Veteran Stories:
Cora Charlotte Dunn

Air Force

  • The cap Ms. Dunn wore throughout her service with the Royal Canadian Air Force Women’s Division.

    Cora Dunn
  • Photo of Cora Dunn taken in 1943 while serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force, Women’s Division.

    Cora Dunn
  • Certificate presented to Ms. Dunn honouring her efforts during the Second World War.

    Cora Dunn
  • Ms. Dunn in Stellarton, Nova Scotia, September, 2010.

    Historica Canada
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"I didn’t find it difficult at all because my mother was a great disciplinarian and when she told you to do something, you did it. So in the air force, it was the same thing."

Transcript

I wanted to enlist and I was very glad I did so because my mother had four girls. Which didn’t count so, but, anyway, when I enlisted [in 1943], she was very proud that I was in.

I didn’t find it difficult at all because my mother was a great disciplinarian and when she told you to do something, you did it. So in the air force [Royal Canadian Air Force, Women’s Division], it was the same thing. [laughs] And I have to make it clear that education counts because I had my grade nine, which a lot of people didn’t have at that stage. And so being in that, having my grade nine, I was able to be trained.

I was an administrative secretary. I was involved in really top, it was top drawer secrecy that I was in. And if I wrote a letter that had to go out west or something, I was supposed to just forget I’d ever seen it. There wasn’t any use of anybody asking me, I didn’t tell them.

Unfortunately, my husband-to-be just went in. I was three weeks in the air force when I got word from him that he was coming back for his commission. So he came back and he went up to Brockville, Ontario, for his commission. And he was being finished in February and I had to make plans for us to be married in April [1944]. So when he had me safely married, then guess what he did? He was an officer and he just put in for me to be released. Today, they wouldn’t get away with that and I told him afterwards, I said, if we were getting married now, you would never … There I was, he had to go back overseas again, and there I was with nothing to do.

When I was released, I was no sooner released, and he was gone and I got word from a friend in Amherst [Nova Scotia]. I had worked for her and she had to go to the hospital. By this time, she had five children; and she needed, wanted me the worst way to go and look after the children, which I did. In fact, I had a visit from one of the children yesterday, the girl that I, she called me Mum Cora to this day.

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