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Crewing up / First action

Heroes Remember

Crewing up / First action

I go back to Bournemouth, and I'm not there only a couple of weeks, and I'm gone. I, I've headed out. Most everybody, most, I say, I would say 99%, probably, out of the personnel go to what they call Operational Training Unit. I didn't. I was picked out of that bunch and I went straight to a, a Conversion Unit and onto Halifax's bombers. I never had an OTU or anything. I had no experience. There were six of us that went. I was one of the six, and that's where I met the crew that I'm with all the time, we linked up. That would be in December. So, this is why I zipped ahead so fast and never went through, because it always, well, three months at OTU. And I made my first trip with the wing commander of the, of the squadron, flying as a spare-gunner. The kid that wasn't... just turned 18 years old and going with the... well, the wing-commander of the squadron he would pick up a pick-up crew, because he didn't fly all the time. When you wanted to go on an OP, he'd just pick the navigator and a bomb-aimer, wireless OP, couple of gunners. So, I was picked on that one. I flew in the mid-upper that night, yeah. That was a 7 hour and 20 minute trip. Quite a baptism, eh? Why he would pick a guy like me, you know, that never been on an, on an OP or anything else? Went down towards the, put me down towards the Spanish border to a place called La Rochelle, so. It was submarines, pens, and things down there, we were bombing them. And, that's where the subs came from, out into the Bay of Biscay.

Mr. Garrison describes his first combat action.

Glenn Garrison

Mr. Garrison was born in 1925 in Sarnia, Ontario. His family moved to Blackville, Ontario, in 1930. Although his father was a boiler maker with the Canadian National Railroad, Mr. Garrison's family was poor. When old enough, he went to work in a factory, then enlisted in 1943. He received his Air Gunner training in Lachine, Quebec, then shipped overseas on the Mauritania. He was a member of 428 Squadron. The Mid-Upper and Tail gunner positions were extremely vulnerable and he was fortunate to survive many bombing missions over France and Germany. These missions included the bombing of submarine pens in Southern France and the industrial area of the Ruhr Valley. At the age of 18, Mr. Garrison returned to Canada with 43 missions to his credit. At 19, he became a flying instructor at Fingor, then CO of the Turrets and Gunnery school at Mountain view. Mr. Garrison and his wife live on a farm in Sarnia. He has his own air plane and is still flying.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Glenn Garrison
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Bomber Command
Air Force
428 Squadron
Flying Officer
Mid Upper / Tail Gunner

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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