A 94-year-old Saltcoats man has recalled an astonishing story of the day an RAF bomber went down over the coastline during WW2.

On May 2,1943, Saltcoats man John McCallum and his dad (also John McCallum) were awoken at around 2:30am by the sound of someone shouting for help.

According to John it was a calm evening with no wind, and voices could travel easily.

They got dressed and came out of their house in Parkend Road, heading in the direction of the shouting which appeared to be coming from the Saltcoats harbour area, where they met an airman on the road bridge over the railway station.

John, 94, told the Herald: “I was astonished to be woken up and hearing the voice. It was 2am, it was wartime and my mother was conscripted for work at Ardeer factory at the nightshift.

“So my father and I got up and got dressed and started to walk from where we lived and as we got near to Saltcoats station there was a figure loomed out the dark, and this voice said ‘Can you tell me where the police station is please?’

“This is one of the crew that bailed out over land and he was completely unhurt.

"He was walking and talking and we told him where the police station was on Green Street.

“We continued down to Saltcoats Harbour and when we got there there was a large number of people and that point the motor boat came in, and this was the airman who we had heard calling for help.

"He had been out on the sea and Mr Shedden, the local fisherman, picked him up and brought him ashore, the man had been rescued.

"A few days later as I remember there two or three bodies washed up on the shoreline.”

According to official RNLI reports, the five-man crew had bailed out of a Whitley Bomber Z9362 which had taken off from Honeybourne, Worcestershire on a night-navigation training mission.

With engines not working properly, it passed over Saltcoats, and a few minutes later it crashed into the sea and exploded.

Three aircrew were killed in the blast: Flying Officer John Clifford North-Lewis, 29, Sergeant Ernest Jack Beer, 29, and Sergeant Donald Ernest Watts, 21.

John and his son Ian would like to see a memorial being put up close to Saltcoats Harbour to recognise the lives of the three men who were lost that night, and also to commemorate the actions of Mr Shedden who saved the life of one of the airmen.