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Equipment on the Lancaster

Heroes Remember

Equipment on the Lancaster

In the front turret and my turret, the mid upper, there were twin Brownings - each capable of something around 1400 rounds a minute and the tail gunner had four guns but they were just .303’s and they were quite, in my opinion, they were quite light. You could have had a .50 calibre because most of the Germans had at least two cannon and two machine guns, usually four machine guns and they were heavier calibre so they, if they could see us they didn’t have to even get in firing distance. Other than that, our uniforms completed were an inner electric suit and an outer heated suit because we were flying at 20,000 feet and quite often you’d get ice from your oxygen mask right down to your knees. I remember in July on one particularly cold trip and I had a nice icicle frozen right down from my mouth from my breathing.

Mr. Callas tells of the weapons located in the Lancaster and describes the type of uniform worn to withstand the cold temperatures

Charles Callas

Charles (Cal) Edgar Callas was born in Wainwright, Alberta, on February 24, 1924. He enlisted in Edmonton, Alberta, in late 1942 after completing grade 12. He completed basic training there and then enrolled in an SFTS (service flight training school) in Dauphin, Manitoba. Mr. Callas trained in Trenton, Ontario, and MacDonald, Manitoba, in bombing and gunnery, and joined the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Air Crew, 625 Squadron, 1 Bomber Command. He successfully completed 33 trips between March and July of 1944, and had achieved the rank of pilot officer when the war ended. He was presented with the Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM) in 1946 by the Governor General of Canada. He returned to Edmonton and married his fiancée Wynee Gould. They raised three children, and are proud of their seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Mr. Callas celebrates 70 years with the Royal Canadian Legion this year, as well as long time memberships with the Canadian Air Search and Rescue Association (Air Division), the Royal Canadian Air Force Association and the Army Reserve..

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
June 2, 2012
Person Interviewed:
Charles Callas
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Air Force
625 Squadron
Mid Upper / Tail Gunner

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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