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Realizing he's being fired upon.

Heroes Remember

Realizing he's being fired upon.

Interviewer: So at this point you're aware that the war is on? Yeah, and I've understood since then that we were the first Canadian soldiers in action, in the Second World War. First I really knew of it, I was walking from the cookhouse back to our bunkhouse and the bullets were flying around. I heard this plane, I looked up and I really didn't know but I could hear the bullets hitting the roof, hitting the dust and so forth, sounds like a movie deal but it's true. I looked up and then I seen this big red painting on the back of the, on the bottom of this plane, that's the Japanese flag, what we call the scrambled, the fried egg. Interviewer: Wow And that didn't bother me, you know, because it was, I didn't, I didn't know the war was on. I didn't know, what's that? I thought somebody was making a mistake up there. Interviewer: You must have been afraid No I wasn't, I didn't realize what was happening. The next time that I was fired on that closely, I was in a group, a copps of trees and I could hear the air plane. Now we were in the war now, now we're back over here on the island, this is, we would, I don't know what, how long, what we stayed on the mainland. But when we went back to the island, the first time I was fired on it was up in the air, another air plane and it's cutting the trees, I couldn't see the plane, and its cutting the leaves off the trees and I'm just like that, I'm shaking all over until I got out and I could see the plane and calm came back, came over me. That's the only time that I was really shaking from... You're scared all the time, there is no question about it, you know, nobody wants to die.

Mr. McGee tells about the first time Japanese planes fired upon him. He wasn’t scared because he didn’t know what was happening. Next time, he knew and was shaking fiercely.

John McGee

Mr. John McGee was born in Saskatchewan, on May 3, 1923, and comes from a family of two brothers and three sisters. He now resides in Edmonton, Alberta, with his wife and family. Mr. McGee joined the army and left for wartime service with a group of thirteen men. Although very excited to be going overseas, he recalls the sight of seeing young men jumping overboard when the ship began to sail; the fear of the unknown was causing many to turn back and stay at home! Mr. McGee was determined to go and serve his country. Mr. McGee shares with us his personal experience of being captured as a Hong Kong prisoner of war (POW) and hardships he endured at the camp. He considers himself very fortunate to be alive today, as many of his friends were left behind. After six years of serving in the army, Mr. McGee returned home to be what he terms an "Entrepreneur" buying a few hotels and later on getting into the sales business. Civilian life was a very positive outcome for a soldier who had endured such hard times and poor health during his time in the prisoner of war camps.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
John McGee
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Winnipeg Grenadiers

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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