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Witnessing Both Sides of War

Heroes Remember

Witnessing Both Sides of War

It was most difficult for people to believe that this happened in a concentration camp. This is what we were fighting against and I tell people and I tell kids when I speak to kids and they ask me do you have any sorrow for being in the concentration camp. And I said no because until I was shot down my job was strictly, well it wasn't that simple, my job was to fly over Germany or Europe and drop bombs to try and remove factories that produce armament or whatever, so my job was to try to remove this nasty scheme, this nasty machine that overran Europe and was trying to overrun England. So I was on this side of it, now I'm caught up in it. Now I'm behind the wall, now I'm within the concentration camp. Now I am personally witnessing and experiencing the horrors that went on. This is what we were fighting against and nobody knew about it and I would never have known about it if I hadn't been shot down, if I hadn't of become involved with the Gestapo, if I hadn't gotten involved with the concentration camp, so I have witnessed both sides of this. The one side where I was fighting an enemy who I knew was dangerous, deadly, very cruel but now I am with them. I am on the other side looking at how he was which nobody really knew anything about.

Mr. Carter-Edwards recounts experiencing both sides of the war - fighting the enemy and later being held as their prisoner in a concentration camp.

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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