Heroes Remember

Interviewer: Let's pick it up with your discussion about dropping these guerillas, these fellas. Did you ever, what's, what was your impression of these people? What were they like? I saw them getting into the air craft and I didn't want to see them again because, you, you had to be awful careful about, about friendships, or it'd tear you apart and, so they would, a Liberator opens up, the bomb-bay opens up and there's a catwalk and I was up on the flight deck and, you know, getting ready and all the rest of this sort of thing for takeoff and they would come in, get on the flight deck and walk to the back of the aircraft. And, what we had on, on the Lib was a pothole, and we had one chap, that would be our air gunner too, God, when I think of it, we had a lot of protection, he would, he'd get them ready and he'd have the canisters there and so on, all set, you know, to drop them first and he'd have these fellas, and there was usually an English chap with them and in some cases it was a plantation owner or what not and he'd dialogue with them and say, "Ok, it'll be maybe ten hours and then they'll, they'll let us know." So, they wouldn't leave that part of the air craft, now if you had to go to the john, then you'd have to go back, but other than that, they would be in the back of the air craft so, so you wouldn't, you wouldn't see them. And when they, when they went in, I don't remember, it was just an operation, and, and it, there wasn't, there wasn't that feeling. The only trip that first feeling was, "Look at those poor sons-of-guns, you know. I'm going back to, to something sane and they're going into a bloody jungle." But after that, it was just a milk run type of thing, you didn't, it, you, you get hardened to it, and they tell me that, these people that were in the First World War, fighting in trenches that you get hardened to it, you shoot them and that's it, you know. We weren't shooting anyone, but who they were and anything personal, and what not, it, it was nothing. I didn't, I didn't, I didn't see them, other than just getting into the aircraft.

Mr. Fitzmaurice talks about the guerillas that they were dropping in to the jungles of Burma.

Anthony Fitzmaurice

Mr. Fitzmaurice was born on a farm in Mount Carmel, Ontario. He grew up in London, Ontario, where he attended school. After graduating from college in 1943 he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and received his training in Mitchells and then Liberators in Calgary, Alberta. After training he flew from Dorval, Quebec, to Algiers. Mr. Fitzmaurice flew in a Liberator with 357 squadron flying guerillas in to Burma, China and Thailand. He returned to Canada on the Aquitania in March of 1946.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Anthony Fitzmaurice
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Southeast Asia
Air Force
357 Squadron
Wireless Navigator

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