Veteran Stories:
Vera Peel

Air Force

  • Vera Peel in the uniform of the Royal Canadian Air Force Women's Division at Trenton, 1942

  • Right: 60th Anniversary pin commemorating the Women's Division reunion in Edmonton in 2001. Left: Cap badge worn on the WD uniform

  • WDs who worked at No.6 Repair Depot in Trenton. They were the first group to be stationed there. October 1942

  • Vera Peel (far right) at the ice rink with friends "Frenchie" and "Blondie" who worked as cooks at the canteen

  • Vera Peel and a friend, 1943

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"The jobs were different for different girls, but I enjoyed very much what I was doing, and coming from the west, I enjoyed being down east"

Transcript

I joined the RCAF Women's Division in 1942, in August, and took my basic training down at Rockcliffe. Then I was stationed at No. 6 Repair Depot, Trenton. When I went in, I went in as general duties. I wasn't sure what I was going to do. I was assigned to work in the orderly room, distributing the DROs [Daily Routine Orders] around the station. Then the Adjutant asked me if I'd like to get a trade. I said, "Oh, yes!" because it meant more money. So I took a trade as a canteen steward, which meant the men could go off to war in a better position. The motto for the Air Force girls was, "We Serve That Men May Fly." I was in the canteen for three years, and enjoyed it very much. We were the first WDs [Women's Division] to go to the No. 6 Repair Depot in October of 1942, and I spent all my time there at Trenton. I enjoyed it very much. I met many girls that I still keep in contact with. I found that the comradeship will never fail. It's still going today, and this coming June in 2006, we have a reunion in Winnipeg for the RCAF WDs and WAAFs [Women's Auxiliary Air Force], and this will be our sixty-fifth anniversary, when the WDs were formed in 1941. I enjoyed every minute of it. The jobs were different for different girls, but I enjoyed very much what I was doing, and coming from the west, I enjoyed being down east. Other than that, I enjoy the Memory Project very much. I have spoken to the children at the school in Bridgenorth, and they enjoyed hearing the veterans talk of their experiences, and my father, being a First World War Veteran… I had his medals, and they were very impressed. I must say, I enjoyed every minute of being with the children, and still hope to continue on with them for the veterans' children. The children in the schools; I know they enjoy it very much.
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