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Fighter Training

Heroes Remember

We spent hours training, we spent hours fighting with planes. We went up and we'd be attacked by Spitfires or Mosquitos or Hurricanes and we were attacked one day by, we were up to do a fighter, fighter test, no a fighter, what the heck are they called, fighter... a fighter... whatever. We were to play with this fighter anyway and we got there on time to this location and we're looking for a fighter and sure enough we got one. A Hurricane, and he came belting in and my God, he came so close it wasn't even funny. And I gave the old commands, you know, "Starboard port, go, go, go!" You know all this kind of stuff, corkscrewing all over the place. Boy he was deadly. And he came in and he came in two or three times in a row, you know. And he was scaring us he was getting that close. And finally he came from up port, which was actually yeah, up starboard actually and he came in and he came so close, I was scared. I could see him, you know. And he went past the turret and I watched him go down and, "Oh, oh, oh... oh my God." He didn't pull out. He was gone. Yeah, he went right in and they told us afterwards, that all they did was take a wrecker out there, cut off the tail and fill in the rest of the hole, and go. There was nothing left of the rest of the thing, just a bit of tail sticking out. About 5 minutes later, along comes a spitfire and shouts, "Tally-ho, I'm here!" Wasn't from our place at all, it was nothing to do with us! And we had Spitfires on our squadron you know for aerodrome defence and this is what we fought with and he shouts, "Tally-ho, I'm here ready to start the operation," ( inaudible ) you know. This guy was from a Polish squadron! Just happened to be flying by and decided he was going to have some fun. Yeah, way to go. You never knew what was going to happen.

Mr. Western talks about how they were going through training over Scotland and how this fighter pilot did not pull out of his dive.

Rev Jack Western

Mr. Western was born on July 20, 1923, in Bradford, England. His father, a businessman, sold coal but due to the UK General Strike of 1926 switched to selling fresh vegetables. Mr. Western joined the Royal Air Force with the intention of becoming a pilot partially because of the stories he had heard from First World War pilots. Unfortunately, he was unable to become a pilot due to the requirement for a high level of mathematical skills. As a result he became a tail gunner and flew 22 missions before the war ended. After the war Mr. Western became a police officer. He lost his leg while he was the police chief and went on to serve as a civilian in police services for a total of 20 years. For the next 28 years he worked as a court administrator and also as a Justice of the Peace for the Province of Ontario. When he retired in 1995 he became a pastor. He currently resides in Sarnia, Ontario.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Rev Jack Western
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Air Force
153 Squadron
Tail Gunner

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