Veteran Stories:
Daisy Bird

Air Force

  • Daisy Bird (in the middle) with her crew, just before war finished in 1945.

    Daisy Bird
  • Daisy Bird in front of her office building, 1943.

    Daisy Bird
  • RAF Service Book of Daisy Bird.

    Daisy Bird
  • RAF Service Book of Daisy Bird.

    Daisy Bird
  • Daisy Bird holding her identification number.

    Daisy Bird
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"Now I was quite alright, but some of those who had been in the air raid shelter got slightly injured, sprained ankles, broken legs and that because they were in such a rush to get in, they fell over each other."

Transcript

I was a WAAF [Women’s Auxiliary Air Force] first, last, and in between. I went to [RAF, Royal Air Force] Stradishall [England] and I was there for the whole of my career. I was never posted anywhere else. But I was detached to other stations to help them out in organizing orderly rooms. I was very good at organizing, and that was what they sent me to do. I went to Shropshire and I went to [RAF] Waterbeach, like detached as to helping them out in what they didn’t have somebody that was trained to do.

I could not disclose anything that I saw of those documents because they were private, they were personal. And every three months, I had to swear that I would not disclose anything that I was seeing in those documents. Well, sometimes I had to work 72 hours, that’s a day and night and a day, continuously. That’s not funny, I’ll tell you. And there was a pressure on it because I had to get maybe documents out for two lots of squadrons plus ground men that were being posted. And two more were coming in. So I have to work on pressure for doing that.

At the beginning of the war, I was working for a printer, they used to print cards and that sort of thing. I worked in the order office. And I had to locate what type of cards were required and work out what they were and who was getting them and a lot of figure work and that sort of thing. I wasn’t there at that long before I went to work for the General Electric Company, which started a war work for doing the instrument panel for planes, that’s the front of the plane where the pilot has all the things for it. And they made radios also for the plane. And there were thousands of us, about 30 000 in the end worked for the plane, you were working shoulder to shoulder, you so closely worked.

And then, of course, I went in the air force and where I worked in the office was about 14 people altogether, all doing different jobs. There was only me as document clerk. But people would work at posting people from this place to that place. Or people will be doing typing of orders, things like that. Or there was lots of correspondence came in and there would be somebody working for that. There was also lots of files or correspondence which needed to be sent all over the camp, so we had somebody that could deliver those, that correspondence or that file wherever it was needed.

Our camp was bombed, it was strafed first of all. The plane sent down incendiaries first. And then the next day they came and they bombed it. We had to go into air raid shelters. Now I was quite alright, but some of those who had been in the air raid shelter got slightly injured, sprained ankles, broken legs and that because they were in such a rush to get in, they fell over each other.

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