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Armed at all times

Heroes Remember

While we were there, all the ground crew were armed with a rifle. It was a pump Lee Enfield or a Wasp, it was pretty antiquated. We wore bandoliers of, of ammunition, we had a gas mask, a gas cape, and a steel helmet that we wore. And that's the way we went out to do our work, on the airplane.The idea was that we were, would defend the airport if there was an invasion, which at that time was really a possibility and really a concern. I'm not quite sure what people like myself could have done with limited training, I think I'd fired ten rounds out of a Lee Enfield rifl. I kept it clean and ready to go. That year we were purportedly ready to defend the airport if there was an invasion or an attack. And for the, practically the whole time I was there that was the routine, you go to work complete with rifle, ammunition, gas cape and gas mask, and helmet.

Mr.Snell recalls having to be armed at all times while working on the planes, in case of an invasion on the airbase.

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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