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Based in Dieppe, New Brunswick

Heroes Remember

Based in Dieppe, New Brunswick

They weren’t ready in flying training to take us in as soon as we enlisted. So they had two options, you could either go in the precision drill squad or go on guard duty. I didn’t think I wanted to be in the precision drill squad, that’s where they do parade manoeuvres without any orders, you know you just count 1, 2,3, and then turn right 3, 4, 5, and turn left; it’s very good - the people that do it... it’s very clever but I didn’t want that so I went on guard duty down to Debert. And the guard consisted of patrolling the aerodrome and if we saw people that we thought weren’t suppose to be there, asking them who they were and if we didn’t think they were answering properly we’d parade them in. Guarding hangars once in a while, I’d get up, there’d be an airplane parked inside and it was great joy to get into it. Well, I was supposed to be on guard duty and sit up in the pilot’s cockpit, and... and, you know, test the controls - I never thought I’d touch anything or start an engine or anything like that. It was quite a thrill. And to see these, they were Hudson’s, Hudson airplanes at that time, an RAFOT, Operational Training Unit, and it was quite interesting to see these things landing. Pilots would come in and try to hit the, land on the runway and they’d be over this side aiming for me on guard duty at the end, and then the other way, all over the place so that was interesting to see this kind of thing. And I remember I did a... I hitch-hiked a ride with them and we left Debert and flew out to the east and I looked down and I saw this sand bar and I said, “What’s that?” Anyway, it was gone and it was Prince Edward Island - the first time I’d seen Prince Edward Island.

Mr. Bower-Binns describes being on guard duty at the Dieppe aerodrome, and fantasizing about becoming a pilot.

John Bower-Binns

John Bower-Binns was born in Ottawa, Ontario. One of two children, he was born on March 7, 1921. He had two uncles in the Royal Air Force, inspiring him to build model aeroplanes. There being a six month waiting list for naval enlistment, Mr. Bower-Binns opted for the Air Force. After being screened out of the pilot queue, he became a navigator. After crewing up in England, he flew many bombing missions, including one to Berlin. Mr. Bower-Binns was fortunate to fly with the same crew during his entire tour of duty. A recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross, he achieved the rank of Flight-Lieutenant during his Second World War service.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
John Bower-Binns
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Air Force
#1 Bomber Command
Flight Lieutenant

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