Language selection


D-Day reflections

Heroes Remember

Well, just prior to D-Day a lot of the emphasis was on the targets. We did a lot of daylight runs on V-1 targets.These were these rockets they were launching at, self propelled rockets, that they were launching at London. And the V-2 sites, a lot of the targets were the shorter ones, I'm just trying to go back a bit. We were aware that D-Day was coming up only about 48 hours, at least in my capacity. People, the aircrew and so on probably had a bit more. We were actually confined to barracks, the whole base, 48 hours before D-Day. The aircraft were painted with invasion stripes, big black and white stripes around to, for easy identification. As were the aircraft that, the fighter aircraft that provided convoy as escort duties, were all painted. We had to do all of that in a matter of 24 hours, get them, these invasion stripes painted on. We knew something big was coming. I still remember this day waking up, going to work and looking up, and the sky was full of airplanes with gliders behind them. It just, I just can't describe how, how many aircraft had been towed. Like there was one airplane, the DC-2, it towed two or three of these gliders and there were just masses of them going over. So we knew then, of course, that something had happened. We, I think our squadron, again I don't know that to all persons, probably did some preemptive bombing, they might have done some diversionary bombing, to deflect the attention away. But one of the jobs that we had to do was bomb, after D-Day, was to get the Falaise Gap cleared, it blocked up there and the bomber command went over and dropped something like 4,000 tonnes of bombs on this tank regiment and everything that was holding up the, the Allied troops, and that was one of the big events post D-Day. Things quieted down.

Mr. Snell talks about what the atmosphere was like just prior to D-Day, and one of the big events for bomber command post D-Day.

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

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

Related Videos

Date modified: