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Scary Moments in Flight

Heroes Remember - The Second World War

Scary Moments in Flight

The most scary times would be on take-off, if you got wondering, you know, you’re sitting on fourteen thousand pounds of bombs and a full high octane load of gas and it starts, if you’re sitting in my position you see the wings take weight and wonder where’s the end of the runway and are we going to get this thing off the ground. And then, of course, over the target was the other scary part. We flew by dead reckoning and you had a certain time to be at the target and, you know, the master bomber would be there directing the pathfinders to drop the flares and you’d be waiting to be ordered to go in and bomb. There was aircraft everywhere, it was just like a bee’s nest, you know, the aircraft all around you, in front of you, in back of you, under, each side of you and the worst part for me was looking up and seeing an aircraft above me with the bomb bay open and you’re looking, you’re staring at fourteen one thousand pound bombs or four thousand pound cookie with thousands of incendiaries and they’re doing the same thing that you’re doing and they want to drop their bombs the same place you want to drop your bombs but they don’t see the aircraft below them. The only one looking downwards is the bomb aimer and he’s concentrating on the flares and when to drop the bombs. And then after the bombs go, there is a camera going to take a photograph when the bombs hit and right after the bombs let go, there’s a photo flash dropped also and so when the bombs hit, if everything is as planned, the camera will click the same time as the photo flash flashes as the bombs hit to prove that you bombed the target and so after the bombs are let go the aircraft has to remain straight and level so that everything is in order and the bomb aimer is counting one thousand, two thousand, three thousand and I’m yelling, “Count faster!” So that was scary moments that you remember and all the time the heavy flak if you're above ten thousand feet or the light flak if you’re below that. It’s going all around you. The light flak explodes on contact whereas the heavy flak explodes, it’s all timed but after a while that doesn’t bother you. You get used to it and there is nothing you can do about it and there’s a lot of them say that would weave through flak, you know, but our skipper, he said, you know, he just “hell bent for leather” as soon as he gets through it the better and just trust in the good Lord that you are going to get through it.

Mr. Muir describes the dangers and emotions involved with bombing runs.

Fraser Muir

Fraser Alexander (Red) Muir was born on June 27, 1924, in Westville, Nova Scotia. Mr. Muir trained as an air gunner and received his wings at Mount Stewart, Prince Edward Island, in January 1943. He was seconded to the Royal Air Force (RAF) after arriving overseas in April, 1943, and was eventually posted to 50 Squadron, 5 Group, RAF Bomber Command based in England. Mr. Muir served as a mid upper gunner, and completed 35 operations over enemy territory, and had achieved the rank of warrant officer 2 at the end of the war. On returning to Canada, he returned to high school, and went on to complete a Bachelor of Commerce at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. He was employed at Air Canada, retiring in 1983 after 30 years of service.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
June 3, 2012
Person Interviewed:
Fraser Muir
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Air Force
RAF 50 Squadron
Mid Upper / Tail Gunner

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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