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Air Cover at Dieppe

The Dieppe Raid

Our first big battle you might say was at Dieppe. It was an absolute madhouse because if you could imagine, the British launched about three thousand sorties. The Germans launched almost a thousand. So you had four thousand sorties of aircraft all churning around above a little area, just about the size we'll say of Nanaimo and its harbor. Without the air force contribution that day we would have lost everyone killed, because the Germans could have just come in and strafed back and forth and bombed back and forth to their hearts content. We thought we had shot down. shot down, we in the sense of the Allies, thought we had shot down about a hundred Germans and they shot down 106 of ours, we knew that. But in actual fact we only shot down 58 or something. You'll shoot at one aircraft and you think you hit it and he's going to crash. And as he goes down, you really shouldn't follow him down, you're busy doing something else. Somebody else sees him and he shoots at him and sees him gonna crash and you know and he claims, "I shot down an airplane," and you claim, "I shot down an airplane." And in all honesty you both will say theoretically shot down the same airplane.

Mr. Warren discusses the air battle over Dieppe, and the deterrent effect of Allied fighters. He goes on to cite the number of aircraft lost, and explains the discrepancy between claimed and verified German losses on that day.

Douglas Warren

Douglas Warren was born on May 28, 1922 in Nanton, Alberta. His father, a farmer, was an isolationist emigrant from the United States. One of four children, Mr. Warren had an identical twin brother with whom he was very close. They had always wanted to fly, and enlisted in the Air Force in 1940. Mr. Warren completed his pilot training in High River, Alberta. Once overseas, he joined #165 Spitfire Squadron in Ayr, Scotland, and was involved in the air battle during the Dieppe Raid, as well as later flying cover on bombing raids. He then joined #66 Squadron at Falaise, France, flying the new SpitfireMK9B in ground attack operations. Mr. Warren was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. After the war, Mr. Warren's exemplary career continued after permanently joining the RCAF. He became Fighter Leader for Canada's Meteor Jet Squadron, served in the Korean War, was a NATO pilot instructor in Germany, and served time with NORAD. Mr. Warren eventually became Assistant Base Commander at Comox from where he retired with the rank of Wing Commander.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
May 7, 1999
Person Interviewed:
Douglas Warren
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Air Force
166 Squadron
Wing Commander

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