Tuesday, November 13, 2007

World War 2 in 1940

The invasion of Norway was the first offensive on the western front by the Wehrmacht in 1940 and thus began the invasion of Norway. Norway had a strategic importance not only for Germany but also for the allies because of it's natural resources to help their both the allies and German war industries. On April 9 Germany invaded Denmark and landed in Norway which took the allies totally by surprise. In 1940 French and British troops try desperately to resist the German invasion of the above without any luck and thousands of French and British troops were made prisoners of war. May 10Th, 1940 Winston Churchill becomes British Prime Minister of Great Britain. On that very same day the German army invades Belgium and the Netherlands and also starts the invasion of France. France had quite a defense system to protect its borders called the Maginot line consisting of fighting bunkers to prevent an invasion to the East and northern flank of France. On May 14 The Netherlands capitulates to Germany. France had a very courageous army but in no way could they resist the powerful German invasion from the land and air.

Now that all the European countries are falling one after the other what happens to the French and British army you ask? Retreat men.....run for your lives, the Wehrmacht is coming. The allied armies are retreating north towards the English channel in Northern France, they have no choice, it's a do or die situation and Winston Churchill knows this. So begins the biggest amphibious evacuation of all times. Small boats, big boats, military boats, private boats, civilian boats that want to go towards France in the English channel leaving the English harbours to help rescue the Allies who are running for their lives towards northern France. The Allies are exhausted after months of fighting in Europe. Help us God Europe is falling to Hitler and his army. Thus begins the greatest evacuation plan of history with hundreds of boats leaving England through the English channel towards France. The British navy had to turn away people with sail boats of all things, sail boats were slow and vulnarable, this goes to show how much the British are proud and are always willing to lend a hand in what ever way they can! Once upon the French coast of Dunkirk the boats were being bombed by the Luftwaffe and soldiers were being evacuated from the advancing German army but by the time this was all over and the boats had returned to England and thousands of French and British soldiers were evacuated from France at least 300,000 were made prisoners by the German army in France. The German army entered Paris on June 14Th, 1940. On June 25Th Marechal Petain will ask Hitler an armistice and become a traitor to many French for he will be a direct collaborator to Hitler and a puppet of the German army doing anything Hitler would ask of him. On June 30Th,1940 the German army invaded the iles of Jersey and Guernsey. France capitulated and thus in a few months shall start the battle of Britain. My we ain't seen nothing yet! The world is in a state of shock! England is getting ready for the battle of Britain and the war in 1940 expands to the middle east. It seems as though Hitler's army will conquer the world! That's indeed quite a scary scenario! I really must think that the folks in those days though that really dark clouds were hanging over their heads in the sky!

Monday, November 05, 2007

A week of remembrance

A week of remembrance

How can we forget the sacrifice! How can we forget the valor! You have fought, you have died, if you have not died you were wounded like no one could understand. Your wound is deep in your soul! Why did you do it! You did it for me, you did it for my family, you did it for us all! The ultimate sacrifice. How can we forget only to be selfish if we forget.

Lest we forget!

I want to lift my heart to the stars were our veterans shine, they shine like the sun, they shine like the brightest star. You will always shine in our hearts. You gave us the ultimate sacrifice. How can we forget. I will wear my puppy today! I will proudly lay my puppy on my jacket and i will say thank you to all of you! Thank you for the ultimate sacrifice. Would i do it, would i go a thousand miles from home to leave my loved ones like you have? I would be scared, i would be terrified but you have done it! You were and are still brave and courageous!

I want to say thank you to all our veterans who have fought in all previous wars and to all of our blue helmets who help bring peace to the world. To our past and present Airmen, Soldiers and Sailors i want to say thank you for bringing us freedom of religion and speech and a free democracy. Thank you to all are soldiers serving in Afghanistan, you are valiant!

It was indeed and still is a sacrifice well deserved for us all and to the free world!


Thank you!

