Mr. Cole describes the events for VE Day including going to London to celebrate.
Raymond Boyd Cole
Raymond Boyd Cole was born in Elliston on July 14, 1924. His father worked in the United States and then at a papermill in Grand Falls, Newfoundland, when Raymond Cole was one month old. Mr. Cole grew up in Newfoundland.
In 1941, Mr. Cole finished grade 11 and was 17 years old in July of that year. He wanted to be a fighter pilot so in 1942 he signed up for the air force by altering his birth certificate. He received his wings on November 12, 1943. He found out later that he was not to become a pilot, but he did become an air gunner.
Mr. Cole spent three weeks at #1 Air Gunners Ground Training School (AGGTS). He then spent six weeks at #9 Bombing and Gunnery School (BGS). Following #9 BGS he went overseas. Further training includes #30 Operation Training Unit (OTU) and then 1667 Heavy Conversion Unit (HCU) where he made the conversion from twin engine aircraft to heavier, four engine aircraft with seven crew members.
Mr. Cole flew as an air gunner in over twenty operations with as much as one thousand aircraft in some. He was involved in the Normandy Campaign and many of the missions were heavy concentration bombings of the Ruhr Valley, which was a heavy industrial area.
Mr. Cole completed his flying tour (thirty operations) and went on to do three more operations afterwards. One to help his crew finish up their tour and then volunteered for another two. He worked as an orderly and as a truck driver for a while before returning to Grand Falls, after three and a half years overseas. Afterwards, he became a minister.
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