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Taking Pictures

Heroes Remember

When I got back to England, I got into photography, our job was to set up the cameras and the cameras took pictures 8 by 8, and we had to rig them up so that when the bombardier pushed the bomb tip, the camera took a picture, and then it took a sequence of nine pictures. And at night, the pathfinders would lead the parade with their flares and the bombardier would push the bomb tip but just to activate the camera and take a picture of the area before the bombing and then it was three seconds later it would take one, two, three pictures, and then three seconds later it would take another couple of pictures and bombers would go up and come back and take another series of, took about 9 pictures in all. And, when they got back to the field, we had to retrieve them, get them back to the hut, develop them, make big enlargements and into the interrogation room, all within an hour because that’s, you had to do things right then otherwise, they forgot.

Mr. Abdallah explains how the Lancaster Bombers would take pictures while out on missions.

Wilf Abdallah

Mr. Abdallah was born in London, Ontario, in 1923. His father immigrated from Lebanon to the United States at the age of 12 and eventually ended up in London, Ontario, where he was a candy maker and owned a few stores in the area. In 1936 the family moved to Petrolia and then on to Sarnia. Mr Abdallah attended high school in Sarnia before moving back to London in 1939-40. After lying about his age Mr. Abdallah joined the Royal Canadian Air Force when he was seventeen. He went to Toronto for three weeks training at Manning Depot before going to Paulson, Manitoba, to complete his training. In March of 1944 he sailed on the Louis Pasteur to Bournemouth, England, where he was stationed with 129 Airfield. Mr. Abdallah worked with the tactical air force, building airfields and then joined the air force’s return salvage unit. He moved through France, Belgium and Holland recovering aircraft to be repaired or stripped for parts. When Mr. Abdallah returned to Canada after the war he went back to live the rest of his life in London, Ontario.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Wilf Abdallah
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Air Force
129 Airfield Tactical Air Force
Leading Aircraftman

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