Friday, August 31, 2007

A letter home

Often soldiers, pilots and navy personnel would write home after excruciating missions to their loved ones to tell them that all was well after a battle. Here is an example of a letter being written home by a Canadian RCAF pilot to his parents.

Dear mon and dad!

I just wanted to take this moment to say hello and to say that i am doing fine. I have received your letter dated April 16Th. Don't worry for me i am doing well. I went out on a bombing run last night! Made it back OK. The flak was so hard i could almost walk on it! I am a little tired but feeling well! I am sad to say that i have lost two of my good friends last night. Johnson and Perry. Their Mosquito was hit by flak and broken in two. Didn't see no parachutes. They wont be writing home no more. I can say that i am so happy to be writing to you now dear mom and dad. I am cold and tired but it don't matter. I am alive and well. Say hello to all and i just cant wait to see you folks! Thank God i am here to see another day! I love the sunrise before my eyes!

With love your son Frank!

Very ofter letters were short and simple, servicemen couldn't write much because of the military censorship. Back in World War 2 letters would take a few days to get home to reassure their loved ones that all was OK! Just knowing that your son or daughter was doing well gave reassuring news to the families and friends that their loved ones overseas would live to see another day! Gee whiz i cant wait for this war to be over mom!

Sunday, July 22, 2007


This is an open Blog to anyone who wants to share their WW2 stories!

I want to share your World War 2 stories to the world!

I have so much respect for our veterans that i have decided to share your stories. Yes, you the blog reader. If you are a World War 2 veteran or know of anyone who is a World War two veteran please let me know and i will post your blog for free! If you are a Canadian, British or American veteran or anyone who has participated in any other Country that was part of the Allied Forces in World War 2 or know of someone who participated in any World War 2 battle or activity please let me know! I will gladly post your request upon revision if i feel you have well documented the information you have sent to me and if you sent me at least two photographs of the veteran in question to be posted on my blog!

I want to be an open blog and when ever i can i will gladly post a story of yourself the veteran or of the person you know! I will continue of course to post my World War 2 blogs but from time to time i will gladly post your blogs also.

Please feel free to write at oxygen2060@yahoo.ca and i will gladly get in touch with you at the earliest convenience. Please make sure to leave me your name and email address!

Any postings that will be done on my blog will be sent to you before publishing for your final approval!

Thank you very much!
Cousin 1924

Friday, July 20, 2007

A tribute to my father Vincent Desjardins and all our veterans

A tribute to my father Vincent Desjardins and all our veterans

I always considered my father to be a great man. He always wanted the best for his family. He worked hard and was very honest with everyone. As a young boy during the depression of the 1930's life was hard. My grandparents never had much food and work was scarce. Although my grandfather was able to make ends meet life was tough. I remember my grandfather as the mirror of my father looking just like my dad. Same height, same stature and the same attitude towards life. My grandmother was a brave woman because in the Quebec of the 1930's life was tough and very often you had to raise 10 sometimes to 20 and more. The parents of the 1930's and 1940's were brave and i admire them for what they did. Raise children with morals and values. I truly love having learned so much from my parents. My mom was such a wonderful woman. So patient and gentle and full of wisdom and faith. I am truly blessed to have great parents.

As a young boy my father told me of his was wartime stories in World War 2. My father tried to enlist in 1939 at sixteen but was turned down by the Canadian Army for his young age. Then enlisted at 17 in Quebec City at the Citadele and joined the army with the Royal 22nd regiment. I am very proud of the Royal 22nd Regiment the Vandoos who are serving now in Afghanistan. Like the rest of the Canadian Army, they are to be admired and respected.

