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Mistaken identity

Heroes Remember

POWs all had blue denim uniforms, you know, jackets and there was a great big red circle on the back of their jacket. What I used to wear in the fall, when it was chilly, I used to wear a red and black checked wind breaker. When I was going up on the mountains, I had to take some readings, some weather readings and a few moisture readings up one of these valleys and I was up there one afternoon, I heard a "ping, ping, ping" going down in the camp down below and I supposed that the, probably the guards were having a little musketry practice. But the next thing I knew a couple of bullets whizzed past my ear pretty quickly so I high-tailed it down the hill pretty fast. I found out I guess these old World War One Veterans their eyesight probably wasn't as acute as it had been and they thought that they had seen one of these red marks of the prisoners uniform up there and that was what they were shooting at so I escaped with my life. That was my first exposure to, not enemy fire I guess but military fire anyway.

Mr. Beall describes being mistaken for an escaped prisoner near the POW camp in Kananaskis, Alberta, and being shot at by two members of the Home Guard.

Herbert Beall

Herbert Beall was born in 1908 in Ottawa, Ontario. He attended Lisgard Collegiate, where he commanded the 94th Cadet Battalion, and also joined the Governor-General's Footguards. He entered the Canadian Officer Training Corps at university, and received his commission in 1931. In 1932, Mr. Beall joined the Royal Canadian Signal Corps. In February, 1941 he transferred to the RCAF as a Flying Officer with the rank of Lieutenant. His service in England saw him at radar stations in the Orkney Islands and the Isle of Wight. He later went to the Middle East, where he set up and maintained portable radar systems in Egypt, and to a lesser extent Kuwait and Jordan.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
July 8, 1999
Person Interviewed:
Herbert Beall
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Air Force
Squadron Leader
Radar Mechanic

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