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Aircrafts Colliding

Heroes Remember

You could see the aircraft battles. I can remember the first thousand aircraft bomber, bombing raid, that happened. And they formed up just over us, and we could see them all different: Strata, Fortresses and Sterlings, and all these aircraft, a thousand of them. Just imagine the noise. Sometimes, we saw aircraft collide. You know, it takes a lot of space, all those aircraft, to mount an attack. I think it was August the 9th, when we were at Falaise. There was a thousand bomber raid mounted, and instead of dropping the bombs on the Germans, they dropped them on us. It was frightening. People were wounded, yes, and I think all of our vehicles were hit. And I can recall, what's the name of the aircraft, an artillery spotter aircraft anyway, flying under one of the Fortresses so the Fortress couldn't drop his bombs. They didn’t have air-to-air contact, I don't think, anywhere, or air-to-ground, and they didn't realize they were bombing the wrong side. That was not a good day. We found out afterwards that the reason why it happened is that the Pathfinder aircraft, who were supposed to spot the target with flares, they did their thing. They went over the target, dropped their flares, but the Germans were smart, and they fired mortar bomb flares that the aircraft saw before they saw the right flares, so they dropped them.

Mr. McKerracher speaks about witnessing aircrafts colliding and the fear experienced during the Battle of Falaise.

Neil McKerracher

Mr. McKerracher was born in Saskatchewan, on January 15, 1923. Nineteen-years-old, and eager for adventure, he moved to Ontario and decided to join the army. He became a member of the anti-aircraft regiment, and after receiving basic training in Petawawa, Ontario, he was shipped overseas. He served with coastal defence in Colchester, England. Mr. McKerracher was married in England during the Second World War. Post-war, he and his wife moved to Calgary, Alberta, where they raised their four children. Having no appetite for civilian life, Mr. McKerracher was eager to enlist for the Korean War. During his service in Korea, he was wounded by a mortar fragment, yet continued to serve in battle, holding the rank of Captain. Military life being his passion, Mr. McKerracher joined the Regular Force after his service in Korea. In 1953, he accepted a deployment to Germany, and lived there with his family for two years before returning to Canada. Mr. McKerracher retired from service life in 1978.

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Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Neil McKerracher
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War

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