My father wanted to join the Canadian army not to go to war and fight people. My father wanted to join the army to help my grandparents earn a living. Like i said times were tough and at Christmas when the Christmas gifts that Santa would bring to the children back in those days would be an orange or maybe an apple and not much more than a fruit. That's how things were back in the depression era. This is why my father joined the army. To help his parent's make ends meet and feed the family because there weren't too many jobs around back in those days. During the 1940's people had a great interest and pride in their patriotism's. So my father joined the army and had his training done in Borden, Ontario, Canada and afterward's was transferred to England on a troop carrier a civilian ship (The Queen Mary, converted into a troop carrier for the war effort) in 1942. My father was trained as a soldier but also as a mechanic and ambulance driver. My father wanted to have more than just one trade. He wanted to be a soldier but also a mechanic and help his fellow soldiers as an ambulance driver. More training followed in England but my dad was getting anxious to see action like thousands of other Canadians waiting in England to see action. The year 1942 came and went and so did 1943. My dad was getting trucks and jeeps readied for the war effort that would be needed to be sent to France eventually but when D day finally came along my father was still stationed in England fixing trucks and seeing his friends go on to the shores of France after June 6Th, 1944. I remember my dad telling me that he was getting quite impatient because he wanted to see action to help free the world of Fascism's and tyranny.

One day an officer came up to my father and to my father's surprise the officer told my dad that he was transferred from the Royal 22nd regiment to The Calgary Higlanders. My father was surprised because he taught that he would fight with the Royal 22nd regiment but was transferred with the Calgary Highlanders. Well my dad did not mind, he was after all with Canadians but the only thing is that he was with English speaking Canadians. You see my father is French Canadian and joined with a French Canadian Regiment and to his surprise was being transferred with guys from western Canada. My dad being from Quebec did not speak much English back in his young days. (This was only normal being from Quebec). He became fluently bilingual afterwards. My dad was in for a surprise because when he arrived with the Calgary Highlanders he felt he was treated like a king! Imagine, the only French Canadian soldier in his platoon with English speaking soldiers. My dad loved it! To his friends in his platoon he was called Frenchie. Then one day in September of 1944 army headquarters told my father and his friends, boys this is it. You are going in to France as reinforcements. My father arrived in France on September 29th,1944 and fought in Northern Europe until September 27, 1945. Also my father was part of the Royal Highland Regiment from September 21, 1945 to September 27, 1945 thus only for one week.

I do remember my father telling me stories that are not funny and sad. These are the casualties of war! I am glad he told me these stories because he had to get it out of his chest! I sometimes wonder if it was myself living these episodes of history how i would have felt. I probably would have been insane after the war. You have to be strong to endure the burden of war! My father fought in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany.

If you like i can recall a story my father had told me before he died of cancer on May 5, 1990. My father had a military funeral from members of the Canadian Armed forces and the Royal Canadian Legion and i was overwhelmed with the feeling of appreciation for my father but i found out later why all the recognition. This is something he had never told me when he was living!
One day in early 1945 in Holland the Canadian Army were given the order to secure a small island in Holland in the middle of the night so the American Army can pass on the river banks with their Sherman tanks without being shot at by the German Army artillery. Canadian army heaquarters asked the Calgary Highlanders if they could find one hundred volunteers for a special mission. My father was one of them who volunteered. In the middle of the night the one hundred Canadian soldiers in their rubber dinghy's slipped silently on the cold river to the island to secure the shores of the island so the American Sherman tank could travel without being bombed on the other side of the river but somehow the German army were waiting for the Canadians. Someone had betrayed the Canadians and the German army were waiting for them in the middle of the night. It was a real massacre as soon as the Canadians got on the Island the German army started shooting at the Canadians. All hell broke loose. The Calgary Highlanders jumped back in the dinghy's only to be pursued by the German army. On the other side of the river banks the Canadians were running for their lives when my father was escaping with Colonel Campbell from New Brunswick. All of a sudden Colonel Campbell was hit in the leg by a bullet. He told my father, Vince i give you the order to leave me here right now at once! They will make me a Prisoner of war! I give you the order to go now! My father refused the order and instead stayed with Colonel Campbell who was injured in the bushes until the early morning hours and both were able to make it back to the Canadian lines and this made my father a hero for saving Colonel Campbell's life amongst the Calgary Highlanders and the Black Watch Regiment. My father risked being a prisoner of war or even being killed to save Colonel Campbell's life.

