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Crew Composition

Heroes Remember

There's seven members of a crew and as I mentioned, where our course was air bombers and that's how we got to the RAF station because they, at that point, needed, needed air bombers so... The other trades, the pilot, the navigator, the engineer, the mid upper and the tail, they were also on the station of their groups, but they were all English, as I mentioned, and our course was Canadian as air bombers and that, that's how we got crewed up. No, basically, they had all these trades, and they'd just picked a, as you came, like the six Brits, and they'd say okay, in my case like the rest of our course, "You're with this group", and that's how you start, and it was rather interesting in that the English, in my experience, we'd get airborne, we'd do our practice whatever, and we'd land, and the six of them would flock away and you'd wait there by yourself until another flight height came back and another Canadian would come out. And the English take a while to accept you, and I found that was... they, basically, their outlook was you prove yourself and then we're, we're a-ok.

Mr. Reid describes crew composition and the relationship between British and Canadian airmen.

Bill Reid

Mr. Reid was born on August 15, 1922, in Toronto, Ontario. His upbringing was middle class, and he disagreed with Hitler's ideology. As a consequence, and along with 5 friends, he decided to enlist in the Royal Canadian Air Force so that he might ‘learn to fly at the government's expense.' Ironically, government cutbacks cost him his ambition as a pilot and he was redeployed to bomber and gunnery school in Trenton. After sailing to England, Mr. Reid was eventually posted to Upper Hayford, where he trained on both Anson and Stirling bombers. He was finally posted to 49 Squadron, 5 Group and was the air bomber in a crew of seven aboard a Lancaster bomber.. Mr. Reid flew missions in both the German and Norwegian theatres. He retired from active service upon returning home with the rank of AC2, Flying Officer.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Bill Reid
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Bomber Command
Air Force
49 Squadron / 5 Group
Flying Officer
Air Bomber

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