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Women love a man in a Navy uniform.

Heroes Remember

Women love a man in a Navy uniform.

After we had tangled with that U-boat, we had to head up to Londonderry for repairs. And as we came up the river heading for Lough Foyle where the base was, on the right there was a big castle, I guess you would call it a castle, and it was called Boom Hall and it was the headquarters for the navy of the western approaches, over there the Royal Navy, and it was full of wrens. And as we steered up the river you know with our bow up and our stern dragging, these wrens all ran out and down across these rolling green lawns waving white handkerchiefs, you know. Here are the country girls come and oh that bucked us up no end. And the navy uniform was an attractive uniform. And all the girls loved to see you in it, you know. Off we’d go down the street. As my cousin Norm said he never had a date before he enlisted in the navy and then he had to fight them off. But I think there was a pride within the whole lot of us.

Mr. Bowen discusses how shore leave was enhanced by the appeal of the Naval uniform to women.

Gerald Bowen

Gerald R. Bowen was born in Ottawa, Ontario on October 13, 1925. He attended Lisgard High School, and was a paperboy. His family had prior military experience. His uncle had served in the Air Force and his father in the Army, later becoming an historian with the Department of National Defence. Mr. Bowen enlisted in the Navy where he became a telegrapher, serving aboard a Royal Canadian Navy frigate on convoy duty in the North Atlantic until the war ended. He left the service for a brief time and re-enlisted in the Canadian Army, where he became a paratrooper and a specialist in sabotage. He later served as a peacekeeper in Cyprus. Mr. Bowen’s extensive experience in the Canadian military offers us some very informative and perceptive anecdotes.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Gerald Bowen
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
North Atlantic Ocean
Ordinary Seaman
Wireless Operator

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