Veteran Stories:
William John “Jack” Douglas

Air Force

  • A page from Mr. Douglas' log book.

    William Douglas
  • The Record of Service from Mr. Douglas' Log Book.

    William Douglas
  • William Douglas, 2010.

    Historica Canada
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"So the matron would come along and tell us, see if we’re in bed and as soon as she left, we went down the stairs and went into Glasgow because we were right in Glasgow and went to dances."

Transcript

I wasn’t interested in the Army. I was interested in the Air Force; I wanted to fly. And when I first joined them, they said no, there’s no way you can fly, you’ve got to have a college degree. I was 18, I think. It’s kind of hard to get a college degree. Well, they changed their minds after a while; they needed more men. The ship I went overseas on, I came off the ship in a stretcher, went in the hospital in Scotland. I did all my flying overseas, or basically all my flying. I was in Training Command overseas. I was on the gun crew on the Queen Elizabeth ship. That’s where I caught pneumonia. It was cold and I wasn’t dressed for it. And we went way up north to Scotland instead of going into Southampton [England]. And I think it was in the fall, it must have been in the fall; I can’t remember that much. I had primarily, the students that I had, primarily were navigators and bomb aimers. There weren’t many pilots because I didn’t train pilots, but navigators and bomb aimers. We ended up introducing them to England; that was my job. They continually got lost but that’s beside the point. So we flew around on trips with three men and they worked like they were working on a job. The navigator would make out a course and the bomb aimer would drop some test bombs on a field that we had. We used to go over and drop smoke bombs and we kept as close to the operations as we could but we couldn’t do it completely. I got off the ship on a stretcher, I was in this convalescence home in Glasgow and I shared the room with another fellow. The fire escape was right outside our window. So the matron would come along and tell us, see if we’re in bed and as soon as she left, we went down the stairs and went into Glasgow because we were right in Glasgow and went to dances. I came home later at night and up the stairs.
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