 127 operations during the war, seeing friends shot down and taken prisoner, but he escaped without injury despite a few close shaves.
In the build up to D-Day he was involved in searching out German fighters and reconnaissance missions over France.
After flying the two most famous fighter planes from the war, Mr Jarrold said the Spitfire remained his favourite plane.
“They were the most likeable to fly - the Hurricane was well-built and would go through a house and stay in one piece but the Spitfire was the one.
“This book took me quite a long time to do, but I found as I spoke about it, the memories started flooding back to me,” he said.
After the war he decided being a pilot in peace-time Europe would not be quite as interesting, and went on to have a career working in the supermarket industry and married his girlfriend, Audrey.
Mr Jarrold's friend, John Anderson, of Reydon, Suffolk, said: “Myself and one or two others persuaded him to tell his story.
“He is an amazing gentleman - these stories need to be told for the younger generation to hear, and there is no such thing as an ordinary fighter pilot.”
For more information about the book go to www.raydonwings.com.