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An Officer? Get a Haircut!!

Heroes Remember

An Officer? Get a Haircut!!

We had a terrific crew. A crew of seven, four of them were officers, three of us were flight sergeants. Actually I never put the crown up and I wore sergeant stripes. And we were about half way through a tour and the pilot went to our commander and wanted us two gunners to become officers. The wing commander called me in and said, “Your pilot wants you to be an officer.” I said, “No”, I said, “I’d miss the people in the sergeant’s mess.” I said, “I might as well stay where I am.” So he said, “If you wanted to be an officer, what would be the reason?” I said, “Well I suppose it would be kinda nice to go back to Port Prairie as an officer,” and of course the money was about double so that would be another reason. I had worked for ten dollars a week before I joined the air force So he said, “Well, Air Vice-Marshal will be down sometime to interview you and I’ll be calling you back..” He said, “Good day.” So I started out the door. He said, “Kerry, just a minute”, he said, “you get that hair cut before the Air Vice-Marshal comes down.” I used to let my hair grow pretty long, had a short neck and my pilot used to come at me and whisper in my ear, he said, “get your hair cut, the officers are complaining.” I said, “that’s alright for you”, I said, “it’s pretty cold in the tail turret 30 and 40 below.” So when the Air Vice-Marshal was coming, I started for the barber but there were a lot of people lined up to get a haircut so I was getting a little concerned. So I said to my engineer, he was an English chap from London, I said, “What am I going to do?” He said, “Sit down. I’ll cut your hair.” So he chopped it off with scissors. The Air Vice-Marshal seemed to be satisfied.

Mr. Kerry discusses being urged to accept a flying commission, and being strongly told to get his hair cut beforehand.

Ivan Kerry

Ivan Kerry was born on November 3, 1925, in Port Perry, Ontario. He was one of six children. His father farmed, but the depression made life difficult for his family. Mr. Kerry recalls the generosity of Eastern Canada in sending relief shipments. He then left school at the age of fifteen to work in an egg processing plant. His enlistment followed the path of two uncles who had served in the First World War and a brother who was in the Navy. He enlisted in the Air Force as, and joined the Bomber Command as a tail gunner. Mr. Ketty was fortunate to survive one of the most dangerous and vulnerable combat roles of the war.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Ivan Kerry
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Air Force
432 Squadron
Warrant Officer
Tail Gunner

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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