Language selection


Finding Shelter

Heroes Remember

I was going to get ready to sort of hike back to our lines as soon as I could get out but I needed something to drink and this is where I found that can of tomato juice and drank it. And I picked up some other cans and put them in the little kit bag I had and I decided I was going to start away and go. Well as I was moving around, there was a room that had, you know, these wine in a, what could you call them, covered with the, not fabric, but, well, anyway they are the bottle shaped things there and they were on the floor stacked on the floor and again I was afraid that if I had any, it might be again poisoned, I wouldn’t touch the water on the same things, foolish but that’s the way it was. But there were a couple of bottles that just had heels of wine in the bottom and I thought well they wouldn’t be bad, they wouldn’t be sort of poisoned in that so I picked one up and I drank the little heel of wine that was in the bottom of it. I got as far as the centre room of the thing and I collapsed on the desk, it just laid me out cold and the next thing I knew was that I woke up lying on this desk and dressed like this and I thought, hmm, what woke me? Something woke me up. And I listened and then I heard a truck, I mean an engine turn over and I thought, oh my God they’re back! And then this truck obviously drove up right to in front of the door, I couldn’t see but I could hear it and I thought, oh no, they’re coming in and somebody came up the steps, kicked the door open and I went oh dear! I was just laid out, I wasn’t moving. And then this individual came through the door and I saw the flash of light on the steel helmet and I thought, that’s not a German helmet, and then the guy came the rest of the way in and he had a red band, MP on his arm and it was a British Army military policeman and he had his gun and his holster on his belt and of course he came in kind of cautiously. I hit the floor from the desk with these big boots on, clattered the cement floor and of course this noise, this MP immediately jumped on the basis that it was a German and you know they had warned that these people if they were wounded would stay behind and they would be suicide squad type of thing. So this guy reaches for his gun in his holster, I went across the room, passed him to the door and got out to the door and was heading towards the stairs at the bottom of the door and here’s this sergeant at the bottom of the stairs with a rifle and a bayonet pointing up saying, “Hey, What’s up?” And this chap behind me has his gun out by this time and shoves it in my back. And here I am in German uniform, my pants are bloodied from the wound and I am just what you might think, I am a German leftover. Well of course I start talking about just, “I’m a Canadian, I’m with the Air Force!” and so on and this sergeant didn’t crack a smile. He just held this thing pointed at me and at one moment I am blabbering away with this sort of thing with his gun shoved in my back and the sergeant says, “Okay son, have a seat!”

After finally reaching shelter, Mr. Watts details steps taken to care for himself, only to be awoken by the sound of footsteps.

Jack Watts

Jack Vincent Watts was born on November 10, 1920, and was raised in Hamilton, Ontario, where he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force on July 2, 1940. He flew on Royal Air Force squadrons throughout his wartime service, serving with squadrons 10, 462, 109 and 105. He finished the war as a squadron leader and received the Distinguished Service Order (DSO), the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and Bar. He retired as a brigadier-general in 1975. On his return to Canada after the war, he played in the Canadian Football League with the Hamilton Tigers and the Wildcats. He moved to Ottawa for his service career, and resided there with his war bride, Norma Zelia, formerly of Coventry, England.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
June 1, 2012
Person Interviewed:
Jack Watts
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Air Force
Bomber Command

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

Related Videos

Date modified: