Page last updated at 09:50 GMT, Sunday, 5 July 2009 10:50 UK

V2 rocket code woman's life story

Black and white image of Eileen in uniform which appears on the jacket of her book, 'Not an Ordinary Life'
Eileen Younghusband as pictured during the World War II

A woman whose talent for maths helped foil German V2 bombs in World War II has published her life story.

Eileen Younghusband, 87, from the Vale of Glamorgan, received the coded message that the first V2 rocket had been launched against Britain.

She had the secret task while in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF).

She said: "It was our information that gave air-raid warnings, it told the Royal Observer Corps where the aircraft were coming in."

Mrs Younghusband added: "The girls who worked on that section, many of them now nearly 90 years of age, have never felt that the work they did has been recognised, so this is one of the reasons that made me write this book."

'Tortures and killings'

Subsequently Mrs Younghusband was sent to Belgium to use her expertise preventing the bombs landing on the key allied port of Antwerp.

The supersonic missiles, which could not be shot down, were launched from mobile units, and those machines took almost 20 minutes to dismantle.

Eileen Younghusband
The book has been published with the help of Cardiff university

Mrs Younghusband said: "We would get the fall of shot position and using slide rules, we extrapolated the curve to find the launch site and if we could do that in six minutes we could possibly find the site."

Subsequently she was posted to Breendonk in Denmark as a guide and interpreter at a liberated concentration camp.

"They sent me there to show the RAF troops in the region what had happened in that camp so that they realised the truth, but that was a gruelling place to go round. There were tortures and killings."

After the war she and her husband became successful hoteliers.

She also bred pigs, dealt in scrap metal and ultimately came to Wales to help expand a perfume company.

It was in Wales that she began to study Spanish and creative writing at Cardiff University's Lifelong Learning Centre, before going on to complete an Open University degree.

Her book, Not An Ordinary Life has been published with the help of the Lifelong Learning centre at Cardiff University.

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