Veteran Stories:
Pacifico Valeriote

Air Force

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"The highlight of our stay there was that we arrived at Beaune, Algeria, and we stayed there for a couple of days"

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We were the first group of about a hundred and sixty-four radio technicians that were sent overseas. When we arrived, we went to a radar school in Yatesbury , England. We spent about eleven weeks there, learning about radar. Of course, that was new to us and we had no idea what we were getting into when we joined. We were told that they needed us over there and that's where we went. I wound up with the Royal Navy in the Shetlands for a few months, and after my stint there I was sent down to the south of England to join groups of mobile radar units, which were to serve overseas. Eventually wound up in a unit called Air Ministry Experimental Station 894, and we were sent to Algiers in November of '42. From there we moved up to the eastern part of Algeria. The highlight of our stay there was that we arrived at Bône [Annaba], Algeria, and we stayed there for a couple of days. Then on the third day we were ordered to a site near the village of (?), which is about fifteen miles east of Bône. We soon had our camp organized and with the operational site about half a mile to the north of the domestic site, the next day, December the 3rd, we were operational and ready for air activity. However, the Beaufighter aircraft were not able to fly due to wet weather and soggy landing field conditions. The next night there were more heavy air raids, but all we could do was report the activity to the Air Force sector operations.
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