Language selection


Flak, "Coning" and the impact of losing aircraft.

Heroes Remember

Flak, "Coning" and the impact of losing aircraft.

There's lots of times you come back on three engines, sometimes two. But that's from flak more than anything else. Shoot up at you and they could reach up there with those 88s, they just... You could see the bursts, and, and you know the, the... It's hard to believe, but even with the engines run, running you can hear the flak hit the, hit the air plane. Yeah, that makes you a little uneasy. Just, just for a little while. But in, over a target, or, or flying anywhere like that, of course you weren't in the search lights and things like that, but, yeah... Especially the Ruhr Valley, it was just... There are 60 miles of search lights there. And they're up there all the time at ya. If you ever got hit, caught in the cone of one of those... you usually have four or five search lights and there's one master search light on there and then when he locks on you, all the rest come over on you and they shoot the flak up the cone. But you break that then, that's when you have to do some corkscrews to try to get out of it. It's just like daylight. You could read a book. That's how bright that is, especially on a clear night. On those clear nights we never liked to fly. It's just, it's just too brilliant for the... Fighters can pick you out like crazy. Some targets are harder than others, worse... Some of them are longer than others too, further to go. And sometimes the track that they set for you isn't right. And if your navigator isn't too good, you're over top of the flak positions to start with. And the fighter knows... not a good situation. Not good. But it works, it works out most times, but just the same, you still lose air planes. And there's seven people every time that an air plane goes down. And the worst raid, I wasn't on it. That was on the Nuremberg raid where there, they lost over a hundred air planes. So there'd be about a hundred and some odd guys died that night, just on one trip. So, it depends. It wasn't your night, it wasn't your night to go, eh. You got to have a lot of faith, I think. You got to have a lot of faith. You betcha. And luck, I guess. But the luck comes with faith too, so you have to look at it in that, that respect too. And it's good if you happened to have a crew that stayed sober, too. I don't think it... I wouldn't know how anybody flies... I'm surprised that they might, think that they'd be sick all the time, but... and you certainly wouldn't do the job that you were meant to do, and you got six others guys that's depending on you.

Mr. Garrison describes German antiaircraft activity and its often devastating effects.

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

Related Videos

Date modified: