Supply Drops

Heroes Remember

They said it was a tour, but it really wasn’t a tour, by most people’s standards. It was 23 ops. and 250 hours or something. It’s pretty close. And then we flew, after the war, we dropped supplies to the prisoners of war in Singapore. And we also dropped supplies to Dutch prisoners, that run to Parapat and Sumatra. And we dropped supplies to guerrillas fighting out in the Isthmus there, across the Straight of Malacca. I used to use that for teaching afterward, teaching navigation, teaching math. Tell them the power of math. You could be way down there, in the Cocos Islands, and you could fly all through the dark and the clouds. And you go way out, a thousand miles away, and find that little fire out in the middle of the forest, and drop the supplies. And that’s what we did. And they don’t have the thing, they don’t have GPS then. Interviewer: Did you ever get lost or off course? Off course is an American term. We couldn't possibly be off course, because in the Canadian Air Force, a course was a heading, the direction it was heading. So it was heading whatever direction it was heading. That’s what we called a course. That’s American. We called a course a track. So, we use different words than the Americans. And everybody sees all these American movies, and they say, “You’re off course,” and we meant we’re off track. No, I never got, not very badly lost. And my wireless operator, Bill, the one who worked with Bill Watson, said, “Why don’t you get lost sometimes, so I can be a hero and get a DF bearing and get us home?” But I never did get lost.

Mr. Campbell discusses his experiences dropping supplies for POWs after the war.

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
Southeast Asia
Air Force
356 Squadron

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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