From: robin GILBERT
Date: 10/10/04 09:50:36
Subject: Meryfield

Dear Peter, Thank you for allowing us to share these stories, for those of us around at the time as children it reminds us of the struggle for freedom that was going on all around us, where ever we lived. I lived most of my working life over looking Merryfield airfield. Prior to that at Upottery where I saw the airfield built and the coming and going of the 439th Troop Carrier Group USAAF which I have been studying.

I am sure your Dad would have laughed if he realised that he and his colleagues were being held responsible for the very bad weather we had during 1953, around that time I was working at Church Farm Otterford near Culmhead airfield. One evening I had to take a horse and cart loaded with logs over to the cottage where my bosse's old Father lived in. It was raining steady, Old Jimmy Grabham grunted "tis they old jit's bin breakin up the clouds again."

That harvest I was working on top of wagon making load as the men tossed the corn sheaves up with pitch forks, all of a sudden a Vampire came over head with the engine ablaze, followed with a cloud of dense black smoke it crashed one field short of Otterford Church and farm, we all rushed to the scene it was a huge crater with smouldering bits and scattered aluminium, we just stared and dreaded to think of the fate of the pilot, we made our way back to the farm house and were all very pleased to see a young airman by the name of Rippon sat drinking a cup of tea, some how he had managed to get out, that sure must have been difficult.

All the Best Robin Gilbert