Monday, 20 June 2011

V2 AT THE FILTER ROOM ROCKET DESK

Out of the blue I have received a letter from a WAAF airwoman who worked with me in the 11 Group Filter Room and  who knew me by my maiden name   Eileen Le Croissette! It shows how we kept secrets - I never knew about this secret operation - The Rocket Room.- This is her letter:-

Mary  -------------

WAAF 1941-1946  Cpl 448876

Innsworth Lane
, Glos; Leighton Buzzard Plotter School
1941-3: 12 Group Watnall
1943-6:  11 Group, Stanmore, Bentley Priory, down the Hole, then moved to Hill House

20th June 2011

Dear Mrs Younghusband

It has been a great pleasure to read your “One Woman’s War”. Your letter to the press “Filtered Out” thrilled my Filter friends. “Ops” always had the publicity, but you highlighted the frantic work on the Filter Room table, describing the Radar Chain, and how the system was unknown.

To discover you were S/O Le Croissette was amazing, remembering you at Stanmore, down the “Hole” and at Hill House.  As a plotter, I did most duties from Teller, Filter Office’s Clerk for Y Service, plotting on all stations - Beachy Head on D-Day, with the mass raid of 1,000 A/C.

So far, nothing has been written about the Rocket Office, my last duty.  Why?  This small office built onto the rear of the Filter Room, manned by two, sometimes three officers plus one NCO, contained a long switchboard of phone lines, alarm bells, a place for the recorder; on the side, just enough room for a large map to trace the firing points of each “incident” to landing, and final Home Office report of casualties and damage. The first V2 on September 8th.

The Office was manned from about August 20th. I cannot remember the names of the officers, except Betty Wix (666!) and Pat Robbins (daughter of the novelist, Denise Robbins).

After much waiting around, the officers used to go up to the Rest Room for a break, having given me strict instructions to sound the alarm if anything happened.  Alone, I was terrified every time a call came, but many were for Pat Robbins, from an American officer called HAM!  Pat produced the humour of the team, often asking for advice and suggestions on the current story she was writing.

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