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Lysander Air plane

Heroes Remember

Interviewer: Can you tell me a little bit more about the Lysander aircraft? It was a unique airplane. It was a gold wing, high wing airplane on a fixed under carriage. It had two positions; a pilot and a gunner at the back. It had, as I said, two little ball marks which were attached to the wheel, struts. I've forgotten the engine that powered it, I think it was a Pegasus engine, a fairly small engine but very reliable airplane. And very nice to fly, the pilots could literally turn on a dime. So I had my first flight on, in a Lysander, first ever time I was off the ground. And it was rear facing backseat where the air gunners, it was just a pilot and air gunner, that was the crew, and that was my first flight. But they could come in and they would land, very, very short take off and landing, very short, and that was the big feature that they could work in rough terrain and they could get in and out of very short fields.

Mr.Snell discusses the Lysander Air plane.

John “Jock” Snell

John Snell was born in Calgary, in April 1920. He was the middle child of three, having an older sister and a younger brother. Mr. Snell's family lived through the depression where they survived on $85.00 a month, which had to support their family of five. After struggling as a farmer Snell's father took a job as a milkman. Mr. Snell remembers helping his father on the milk route on Saturday's so his father could join his friends in a game of cricket. Mr. Snell dropped out of school only months before finishing and pursued a career as a radio repair technician, which little to his knowledge would pave the way for his career as an instrument mechanic in the air force. He quickly rose through the ranks of the air force and at the age of twenty he became a commanding officer in charge of over thirty five men. Mr. Snell retired from the air force in December 1969, with just over 30 years of service.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
John “Jock” Snell
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Battle of Britain
Air Force
110 Squadron Royal Canadian Air Force
Instrument Mechanic

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