RAF Liberator Over the Eastern Front (Hardback)
A Bomb Aimer's Second World War & Cold War Story
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Jim Auton was posted to 178 Squadron who were operating ex-USAAF, war-weary Liberator heavy bombers. The squadron was based in Foggia in Italy, living under canvas without the barest of military or personal necessities. The duration of a tour at that time was 40 front-line operations over such dangerous targets as Ploesti and the Danube - few in the squadron felt they could survive since the casualty rate was so high. Then came his part in the desperate attempts to supply the besieged city of Warsaw when the Liberators were ordered to fly in at 500 feet, at their lowest speed and with flaps and undercarriage down, to drop desperately needed ammunition and supplies. All this through a hail of both German and Russian gunfire. On his 37th sortie Jim, aged twenty, was severely wounded when he was hit by Flak whilst in his bomb-aimer's position in the aircraft's nose.
As a British airman of the Second World War, Jim Auton dropped bombs on enemy targets all over central and eastern Europe. He was also engaged in a number of low flying operations, organised in order to drop containers of explosives and ammunition in an effort to assist groups of partisans in enemy occupied countries. After the war, he was to enter the cut-throat world of international trade, setting up an extensive network of clients in the industrial areas of the western world. It was during this time that an opportunity arose to revisit all those bombing targets and areas where he had supported…By Jim Auton MBE
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