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“Baptism Under Fire”

Heroes Remember

“Baptism Under Fire”

Our graduation trip, was a trip over France to drop off some propaganda leaflets and back, and it was our sort of baptism under fire, and I remember first time I got shot at with a tracer ammunition and saw these things coming up all over the place. I thought, "Wow, isn't that pretty." And then one went wide between me and the port engine and I thought, "Hey, we better get doing something about this," so we went into a weaving pattern. Then on the way back the tail gunner let out an awful yelp. The ‘blue beam', which was a radar controlled beam that, usually when it came up, it was right on the aircraft and as soon as it was on the aircraft, the search lights came on and then all the flak in the world came up. But anyway, miraculously it missed us. And I just put the aircraft into a steep dive to port and opened the throttles and the tail gunner regaled us with all the stuff that was going up behind us. But you know, this is nothing compared to what the guys who flew bomber ops in Europe had to go through. Interviewer: Why do you say that? Well ours was, that was one incident. Some of these guys had this happen a dozen times. And that's why a lot of them never made it. Interviewer: You use the term, baptism under fire. Can you elaborate on that for me? Well, it was the first time I'd got shot at by the enemy... Interviewer: Pretty scary feeling... I've been shot at by the Royal Navy before that, but they shot at everybody so, if anybody was close. So it was a different experience Interviewer: Can you say you were afraid? Probably, but we were too busy trying to solve the problem. Interviewer: You just do your, you do your job. Yeah, you know we'd been pretty well trained.

The first time Mr. Chase was fired upon, was during the graduation flight over France, while dropping off propaganda leaflets.

Bryce Chase

Mr. Chase was born in North Battleford, Saskatchewan on June 6, 1923. He is the eldest son in a family of six children. He now resides in Calgary with his wife and family. Mr. Chase joined the service and became a pilot in the Air Force under the Wellington Bomber Command Squadron and he was responsible for carrying supplies and personnel in and out of Burma. He is presently a member of the Calgary chapter of the Burma Star Association. Mr. Chase returned to civilian life, enrolled in university, obtained his degree and now works in the field leadership and counselling in Adult Education.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Bryce Chase
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Air Force
Wellington Bomber Squadron

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