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First Assignment Abroad

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First Assignment Abroad

My first assignment abroad was I went to Egypt, Somalia, Egypt on UN peacekeeping duty. That was interesting, it was a six month assignment, you know and in Somalia this was, it had been a British airfield there in previous years and here on that particular field we had Canadians, Poles and Australians. The Australians were on a helicopter squadron. The Poles, they were in a separate camp by themselves, and Poland at the time was a Communist country. So they kept very much to themselves. If they went out, they went out, they were always in uniform and they went out in groups and they didn’t associate with anybody. We as Canadians, of course, we were freer to move around and we also socialized with the Australians from time to time. They at the time had an all ranks mess which was something very unusual for us, you know. We had an officers mess and the airmen they had their messes, you know. So Australians were an interesting group to work with. Nobody disciplined them. The only people who could discipline Australians were Australians themselves. And they worked hard, but boy they were a wild bunch and they played hard. They drank a lot, you know, but they were good people and we worked with them very well.

Dr. Blizzard describes his six month assignment in Egypt with the UN peacekeeping operation and the differences in personalities he saw between the Polish, Australian and Canadian soldiers.

Dr. Stephen Blizzard

Dr. Stephen Blizzard was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad in 1928. His father was the principal of a primary school during his childhood. Dr. Blizzard left Trinidad in 1948. He received a scholarship to attend high school and graduated in 1953 from a school in Edinburgh, Scotland. In 1958 he came to Canada. In 1959, he attended university with the Reserve Training Plan in Ontario attending medical school and in 1963 graduated in medicine and chose to intern at the Ottawa Citizen Hospital and resident in surgery at the National Defence Medical Centre. He spent two years as Senior Medical Officer at Rockcliffe base then was posted to Moosejaw where he had medical training and training to fly jets. On December 13, 1968 he obtained his wings. Following this, Dr. Blizzard was posted to the RCAF Institute of Aviation Medicine. Afer returning to Trinidad for six years, Dr. Blizzard then came back to Canada in 1976. With 16 years of military service, Dr. Blizzard continued on his career path and was employed with the Department of Civil Aviation Medicine holding many positions, one being senior official on the aviation medical review board for 12 years. Dr. Blizzard contributes much of his military career training to his success in life.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Dr. Stephen Blizzard
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Air Force
Aviation Medicine

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