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Positioned in the Glass Dome

Heroes Remember

Positioned in the Glass Dome

There was seven of us in the aircraft. I was halfway back in the aircraft and what you did, you poked your head up into a glass dome and then once you got up in there, there was two stirrups, you stood in that and then you flipped a seat and you sat on the seat with your head and your shoulders up in this glass dome. The guns were right in front of you and, of course, the turret was operated hydraulically as you raised or lowered the guns you could turn the turret back and forth. On take-off, you are basically watching for other aircraft. At night it was pretty difficult. The daylight trips were, I think, more frightening than night trips because you could see all these other aircraft. We weren’t flying in formation, we were just flying in a bunch so aircraft are moving in and out, others are trying to get a little higher so basically you were watching for that. Once you crossed over the English Channel then you had to watch out for fighters, and at that stage there were a lot of allied fighters up as well so there was a lot of activity. One time over a target at night I was looking towards the back and the bomb-aimer who had finished his job, he poked his head up in the astrodome up front and just as he did that he said there were aircraft wheels ten feet above his head. As I swung my turret around the pilot dropped and this aircraft just went over a few feet above us. That’s a frightening thing.

Mr. Heather describes his responsibility during air raids - focusing on the constant degree of alertness required.

Stan Heather

Stanley (Stan) Heather was born in Toronto, Ontario, on June 5, 1923. He began his military service on February 27, 1941, at the Galt Aircraft School as an airframe mechanic trainee and then joined the Royal Canadian Air Force at the manning depot in Toronto as an AC2 (Aircraftman, 2nd class) mechanic in July of that same year. He flew as an air gunner with Royal Air Force 78 Squadron at Breighton, Yorkshire, England. At the end of the war, he had achieved the rank of flying officer, and returned to Toronto to pursue his education in Accounting while working for the Dominion Bank. He worked for the Chrysler Corporation as an accountant, for Dale Carnegie Courses as a sponsor in the West Indies (for 15 years), and for the Mississauga Board of Trade as its general manager. In 1985, he co-founded Heather Child Care Supplies Ltd. with his wife, Hassina which they still operate together. Mr. Heather is a proud father of five, grandfather and great-grandfather.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
June 2, 2013
Person Interviewed:
Stan Heather
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Air Force
RAF 78 Squadron
Mid Upper / Tail Gunner

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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