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WAG on the Lancaster

Heroes Remember

WAG on the Lancaster

So as you went through the preliminaries of training, the powers that be pretty well assigned you what section, I mean a person might have wanted to be a fighter pilot but there were too many fighter pilots and they needed gunners in Bomber Command so automatically they put you in Bomber Command. Once you were slated for a certain category of Bomber Command, they didn't even say Bomber Command in those days. It was either fighter command or other. I was what you called a WAG, a wireless air gunner, which meant that I was fully trained on handling the guns either in the rear turret or the mid upper turret as well as look after the wireless set receiving or transferring. Interviewer: And what type of aircraft did you fly in? During the war, actually in action was the Lancaster. The Lancaster was the number one Bomber Command aircraft. It was a fantastic four-engine aircraft and could withstand terrific damage from flak or fighters and so on. And it had a long range, wonderful maneuverability and as a matter of fact, at the end of the war it was pretty well selected as the number one bomber aircraft on our side, on the allied side.

Mr. McDonald describes his duties and responsibilities as a wireless air gunner on the Lancaster aircraft.

Graham McDonald

Bernard Graham (B.G.) McDonald was born on December 26, 1920, and raised in Granby, Quebec. His family enjoys a long history in Granby. His grandfather, John Sr, who had emigrated from Ireland, was the first chief of police in the late 1800's. Bernard joined the Non-Permanent Active Militia in 1936 and when war broke out, he attempted to enlist in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in September 1939, but was turned down because there were too many volunteers. Mr. McDonald successfully enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in Montreal, Quebec, in October 1940, but had to delay his entry until February 1941 due to an outbreak of measles. He served with the Royal Air Force 103 (Black Swan) Squadron in Elsham Wolds, England, and completed 31 successful operations. Mr. McDonald was honourably discharged on June 26, 1946, in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, as a flying officer and was stationed in Gander, Newfoundland, as the transport officer in charge of 164 Squadron. Shortly after this posting, he returned to civilian life to work as the advertising manager for the Miner Company in Granby. He married Connie, originally from London, England, in 1946 and together they raised three children. Mr. McDonald has been a member of the Royal Canadian Legion for 65 years.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
June 22, 2012
Person Interviewed:
Graham McDonald
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Bomber Command
Air Force
Wireless Air Gunner

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