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Remembering Comrades

Heroes Remember

Remembering Comrades

Well it was sort of a world a part. It was something that not everyone will do ever again. It was something that would never wanted to miss and I just, I can't explain the joy and the feeling we had when we were all together fighting the war and those that were shot down or lost, it seems like they're still here. They're part of the team and they've gone away for awhile. Interviewer: Is there a bond between you men that has lasted all these years? Oh, yeah, terrific bond, yeah. You see when you look at someone face to face it's one thing but when you look at them from across an air plane and watch him doing what he's doing you know, it's something that never gets erased. There's just something that tied the, there's nothing like it if, they must get the same in the Army and the Navy and for a young person his training in life this should be included in his life, his growing up. I would say.

Mr. Edwards describes the camaraderie shared with other pilots - the feeling that those that were lost, were still part of the team.

James Francis Edwards

Mr. Edwards was born on a farm near Lockwood, Saskatchewan on June 5th 1921. His father, a First World War Veteran, kept horses until the depression forced him to move the family to Battleford where he became an insurance salesman. His mother had been a nurse during the First World War. In June 1940, Mr. Edwards enlisted in the Air Force. He was sent to the Brandon, Manitoba to do his Initial Training, then to Edmonton, Alberta for Flying School. After completing Flying School, Mr. Edwards was sent to overseas. He was assigned to 55 Operational Training Unit in Osworth, England where he flew Hurricanes. From there he was posted to Africa to take part in the Desert Campaign. Among many battles and operations, he took part in the El Alamein Battle (Egypt) and the Tunisian Campaign. In Egypt, he was promoted to Flight Lieutenant. After a period in Cairo running a gunnery school, he was called back to combat in Italy. There he fought in the Battle of Ortona and Anzio and he was given his own squadron, the RAF 274. He was shot down on his first flight as squadron commander. Surviving, he and his crew were sent back to England to take part in D-Day. He would also fight in Holland and Germany. In total, Mr. Edwards served two tours of duty, flying over 360 missions. He had more than 19 confirmed kills. After the war was over he returned to Canada and continued service with the air force retiring as a wing commander.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
James Francis Edwards
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Air Force
Wing Commander

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