The passage of time dulls memory, blunts recollection and relegates factual information to a state of limbo, existing between embryonic folklore and recollection of circumstance. This phenomenon is not limited to the individual but may be applicable collectively. Memory is always selective, it brings to the fore more pleasant experiences and it is highly subjective in its interpretation of these experiences. It has often been stated, in various contexts, that "people are the most valuable resource". This must be held paramount in the mind of a researcher probing even the confines of this subject.
The absence of a locally written record of the flying boat years at Oban has been an anomaly which is perhaps understandable in the West Highlands "word of mouth tradition". The march of fifty years or so is after all, but yesterday in the long historical past of Oban and Lorn. However, the restriction of lifespan dictates that if collated knowledge of this unique period in a unique community is not to be lost forever, both to itself and to those brought here by external circumstance, then it must be committed to record.
Thousands of young men and women, of all three services, were drafted to Oban to take part in what subsequently became known as The Battle of the Atlantic. This account seeks to attest to the invaluable role played by Coastal Command in the darkest days of the war, when the very survival of this country was at stake. It is earnestly hoped that adequate testament is given.
The story is one of courage, comradeship and devotion to duty, often in the face of considerable odds and always with the threat of sudden, violent death or a lingering, anonymous demise upon the freezing wastes of the North Atlantic.