Letter to the Editor

Recalling firsthand the terror of Buzz Bombs

Friday, June 3, 2011

To the Editor:

Since I am English and lived in London during World War II, I read with interest your article (Daze Work, May 25) on the Buzz Bomb acquisition.

In it, you state that people with English ties might not like it, but give no reason for this. I believe I am qualified to do so.

The bombing had gone on for several months but finally stopped after the Royal Air Force (RAF) brought down 175 enemy planes in one day. Then we were introduced to the V1s, which came to be known as Buzz Bombs. They were launched from every occupied country on the European continent, arrived to reach London, go down and explode.

Some were brought down on the way by colliding with blimps or the anchoring lines, which were placed along the English coastline for that purpose. Others were fired upon when in open country.

Some did get through, of course, and some came over my house. I had a good view as they didn't fly very high. At night, they were easily distinguished by the 6- to 8-foot flames extending from the rear. When this shut off, the craft was about to come down.

After this episode, the V2 rockets started to come. They traveled faster than the speed of sound so there was no defense against them. Werner Von Braun invented these, and after the war he came to the U.S. and was made head of the rocket program, but thankfully its plan was not to terrorize, only to go to the moon.

I most certainly do not want to diminish in any way Frank Durham's memory and all his efforts to bring a war relic to Greencastle, but it is, after all, a point of history and I think people here are entitled to be aware of all the facts.

Gwendoline Long