My name is Fred Hull. I joined the [Royal Canadian] Air Force in 1942 at eighteen years of age.
After landing in England, I was taken from the boat to be used as a spare gunner. This avoided operational training and put me on operational runs immediately with the 408 Squadron.
On about the eleventh run we need the entire runway and a little bit more, as we had a lamppost at the end of the runway that took off the starboard undercarriage. We were able to complete our run over Germany and return to an emergency airport over the coast. We did a loop on landing, and all of the crew were ok. We got a few drinks for that one.
My thirty-third trip turned out to be my last on November the 1st, 1944. I was sent to the 425 Squadron for a night run on a Halifax. We dropped bombs, and while over Oberhausen in total darkness we were hit on the port wing and the engine caught fire. As we prepared to bail out, we were again hit in the rear. I never found out if we were hit from the air or by ack-ack. I notified the pilot that I was bailing out, and the rest of the crew did the same.