Veteran Stories:
Anthony Yaunish

Air Force

  • Anthony Yaunish in Air Force uniform, 1942.

  • Anthony Yaunish (back row far right) and his crew of the 432 Squadron in York, England 1942.

  • Anthony Yaunish during his service, 1943.

  • Anthony Yaunish is featured in an article announcing he had received his commission as air gunner in the Montréal Gazette, August 1943.

  • Canadian Pacific Telegram notifying Anthony Yaunish of his promotion to a commissioned rank, August 6th, 1943.

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"So we went to the Navy, we weren't happy with them. And the Army was definitely out for me."

Transcript

This is Anthony Yaunish from the RCAF as an air gunner. Graduated from sergeant to a pilot officer. My friend was getting his army call and at that time I was 19 and I says, "Well, Pete, look maybe we'll stay together." So we went to the Navy, we weren't happy with them. And the Army was definitely out for me. We went to the Air Force and we had a talk with them and they says, "Go think about it and come back." We went to a movie and I says, "Well, Pete, what did you decide?" He says, "Oh," he says, "I'm going to wait for the army call." I said, "Well, look, my mother has cried already I'm... I don't want to go through this again." So I went back to the Air Force and I volunteered. I mentioned that I would like to have a refresher course because I had not finished my high school. So they sent me to the University of Montreal for three months and we did four years of high school in three months.

From there, I noticed that there was just two of us that did not get elected to being a pilot, so I was sent back to Lachine Manning Depot where, having an interview with the officer he says, "Well, you have good mechanical ability. Why don't you become an air gunner?" He says, "You could become an officer in nine months. The head of all of the other lads that you joined up with." I says, "I will try for it."

So, they sent me to Trenton, Ontario which was Number 3 Bombing School. There we learned a lot like drill and guns, aircraft recognition, the theory of curve of pursuit, how to shoot down a fighter or protect it. One of the highlights was, I could not understand the original books that they'd written; it's very technical. So I rewrote according to my thinking in laymen's language. And I think I passed more guys with my scribbler. There was just one item that I was not sure of and during my interview at the end of the course, I mentioned. I says, "I don't think anybody in here knows this." Lo and behold, the master sergeant there, he overheard me and he just about blew his gasket and he took over. He says, "Okay." (laughter) He says, "You're so smart. Tell me, the bullet's half way down the barrel." (laughter) He says, "What's the action of the gun?" Well, he could not catch me in anything. I knew the thing by heart. When he finished with me, he gave me a good mark.

We were then sent to MacDonald, Manitoba which was the Bombing School Number 3. And one of the first things they did was test you for air sickness. Bring you up in the plane and did a lot of crazy eights. We learned about guns. We learned hydraulics on the turrets, aircraft recognition. We graduated as sergeants.

We flew on Liberators also on Mitchells. And my job on the Liberator was in the tail with a big camera. And we used to dive bomb on dummy submarines and we would drop logs. And my duty was to take pictures of this.

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