Kinnaird, Daphne

Daphne Kinnaird was born in London, England in 1921.  She grew up in the Kensington neighbourhood, raised by her father and grandmother.  She recalls a relatively good life before the war, with fond memories of friends and school.  When the war came, she remembers listening to the declaration of war on the BBC, followed by

Baum, Claire

Claire Baum was born in Rotterdam, Holland in 1936. A young child when the war began, she remembers little from the prewar period, but her memories of the attack on Rotterdam are vivid.  Once the German occupation began, her life became one full of restrictions.  And when the government began rounding up Jews, Claire’s parents

Vassair, John

John Vassair  served in the Canadian Forces during the Cold War era, and as such he participated in a number of peacekeeping missions from the period. Most notably John was deployed in Korea and the Suez in the 50s, during and after the conflicts in both of those nations. As such John followed the actions of the

Riesinger, Frank

Frank Riesinger was born August 20, 1926 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  He recalls moving around the American Midwest during the Depression years, as the family went where work was available.  Still, Frank doesn’t remember being poor; he said everyone was, and that’s what they were all used to.  Frank describes his childhood in positive terms, remembering

Wright, Ben

Ben Wright was born on July 25, 1946, and he was raised in Texas’s Big Bend country, where he and his siblings grew up in 1950s America.  Ben graduated high school in 1964, as American involvement in Vietnam was beginning to escalate.  Knowing the draft board would soon be after him, Ben opted for the

Atkinson, Ken

Ken Atkinson was born April 18, 1925 in Sunderland, England.  His father was a veteran of the Great War who enrolled his son in the Air Cadet Corps between the two wars, and Ken’s father remained part of the Home Guard once the Second World War began, watching the skies for signs of the Luftwaffe. 

Cameron-Kelly, Mary

Mary Cameron-Kelly was born January 5, 1962 in North Sydney, in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.  Her father had served in the CAF during the Korean War, and she made the decision to enlist herself after she completed high school.  Her air force career began when she became an airframe technician, and at this time Mary

Reid, Roy

Col. Ernest “Roy” Reid was involved in one of the famous moments – and photographs – of the Second World War, after he landed his B-17 at Hickam Field, Pearl Harbour on December 7, 1941.  Col. Reid is deceased, so his story is told here by his daughter Joan Ahrens and her husband Buzz, showing

Roberts, Jim

Jim Roberts grew up an air force brat in the 1950s and 60s, when his father was a Master Sergeant in the USAF.  The family was always on the move, as Jim’s father served on many bases in the U.S., and was stationed in Panama as well.  Jim grew up in the Cold War era,

Peterburs, Joe

Joseph Peterburs was born November, 25, 1924 in St. Paul, Minnesota, though he grew up mainly in Wisconsin, against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  He comes from a family with a military tradition; his father emigrated to the United States from Germany in 1906, and joined the army that same year, completing overseas service

Mecca, Pete

Pete Mecca was born on January 15, 1947 in Memphis, Tennessee.  His father was a World War Two air force veteran, so Pete’s decision to enlist in the air force during the Vietnam War did not come as a surprise to his parents.  Pete served in air force intelligence, flying on B-52s and other aircraft. 

Stewart, Harry

Harry Stewart was born July 4, 1924 in Newport News, Virginia.  When he was 2 years old his parents relocated to Queens, N.Y.C., not too far from North Beach airport.  Harry grew up in that neighborhood, attending school and having a good time, all against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  Harry understood that the

Bays, Jim

Jim Bays was born January 20, 1918.  He grew up in the Christie Pitts neighborhood in Toronto, where he attended Central Tech.  Jim grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, so he and his friends made do, playing soccer and softball, and helping their parents where they could.  When the war came, Jim

Funge, Noel

Noel Funge was born December 26, 1929 in Melbourne, Australia.  He grew up against the backdrop of the 1930s economic crisis, where he was fortunate to win a scholarship to an elite school.  He also grew up during World War Two, when Australia was under severe threat from Japan; as such Noel completed his military

