I was in a reserved occupation (toolmaking) for a year after I left school, but regardless, everyone was called to take a medical. 
Having passed it I then volunteered for aircrew. It was the only way I could get out of the reserved occupation. 
My aircrew medical and selection board came up a month later and effective July 1943 I was an aircrew cadet and 18 years old.

Initial training was in Bridlington (Yorkshire) and after all the physical exercise and square bashing I was sent to St Athans 
(South wales-nr Barry) for a flight engineers course (that is what the selection board determined).

Nine months later I passed the course and became a Sgt Flight Engineer.

My next stop was heavy conversion unit (HCU) at Lindholme (nr Doncaster) where I was crewed up with a crew. The other six had joined together 
when the pilot had converted to flying two engine planes i.e the Wellington bomber. A six week course at H.C.U and then onto Lancaster 
Finishing School at Hemswell [nr Lincoln] for four weeks.

At that point we were considered a fully trained crew and we were posted 550 squadron, No. 1 Bomber Group, North Killingholme near 
Immingham docks, Grimsby.

More training to familiarise with procedure and update on the engines and finally flew our 1st op December 5th 1944, the target was Essen. 
On boxing day 1944 we flew in support of the ground troops at the Battle of the Bulge. We lost our rear gunner on our 13th operation (sick). 
We had to turn back, however we went on to complete a tour of ops, 33 in all, and survived one or two incidents.

My pilot was Flying Officer Geof Mearns came from Cheshire, he was awarded the DFC.

My total flying time was 315 hours total on ops was 226hrs and the majority of that was at night!

My last op was Potsdam 14th April 1945, 4 days after my 20th birthday.

Of course we were not needed after the tour rest so I spent time in various places before being shipped to the Middle East where we stayed 
until July 1947 at which time I was demobbed and rejoined the civilian life.

If you ever go to Lincoln go in the cathedral and see the stained glass window dedicated to all the aircrew.

There are only two Lancasters left flying, one in England and one here, you will never forget the sound of a Lancaster with it's 4 bladed props, 
it was a beautiful aircraft to fly and when you have seen a 1000 bombers raining bombs in a 30 minute space , you never want to see it again .

In all the celebrations I don't feel enough credit is given to the bomber crews, some nights it was hell from just after take off until you 
returned 10 - 11 hrs later.