Davis, Howard

Howard Davis was born July 7, 1925 in Wentworth County, Ontario.  His father was a veteran of the Great War, and his mother was a “country girl” as he recalls.  Howard had two brothers and a sister, and they grew up in a rural community, attending the one room schoolhouse in Valens, Ontario.  Howard did

Reid, Joe

Frederick Joseph Reid – Joe – was born April 19, 1920, in Sillsville, Ontario.  He spent his early years there on the family farm, alongside his seven siblings.  The family later moved to Trenton, and that is where Joe spent his formative years.  He went to high school there, but he left early to take

Arnett, Rex

Rex Arnett was born November 12, 1924 in Toronto.  He grew up in the city’s east end, in the Danforth-Woodbine neighbourhood.  Rex and his friends kept busy playing all kinds of sports, and against the backdrop of the Great Depression Rex worked as a delivery boy for a local drugstore.  He was attending De La

Corbett, Raymond

Raymond Corbett was born September 3, 1934 in Bass River, Nova Scotia.  He grew up in that small community against the backdrop of the Second World War, where he attended school and church and did all the things that were normal in small town Canada at the time.  Ray left school in Grade 10, and

Harrison, Reginald

Reginald “Crash” Harrison was born August 16, 1922 in Pheasant Forks, Saskatchewan, not too far from Regina.  Reg’s parents had come to Canada from Yorkshire not long before the Great War, and Reg’s father returned to Europe as part of the Canadian Expeditionary Force to fight alongside his brothers still in England.  He returned and

Wildman, Yvonne

Yvonne Wildman was born August 1, 1923 in Portland, Oregon.  Her parents were from Canada, and the family returned to Saskatchewan when Yvonne was 4.  She grew up there against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  When the war came, Yvonne and four of her brothers joined up.  Yvonne and a friend chose the RCAF

Kreamer, Louis

Louis Kreamer was born October 25, 1934 in Welland, Ontario.  He grew up during the Second World War, the eldest of eight children.  Lou’s father worked for Ontario Hydro, and was deemed an essential worker, and as Lou recalls his mother took care of them all.  Lou played softball and rugby and attended Welland Vocational;

Tipple, Graham

Graham Tipple was born March 1, 1924 in Burin, Newfoundland.  His father was a fish merchant in that small town, but his mother longed to get away from the area, having lost multiple male relatives to the sea.  The family – with their young son Graham – resettled in Toronto in 1925, and Graham grew

Howells, Ray

Ray Howells was born February 26, 1941 in Trenton, Ontario.  He grew up near the air base there, and as his uncle was in the RCAF Ray too was motivated to join, which he did right out of high school.  He spent most of his time at RCAF stations in Quebec, where he was connected

Borisko, Nick

Nick Borisko was born December 10, 1925 in the little village of Hubbard, Saskatchewan.  He grew up in that very small community, the third of eight children of immigrants from the Ukraine who had left the Austro-Hungarian Empire looking for a better life.  His father was a farmer, and although the family grew up in

McIntyre, Katherine

Katherine McIntyre was born May 20, 1923 in Toronto.  She grew up in the Forest Hill neighbourhood, where she was lucky to grow up in an affluent family.  Her father was a well-known lawyer, and the family was able to avoid the worst aspects of the Great Depression.  Katherine attended Bishop Strachan School, and after

Cracknell, Joan

Joan Cracknell was born July 3, 1923 in Ottawa.  Her father worked for the federal government, and Joan grew up there in the interwar years, attending Ottawa Ladies’ College.  Times got tough when her father lost his job as the Depression set in, but he was able to pick up some work on the side. 

Adam, Wally

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. 

Clarry, Richard

Richard Clarry was born October 23, 1936 in Toronto.  He grew up in the city’s west end during the Second World War, when his father was a pilot in the RCAF.  Richard’s wartime years were spent in school and in High Park, where he played baseball and hockey and everything else.  He left school at

Kearl, Harold

Harold Kearl was born December 10, 1922 in Cardston, Alberta, where he grew up on a farm with nine siblings.   He attended school in that town, where he did well, and all the while he kept busy doing chores on the farm.  He grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, and while

