by Peter Turner
Yes, really!…well, it’s a possibility, but not one I can prove.
The story goes like this. My biological father was a bomber pilot during the second world war (but don’t expect me to defend the fire bombing of civilian centres such as Hamburg and Dresden). He came from Australia to take part in night-time raids on Germany. In 1942, before I was born, he flew out from England on his last raid. I was told years later by my adoptive parents that he was shot down over Germany.
A certain ex-member of the Hitler Jugend , Joseph Ratzinger, was manning an anti aircraft gun at that time, defending the fatherland. He could have been the one who shot down my father’s plane. Ratzinger later went on to become a catholic priest, a cardinal, and in 2005, Pope Benedict XVI. He resigned this year, 2013.
My unmarried mother, a lathe operator in the Rolls Royce aero-engine factory in Derby, waited until 3 months after my birth, and then put me up for adoption. I never saw her again, but my life worked out just fine with my new adoptive parents.
I have never been to Australia. I have never been able to find out my father’s name, rank, unit or city of origin
I met an english bomber pilot in the 1980s and asked him about the RAAF. He told me “Oh, the aussies, they were mad buggers – they couldn’t navigate. Half of them flew their planes into mountain sides in Wales and places and never reached Germany at all!”
Well, that’s nice to know!