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Crew Selection

Heroes Remember

I ended up in 426 Squadron. That was the Canadian, Canadians were the only ones that had their own group in Bomber Command and we had a whole group there, No. 6 Group was a Canadian group and we had different squadrons spread around England in 6 Group and mine happened to be 426 Squadron, on wings of fire! Interviewer: So can you tell us a bit about forming your crew, it's often been said that the pilot, the position that you held, made a lot of the choices for his crew. Yes, we had a group meeting with different members of air crew and not for all of them but for four or five of them and we'd just go around the room talking to different ones and the ones I spoke to, they seemed willing to come with me. They obviously didn't know I could fly and so they came with me, really a nice bunch of fellows. I got my wireless operator, my navigator and I think I got the two gunners then. And then later I got my bomb aimer and I got my flight engineer. I was lucky with my flight engineer because he had been to Canada to take some pilot training and he got washed out as a pilot and back to England and he remustered and became a flight engineer and it was then I got to know him and I was glad I got him because he at least had a bit of an idea how to steer an airplane if you had to, you know.

As part of 426 Squadron, Mr. Sellen details the process used for selecting his crew; a selection process he was most confident with.

Richard Sellen

Richard Sellen was born in Oak Bank, Manitoba on September 19, 1920. His hometown has been Oak Bank for his entire life. He enlisted approximately a year and a half after the war started. He was in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in 426 Squadron. His rank at the end of the war was flying officer. He returned to Oak Bank after the war and started a building construction company with his brother. They built all types of buildings throughout the province of Manitoba. His parents were both originally from England but they actually met in Winnipeg. They settled on a small acreage near Oak Bank and it is there on that very site that Mr. Sellen grew up and still lives today. He and his wife Mary have five children, 15 grandchildren and three great grandchildren. He has belonged to the Canadian Veterans Association since the war. After retirement, Mr. Sellen purchased a small plane which he enjoyed flying out of a grass strip near Oak Bank. He built and flew a home built airplane with two of his sons. Mr. Sellen holds great pride and recognition for being part of Bomber Command.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
June 22, 2012
Person Interviewed:
Richard Sellen
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Bomber Command
Air Force
426 Squadron
Pilot Officer

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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