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Gene Gillam was a B-26 Marauder pilot with the 391st BG at Matching

I hate to admit it but I had no camera back then and do not have a single picture. My memory is equally blank about things on the base.

I do recall being in London the first weekend the buzz bombs were coming over. That night I was on the top floor of a small hotel across the street from the Russell Square tube station. As I began undressing for bed I heard a buzz bomb in the distance. The top floor didn't seem to be a very safe spot so I got dressed and went down stairs. The bomb exploded a mile or so away.

At least three times I started getting ready for bed only to hear a bomb coming which sent me back downstairs. Finally I decided I might as well stay upstairs and try to get some sleep. Once again I heard a buzz bomb but continued undressing. This time the bomb sounded as if were directly overhead when its engine cut off. I hit the floor and rolled under the bed just as the bomb exploded. The whole building shook and downstairs in the lobby some old ladies huddled there screamed. They were all right but some plaster overhead had fallen on them and terrified them.

The bomb had hit about half a block away right in Russell Square. I gave up trying to go to bed and spent the rest of the night across the street in the tube station along with what seemed to be thousands of British people who were there with me.

I was shot at, shot up, and shot down but managed to survive 61 missions.

Best wishes, Gene Gillam

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2002 © Gene Gillam
The V weapon offensive against Britain began in June 1944 with the V1 'pilotless plane' and was followed by the V2 missile in September 1944, attacks continuing until March 1945.
airfield + control tower = www.controltowers.co.uk © robert truman 2002