My father told me of very interesting stories of his days in the war and i must say that all soldiers must be remembered. Soldiers, Airmen and sailors always stand on guard for our freedom and protection and we must always remember what they have done for us and are doing now to better secure our future.

My father Vincent Desjardins died from cancer in 1990 and i must say he was a brave man who went to war to protect our freedom and democracy and we must be thankful for the millions of Canadians through history who have fought and are still fighting and have given their lives and their freedom and who are far away from their families and loved ones! Canadians are buried on all continents and in so many countries where their was tyranny and oppression. What great courage they have and have given us! Indeed they have given us our freedom! My father came back from Europe in 1946 and married my mother in 1947 and lived their lives to have three wonderful children and succeeded in raising and giving us a terrific family life.


Saturday, July 14, 2007

RCAF combat missions over occupied France in 1941

The Battle for Europe must never be forgotten. If ever we forget history it will repeat itself sooner or later in time. The Battle for Europe consisted of Hitler and the Wehrmacht wanting to invade Europe which they did and conquered a great part of it. Thus began the Battle for Europe. Poland first fell to Germany on September 1st 1939 and then France in 1940, Belgium, Holland, the Balkans and North Africa and Greece. The fighting was continued to the doorsteps of Moscow, Russia. Such a costly war in lives and resources. Hitler was gaining ground at a worrisome paste. What can be done to prevent further incursions from the Wehrmacht on European soils. Defend the Island of Britain and the free world with blood, sweat and tears. In 1940 Hitler gave the order to invade England and the name of the operation was called Sea Lion. As you have seen in my previous post, due to the tenacity of the The British, the Canadians and the Allied Airmen, Soldiers and sailors England was saved from the invasion. Now we must fight on the Shores of continental Europe and North Africa to help defeat the enemy. The RCAF has contributed greatly to the cause of freedom in Europe. In 1941 the RCAF was stationed in England to destroy any Uboats in the English channel and in the Atlantic and to cause havoc on German held territories on the European continent.

Brave Canadian and allied airmen took off from air fields in England to Attack installations in occupied territory in France and to destroy German vehicle convoys and communications but this was done at a great cost. For example, if you were flying in a Wellington Bomber or Spitfire fighter and were shot down over France there were only two options. Either you were killed by the impact of a movable machine gun mounted on the rear of Wehrmacht convoy trucks or Flak (A ground to Air Cannon aimed at aircraft's to destroy and bring you down) or you had to bail out over enemy territory which was not very encouraging for any airmen. If you were to survive the impact of the explosion on your aircraft chances were you would be wounded and you had to bail out with your parachute sometimes at night and in sometimes rather rough weather.

Bailing out in cloud cover was actually good because the enemy would have more problems spotting you as your parachute brought you down softly to the ground. Think of it this way my friend. Pretend that you are the airman that was brought down and it is you is is trying to escape the German army! Who ever is reading this article, you are in the airman's place and these are your first thoughts as you land on the ground OK, here we go! Now, i have made it thank God in am alive on French ground and as i look up to the sky Lord and Behold i see my bomber going down in flames with 4 parachutes and a sudden rush of sadness takes over the me (That's you living this, picture yourself as the airman boots on the ground in enemy territory don't forget) because you knows two of your friends inside the bomber did not have time to bail out. There should be six parachutes bailing out but there are only four to be seen. Why them and not me. We are seven on this mission! What do i hear now? My God i can hear German Shepard's barking in the distance. The airman would feel more anxiety as ever before because he knows the German army are on his tail.

