"He says, the bus got a direct hit; there were no survivors, not a one. And during the war, the same thing happened. I had chances to be dead and I survived, that’s how."
They were asking for volunteers with high school education for Special Forces. And I applied and they gave me a transfer. They needed radar men in a hurry and I had enough education to become a radar operator.
Arnold Schoen, Jackie Seymour and Sazant - the three S’s, like, you know. We served like, you know, like friends at the beginning. And when we were in England, they posted me for radar training. And [while on leave once] Arthur Schoen was a little slow and he came on the bus and he said to us, get off Hy, and get off Arnold. And we got off, he says, there’s a mechanic here who needs a flat tire change and he is taking us to London. And if we will help him, he guarantees that we’ll get to London and back in time according to our [leave] pass.
And now we did that and when we came back, the sergeant there, I could see something was wrong. He said, wait a minute. He called the officer, the officer says, were you on the bus going to Bath? So I explained what happened, that we fixed the tire. He says, you lucky son of a bitches, excuse the expression. And I say, why? He says, the bus got a direct hit; there were no survivors, not a one. And during the war, the same thing happened. I had chances to be dead and I survived, that’s how.
We were serving in Burma. I used to post my information to the different units, that were available in England in that area, the speed, the height, the different things. And so as a matter of fact, the Canadian forces were the first to use radar to a high extent, even though it was invented by the British. And when we got on the Burma front, I was a highly valuable recruit for the 14th British Army. I was up forward and I saw a lot of action, believe me, I saw a lot of action.
Well, look, it’s hard to explain, when you’re up in the front areas, you’re always making forays, like going forward and checking out different things, where the fire was coming from or whatever it is. And whenever I took my men, I was a good sergeant. I didn’t hide from action but I seemed to smell it out and they all trusted me when there was going to be, we took the proper precautions and training and I brought back live men, not dead men.