Veteran Stories:
James Ellis Seary

Air Force

  • A page from the flight log of James Seary.

  • Dakota DC3 flown by James Seary in 1944 with RAF Squadron 512

  • Various currencies in circulation during the Second World War; provided by James Seary

  • Enlistment photo of James Seary

  • Soft helmet and goggles worn by James Seary during service

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"And finally, in the spring of 1945, he – that’s me - successively towed a glider from England over Holland to cross the Rhine River"

Transcript

The night before D-Day [the Allied Normandy landings of June 6, 1944], you have the French city of Caen, C-A-E-N and we [No. 512 Squadron, Royal Air Force Transport Command] took 18 paratroopers. Went over in the night and they jumped and we went back to England. The Germans are shooting anti-aircraft fire at us. And if they hit us or if they didn’t hit us, we were alright. Next they took the partly unsuccessful attempt to cross the Rhine River at Arnhem by towing a glider. And finally, in the spring of 1945, he – that’s me - successively towed a glider from England over Holland to cross the Rhine River, with dangerously overheated engines, using 1,000 gallons of gas and returned safely to England. It was for this mission that he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the DFC. By now, the war was almost over.
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