Veteran Stories:
Diana Ingalls

Air Force

  • After Diana (Lyon) Ingalls' class finished her Filterer’s Course in 1942, half of the group went East to Eastern Air Command, the other half to Western Air Command. Diana went West to Victoria and Prince Rupert.

    Diana Ingalls
  • Diana Ingalls received this certificate after finishing her filterer’s course in 1942.

    Diana Ingalls
  • Four WDs (Robinson, Young, Isralson and Lyon) in their “Little Orphan Annie” summer dresses. They were later issued decent uniforms.

    Diana Ingalls
  • Diana Ingalls stayed at this hotel while training in Orlando, Florida. It was a two mile march to the fighter school. 1942.

    Diana Ingalls
  • Diana Ingalls in her Royal Canadian Air Force Women's Division uniform.

    Diana Ingalls
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"I had a great time in the service, and if I had the opportunity at that stage to do it again, I certainly would."

Transcript

My name is Diana - it was Diana Lyon, it's now Diana Ingalls. I joined the air force as a transport driver. First of all, I had to have a motor mechanic certificate, so I went to night school to get it. And then when I went to sign up, they said they'd rather I didn't have one, because it was better to teach me themselves. However, I finished my course in Toronto, and was re-mustered to filter opps, and was sent down to New York for an aircraft detection core course. And after that, went out to Winnipeg, just for a short spell. And there had been I think twelve of us on that course, and we were all pulled off and sent down to Florida, to Orlando, where we took a radar course. We then became the Filter Officers. All the work was secret down there, with radar having just come into being, and they sent the RAF officers out to train us. We used to march to work in the morning to the fighter command school. I remember we used to sing on the way. There was a navy wife on the corner - we used to sing 'There's Something About a Sailor' for her, and she used to wave at us. And if we wanted to study, we had to go back at night because we couldn't bring any of our books home. Once we'd finished that course, we returned to Rockcliffe, where we were commissioned. Half of us went to the west coast where I went, to Victoria, to Number 2 Filter office. The plots that came in from radar onto the filter table were taken in by plotters, and we were the filterers - we filtered the information. And there was an identification officer to identify what we put on the board. It was a wonderful time to get to know people. We worked on shifts, so we knew each other rather well. And when we had our time off, we would go and help the farmers. We were planting and hoeing, and we were being paid for it, too. In fact, we got so good that he raised our pay. Later, I was posted up to Prince Rupert, also as Filter Officer at a bush station. We had a wonderful time up there. It was a fun time, I think, for most of us. I had a great time in the service, and if I had the opportunity at that stage to do it again, I certainly would.
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