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Three Days in London

Heroes Remember

Three Days in London

After I bailed out, I didn't even phone my squadron. I knew that they would find out that I had bailed out over a cemetery. And I stayed in London three days without reporting in or anything. The ordinary, normal guy would have hurried right back to his squadron because when they released me from the tree and they brought me to the commanding officer, colonel of the military district there, and he said, "Now MacDonald, I have to... " oh yeah, he was an old guy with a white moustache and brought me into his office and he goes to the cabinet and very deliberately takes out a key and opens it up and brings out a bottle of scotch. So he poured me a good sized drink and I had a nice visit with him. He was in charge of the balloon barrage site. So then after another stiff drink, you know, and it was great. So he said, now he said, oh ya I told him I had a girlfriend in London. He said, "I'll tell you what to do." And I think this was fairly early in the morning, toward nine o'clock and he said, "I'll let you have my personal car or vehicle, my personal driver and he'll take you anywhere you want to go," but he said, "you must be back here by noon." I said, "Thank you very much sir." So I drove off in his limousine to see my girlfriend. When I finally got back to the squadron I was three full days. When I got back to the squadron, I was a warrant officer, what they called a warrant officer, WO1 and the commanding officer was a British, quite a high rank and so I, naturally had to go see him. He visited with me and then he started to turn away and then he said, "By the way, MacDonald, what took you three days to get from Elsham Wolds, not Elsham Wolds, London, he said,here to Elsham Wolds?" "Well," I said, and this I just made it up on the spot, I said, "it was my understanding sir that any airman who saves his life by parachute is entitled to three days leave." He said, "By God, I have never heard that one!"

After surviving the jump, Mr. McDonald tells of his three day excursion in London before returning to his squadron.

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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