Talkshow Thursday: Meet Chaz Powell
|Inspiration for Chaz Powell
Last week I introduced readers to the Allison White, one of two main characters in my soon-to-be-released novelette. This week I’m interviewing Chaz Powell, Allison’s former fiancé.
LM: Thanks for stopping by Chaz. Why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself?
Chaz: Well, there’s not a lot to tell. I was raised in Purley, outside of London. That’s where I met Allison. We attended the same church. I was smitten as soon as I saw her. Anyway, we started walking out together, but the war came and I was called up. Because I’ve always been fascinated with flight, I chose the RAF.
LM: Being a pilot seems rather glamorous, but I would imagine it’s hard work. What was your experience like?
Chaz: Being a pilot is far from glamorous. There is lots of training. Before I was even allowed in an aircraft I attended lectures, received vaccinations, learned how to march, salute, and lay out my kit. The lectures covered aircraft recognition, navigation, Morse code, and mathematics. I was also subjected to lots of physical training. But it was all worth it, because there is nothing like flying. There is nothing like the sensation of freedom after bumping along the runway.
LM: Which aircraft did you fly?
Chaz: I received my training in both fighters and bombers. I was assigned as a fighter pilot and flew both Hurricanes and Spitfires. Most of the lads liked the Hurri, but I much prefer the Spitfire.
LM: You veered off course and were shot down over Germany. How did that happen?
Chaz: During any air battle, there is a tremendous amount of smoke and fire in addition to the clouds. When my aircraft was hit, my instrumentation went haywire. I didn’t realize it wasn’t working properly until some of the cloud cover cleared and I didn’t recognize the landmarks below. Then I was hit again and because my ejector seat didn’t function properly, I went down with the plane.
|German Nazi Resistance Flag
LM: You landed in Germany near the border of France. How were you able to get back to England?
Chaz: I was one of the lucky ones-I survived the crash. The farm where I landed belonged to a family involved in the Resistance. They used their network to spirit me into France and then across the channel into England. Many people risked their lives to transport me.
LM: Thanks for you stopping by, and thank you for your service during the war.