432 Bomber Squadron, #6 Group.George Barron
Letter to the wife of George A. Barron, informing her that her husband was awarded with the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), 1945.George Barron
Award of Operational Wings sent to George A. Barron, denoting completion of one tour of operations.George Barron
Pilot's Wings awarded to George A. Barron.George Barron
Cover of George A. Barron's pilot's log book.George Barron
"War is not a good way to solve problems, but if it has to be done, I guess it has to be done."
My name is George Barron. And I served in 432 Squadron, 6th Group out of Eastmoor in the northern part of England. I served in World War II from '42 to '45.
I was taken up with flying. And when I was a little kid my dad used to bring out to an old airport outside of London and watch the old bi-planes taking off. We could never afford to go for a ride ourselves, but I always liked it. When I got to be in my teens and war broke out, I thought that would be a nice thing for me to do. So I joined up, hopefully, to make it in air crew. Finally, I was able to graduate as a pilot and I thought I'd really like to see some of Canada now, free. And, of course, they did was ship me overseas.
So I went overseas and I was posted to a... to a twin-engine operational training unit. Bit disappointed because I had trained on Harvards over here and single engine aircraft and I was sure that when I got overseas I'd get Spitfires and I'd be one of these aces, you know, sort of thing. But when I got to our operational training it was as multi-engine station and so I was relegated to that. However, I got to like it very much. I got a crew and proceeded into operation. I did thirty-two trips and was very fortunate in surviving the whole thing.
I remember one time, before I got on the squadron, I was on a twin-engine station and one of my engines had gone and so I had to land with one engine, which wasn't an easy job in a Wellington aircraft. For that I was given a nice bright green commendation in my log book for some pretty good flying. And I thought, "Ha, that's really great."
And then, when I got on the squadron, I had a little trouble on one flight and I got shot up a bit and I lost my brakes and hydraulics and all that kind of stuff. And so, when I landed, I was going a little bit too fast and I ran out of runway and I cracked up the airplane and nobody was hurt, but, my vanity was hurt a bit. And the commanding officer didn't think too much of that. So he gave me a reprimand and I knew there was going to be a great big red endorsement in the back of my log book. So I said to myself, "Well, that's all right. I'll just tear that page out and nobody will know the difference." So when I got my log book back I see he had put a red endorsement right underneath the green one. So I had to leave them both in there.
There wasn't too much else went wrong. Occasionally we didn't get home on account of weather and different things. One time we had to land on an American drome and on this drome was also an Australian squadron, and they're a mad bunch those Australian guys. Wonderful flyers but really wacky when they got into the mess. We had some good times.
Anyway, I completed my tour in February, and in March I was posted back home to London. And that was the extent of my service flying.
War is not a good way to solve problems, but if it has to be done, I guess it has to be done. We believed in what we did, but I still think it's a bad way to settle arguments and differences. The way it's going now, man, that made World War II look like a little picnic. Because whenever something's going to happen now, it's going to be really bad. It's going to be a mess for an awful lot of innocent people. And, I certainly hope it never comes to that.