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Value of his Ground Crew

Heroes Remember

Value of his Ground Crew

The fact I was flying over Dieppe was because there were ten people back behind me looking after my airplane, you know. That's the point I want to get over that the ground crew in the air force, you think of them as being out of the war, they're not. Without them we'd be no air force at all. You have to have ground crew and my ground crew I'm convinced kept me alive. They are very important but a lot of people don't think of that. It's not quite the way... the same. You see, the army and the navy, the officers and men are all tied up together and the army officer sees the man he's working with right beside him being shot at. Whereas our ground crew do a very valuable job under terrible conditions sometimes. And yet they say, “Okay, I'll wait for you until you get back." And they hope we get back. It's a different sort of thing.

Mr. Warren discusses the importance of his ground crew, and his sense that they were responsible for his safely completing his tour of duty.

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
Western Europe
Air Force
166 Squadron
Wing Commander

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