Veteran Stories:
Regent Chenier

Air Force

  • Handley Page Halifax bombers on the runway, 1944.

    Regent Chenier
  • Mr. Regent Chenier's brother, Sgt Aurele Chenier, in 1943. The brothers were stationed on the same base, and were both part of the 425 "Alouette" Squadron, RCAF.

    Regent Chenier
  • Mr. Regent Chenier's brother, Sgt Aurele Chenier (centre standing), in the Orderly Room where he worked, 1943.

    Regent Chenier
  • Mr. Regent Chenier (last row, 2nd from right) stands with his brother Aurele Chenier (last row, 3rd from right) and fellow comrades in 1944.

    Regent Chenier
  • 425 "Alouette" Squadron, RCAF pin.

    Regent Chenier
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"My job was to write to the parents; if a plane didn't come back, it meant that it had been hit during the raid over Germany."

Transcript

My brother was already in England. I said to my mother, "It would be really good if I could go and join my brother in England." He was with 425 - 425 Squadron, Alouettes - in Tholthorpe. I enlisted in Ottawa on November 5, 1942. I was transferred to Toronto, to No. 1 Training Command. I stayed there for about six months. While I waited, they assigned me to the orderly room in Toronto. After that, I was transferred to another place, the RCAF [Royal Canadian Air Force] to an office there as a typist. I had an apartment in Toronto; I stayed there for about two months. After that they sent me to England. I left from Toronto and went to Montreal - or Ottawa, rather. From Ottawa, I took the train to Halifax. From Halifax, I sailed on the [RMS] Queen Mary to Boston. It took about six or seven days and then we arrived in Liverpool. We took the train; I went to to Tholthorpe to join my brother who was still there. I stayed there for the rest of the war. From Tholthorpe, we bombed every day, at night. We bombed… we would bomb over Germany, around Berlin, Frankfurt, Dresden and Leipzig. Sometimes some of the planes didn't come back. We had about twenty Halifax planes. Later they were Lancasters. Every night, they would go out and bomb Germany. My job was to write to the parents; if a plane didn't come back, it meant that it had been hit during the raid over Germany. We weren’t hearing anything more from that plane. There were six people to a plane. If the plane didn't come back, then I would write letters to the parents to tell them that on that date, we had bombed over Germany and that the plane hadn't come back. Since we didn't have any news, we didn't know what had happened. So I wrote letters to the parents. That was my job in the orderly room in Tholthorpe, as part of 425 Squadron. My mother didn't want me to go overseas. I insisted, since my brother was there. I said that I was going to see him, that's for sure. My mother wasn't pleased and me, it was like I was on vacation overseas since I was with my brother. My brother was in charge of the orderly room. He knew everyone’s story and was in charge of drafting their travel itineraries. When they got leave, make their itinerary; a transfer here, a transfer there. It was my brother who did that. He was good at it. Me, all I did was write letters. Because I was with my brother, he probably protected me. I was pretty happy. I wasn't ever afraid of anything since there was nothing to fear there.
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