Veteran Stories:
Hazel Frances Thompson (née Grant)

Air Force

  • Hazel Frances Grant in Royal Canadian Air Force, Women's Division (RCAF, WD) uniform during her first visit to New York City, November 1944.

    Hazel Frances Thompson
  • Hazel Frances Grant's letter of Royal Canadian Air Force, Women's Division (RCAF, WD) enlistment application acceptance and reporting instructions, July 19, 1943.

    Hazel Frances Thompson
  • LAW Hazel Frances Grant and LAC Ralph Ivan Thompson's application for approval of marriage, submitted to Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Station Mountain View Headquarters, Mountain View, Ontario, July 30, 1946.
    RCAF personnel required their commanding officer's approval to marry.

    Hazel Frances Thompson
  • Hazel and Ralph Thompson departing the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Protestant Chapel at RCAF Mountain View, Mountain View, Ontario on thier wedding day, August 12, 1946.

    Hazel Frances Thompson
  • Hazel Frances Thompson's Royal Canadian Air Force, Women's Division (RCAF, WD) Certificate of Service, issued December 2, 1946.

    Hazel Frances Thompson
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"But the interesting thing was, I was surprised how well the Australians and New Zealanders adjusted to the weather. It was so cold but they all learned how to skate. It was so cute watching them learning how to skate."

Transcript

I was posted to Paulson, Manitoba, which was a bombing and gunnery school Number Seven. Dauphin [Manitoba] was the nearest town and that was on the 28th of November. My first impression is at that time at the base was disappointing. I had never been out west of course. But the interesting thing was, I was surprised how well the Australians and New Zealanders adjusted to the weather. It was so cold but they all learned how to skate. It was so cute watching them learning how to skate. Can you imagine coming from Australia to this really barren place up north, Manitoba. It was quite amusing. So we were pretty busy at the time, it was also adjusting to the early hours and we had early shifts and there was over 1,000 [people], that was the British Commonwealth [Air Training Plan (BCATP); large-scale, joint military aircrew training program created by the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand]. It took a little while to get used to it all. I went on then to Mount Hope [Ontario; BCATP elementary flying school], which was wireless. Not too far from Hagersville [Ontario; BCATP service flying training school], between July to November. And then I went to Centralia [Ontario; BCATP service flying training school], November 1945 to March 1946. And then I went to Number Nine Mountainview [Ontario; BCATP air armament school], which was March 1946 to December 1946. And I was married, we were married on August the 12th, 1946, to a young airman. On the base, we were married at the chapel on the base. And the captain gave me away at the wedding. He was a canteen steward and the food had always been really rationed. Especially chocolate bars. I went over one day, I often checked the different canteens to see if they have any chocolate bars. I had a craving for sweets. And I was so surprised, he came out with this box of Cadbury chocolate. So that’s how we met. But he was kind of funny, yeah. I took my discharge from here in Trenton [Ontario], at the Trenton base in December. There were I think only about 100 girls in that last squadron.
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