Veteran Stories:
Geraldine Muter

Air Force

  • Ottawa Air Training Conference ID card, May 1942.
    12 women chosen out of 300, to attend the conference. Every country in Commonwealth was represented there. Geraldine was placed with the United Kingdom.

    Muter
  • Photo of the Squadron 403 or 410.
    Geraldine Muter is the third from the left, back row, 1942.

    Muter
  • Crest RCAF Women's Division.
    Belonged to Airforce Association, crest to wear with uniform (on the blazer).

    Muter
  • Squadron saluting Queen Mum, Princess Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace, October 25, 1945.

    Muter
  • Photos taken in London around Knightsbridge, in the neighborhood where Geraldine's office was, 1943.

    Muter
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"The last day that we landed in Liverpool and the boys come out to meet us, flying home. Boy, there was a lot of crying that day. Oh yes, oh yes."

Transcript

My name is Geraldine Margaret. I was born in Markstay, Ontario, that’s between North Bay and Sudbury. I lived in Timmins for many years and that’s where I joined up from. But I had to go to North Bay at that time because the recruiting unit was there to be sworn in. And I had signed up in 1941 but we weren’t called until 1942. That was in April and it was my birthday, April the 17th, 1942.

And I’ve never looked back. It was wonderful. We were mobilized and sent off to Rockcliffe, where we had our training. And it was there that I was of 12 girls chosen to go to the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, which was being held in Ottawa at that time. And that was the start of our training— the boys from the other countries to be pilots and what-have-you.

I wasn’t on that right away, I was in the orderly room. I was on signals— DROs, daily routine orders. Signals are private messages sent in, they have to be deciphered by the people that do that. So I had to be very very sure of what I had done. But luckily, I never missed.

The last day that we landed in Liverpool and the boys come out to meet us, flying home. Boy, there was a lot of crying that day. Oh yes, oh yes.

We had a wonderful officer in charge of us. And she’d make sure that we were taken out and going out to different places. As a matter of fact, I was asked to go out for dinner so many times and I wouldn’t go because I was scared. Well, you would be too, with the bombs. And I always felt safe when I was at home or in the office. Not going or coming back but right there.

We were in Harrods store, do you know Harrods store? Well, we were in the half of that, we had the half of Harrod’s store as our office, called Knightsbridge. Oh dear. I haven’t thought of that for a long time.

That’s what really got you, that you couldn’t be home for Christmas. That you couldn’t be home, no matter how much you wanted or how much you tried you were stuck there. Oh, I made the most of it. I, as a matter of fact, I cooked my first turkey. They didn’t do like we do in Canada, they didn’t dress them. I didn’t realize that until I got it home. I had to take all the insides out. So I said, that’s fine. I went down to 21 and asked Mrs. Mills and there was a doctor there and I said, well surely he knows how to do it. He wouldn’t, oh, he was askance. He was, oh, he was horrified to think that I’d even ask him. I said, that’s fine, no offence. I just wanted help, that’s all. So I went back to my room and I said, nobody’s getting in. I put newspapers up everywhere. I could find newspapers all over the room. And I tackled it.

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