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Memory 11 - Brian Colman - 1952-1954

Brian Colman - Marham 1952 - 1954

I served at Marham from mid 1952 to 1954 as part of my National Service. After failing as a fighter plotter I chose nursing as my next choice and spent 18 months of extremely hallenging and interesting work at station sick quarters.

Squadron Leader P.Robinson Wagner was the senior medical officer at the time and it was he who introduced me to the less pleasant task of dealing with those personnel involved in fatal accidents as well as the more rewarding task of helping the sick and injured. I quickly rose to the rank of L.A.C. acting Corporal!!

I recall the crash of the Wellington at Castle Acre, particularly as the three aircrew killed had all been receiving treatment at the sick quarters prior to their fateful flight. Their names were I believe FL/LT Creighton, P/O Ballard, and a Sgt Crowe.

Other serious accidents involved a member of an aircrew walking into the propeller of a B29 after leaving the sergeants mess, and another very unfortunate incident involving an airman killed during bombing up operations.

The mention of the East Coast floods reminded me of those awful 48 hrs I and my colleagues spent rescuing and comforting the residents of Kings Lynn and Hunstanton who had either suffered severe injury, lost loved ones through drowning, or stranded in their highest location possible to save themselves.

At Hunstanton a number of American servicemen were badly affected by the flood.
The S.M.O. dosed each one of us on our return to base after over 24 hrs being in a cold wet and tired state, with a strong dose of sedative, which knocked us out for a day and a half!
Flt Lt Murray I believe was the Officer in charge and he received the Queen 's Commendation medal.

Memories of Marham
A photograph of us working in the floods at King's Lynn is attached, showing a dinghy being pushed to safety from much deeper water, made difficult by the woman having punctured the base by putting her high heels through when jumping in. I am shown on the right of Flt Lt Murray.

Memories do not always readily reveal the pleasures and good things about life of which I have had many but like many others, my days at Marham were satisfying and very rewarding.
Finally was it a WNG/CMDR Pope who arrived at the station to take over as wing commander (flying) and upon taking his first flight after only a few days after arrival forgot to lower his under-carriage on coming in to land and crash landed on the runway. I never learned where he actually disappeared to, but he had a very short stay!!

Brian Colman

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