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WWII - Britain's Secret Listeners

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WWII - Britain's Secret Listeners

Post Neon Knight on Sun 4 Jun - 13:22

From book review:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/books/article-2233531/We-fight-rooms--THE-SECRET-LISTENERS-BY-SINCLAIR-MCKAY.html

One afternoon in the early days of World War II a bowler-hatted man called at a suburban house in Mitcham, South London and asked to see 17-year-old Ray Faultley. Alone with the teenager, the visitor subjected him to a battery of questions about his background. He was there to recruit Ray, who lived with his parents, as a Voluntary Interceptor, one of what would eventually be 1,500 amateur radio enthusiasts signed up to listen in to enemy broadcasts and relay their contents to British intelligence services . . .

Fluent German speakers were recruited to listen in to verbal transmissions, such as those by Luftwaffe pilots. Listeners would become familiar with pilots they regularly eavesdropped on. One pilot, who a listener called Aileen Clayton heard regularly, had the call sign Amsel Eins. Knowing he was probably being listened to, he would chat away in English, saying "English listening stations, can you hear me?"

Aileen’s job was to glean information from his conversations with ground control and other pilots. But one night she was ordered to pass on his position to a British fighter plane group. She listened in horror as the ensuing dogfight came over his radio and Spitfires shot him down. She could hear him, trapped in his cockpit, plummeting towards the earth, screaming over and over for his mother and cursing the Fuehrer. Afterwards she went outside and was sick.

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