Veteran Stories:
Violet “Vi” Hansen (née Newman)

Air Force

  • Picture taken at #5 Equipment Depot in Moncton, New Brunswick, in 1945. Vi Hansen (left) and these four women raised funds through Victory Bonds in Moncton.

    Vi Hansen
  • Violet May Hansen (née Newman) W314343 LAW, 1945.

    Vi Hansen
  • Victory Bonds sold to raise money for the Canadian war effort, 1945.

    Vi Hansen
  • The cover of an RCAF Women's Division recruitment pamphlet.

    Vi Hansen
  • The inside of the RCAF -Women's Division recruitment pamphlet.

    Vi Hansen
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"He drove us every day to every little town in Moncton and into New Brunswick, and into Nova Scotia. We sold Victory Bonds and raffled tickets on Victory Bonds."


Well, we had military everywhere. We had both Canadian and American military everywhere in Newfoundland, all the way from probably 1939 or shortly after 1939, when the warships started coming to our hometown. Newfoundland was a very important place as far as the war was concerned because the planes could not carry enough fuel to come from Germany over and go back. So if they could have had a stronghold in some place, like they tried to get Pearl Harbor, the same thing, the Japanese. But if they could have got into Newfoundland and refueled there, then they would have been, probably would have had a different outcome to that war. But they couldn’t get in there because it was too well protected by all of these bases, our navy and our air force found them and got rid of them, before they could get a stronghold there.

So we were always aware of the fact that we were, well, we were in a war zone actually, as far as that goes. We had a lot of sabotage in Newfoundland, a lot of sabotage. With submarines blowing up ships and things in our harbours. Spy things where the service clubs were set on fire; and we had 500 people in one of the service clubs, and over 100 of them died in 1941, in the Knights of Columbus [Hostel].

We heard it on the radio. I was still at home at that time, 1941, and we thought they had announced a fight and the station went off the air right away. We soon learned that they had yelled fire. And what they had done, the saboteurs had done, they had saturated all of the beams on the roof of the building with tissue paper and gasoline. They set it on fire. Within 12 minutes, the roof fell in and trapped them all. And there were 500 people in there and 100 died right away. They did that kind of thing. They did that kind of thing; and they did it with the seamen’s club. But there wasn’t anybody in the seaman’s club when they did it. It was empty, it was just opening. They did that kind of thing, plus they blew up ships in our harbour and blew up passengers ships… . So there was always sabotage.

I was transferred over to Moncton probably in 1945. I got there, I think, just a couple of months before VE [Victory in Europe] Day, March maybe. I was there then until, I was there about 10 months. So I was there until February of 1946.

They picked five of us girls from the station, we were picked; and we wore our full uniform and we had an MT [Motor Transport] driver, he was an airmen, he was in full uniform. He drove us every day to every little town in Moncton and into New Brunswick, and into Nova Scotia. We sold Victory Bonds and raffled tickets on Victory Bonds for that Victory Loan drive. That took six weeks; it was all summer, we went every day. Every week day. We’d go in the morning at 8:00 and we’d come back, well, we could come back any time we wanted, but we had to stay at work until 4:30.

When VE Day was declared, all of us at No. 5 Equipment Depot had a choice. We could either have a discharge or we could sign up for the American theatre and go to the Philippines, to Guam, and help the Americans there. But before they could send any, we all signed up, a whole bunch of us did, I did, and before we, they could send us out, the war with Japan ended. So we didn’t get to go to do that. But yeah, we could be sent anywhere.

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