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Army Life Versus Air Force

Heroes Remember

Army Life Versus Air Force

Out of the army I got two things. One of them was very, very negative. I didn’t like the Army people. When I was in the Second World War I didn’t like them then. I didn’t like the way they treated me. And then when I got mixed up with them again, I really didn’t anticipate this, but when mobile command moved in and took over that building and there I was stuck with them again, it was more of the same thing except that it was worse this time because I’m not a Private now. I’m a Major, and the kind of things that are going on, the kind of treatment that I’m getting is really very, very demeaning, very demeaning. I use to like to go to the officers mess on a Friday night. I went twice when the Army was there. I used to do that as a routine when the Air Force was there. We all did. But when the Army came I think I went twice and the experience was so negative and so demeaning that I just never went back at all. So there was a very strong anti-black sense that I had.

Mr. Jacobs compares his service time in the army with his time in the air force.

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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