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Dangerous jungle hike

Heroes Remember

Dangerous jungle hike

We were, we had been taken out into the bush by the instructors and told that you could pretty near eat anything, like berries or something. But there was a couple of things we weren’t to eat because they were poisonous. But as a last resort, you’d dig into the earth with whatever you have to get down and get the roots and eat that. Anyway, so then we were put on a, we were taken to the edge of a plantation, I forget what kind it was, and we were told, “As the crow flies, there’s a road over there, 15 miles from here.” And there were three of us and the first thing I did was, I said, “I can hear water.” We were up on the edge of a cliff. “I can hear water. Let’s go down. It’s a lot easier walking in a stream than this.” And the three of us went down, and down a pretty steep incline and found the river. And we walked maybe for half a mile or a mile, to discover as the further we went, it got thicker to the very source of the river. That meant we actually had to go on our hands and knees to get out of it, it was so thick, to get back up onto the higher ground where the trees weren’t so close. And we did that, and you could hear the elephants howling pretty near all the time They couldn’t have been ten miles away from me, you know, these elephants. And we were also taught, if you are walking through the forest you’re going to pick a trail. But if you meet an animal, whatever you do, get off that trail because a wild animal doesn’t know how to retreat or reverse. There is no way it would back up. You gotta get off that trail or you’re going to be charged. We were on trails that there were tigers and different animals like that … that were in that jungle. And when came night time, we decided, well, we’re not going to stay in that green underbrush with all the animals. We found an area on the side of a slope that had all died off, so we stayed there, and were able to burn the dead wood. And we kept a fire going all night, just in case some of these animals decided to use us, to take us.

Mr. Goettler talks about a dangerous jungle survival training hike.

George Angus Goettler

George Angus Goettler was born in Palmerston, Ontario on October 23rd in 1923. Mr. Goettler’s father had a grocery store where he, his two brothers and his sister worked. He had a second sister who died at a young age. Mr. Goettler served as a wireless operator, radar operator and tail gunner with the 160 Squadron. After completing their tour, Mr. Goettler’s crew was put on a rest tour where they tested aircrafts. After the war, Mr. Goettler returned to the grocery business, running his own store in Palmerston, Ontario.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
George Angus Goettler
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Southeast Asia
Air Force
160 Squadron
Wireless Operator, Radar Operator, Tail Gunner

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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