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Lone bomber attack on the airbase

Heroes Remember

Lone bomber attack on the airbase

A real coincidence at that station, 402 Squadron was on one side of the airfield, by this time 401 had come over or been formed over there, and it was on the other side of Digby. And we were getting the airplanes that were on standby, took off on both sides of the field. We were out, I was out doing my job at, on an airplane one day, and a big Heinkel or Dormer dropped out of the clouds right above me, I could, you know, see the guy's beard almost and he went over and bombed, dropped a bomb on the, it was several bombs, in the living area and hangar. At that time the operations people had kept all of the aircraft on the ground, on both 401 and 402, and MacGregor was our CO at the time, he was later head of Air Canada. He was just furious and he went over and chastised the, whoever's responsible in operations, for not scrambling the airplanes. It was about two weeks later, almost an identical thing happened, a lone bomber came and dropped out the clouds. At this time, both squadrons scrambled, they scrambled eight or ten airplanes each, and there was just airplanes all over. But, in the meantime, the guy pulled up in the clouds and was lost, got lost. But those are the only two occasions that are actually came under fire. The second incident I was in getting pay, I was going on leave, getting a little advance in pay and we heard the sirens going and the bombs dropping all around the building. There were about ten of us ended up underneath the table, I think. It was a bit dicey, I guess, we lost a few, a couple of people.

Mr. Snell recalls witnessing a lone bomber attacking his base on two occasions.

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
Air Force
Flight Sergeant
Instrument Mechanic

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