Cream of the Crop Students

Heroes Remember

Cream of the Crop Students

I had so many nice students when I was through. They were smart kids. We got the cream of the crop. I think we got better students than the pilots. Don't say it. We had really nice ones, and they were good. After teaching high school, it was a real pleasure. Interviewer: And about half of them were killed? Yeah. After doing it for a year or so, I really felt guilty. I should be with them. So I applied to re-muster to air crew, to the CO, but he turned me down. He thought I was needed here. So I hung in. I got over it, eventually, but, so, yeah … all those young men getting killed going over. Well, people ask you how you feel about the atomic bomb. That's a big deal these days, isn't it? There's an implication that we shouldn't have dropped the atomic bomb. That we were being pretty callous and cruel to wipe out all those civilians. But if you're out in the Cocos Islands, and your family was home, you were pretty glad to see the end of the war. So, I didn't worry as much at the time. But since … I don't know. I guess they claim they saved lives by doing it. The Americans claim it, anyway. It was probably right. They said it would take a million men to defeat Japan.

Mr. Campbell talks about how impressed he was with the students he taught, and discusses his feelings on the atomic bomb.

David Robert Campbell

David Robert Campbell was born on May 16, 1916. Mr. Campbell grew up on the family farm with his brother and sister in Elgin County, Ontario. He attended a one-room schoolhouse, then went to Western University on a scholarship, studying math and physics, later becoming a high school math teacher. Mr. Campbell joined the Royal Air Force as a navigational instructor in 1940. He taught navigation to many students and flew numerous operational missions as a navigator. Though he was never wounded, Mr. Campbell saw many of his colleagues fall. After the war Mr. Campbell returned to teaching math.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
David Robert Campbell
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Air Force
356 Squadron
Navigation Instructor

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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