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Perspectives on Death and Danger

Heroes Remember

Perspectives on Death and Danger

The army people were looking at people they were going to shoot at, whereas in the air force, I think most fighter pilots will tell you this that in the air force our idea was to shoot that airplane down. I never said to myself, "Well, I'm going to kill that man." My idea was, "I'm going to shoot that airplane down." It was a different sort of different and to show you the other extreme, later on when we were on the continent and we were up in Holland we had an exchange period with the army. And an army officer would come and live with us for a bit and some of our people would go forward and live with the army for a bit. And we found this very interesting but the people that went forward to the army they said, "God, you know what, these people up there, they're up there and only about 150 feet away there's Germans walking around and they're right there in front of you. And this impressed the air force people, like myself and yet the army people when they went into our briefing, we had the map on the wall and the CO would say, "Well here's the area we're gonna sweep today." The fellas said, "Do you know that's 70 miles behind the front line, you're 70 miles behind the front line. I don't want to go there!"

Mr. Warren differentiates between how ground and air forces might view targeting the enemy. He also compares the perspectives of ground and air forces in terms of proximity to the enemy.

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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