Veteran Stories:
Henri Edward Botham

Air Force

  • Mr. Botham in January, 2010.

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"Burma was where the air force fought. When I was a POW [prisoner of war] you didn’t write letters. You waited for the Japanese to kill you."

Transcript

I was living in a place called Skegness [England]. My house was bombed. Things like that. I wanted to go in the air force. I went in as a boy. An apprentice. Aircraft fitter. And you were trained by the maker of the aircraft and that was it. Well, you were trained in all sorts of things in the air. I remember just …what the things were. All the parts of the aircraft, yeah. Engines, air frames, all the parts. Well, I went and was posted to India. And I was taken prisoner there. And I came out and I stayed in the air force and I came out of the air force. I was posted to Burma. Burma was where the air force fought. When I was a POW [prisoner of war] you didn’t write letters. You waited for the Japanese to kill you.
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