In this Memories of Service interview, World War II veteran Ernest Davenport talks about his time in the Royal Air Force. After joining the RAF in 1940 at the age of 18, he served as a warrant officer in the pathfinder force before being shot down over Germany in 1943. He shares stories of his time as a prisoner of war — attempting escape, being charged with sabotage and blackmailing German guards to aid in his eventual rescue. He also shares his various medals from service and artifacts of the war such as his pilot’s log book and the jacket he was wearing when he was shot down.
We were fully prepared for the end of the war to actually defend ourselves or whatever was necessary. We'd even bought arms from the Germans by our system of trading which was to get them to bring something in in exchange for a tin of Red Cross coffee, and then blackmail them to bring in something a bit more serious. We even had pistols.– Ernest Davenport on being a prisoner of war, towards war's end