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Aircraft recognition

Heroes Remember

Aircraft recognition

But the Americans you see, they had, they had very little if any, any aircraft recognition. They, they, they didn't know one aircraft from another. When we were stationed at ASU, for, as an example, we used a Mustang fighter for fighter fill and this American came in, don't know just the purpose, but he'd landed and he got out and he was talking away and he said, "Well, oh, jeez, that's a nice aircraft over there," and we looked at him, and it was the same aircraft except with graph markings. He went over and he looked and, "Oh, Jeez, this is great!" and we looked at him and said, "Well, what's with you, you know, this, it's the same aircraft you're flying except except..." "Oh", flabbergasted. And one of my buddies was a Spit pilot, and they were tooling around and they saw a group of American aircraft and they thought everything's pecky-poo, all of sudden all hell breaks loose and they're being fired at, and they had to take action to get away from them, and let it be known that they were, they were, "Hey, we're on your side."

Mr. Reid provides an amusing anecdote about American inability to recognize aircraft.

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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