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Clothing for the Frigid Temperatures

Heroes Remember

Clothing for the Frigid Temperatures

The two turrets, the two gunners had an electrical outlet so we plugged in… you put the uniform on, then you put gloves on and then you put boots on and the boots were plugged into the electrical system and so were the gloves so that when you sat down you plugged your electrical contact in and about 75% of the time it worked. Your gloves stayed warm and your feet stayed warm. Twenty five percent of the time it overheated, you had to take it off or it didn’t work and the nights that it didn’t work that’s when you really… Now we were pretty warmly dressed and we did have some coffee in a thermos bottle but it was pretty cold. It was pretty cold and of course you are breathing oxygen all the time, you always had the oxygen mask on and I remember the oxygen was cold. Every time you breathed it was cold air that you were breathing in. Your hands are warm, your feet are warm and the rest of you is shivering. Our longest trip was probably eight hours, the average trip was about six hours and once you climbed into the turret you didn’t get out, you stayed in the turret that length of time.

Mr. Heather details the type of clothing distributed to the crew in order to withstand the cold temperatures during flight operations.

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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