Crew # 555

Crew # 555
Crew # 555 - planes flown: DAMIFINO , DIXIE, LET ER RIP, TIMES A WASTIN

1st. LT. J. William Smith

1st. LT. J. William Smith

Thursday, January 30, 2014

R & R at the "Flak Castle"

During their "tours", airmen were given occasional "R & R' periods to have a few days off, away from the daily mission routine.
Becoming "Flak Happy" was a term used for "Combat Fatigue" when guys couldn't take any more. Dad only witnessed the breakdown of one guy throughout all his missions. During an intense bomb run with anti-aircraft bursts all around them, they took numerous hits on the aircraft. The Bombardier's oxygen mask was torn off his face by a chunk of shrapnel passing through the plane. Apparantly one of the other crewmen had a minor panic episode on that mission.
Dad said he was always scared on these missions, but just kept busy focusing on his job. "Anyone who said they were not scared was a liar", according to Dad.
Going on "R & R", they were sent to an old English Estate. The crews referred to it as the "Flak Castle."
Dad took some photos while on leave at one of the "Flak Castles".
Not sure if only officers were given "leaves" to these Estates or if lower ranking "Enlisted" men were given the same "R & R" locations.(?)
Dad said the entire crew were always treated as "equals", regardless of rank, amongst themselves. They had a "bond" that went beyond rank.

He sent these photos to my Mom in the States:
        [click to enlarge]

His main form of local transportation was on 2 wheels.

Not sure where this old estate was located or if it still exsists.

Big ass place.....

The Photo below was marked "Lowestoft" ...not sure where that was, so looked it up on wikipedia.....Suffolk on the North Sea Coast.

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