Email form John Lewis (Coastal Command)

Congratulations to you all for taking the trouble to create an interesting and valuable archive. I can't imagine that any of the regular AS courses have stayed in contact the way you have nor bothered to record their experiences. To the point: At Swanton Morley I was the cadet signaller occupying the lower bunk bed beneath John Dowdeswell on the upper floor of Duxford block (at least I think it was Duxford block). I can't place any of the rest of you but I renember John for two reasons. Firstly his impressive ability on working mornings to forego breakfast and remain sound asleep until the very last moment while all around was mayhem. Secondly, and more importantly, he was the first person I encountered in life who had real 'style' a blithe and independant personality and a character to be envied. I found your site while searching for traces of the coastal squadrons I flew with for the next 16 years 206, 42, 210 etc, at St. Eval, St Mawgan, Ballykelly and so on. I think that your course and ours were among the last to undertake maritime conversion on Lancasters at St. Mawgan. In which case we were among the very last to fly Lancasters in the service. They were promptly withdrawn from service when an engine fell off an aircraft as it lined up for take off on one of the final sorties of our course. My name, by the way, is John Lewis the only clue to my identity for you could be that I was the drum major of the station band. I can't even remember the designation of our course AS ?? there is no record of it in my log book. I have logged your site in my 'Favourites' and will follow its development with interest.