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You Lose Friends in the Military

Heroes Remember

You Lose Friends in the Military

In the military environment you lose people, you lose friends. In the flying environment, particularly the, the fighter environment, which is, you know, as I said, it, it can be fairly hazardous, and we lost a lot of, a lot of people. Not as many as in the Sabre days certainly, but enough that, you know, you went to way too many funerals and, you know that was always tough. Interviewer: How do you cope? It was tough on the family...Well, family. You know the squadron's a family, your own, your own family is, is supportive. So it's very much just leaning on each other, as people do in any situation where, where you lose somebody, you, you lean on family, and, and that's what we did. So we lost, probably personally lost about forty friends, some close friends My son's godfather was killed in a, in a Tudor flying accident in Calgary, quite a few years ago. The toughest thing I think for me, the toughest loss, is when you're the commanding officer, and you lose somebody. That was the toughest, and I lost a pilot during my tours as squadron commander. A great young guy, they're all great young guys, and probably the toughest single moment was giving his wife the flag off his, off of his coffin, and it was, it was her birthday, so... Interviewer: You're never prepared for that. No.

Mr. Hawn remembers losing friends in the service, and as Commanding Officer at Cold Lake, having to present the flag from the coffin of a dead airmen to his widow.

Laurie Hawn

Mr. Hawn was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 1947. After finishing High School, Mr. Hawn opted to join the Air Force in order to further his education, with an ultimate goal of becoming a pilot. At the age of 18, Mr. Hawn flew for the first time, and by the age of 19 he became a flight instructor. First with T-Birds (T33's), then with Starfighters (CF104's). After instructing for 5 years in Cold Lake, Alberta, in April 1972, Mr. Hawn accepted a 3 ½ year posting with NATO in West Germany. After finishing his tour in West Germany, Mr. Hawn returned to flight instructing in Cold Lake, but was regularly posted to West Germany for a few weeks at a time. In 1988, Mr. Hawn was made Commanding Officer of 416 squadron. He held the position for 2 years, relinquishing it only weeks before the start of the first Gulf War, having only just stepped down, Mr. Hawn severely disappointed when he was not chosen to accompany the squadron when posted to Iraq. After a 30 year career, Mr. Hawn retired from the service. He now resides in Edmonton, Alberta, with his wife and family.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Laurie Hawn
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Peacekeeping/Peacemaking in West Germany
Air Force
416 Squadron

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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