EVERY day for nearly 70 years, Dennis Bartlett silently thanked bomber pilot Bill North for saving his life. The last time he’d seen his Second World War comrade was in July 1944 on a pitch-black hillside in France where Bill crash landed their bullet-ridden Lancaster after a Luftwaffe attack.
“We all owed our lives to Bill. Without a thought for himself and while terribly injured he stayed on board our doomed bomber in order to save us. That still moves me to this day.” Bill is now 89 but he remembers what happened so vividly it could have been last week. He said: “I was never scared of flying. My fear was of letting my crew down. “We had become the firmest of friends as well as comrades and had complete confidence in each other’s abilities. It would have been a bitter blow if any one of my crew had been killed.”