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Crew Remain Faithful

Heroes Remember

Crew Remain Faithful

Interviewer: And during this raid that you were involved with, on your way back home did at any point you feel that your crew should abandon the aircraft? Well, I told them, I said, "Boys," I said, "I can't see us really getting back under the circumstances and we'll probably run out of gas." The engineer said, "Yeah, we're getting pretty low, you know." So I said, "If you want to jump, go ahead jump." You know, so they, everyone of them said to me, "What are you going to do skip?" I said, "I'm staying right at this thing until it goes down on me. I'm going to try to make it back and that's what I am going to try to do." So they all said they'd stay. A very faithful crew, you know, and they stayed with me and we got back okay and the engineer kept warning me about not much petrol left. They never called it gas like we did, the Englishmen called it petrol and he kept saying, "You're liable to run out any time!" you know, it was getting so low. I said, "Well, we'll just have to take a chance!" There's no use trying to land it when I couldn't keep it on the beam because we'd probably hit other airplanes or one of the hangers or something like that, you were just coming in blind, you know.

Reflecting back on the circumstances, Mr. Sellen recalls giving the crew an opportunity to bail out.

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

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