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Crash Over Berlin

Heroes Remember

The second trip was to Berlin and just the engineer and I went from our crew. We were dumped in with this other crew. And their tail gunner was very nervous, very nervous. Anyway we got boxed in over Berlin with search lights and I ordered corkscrew port immediately. And a Me 109 just came through the lights, he got caught in the lights as he came through. And I opened fire and I still think I got him. We took a bit of flak, we took a bit of shot too, and the pilot when he finally did get the aircraft down the dive, we must have lost about two or three miles which was a lot of area to lose. The pilot didn’t think he was going to be able to maintain the aircraft so he said, “Standby to bail out!” So I got out of my turret and I had no chute and I said, “Skipper, I got no chute!” I won’t repeat the language but more like you dumb Canadian. Anyway I said, “I’ll take the tail gunners!” That shut him up! So he said, “Okay, we’re going to try and make it back but we only got three engines.” So we flew all the way back and we lost another engine before we hit England. And we never made the squadron. We crashed in a big field that was just there for crashing. I can remember that night too because there was a mosquito bomber squadron and this Canadian pilot had shot down a Junkers 88 Bomber in (inaudible) and had gone through the wreckage and he caught fire. He was still burning when he crashed where we were. It seems to me that there were 167 holes in the aircraft, some of them quite large. I think we still have under carriage I think, (inaudible) I can’t even remember how I got back to the squadron. I know it was about five days.

Mr. Callas describes the attack over Berlin, taking hits from enemy fire and following orders from Skipper who is forced to make a crash landing.

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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