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German V2 rockets attack London

Heroes Remember

German V2 rockets attack London

I was in a boarding house, we couldn’t get into a hostel, I was in a boarding house, I think it was about January ‘45 or so and one of these V2 rockets came in and hit down about two blocks away and smashed our house and threw me out of the john into the hallway. I remember as I came out of my jolting stupor, the landlady screaming, you know. And I’m never sure whether she was screaming at the sight of me with very little clothing on or the fact that half her house was gone. That was a very tense time and even the British were starting to show the strain and I’m very proud of the British strength during all these bombings, etc., you know. Whole areas of that city were gone and you’d come off a tube and here were people sleeping in the tubes because they had no where else to go. But I think if that V2 attack had kept on, if our army hadn’t captured the sites there may have been a breaking point there. The V1, you could hear it coming over and you could watch it coming, then when the motor cut out, it would fall, then change direction and go down and you knew something was coming in. The V2, you didn’t. It hit, and a section of the city disappeared. It was an unbelievable weapon.

Mr. Bowen describes being personally affected by a V2 rocket attack while on shore leave in London, and goes on to offer his admiration of the resolve of British citizens in the face of these attacks.

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
Ordinary Seaman
Wireless Operator

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