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Heroes Remember

You know, there's a bit of misconception. You know, these dogfights, you think of World War I with the planes you know, circling and circling. In World War II, you're going so fast, if it's head on by the time you meet and pass each other, they're miles away, but if you get on a person's tail then you can follow them around. There wasn't as much of that as you would think, most of it you'd... And the old axiom that if you have height and speed you have everything, and this is usually what happened. You'd jump the German planes from behind, they may or may not have seen you and you had a wonderful chance to shoot them down, but this was the main way of shooting down airplanes. Dogfighting, if it lasted, would be just a matter of short minutes. You know, when you think back, you're mixing with the finest pilots in the world, both the Germans and the British. You're flying the best airplanes in the world and the guy from Limerick, Saskatchewan was very fortunate to have that experience and I'll cherish that the rest of my life.

Mr. Wilson dispels some myths about what a dogfight was, considering how fast World War Two fighter aircraft had become. He adds a personal footnote about privilege.

Gordon Wilson

Gordon Wilson was born on December 5, 1917 in Limerick, Saskatchewan. The Royal Canadian Air Force was no longer accepting recruits when he enlisted so he joined the Royal Regina Rifles. Six months later, Mr. Wilson joined the Royal Canadian Air Force at Brandon, Manitoba. His first wartime deployment saw him serving in North Africa near El Alamein, where he initially flew Hurricanes in a Royal Air Force squadron. He later piloted Spitfire 9’s in Sicily, Italy and the Middle East. After the war, Mr. Wilson completed a university degree and became a museum curator.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Gordon Wilson
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Air Force
Flying Officer

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