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Hazards In Flight

Heroes Remember

You would hear different airmen talk about the different targets, that one was worse than the other and the one that was the worst which cast fear in the hearts of everybody was the one to Berlin because it was about a 7 ½ hour flight and during which most of that time, you're exposed to fighters. You're exposed to the anti aircraft gun. You're exposed to the search lights. But the one thing that not too many people really thought about and it happened a lot was collisions with one another. Because we did all our flying at night, no lights on, if the moon wasn't shining and if it was cloudy, you had great difficulty seeing who was around you. So the mid upper gunner, the rear gunner, and the pilot and the bomb aimer had to be always on the alert, always looking around him because when you're in a convoy of four or five or six hundred planes, you're surrounded by them, top, bottom, so you had to be totally aware of who was around you. And the only thing that kind of saved you was on a moonlit night, the moon would glow on the top of the wings so you could see somebody below you or beside you but you had to be alert and so these were the hazards we had to face.

During flight operations on a target to Berlin, Mr. Carter-Edwards speaks about the very frightful experience he had exposed to constant attack from night fighters, anti-aircraft and the anxiety felt of mid-air collision.

Ed Carter-Edwards

Edward (Ed) Carter-Edwards was born on April 2, 1923, in Montréal, Quebec, and was raised in Hamilton, Ontario. He enlisted in August 1942, and then joined 427 (Lion) Squadron, 6 Royal Canadian Air Force Group, in Leeming, England. He was a wireless operator air gunner and completed 21 successful missions in a Halifax bomber. On his 22nd mission, Mr. Carter-Edwards was shot down near Paris. He was betrayed to the Gestapo by a collaborator, threatened with execution and forced into the Fresnes prison, near Paris. He spent five weeks in the prison in 1944 followed by a five-day trip in a French cattle car to the notorious Buchenwald concentration camp. He was there for three and a half months as one of 26 Canadians - 168 allied airmen in all. He was forced to participate in two death marches shortly before the end of the war. Once released from service and safely back home, Mr. Carter-Edwards returned to Hamilton and worked at the appliance manufacturer Westinghouse. He was married in 1946, and he and his wife raised three children.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
June 25, 2012
Person Interviewed:
Ed Carter-Edwards
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Bomber Command
Air Force
4th Medium Artillery Regiment
Wireless Air Gunner

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