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The Hamburg Raid

Heroes Remember

Well, that was not uncommon to see another one close or just above or just below, you know. And today it kind of amuses me when you hear about the private aircraft, you know, like commercial aircraft coming close to another commercial aircraft, you know, 300 yards or more, you know. It's kind of a ridiculous thing. They didn't know what three feet was. Interviewer: And so the fear of mid-air collision was always very evident Oh ya,very definite, ya, right from take off to finish. I saw more of that actually on a raid on Hamburg one night where there was more of our own bombers going down and the crews jumping, you know, you could see them jumping out. But, you know, we had heavy losses that particular night on Hamburg. Hamburg was a hot target. Lots of anti-aircraft fire, there was fighters up there after us and there was the danger always of collision with our own. But outside of that, you know, there wasn't much to tell. You could see airplanes being shot up and on fire and fellows, crews jumping and so on but and that kept going on through the raid, you see.

Mr. Sellen shares the fear of mid-air collision during the Hamburg Raid with sights of fires and crews jumping for survival.

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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