Excerpts from the WWII stories of Rod Davidge (193 Squadron)

as told by Rod Davidge to Tim Darling (March, 2007) (email)
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Operation: To dive bomb a bridge over the Seine (probably near Rouen, 200 miles northwest of Paris)

The Squadron was led by Wing Commander Reg Baker, stationed at Needs Oar Point. Approaching the French coast, Baker was hit at 10,000 feet and said he was going down.

Leaving the bridge, I went back up to 10,000 feet and waited for the rest to formate for the trip back across the Channel. I got hit badly with smoke coming out each wing so was going to bail. I shut the engine off so it wouldn't blow up and looked at the French beachhead for a place to land. I noticed a new airfield being built so I headed and landed wheels down and the dust flew. Jerry [the German Luftwaffe] saw the dust so they shelled the field. I got out and the crew on the ground hollered at me to get down in the trench. The shelling stopped and I went to get a ride back to the UK by boat.

I got a pass so I went back to get my maps, etc from the aircraft and was met by a group of servicing commandos. They said, "sir we think we can patch up the holes, but the gas tanks have holes in them that caused the white smoke." Luckily there were 2 tanks left OK. They worked all afternoon - they were well equipped with repairs and filled up the 2 good tanks with petrol, rev'd up the engines and they were OK.

So just at dusk took off for home [Needs Oar Point], turned on emergency radio channel so they could track me and landed Ok about 25 minutes later - one of my most lucky days! I was able to go again the next day avoiding flack as much as possible.

 Rod Davidge with a Hawker Typhoon

Stats show 151 Canadian Typhoon pilots were killed in France as well as hundreds of Allied pilots: Poles, Scots, Brits, New Zealand-ers, Australians, Americans, etc.

I was up dropping leaflets over Lisieux [center of Normandy, just east of Caen], asking the Germans to surrender. I was hit at 12,000 ft - the motor konked out, so I glided back to Caen and crashed landed in a bomb field safely - what a ride! Soldiers drove me back to B3 [St Croix] 20 miles away.

 Rod Davidge


All text and pictures copyright © 2001-2006 Tim Darling.