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Reunion at Duxford


'We used to miss a lot of targets'
Ken Adam Artist
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We used to miss a lot of targets, or we didn't destroy as many targets as we thought. But, you know, diving at about 550 miles an hour without a proper... using your gunsight, you know, you were pretty happy if you got within 50 or 60 ft of what you were… And the noise these rockets made! I mean, the Germans were shit-scared of the Typhoons, and there were some reports, too, that some of the pilots who had baled out were shot at, you know, so there was no great feeling…

Sir Kenneth Adam (1921-2016), OBE, born Klaus Hugo Adam, was a production designer famous for his set designs for the James Bond films of the 1960s and 1970s. Initially, he trained as an architect in London, but in October 1943, he became one of only two German-born fighter pilots to fly with the RAF in wartime. He joined 609 Squadron where he flew the Hawker Typhoon fighter bomber. After the war, he entered the film industry, initially as a draughtsman on This Was a Woman. His portfolio of work includes Barry Lyndon and The Madness of King George; he won an Oscar for both films. Having a close relationship with Stanley Kubrick, he also designed the set for the iconic war room in Dr Strangelove. Sir Ken Adam was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is an independent documentary producer who has made a number of films about science and scientists for BBC TV, Channel Four, and PBS.

Tags: World War II

Duration: 1 minute, 1 second

Date story recorded: December 2010 and January 2011

Date story went live: 15 August 2011