This week, MyPast spoke to Brian, a keen aviator with a lengthy past dating back to his mothers' war days.
"I'm an Avionics and Electrical Supervisor with Babcock International at RAF Valley. I work on the support contract for T2 Advanced Jet Trainer Hawk aircraft. I am 61; I served for 12 years in the Royal Air Force, 1977-1989, then a total of 26 years with British Aerospace/BAe Systems in Saudi Arabia. I had a 4 year hiatus as an Avionics Instructor at the Defence College of Aviation Engineering, Arborfield, UK, from 2008 till 2012. I left this job at the statutory age of 60, leaving Saudi Arabia in March 2019."
"The event that I can relay to you was one that my mother described happening in 1944."
"Sadly my mother died in 2005. Prior to her passing, she told me this story of when she was a girl. In 1944 she lived in the Upper Hale area of Farnham, Surrey. My father was serving with the Royal Artillery in Europe at the time and my brother was just over two. North of Upper Hale is an area called Hale Common, with Farnborough Airfield to the north of that. "
"The V1 flying bomb attacks on the UK were regular events in the latter half of 1944. The warning of a possible local attack came with the sound of the pulse jet buzz. Then, it would suddenly stop. The Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough Airfield had copied a V1 flying bomb pulse jet. Testing was carried out on the replica in the latter months of 1944. It was ultimately carried out over the course of one day, in my mothers recounting. During the testing time, the locals thought that there were V1 attacks taking place. They would hear the daunting noise of the engine in the distance, seemingly growing closer and closer. Then it would stop suddenly - this happened on numerous occasions. At this time, the ambient noise level in Farnham was quieter than it would be nowadays with the jets etc taking off, so the engine was clearly heard every single time it was tested. Each time the locals would fear for their lives. They didn't know what was a V1 attack and what wasn't... Their day-to-day life was disrupted accordingly - everybody, including my mother, dreaded the sound of the V1. It haunted them."