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Joining an Air Crew

Heroes Remember

I was left behind because English weather at that time of the year is kind of damp and so I had a little case of bronchitis so the medical officer said no you're not going for awhile so I got left behind and got sent to a Royal Air Force training unit. And at that training unit was where bomber crews are made up. Now there are, all trades are sent to this training unit and they select among themselves who would be their crew members. Usually the pilot would select his crew of navigators, of their air gunners and bomb aimers Now we trained on a Wellington Bomber which only required a crew of five. With the advent of the four-engine bomber, there were two additional crew members to obtain, one was the flight engineer and the other additional air gunner so on completion... Now I got selected to be bomb aimer with a pilot, his name was Tommy Heyes (H-E-Y-E-S). He,and he selected our other crew members so that is how bomber crews were made up and they were to remain as a crew for the rest of their bombing assignment.

Mr. Kondra describes the circumstances and logistics by which he was selected as a member of a Lancaster crew.

William Kondra

On January 14, 1922, William Kondra was born in Prudhomme, Saskatchewan. He finished Grade 8 at his local school, and, with difficulty, finished high school through correspondence. He was working on local farms for a pittance, so he decided to enlist in the Air Force, where he trained as a bomb aimer/front gunner. Mr. Kondra's tour of duty was completed with his original crew members aboard a Lancaster Bomber, and primarily consisted of air strikes on industrial Germany. Mr. Kondra offers many insights into the technology, strategy and stresses of flying in a bomber.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
William Kondra
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Air Force
101 Squadron
Flying Officer
Bomb Aimer

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