Veteran Stories:
Patricia Mary Booth

Air Force

  • Patricia Booth (bottom right) is pictured here with fellow WAAFs from her squadron where they were staying at their billet in 1942.

    Patricia Booth
  • Patricia Booth in uniform in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire in 1942.

    Patricia Booth
  • Patricia Booth is pictured here with her mother on a visit in 1942.

    Patricia Booth
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"I did very much want to join the Air Force. I wanted to go in it and my father wouldn’t give his consent. So I went without his consent and joined up. And I would never darken his doors, he said, again but he was there to carry my kit bag when I arrived on my first leave."

Transcript

I did very much want to join the Air Force. I wanted to go in it and my father wouldn’t give his consent. So I went without his consent and joined up. And I would never darken his doors, he said, again but he was there to carry my kit bag when I arrived on my first leave. And everything seemed to go well and I met some very good people in the Air Force. And I enjoyed every moment of it. I joined in 1942 and I think it was 1946 I came out. And they gave you a choice of what you wanted to do and I chose to be a teleprinter operator.

I sent messages but they were all in code. Because I was stationed at Air Ministry, Whitehall for a while and we didn’t have any plain language. It was code, in figure code or letter code. So we didn’t know what we were sending. But we enjoyed it. And I wouldn’t have missed it for anything. You felt you were doing something as well. It would have been nice to know what we were sending but we could have got them into trouble.

It was ‘most immediate’, ‘immediate’, ‘important’, all things like that. And as you got your messages to send, they were put in this order, the last lot were just ordinary. Those were sometimes never sent for ages because they kept bringing more ‘most immediate’ or ‘immediate’ or ‘important’ and they were putting in order as you sent them, you see.

And you remember the Buzz Bombs [German V-1 pulse-jet-powered missiles]? Well, I was out one day and from Air Ministry and we were going through the town and the Buzz Bombs were coming over and every now and then, they stopped and you didn’t know whether they were going to drop where you were going to stand or not. We were very lucky.

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