Language selection

A Helpful Native

Heroes Remember

Whatever we, if we saw natives, we were not to speak to them or try to find out where we were. But I think after the first day and a half, we were so fed up with walking in this jungle, we saw a plantation area, where there were … It was a fence that was something done with ten foot poles all tied together all around us, about the area of this hotel here. And there was a gate and we went in. And the one fellow was great at describing things with his hands. I think he could speak more than one language and he wasn’t in our crew. But we went in and found the one Sinhalese man in town. Well, you don’t know about that, so he would be Sinhalese. And this fellow who with us, he’s going “whooooooooooo,” you know, wanting something to drink, we were thirsty. And that native, he had two ropes - a rope or something around here some place, and he went up a tree, I would say was 70, 80 feet tall. Boom, boom, boom, he just went up there. And he had a machete and there were three great huge coconuts came crashing down to the ground. And when he came down, he snapped off the top and gave them to us and we drank. And then we tried to pay that man. We had money in our pockets and we tried to pay him, but there was no way he would take money from us. It was far different than being down in the streets of Colombo, cause they would be taking money whatever way they could. But there was no way of repaying that man, ‘cause we had no idea who he was or anything other than he lives in the middle of the jungle.But anyway, there was a - we did find a road eventually. And there was a truck traveling back and forth. And as soon as they saw us, we were put in it and taken back. But it was a good experience.

Mr. Goettler describes getting lost in the jungle and trying to find water.

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

Related Videos

Date modified: