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A Social Worker in the Air Force

Heroes Remember

A Social Worker in the Air Force

I was the first person to go to British Columbia and bring a social work service, a military social work service to the Air Force. And it was my responsibility as a social worker to go to these units and to work with the families because most of these units were set up in such a way that families, a person could bring his family there. Postings were normally 18 months to two years without family and with family, three to four years. Sometimes people would extend or they might have to extend because there was no replacement. But the average length of time that a person would stay on a station like that with his family would be about three and a half years. As I say they were isolated. You really didn't have anything going on outside of the station. There was no community. The community was the station. The station was self contained. There was recreation hall with all kinds of activities and so on. The recreation specialist was as important as the commanding officer.

Mr. Jacobs speaks about his responsibility as a social worker in the military while working in British Columbia.

Kenneth Jacobs

Mr. Kenneth Jacobs was born in 1923 in Windsor, Ontario. He attended public high school until Grade 13 and was involved in sports throughout his school years. He attended the University of Toronto with the aspiration to study medicine, however, after one year changed his career path. In 1943 Mr. Jacobs joined the army. He was posted to Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia with the Royal Canadian Artillery, transferred to the Medical Corp and accepted advanced training in Camp Borden. He then transferred to the Vancouver General Military Hospital working in admissions as a typist, then onto the orderly room as an operating room assistant. In 1945 he discharged from the army, obtained his Bachelor of Arts at Assumption College, attended University of Toronto and earned a Masters Degree in Social Work. Mr. Jacobs worked at the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, being the first black social worker at this agency. Mr. Jacobs joined the Air Force and worked in British Columbia in his social work field. In 1980, when his father turned ill, Mr. Jacobs returned to Ottawa to look after him, was employed with National Defence and established a social work centre. In 1988 Mr. Jacobs retired after 24 years of service and settled in Ottawa. Mr. Jacobs retired from the forces with the rank of Wing Commander.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Kenneth Jacobs
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Air Force

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