Language selection


“ final respects.”

Heroes Remember

“ final respects.”

I, I, I had a rear gunner and he was, the name was Joe Patmore, and he would've given his life for any one of the crew. He was that good a person. Eventually, he did. He was drowned. He was the last one... I did, I never saw him. I went back to see all the others. I didn't see him because his grave was moved from one spot to, to Bergen-op-Zoom. The last time I was there, I spoke with the chap that was guiding me and I said, "I have never run into this... I've, I've, I've never seen his grave. He says, "I'll take you there right now." And he took me there, he took me to Bergen-op-Zoom. He said... there were 2,700 graves there, he said, "I don't know where he is." He said, "He's in one of these graves, but I don't know where." He said, "I'll get the book." He got the book and he said, "It's number so and so." And you know what? I was standing right in front of him, in front of his grave. It was just as though he had called me to pay my final respects. That will always be with me for the rest of my life. That'll be with me for the rest of my life. I can, I can still see him. I can see him alive and I can see him dead. Can you imagine? Out of 2,700, I was standing right in front of his grave, of his, of his, of his stone. It was just as though he'd, he'd called me and he said, "One last look."

Mr. Pochailo recounts a haunting reunion with a fallen friend

Philip Pochailo

Philip Pochailo was born in Rainy River, Ontario, on November 19, 1920. After finishing his education, he worked several years in lumber camps, and finally enlisted in the RCAF in 1942. He went overseas in 1943. After advanced training as a bomb aimer in Great Britain, he was assigned to a British crew in No.1 Bomber Command in April 1944. His aircraft was shot down over the Netherlands and only he and the aircraft's pilot survived. Mr. Pochailo evaded capture and joined the Dutch Resistance Movement where he lived and worked for the next 12 months. He was liberated by Canadian troops in Rotterdam in 1945. Mr. Pochailo returned to Canada after the war and now resides in Ottawa, Ontario.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Philip Pochailo
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Bomber Command
Air Force
#1 Bomber Command
AC2 / Flying Officer
Bomb Aimer

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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