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Post War Reflections

Heroes Remember

Post War Reflections

Well it's hard to, to say that he gave his life and it was a good thing, 'cause it was a tough thing. But it was unfortunately a necessary thing. Hitler would have run all over Europe and who knows what would have happened, if he hadn't been stopped. It was necessary, very necessary, the war. And it had a terrific impact on the change after the war. Like all countries, as you know all of a sudden realized what war was about and started to settle down, Germany and Italy particularly. And it, it's sort of hard to say, I really feel for those people that lost their lives really feel, except for the grace of God, here goes I, you know I could have been a pilot too, and shot down. I lost a lot of friends, a lot. I didn't get to know the people flying as well as I knew the pilots better, but I didn't get to know a lot of them. Like the ground crews that worked on the crew, they became part of a family. There was a pilot and his crew of seven, and the ground crew, they were a team and when an airplane didn't come back, those people were shaken. But you sort of accepted the fact that there were going to be losses and they'd come back and well, aircraft's gone, we'll have to go and help somebody else until a new replacement comes in. It wasn't a hardened approach, but it was an accepted fact that you would lose them. Whether people's lives are worth it or not, I don't, I'd say it's hard to say, because it, it had to be done. And I've forgotten how many we lost, 15,000 I think in the air force, which was a lot of people. A lot of those people at wars all go through their school probably were lost within days or months or maybe a year after they started firing on, on missions.

Mr. Snell reflects on whether the war was worth the amount of lives lost, and the relationships between the crew.

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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