Veteran Stories:
George Waters

Air Force

  • George and Constance Waters on their wedding day in Burmingham, England. December 12, 1944.

  • George Waters at RCAF Station Tholthorpe, Yorkshire, England in June 1943.

  • Behind the two buildings in the foreground of the photo are the remains of Beale's Department Story in Bournemouth, England. The store was bombed by the Luftwaffe the day before George Waters arrived there.

  • King George VI, Queen Elizabeth and Princess Elizabeth at Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire, England. August 1944.

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"There was a ditch close by where they had crashed, and when they heard us they jumped into the ditch, and immediately, two depth charges exploded."

Transcript

My name is George Waters, and I was living in Winnipeg in the early spring on 1941 when I decided to volunteer to join the Air Force. But in the fall on 1942, I was told I was going to be posted in the early part of 1943 to 113 RCAF Anti-Submarine Squadron at Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, for operational experience before being sent overseas to Britain.

It was at Yarmouth that I had the experience of sharing a room with a Sergeant navigator who told me, as he was getting ready to join the four-person crew to go out over the Atlantic looking for submarines, that he did not trust the pilot of the aircraft, because the pilot was overconfident of his abilities. But he went and got on the plane. And I watched the Hudson Bomber aircraft start to take off, and before the pilot had the required speed to become airborne, he started to lift the aircraft off the runway, and he crashed on the right side of the runway. If he had crashed on the left side, he would have probably hit us who were standing in the hangar.

The Hudson Bombers in those days carried four depth charges, and our planes were all painted white – pure white. But immediately it crashed. The fuel spread over the aircraft, and it went on fire so that the aircraft immediately went a brown colour. And at that same airport, the Royal Air Force were using Ventura unarmed aircraft that were painted camouflage to brown and green. Now, I can't to this day believe happened was that the flying control people, seeing the aircraft that was now brown in colour, announced to the public address system and to the fire truck people, that it was an unarmed aircraft, with the result that the fire truck came right up close to the aircraft and started to pour water on the aircraft. Also, people from different parts of the airfield were running towards the crash site, so me and another chap were running across the airfield, shouting, "It's an armed aircraft!!"

There was a ditch close by where they had crashed, and when they heard us they jumped into the ditch, and immediately, two depth charges exploded. But unfortunately, the whole crew of four, including my roommate, and two firemen who had come up close, were all killed.

A lot of people don't realize that a lot of the casualties in the war were accidents in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, and accidents overseas at different airfields.

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