STANLEY TAYLOR, RAF 1943 - 1946 ARCHIVE OF MANUSCRIPT DIARIES OF ONE WELSH BOY'S SERVICE IN THE ROYAL AIR FORCE INCLUDING INDIA, ITALY, NORTH AFRICA
OLD COLWYN WALES 1943 Good+ Manuscript
On offer are the four  personal manuscript service diaries handwritten by Stanley Taylor [Service #1049081] from Old Colwyn, North Wales. Taylor enlisted at 18 years old with the Royal Air Force. Taylor notes that his brother is also serving with the RAF in the 203 Squadron stationed in India. Taylor kept these diaries from 1943 until 1946. He details his service including daily work, operations of the camp as well as war news. He keeps a running tally of German planes shot down and often the person at camp who made the shot. Taylor makes entries of personal items, packages and letters received from home, medical issues as well as things that he did during down time and leave. During the course of these diaries Taylor serves in Ireland, North Africa, Italy, as well as the UK. Taylor puts some effort into maintaining these diaries. Most of the diaries have entries several days a week of varying length. The 1946 diary is sparsely used with only 35 entries. April 30, 1943: "About 5 am today F/Sgt Downing, 600 SQDN pilot on loan to us shot down 5 Gerry transports in about 10 minutes!! (a/c "Q")" May 9, 1943: "On night duty. Clocks supposed to be altered 1 hr "on" today but nobody seems to know what's happening. Typical 153!!" May 17, 1943: "On night duty two more Huns brought down (Mr. Ben, "B" flt) Total now 35". Nov 26, 1943: "Dogfight from Faher...CO did not return from scrap" Taylors CO was officially reported "Missing in Action" the following day. Jan 5, 1944: "Algiers with Eric, saw 'You were Never Lovelier' had a letter from home". Jan 29, 1944: "Lemons arrived from home, 7 good the rest bad". Aug 15, 1944: "Landings made in southern France". Sept 5, 1944: "CO told us the squadron was being disbanded! After all this time!" Sept 8, 1944: "Arrived at 338 Wing. All found a bed each and squeezed into a big Nissen hut. Nobody seems to want us. Sept 11, 1944: "Nothing doing. Shoved out of SQ. Slept in showers." Sept 17, 1944: "Getting rather cheesed with journey" This entry is in relation to being shipped to an unknown destination on a cargo boat with the vehicles. Sept 24, 1944: "Everything is in terrible chaos, wagon loads of junk arriving up here from docks". Dec 8, 1944: "The more I see of this MT the less I like". Dec 29, 1944: "They're going to make us LIVE down at the new MT a/shops amids a lot of bloody ruins of bombed out buildings near the docks". Jan 2, 1945: "Wagon left me behind at tea time, had to walk most of the way back, I got caught in a smoke screen". Jan 10, 1945: "Another lousy day. Everything went wrong. Inoculated in the morning (Typhus booster) Going to work in wagon the jeep engine we were carrying slid across the floor of the wagon and it bashed both of my legs against the side of the truck. I nearly 'had it' got off with bruises". Mar 5, 1945: "Started leave, 7 days in Rome!" April 21, 1945: "War news very good these days. Russians going into Berlin, Bologna falls". April 22, 1945: "Went to football match RAF v. ARMY, ARMY won 7-4". April 28, 1945: "Went to Dental Sick to see about new set of teeth, DO said it would be about 6 weeks before he could get me a new set". Aug 15, 1945: "Jap war is over though the actual signing of surrender is delayed..." In the 1946 diary Taylor continues to serve with the RAF despite the end to the war. He goes to work in Austria with the British forces there. Tucked inside one of these diaries was a RAF form 295: "ROYAL AIR FORCE Leave Pass Form". 1943: Red leather over board "Cyclist" diary (4 1/4" x 2 3/4"). The front leaf has split allowing the signatures to separate from the front cover. The signatures are still secure to each other and the rear cover by the end leaf. 1944: Maroon leather over board "Croft" diary (4 1/4" x 2 3/4"). All pages, signatures and covers intact. Binding is tight. 1945: Blue leather over board "Letts" diary (4 1/2" x 2 3/4"). The first signature has separated at its first page causing the signature to separate in two parts with one page being attached to the cover and the rest to the other signatures. The signatures are still tight, pages are all present and the signatures are still secured to the cover by the end leaf. 1946: Blue leather over board "Old Ben" diary (4 3/4" x 3"). All pages, signatures and covers intact. Binding is tight. Overall G+.