Awe Inspiring Sight

Heroes Remember

On the way home, once we finished the target, I sat up front 'cause I knew we had no target to meet as far as time and we had beautiful weather. German fighters at that stage were almost non-existent so we didn’t have to worry about that. So I looked down and I said, “Gee fellas, isn’t that a beautiful day! And look at that beautiful bridge down there! Nice and quiet!” One week later was when the Nijmegen Bridge was blown all to hell and all hell broke loose. But the week before we flew over it and it was just beautiful country. We got back and went on leave and that’s when I heard about the thing in Nijmegen Bridge. We were there just a week ago and you couldn’t believe how nice it was and then it was just blown all to pieces. So it was beautiful then. Another time we were flying north and this was before we got on t squadron and we were doing a little practice flying and it was at night over the Irish Sea and we were flying north at midnight. Well, in southern Saskatchewan in the daytime you’d look for miles and you’d see the grain elevator in the distance and so on. You’d try looking up over the earth to see the sun on the other side and the clouds looked like ... just like a prairie scene ... only it was clouds and looking over from the Irish Sea looking north. Just beautiful. Never saw anything so awe inspiring in your life. So those things were nice things to look back on. But what was happening behind you and underneath you was terrible.

Mr. Wickens describes the beauty of the scenery from 20,000 feet up.

Donald Wickens

Mr. Wickens was born in Moosejaw, Saskatchewan. Despite the scarcity of jobs during the depression, he took employment with the Bank of Montreal, where he worked for two years prior to enlisting. Although not initially eager to do so, Mr. Wickens decided to join his friends who had preceded him into the service. Unlike many of his friends, however, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force with the intention of becoming a navigator, and completed his training in Portage La Prairie. Once overseas, Mr. Wickens became a member of 434 Blue-Nose squadron and took part in 37 bombing and mine laying missions over Northern Europe. He and the rest of his aircrew were decorated after surviving two air attacks in which their aircraft was disabled. After leaving the service, Mr. Wickens returned to the Bank of Montreal. He currently resides in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Donald Wickens
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Bomber Command
Air Force
434 Squadron
Flying Officer

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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