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Some Personal Observations on Buzz

Heroes Remember

Some Personal Observations on Buzz

The outstanding thing about Beurling was his eyesight. He could see things that most of the rest of us could not. As an example: I was sitting alert, one early morning there was fog, quite a bit of fog around at, Headcorn in Kent airfield, and he was in the next revetment painting iron crosses on the side of his air plane. And they released us from two minute readiness so I got out of the cockpit and was sitting on the wing of my aircraft and he came over and struck up a conversation and I said to him you know, "How, do you really see these things that no one else can see in the air?" and he said, "Oh yeah, I see them." And he said, "For example, do you, can you see that tree over there?" I said "Yes." It was about 150 yards away I guess. He said, "Look up on the right-hand side of the trunk about three feet above the ground. There's a brown leaf on that tree." I couldn't see it, and I thought, oh yeah, sure. Anyway, you could tell me anything in that stage in my fighter career, but particularly Buzz Beurling. Anyway, at any rate he went back to painting some iron crosses on the side of his air plane and so I just wandered over to have a look. And sure enough it was there. Now whether he had seen it before or not I have no idea, but it was there. So I believed him after that. Interviewer: As you know Mr. Lindsey, Buzz Beurling is a controversial figure. What was your assessment of the man when you knew him with 403 squadron? Great fighter pilot, great eyes, great gunnery instructor, but a loner. He was not what one would think of as, as a real fighter squadron buddy. Because he could see things further out than other people he was able to get in first but he was, he wasn't you know a leader, a squadron leader. He wanted to be first there and get the victory for himself. Interviewer: He was highly competitive was he? Oh very. Extremely competitive.

Mr. Lindsey speaks of the unique eye sight abilities of "Buzz" Beurling and of the highly competitive nature of this legendary Canadian ace...

James Douglas Lindsey

Mr. Lindsey was born in Arnprior, Ontario, and spent his early years on a reservation in Quebec, returning to Arnprior for his schooling. He was active in school sports. He had one younger sister who died of cancer when she was about 38 years old. His father was in the lumber and logging business as was his grandfather. Mr. Lindsey's father was a Regimental Sergeant Major during the First World War and was active in the 42nd Renfrew Regiment Reserves after his First World War service. Mr. Lindsey tried to enlist when the Second World War was declared but was turned down because of his age. He was finally accepted by the RCAF at the age of 17 years with the condition that he complete his schooling first. Eventually, he received training in Toronto and Trenton, Ontario, and Victoriaville, Quebec. It was then on to Chatham, New Brunswick, for pilot training at the Elementary Flying School and additional training at CFB Summerside, PEI. He was then posted back to Trenton to train as a pilot instructor.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
James Douglas Lindsey
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Air Force
127 Wing - 403 Squadron
Flight Lieutenant

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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