Language selection


Reunion with the Dutch Underground

Heroes Remember

Reunion with the Dutch Underground

I had a very interesting experience a few years ago. During the war, there was a small town which we, in that Scheldt area, which we set up a system to keep the Germans heads down while the Canadian Army advanced. Every 15 minutes, four Spitfires would come and bomb. And a few years ago, I was invited to go with the Canadian Officer's Professionals Training in Europe to tell them about the air force side of that particular battle and others as well. And I had a portion of my log book, many copied and gave to the young officers just to say, these are this type of operations we were doing there. And we met some of the resistant movement in this town and we then went out for cocktails and a dinner that night. And one of the young Canadian officers went up to one of the resistant people and said, "That's Wing Commander Warren over there and he was operating in this area and here's what he was doing. You know, you may be interested." Well, all of a sudden this fellow jumps up, comes running across to me and he's sort of going like this and he said, "You bombed me! You bombed me! October the 11th, 1944, you bombed me, you bombed me!" I'm all taken aback and he had been in this little town and he had been meeting a resistance man from the other side of the lines who was going to sneak in the little town and they were caught there. And every 15 minutes, every 15 minutes four Spitfires would come along and drop their bombs and shoot the place up because the Germans were there as well and he was caught there. Well, he then left me and I'm sort of shaking my head about this, rushed over to the pay phone in the corner and called up his friend and said, "Hey, you gotta come down here, that guy that bombed us on October 11th, 1944 is here." And I met them both and had a wonderful picture taken with them. It was really a highlight of the trip as far as I was concerned.

Mr. Warren describes suppression bombing in the Scheldt designed to keep the Germans heads down while the Canadian army advanced. Years later, at a meeting in Holland, he is surprised to be confronted by a member of the World War Two Dutch Resistance who had been in the area at the time of the bombing.

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

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

Related Videos

Date modified: