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Bombing over Buchenwald

Heroes Remember

Bombing over Buchenwald

On the 24th of August, 1944, the Americans came over and they bombed Buchenwald because of the two huge factories. So they came over and luckily we were just out of range of the bombing but we were there, these planes were above us, the markers were down and it was the most horrible experience to hear all these bombs and the incendiaries raining down and we thought we're gonna get killed but thankfully it was the most precision bombing the Americans ever done because they obliterated the factories but they killed hundreds and hundreds of poor slaves who worked in the factories. They also killed many of the SS who ran the camp and they killed, yeah they killed a lot of people. Thankfully, none of us were killed. Some of us were hurt by the shrapnel that was coming down, some got cuts on them but we had to go and fight the fires. Now we got no shoes on and we were under escort by the Germans with their guns and we had to go and fight these fires. Our feet were cut, were bleeding from everything because we had to go in the rubble to try and save records, to try and help people who were trapped so that was a horrible, horrible experience for us and we had to do it because the German guards would have shot us if we didn't. And while we were there, the Americans dropped leaflets into Buchenwald and they showed pictures of how the Germans were being treated in the prisoner of war camp and anybody who picked up these were shot by the German guards who ran around the camp. So we survived that.

While Americans drop bombs over the camp, Mr. Carter-Edwards stands among the devastation, watching as leaflets are dropped over the camp, reluctant to catch one in fear for his life.

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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