I came across an old photo recently and pondered the people in it. The person in the centre was my late brother, Norman G. Donald of the RAF. The other figures in the photo I do not know, though I suspect they were his flight instructors at North Battleford, Canada. The photo bears my brother’s script “KING-PINS ALL!—N. BATTLEFORD.”
After qualifying as a pilot, he sailed back to England and was posted to RAF Hunsdon just north of London in 1942. He was soon flying Douglas Havocs and Bristol Beaufighters.
Night fighters were a new school of defence, but it was hopeless finding enemy aircraft in the dark. The Turbinlite device was fitted to the Beaufighters and Havocs, and the idea was to find the enemy somehow, guided by ground control using heavy ground radar units (too heavy to carry in aircraft), turn on the Turbinlite searchlight, and illuminate the enemy aircraft. A single-engined Hurricane fighter flying alongside then shot down the enemy aircraft. It did help to see the target as this same sky was full of thousands of Allied aircraft, all trying to avoid each other.