Hewlett, Tom

Tom Hewlett was born October 18, 1938 in Toronto.  He grew up during wartime and the “Fabulous 50s”, where he has memories of Elvis Presley and the arrival of television; Tom also attended school, but at Forest Hill Collegiate he decided that he had enough.  He chose to leave and enter the RCAF.  Vision prevented

Marshall, Orville

Orville Marshall was born July 24, 1922 in Woodstock, Ontario.  He grew up there against the backdrop of the Great Depression, developing an interest in automotive mechanics and radio.  He also joined the Oxford Rifles Reserve, and when the war came he decided to join the RCAF.  He reported for Manning Duty at Lachine, Quebec,

Armitage, Roly

Roly Armitage was born February 8, 1925 in South March, Ontario, in the Ottawa area.  He was raised on a farm, with many brothers and sisters.  Roly’s father was a veteran of the Great War who saw action at Ypres:  he was gassed and while being treated in England he met a young Red Cross

McGeach, Hugh

Hugh McGeach was born May 8, 1921 in London, Ontario.  He grew up on a farm, and later in the city of London, against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  Hugh’s father was a Great War veteran whose health had deteriorated, necessitating the move.  Lloyd graduated from a technical high school and became an automotive

Luckadoo, John

John Luckadoo was born March 16, 1922 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  He grew up living a good life:  his father was a stockbroker who raised horses, and new clothes and good food were the norm.  1929 changed much of that though; the stock market crash brought about a different kind of life for John’s family.  All

Moyes, Ron

Ron Moyes was born February 11, 1926 in Vancouver, B.C.  His father was a veteran of the Great War who came back to Canada with a war bride and baby daughter, and who built a successful business in 1920s Vancouver before buying a farm.  Ron was only 13 when the war began, but as he

Johns, Stuart

Stuart Johns was born February 11, 1925 in Walkerville, Ontario.  He grew up in and around Windsor, against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  Stuart recalls his family being affected by that calamity – but also that they were not living in poverty.  His father, a veteran of the Great War, worked at the nearby

Heller, Mickey

Mickey Heller was born November 3, 1921 in Toronto. Born into a large Jewish family, he grew up in the city’s Bathurst-Harbord neighbourhood against the backdrop of the Great Depression and the prevalent antisemitism of the time. When the war came, Mickey opted for the RCAF. He went through the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan

Bergstein, Bunny

Bunny Bergstein was born April 1, 1924 in Toronto.  His parents had emigrated to Canada in the period after the Great War, fleeing anti-Semitism in Lithuania and Galicia.  They raised their family in downtown Toronto, where Bunny attended school and busied himself with his friends, playing ball in the local playground.  By the time Canada

Kendall, Fred

Fred Kendall was born in Woodstock, Ontario on March 7, 1927.  His father was a Great War veteran who ran a cartage company, so even against the backdrop of the Great Depression, the large family (Fred had eight siblings) did well.  Fred joined up when he was in Grade 10 – and only 16.  Three

Graham, John

John Graham was born February 25, 1921 in Toronto.  He grew up in a large family in the western end of Toronto’s downtown, attending the public schools and playing ball at Christie Pitts.  John was able to graduate Grade 13 at Bloor Collegiate, after which time he went into the RCAF.  Basic training followed, and

Fitzsimmons, Douglas

Douglas Fitzsimmons was born July 22, 1924 in Toronto.  He grew up in a large family in the city’s east end, in the Gerrard and Woodbine neighbourhood and attended the local Catholic school.  Doug’s father was a Great War veteran who went on to a successful career as a salesman, so the family was sheltered

Hoy, William

William (Bill) Hoy was born in Welland, Ontario on January 30, 1924.  His family had emigrated to Canada from Britain and settled in the Ottawa area, but by the time of Bill’s birth they had settled in Welland, where Bill’s father did his Great War service, guarding the Welland Canal.  Bill grew up against the

Dingle, Durwin

Durwin Dingle was born August 6, 1926 in northern Saskatchewan, though he grew up in Wawota, in the Qu’Apelle Valley in the southern part of the province.  Durwin was one of six children, so he grew up doing many chores around the family property, especially during the difficult Depression years. Durwin’s father was an educational

Goldman, Ralph

Ralph Goldman was born in Iwaniska, Poland on July 25, 1921.  He came to Canada as an infant, early in the 1920s, and he grew up in downtown Toronto against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  The economic situation forced him to leave school when he was only 14, and he went to work to