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Sweeps at the Falaise Gap

Heroes Remember

Sweeps at the Falaise Gap

We moved over to France I think about the first of August or so. I forget exactly, but it was just at the time shortly after where the Falaise Gap came and the fighting there and the low level attacks. And a lot of people don't know but even at that time, the German Army used a lot of horses to pull carts and wagons and things. And we really felt bad about shooting at horses and yet you'd see the German soldiers would be holding the horses bridle and be just sort of jerked off their feet with the rearing. It was dangerous, terribly dangerous for them to move during the day, and yet they did. Sometimes, particularly you would see motorcyclists and I think they were dispatch riders. They should have been given the iron cross, double time for being a motorcyclist because if you saw a motorcycle scooting down the road, it was fair game.

Mr. Warren pilots the modified Spitfire 9B, equipped for low level warfare. He describes, with regret, attacking German horse-drawn equipment, as well as the fact anything on the road was fair game. He expresses admiration for German motorcycle riders who were particularly vulnerable to air attack.

Douglas Warren

Douglas Warren was born on May 28, 1922 in Nanton, Alberta. His father, a farmer, was an isolationist emigrant from the United States. One of four children, Mr. Warren had an identical twin brother with whom he was very close. They had always wanted to fly, and enlisted in the Air Force in 1940. Mr. Warren completed his pilot training in High River, Alberta. Once overseas, he joined #165 Spitfire Squadron in Ayr, Scotland, and was involved in the air battle during the Dieppe Raid, as well as later flying cover on bombing raids. He then joined #66 Squadron at Falaise, France, flying the new SpitfireMK9B in ground attack operations. Mr. Warren was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. After the war, Mr. Warren's exemplary career continued after permanently joining the RCAF. He became Fighter Leader for Canada's Meteor Jet Squadron, served in the Korean War, was a NATO pilot instructor in Germany, and served time with NORAD. Mr. Warren eventually became Assistant Base Commander at Comox from where he retired with the rank of Wing Commander.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
May 7, 1999
Person Interviewed:
Douglas Warren
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Air Force
166 Squadron
Wing Commander

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