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Heroes Remember

One trip we left, we were "coned" and the "coning" is... there's a Groper, a single search light, they're scanning the sky to try and catch some, and when you're picked up by, by the Groper, then they put a flood of searchlights and it makes a, and you're trying to fly through this, and you want to get out of there. Well, this one time a fighter came at us and was, we took a fighter evasion and that was, "Fighter, fighter, port, quarter, aft, prepare to corkscrew, port go." And you go down changing, rolling (inaudible). Finally, we, we shook him and there's a, an airport on the east coast of England for damaged aircraft. Well all we knew was after we'd done all that I've experienced, mentioned there, we didn't have any readings on our instruments, whatever, but we were still flying, which was wonderful. So we landed at this emergency drome and the, they billoted us there overnight. We came up, and I'm just overviewing this, in the morning we came back and we said, "Well, we're all set to go back to our squadron," and they said, "Oh yes, we've, we've contacted your squadron, they're coming down to pick you up." And we said, "Well, what was it with our aircraft?" And they said, "You had a severed main spar." Now, it was miraculous how some of these aircraft, in the condition they're in, I mean, how they, some of them had all kinds of holes in them and whatever, and we came out of that one.

Mr. Reid describes German anti-aircraft strategy. Describes an air fighter evasion and emergency landing.

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

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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