Miller, Harry

Harry Miller was born July 2, 1928 in Columbus, Ohio. He would serve in the American Army in the Second World War, when he was not yet 18 years old. Harry’s mother died when he was only 3, so it would be his father and sister who guided the family through the difficult days of

Anderson, Clarence “Bud”

Bud Anderson hails from northern California, where he was born January 13, 1922 and grew up on a farm in the little town of Auburn, relatively insulated from the effects of the Great Depression.  Always interested in flying, Bud attended junior college and took on a job at the Sacramento Air Depot, and he was

CPC Oral History Project – Rod White

Rod White was born February 16, 1925 in Trenton, Ontario.  Rod’s father died when he was only four, and some of his early memories are of his mother struggling to raise her seven children in difficult economic times. Rod left school after Grade 8, going to work and helping to support the family. Work took

Adam, Wallace

Wally Adam was born in Winnipeg during the Second World War, where his father was serving in the Army Pay Corps.  He grew up there, and decided to join the RCAF Reserves in his own right when he was in high school. After university, Wally enlisted in the RCAF, serving during the Cold War years. 

Halvorsen, Gail

Gail Halvorsen was born October 10, 1920 in northern Utah, where he grew up on a sugar beet farm, enjoying the great outdoor life the state had to offer.  Gail worked hard during those years, and he decided to look into a civilian pilot training program that he had heard about.  When the Pearl Harbour

Lett, Ken

Kenneth Lett was born July 13, 1923 in Carp, Ontario, a small farming village to the west of Ottawa.  He worked the land and would go to the Byward Market with his mother when he wasn’t playing hockey or attending school.  When the war came, Ken and his brother opted for the RCAF.  Ken went

Patrick, Ian

Ian Patrick was born January 29, 1938, in St. John’s, Newfoundland.  He and his siblings grew up in the shadow of war, as St. John’s was a busy port city during the Second World War.  His father was a railroad machinist who worked in the dockyards:  his war was spent on the home front, working

Snider, Charlie

Charlie Snider was born August 26, 1919, in Woodbridge, Ontario.   He was one of nine siblings, growing up on a farm amidst the realities of the Great Depression. Charlie remembers working very hard, doing all sorts of chores on the farm, and going to school too. The family had food in the dark days

McKay, Howard

Howard was born in the Scotch settlement of Bradford on July 11, 1923; his English and Scottish ancestors had settled there long before.  Growing up on a farm meant that Howard and his family were self sufficient and were able to provide for themselves; slaughtering animals for food was not uncommon on the farm.  Howard’s uncle was

Rees, Frank

Frank Rees is from Toronto.  He grew up in the city’s east end, against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  He attended Danforth Tech and served in the reserve army during the early part of the war.  When the time came for him to join up, Frank chose the RCAF – he remembers that it

Bentley, Lloyd

Lloyd Bentley grew up in northern Ontario, in Kirkland Lake and Sault Ste Marie, during the Great Depression years; the family was on the move as Lloyd’s father searched for work.  When the war came, Lloyd joined the air force, and he began his training for the RCAF, following the BCATP training scheme from Brandon

Lucas, Alison

Alison Lucas was born in Ottawa to parents that moved around frequently, since her father was in the Air Force.  Her mother was an Emergency Room nurse who took a “break” to manage the 3 kids and all the moves.  By the time she was in high school, she had moved 8 times, but was

McPhee, Jim

Jim McPhee served in the RCAF during the Second World War. Jim grew up in northern Ontario, not too far from the Sault; Jim came from a large family, and lived not too far from Bruce Mines . Jim remembers going to a one-room schoolhouse in his early years, as well as work on the

Allen, Gord

Gord Allen served in the Canadian Army during the Second World War. He grew up in prewar Toronto, where he remembers the tough times of the Great Depression; Gord recalls his father being out of work, and he remembers that he and his friends used to bring food to the homeless men down in the

Cournelisson, Rene

Rene Cournelisson’s World War Two story is one we have not previously heard at Crestwood. Rene was born into a family of thirteen, and he grew up in prewar Holland, a nation that found itself occupied by Germany in 1940. Rene like so many Dutch chafed under the restrictions of occupation, and like many brave