Bomb Aimer and 2nd Pilot Brian H. Atkins

Bombaimer & 2nd pilot Flight Sergeant Brian Henry Atkins

Brian H. Atkins was a british NCO who served as bomb-aimer with 138 (Special Duties) Sqdn, RAF in GB and with 148 Sqdn, RAF in North Africa 1943; POW in Germany 1943-1945

Interviews and soundclips from Imperial Museum, London (C):

Topics in Clip #1: Crewing up, 1943; flying the Handley Page Halifax; flying kit. Recollections of operations as bomb aimer with 138 (Special Duties) Sqdn, RAF at RAF Tempsford, GB 7/1943-9/1943: characteristics of RAF Tempsford 1943; personnel in squadron; first awareness of special nature of squadron’s duties; personal role in a typical Special Operations Executive flight to France. Aspects of operations as bomb aimer with 148 Sqdn, RAF in North Africa, 9/1943-10/1943: move to North Africa to assist 148 Sqdn; special duties in south and south east Europe, 9/1943; memories of flying Randolph Churchill back from Algiers.

Clip #1:


Topics in Clip #2: Recollections of operations as bomb aimer with 138 (Special Duties) Sqdn, RAF in GB, 10/1943-12/1943: reaction to squadron’s despatch to bombing operations over Hamburg and Berlin, Germany; German cities’ defences, autumn 1943; voluntary nature of air crew duties, question of morale, low morale fibre cases; loyalty of crews to Handley Page Halifax aircraft; special operations to Poland; being shot down by Junkers Ju 88 on approach to drop agent ‘Jam’ (Flemming Muus) at Roskilde, Denmark; emergency landing, 10/12/1943-11/12/1943; learning identity of agent; help to evade Germans from Danish civilians, betrayal by farmer for money to Germans, 20/12/1943. Recollections of period as POW in Germany, 1943-1945: processing of POWs by German Army; reaction of German civilians to him as POW en route to Dulag Luft, 12/1943.

Clip #2:

Topics in Clip #3: Treatment of POWs at Dulag Luft, methods of interrogation, German knowledge of special duties squadrons; move to Stalag IVB, Muhlburg, composition of POWs in camp; standard of treatment; three failed escape attempts; relations with French POWs; desire not to be moved to officers’ camp in Germany after news of receiving commission, 12/1944; story of changing identity with Frenchman, winter 1944-1945; German attitude to war’s development; liberation of camp by Russian Army, April 1945; killing of German guards by Russian Army troops; handing over of British POWs to US forces.

Clip #3:

Source: Imperial Museum, London (C)

Read  about the eight crewmembers here: Bartter, Fry, Howell, Smith, Atkins, Anderson, Riggs and Turvil