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I Always Wanted to Jump!

Heroes Remember

I Always Wanted to Jump!

We had been shot up over a German target, I actually forgotten the name of the German target. So it was decided, as they say, our aircraft was damaged and there was a possibility of the aircraft crashing and everybody who was in it get killed or whatever so it was decided on the way back that the ones who were not absolutely necessary to land the kite, they could bail out. So I bailed out, the mid upper gunner bailed out and the bomb aimer bailed out. The rear gunner refused to jump. He said he had never planned on jumping and didn't intend to jump and wasn't going to jump. Actually he missed a very good experience. I had always wanted to jump so I did. And I landed in a cemetery, Battersea Cemetery in London, a part of London. And, as I say, two others bailed out with me so we all survived. It's a saying among people who bail out and so on, the man who retains, the man who (where did we put it?) tosses away his rip cord is a panic jumper, not very respectful to somebody who jumps. But if you hang onto your rip cord, and you have it, I pulled mine and I just put it inside my battle dress so I have it on the plaque, you know, for my son in his office. But if I had just pulled it down in a hurry like that, I would have been a panic jumper.

Mr. McDonald shares his experience of bailing out. He saves his rip cord!

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

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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