While at Wollaton
Park I remember a very sad event.
I do recall the 508th
making a nightmare practice jump that turned out to be somewhat of a
We jumped from an
unusually high altitude and onto a British Bomber flight that had taken
off from a nearby airfield, and was at a low altitude when the British
bombers flew into and through a string of paratroopers that had just
jumped from their plane. Several men were killed. Iím not sure but I did
hear that 22 men died.
The British Bomber
flight was enroute to a bombing run across the channel.
On another brighter
note American troops were not allowed to own or possess private vehicles.
Being young and
mischievous and also adventurous, I purchased a B.S.A. 250 motorbike from
a gent in Nottingham.
To keep the
ownership secret from the U.S. military, a friend in the nearby town of
Ilkeston allowed me to keep the bike at his home provided he also could
use the bike.
Being a fun loving
guy, I would often ride the bike on the pedestrian walkway in town and the
local police would give chase on foot, waving his arms and yelling.
He never did catch
me but I believe I may have caused him to have a nervous breakdown.
The camp cooks and
I were good friends and they would often give me steaks, hams and eggs and
Many times I would
take the meat to the Ilkeston fish and chip shop and the girls would dip
them into the boiling cooking oil, then sprinkle the meat with some
They would eat the
meat and I ate the fish and chips.
Because of my
involvement in military training matters, my socialising was quite
I roamed the area
around Nottingham and Ilkeston on my B.S.A.
I had to be careful
where I rode the bike because the U.S. military police, along with the
British police would attempt to catch me.
The bikes the
police used did not compare with the B.S.A. which was more powerful and