"so we had no place to hide or get in. So we crawled underneath the truck and thought, well, if it, the concussion wouldn’t maybe be so bad."
I’m Ed Miller, and I was born in Vancouver, 1913. We moved to Ontario in 1918. So I’ve lived here all my life.
I was a carpenter by trade and I was working at that when the war came on, repairing houses. And when we joined up, the Air Force had a policy and they sent everyone to a trade school for a few months. And which, it was just kind of a general course on different trades. Then when I joined up and was sent to Toronto and then we were sent to St. Thomas. And they had to run the course. And when I was done there, I was sent to a Flying School down at Dunnville and we were flying Harvards and Yales. So I was there about six months and then I was sent overseas.
We went to Halifax and got on a troopship and then our troopship joined a convoy, with a lot of other ships. I think the biggest thing on the boat experience was the sleeping in the hammocks at night. The big, all these hammocks stuck out and they weren’t sometimes too deep. Hi and low, because you had all these hundreds of airmen onboard. But as a, like anything else, you had to get used to it. But we got in a bit of rough weather, the hammocks moved a lot, swung back and forth. But that didn’t bother me.
Everybody was warned not to each too much because when it got rough, there was a lot of fellows getting sick. And it wasn’t very nice if you happened to be underneath a person that got seasick.
We arrived on Christmas Day, on Sunday, so we kind of split up and we were invited to different churches. So after church, we had a, we were invited to an English household which was very interesting. An older couple, but they had a couple of daughters that lived at home. The boys in the family were all away in the service. But it was a very comfortable home. We sat, had a coal fireplace to keep warm. When I sat down on the chair, apparently, it had been the dog’s chair too. Because when I got up, I was covered with dog hair. But they just didn’t bother about it and so I didn’t bother until I got home. So we had tea and crumpets or some kind of thing in the middle of the afternoon and then we went home.
It was towards the end of the war and I was out in the flights and one of these, the Buzz Bombs [German V1 unmanned flying bombs] were coming over all the time. But this one was, you could hear it coming and it’s, and when the motor quits on a Buzz Bomb, that means it’s run out of fuel and it’s going to crash-land. So it was evening, getting dark and we couldn’t see it, so we didn’t know where, how close it was coming to us. But, so we had no place to hide or get in. So we crawled underneath the truck and thought, well, if it, the concussion wouldn’t maybe be so bad. But it so happened that by the time it landed, it was half a mile past the airdrome and there was just a loud explosion and flash and it just landed in a field. But that was the only close thing that I remember.