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Flying Operations

Heroes Remember

The fighter pilots of which we were a part stuck together, they would not really cohabit with or deal with bomber pilots. The bomber pilots were over there. And we had, in order to do our tour we had to do a hundred and thirty-five missions... During the winter I finally did get on operations, they finally allowed me to go, and it, it worked very well. And over the winter we had a lot of experience in terms of going across the channel and we began to photograph either vertically, we had cameras underneath or out the side, we began to photograph what we were told were, we...the code name was "noball" sites. N.O.B.A.L.L. We didn't know what they were but they were, they looked, looked like a hockey stick in the middle of a big copse of trees in France. And the bombers would go in daylight and attempt to hit these things and then we would come across and photograph the result of the bombing. And... but no one told us what these things were. But they were high, high priority targets. We also did "rhubarbs", that is just go across and usually four aircraft, we never operated with more than four at a time, and strafe whatever we could see on the roads or rail, trains or whatever. Those were called "rhubarbs." (Why?) Well that is, this is the code names. Just the code name of the operation. And so this was our method of attacking the Hun in his locus in France.

Mr. Rohmer describes the kinds of operations that his squadron would fly into while in France during early 1944.

Richard Heath Rohmer

Major General Rohmer was born in Hamilton, Ontario on January 24, 1924. He enlisted with the Royal Canadian Air Force on his eighteenth birthday. He had received some training in Canada before being shipped overseas to Bournemouth for further training on both Spitfires and Mustangs. He chose to fly a Mustang and was finally able to get into operations in the Fall of 1944.

General Rohmer provided reconnaissance for D-Day, the Falaise Gap and the Liberation of the Netherlands.

After the war, General Rohmer instructed Spitfire pilots on how to attack in the air at Gunnery Instructor School and later went back to college in Ontario, Canada. After graduating from college he went on to practice law. General Rohmer has received several awards throughout his illustrious career including the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Canada Defence Medal and is an Officer of the Order of Canada just to name a few. General Rohmer is also a best selling author.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Richard Heath Rohmer
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Battle of Normandy
Air Force
403 Squadron

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