(Note that the German army used German Shepard's to track airmen that were shot down because the German Shepard has a very good flair for smell and search.) I must run, i must hide, they are after me, mom please hear me, dear God don't let the German soldiers capture me otherwise what will i become. They might shoot me on the spot! Such a terrifying thought for an 18 or 19 year old kid from Toronto, Saskatoon or Quebec City, Halifax. The Airmen in the RCAF and RAF had very good training in circumstances like these. They were trained to keep their calm and remember what they were thought. First, get rid of your parachute, hide it so the German Army don't find it and then run but run silently in the forest, in the fields but do run silently and calmly and try to meet up with the members of your crew. Young man, you were sent on a mission, to destroy enemy installations and convoys but now your faith will be slim if the enemy captures you. Can i see the North star?(Aircrews were trained that if ever they were shot down over enemy territory to follow the north star because neutral territory was usually in the north? This was always depending on were the airman was shot down obviously!) It is one thirty in the morning, April 19,1941 on a clear night, it is rather cool tonight and damp. I must find my crewmen and friends. What will be of their faith in enemy territory? I saw them bailing out to the north of me. My God i still hear those German Shepard's and they seem to be getting closer, why is that. If i run i will give my position away. After all i am behind enemy lines. Then all of a sudden i hear engines, i know i recognise these airplane engines i hear above. Wellington Bombers, my God i am saved. They are flying above me at only a few hundreed feet above my head. I am here guys. Look down, just below... Well, they never saw me! They call this the rush of battle and it is also called battle Anxiety. Man, i am scared. I will follow the North Star and i will be rescued. As i am walking slowly in the forest and i feel tired and i am so hungry. I have been awake now for at least 17 hours. We took off from Skipton on Swale, England to bomb a bridge near Bordeaux France but now i am not sure exactly of where i am in France? I think i am in the region of Langon? I am cold, lost and tired. I want to sleep. I look at my watch and it is now three thirty in the morning. I sit down to catch up with my exhaustion and first thing i know i have fallen asleep on the ground only to be awaken a few minutes later by a German soldier with his K98 Mauser rifle pointing directly in my face. This is it, the war is over for me! I will only give my rank and serial number. Flight Lieutenant, Royal Canadian Air Force, serial number 4394217. Four weeks later i am sent by train to Stalag luft 3 in Sagan Eastern Germany. What as become of my colleagues i do not know! I hope they made it well? This is what happened to Canadian and allied airmen in World War 2 when they were shot down over enemy territory very often unless they had the help from the French underground.

The story is not over because you the airmen must try to escape. Your goal is not to finish the war wasting away in a prison camp. No, i shall try to escape and continue the fight for our freedom, the freedom of the free world. I will use what ever means i can to escape. Please follow my weblog because i will tell you of the true story of airmen, soldiers and sailors who tried to escape in 1943 from one of the most secure prisoner of war camps in German and based on a true story called the GREAT ESCAPE! Stay tuned!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Through Adversity to the stars

Through Adversity to the stars

May we bow our heads and be thankful for our veterans. They have fought with dignity. Let them grow in Peace up to the clouds and above the stars so we may never forget in Flanders fields they will remain our heroes and saviors of our freedom and rights. They have made us free. Now it is up to us to discover the path we walk on. May it be the right path for their sacrifice will have not been in vain! May God bless them. Air Force - Army - Navy of Canada and the free world! We will never forget you because you have touched the face of God and made us Free. So young to die. You have indeed given us the ultimate sacrifice. To all our past and present day heroes of Afghanistan and of our blue helmets. Thank you!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Battle of the Atlantic 1940

By the year 1940 Germany was already causing quite a bit of havoc in the Atlantic ocean sinking any merchant ship that would be sailing towards England. Europe being under the control of the Nazis on the Western front and Russia struggling on the Eastern front it seemed as though Germany was about to have total dominance over Europe. Every ship that was sunk by the Kriegsmarine was calculated by tons. Thousands of Allied merchant ships and hundreds of battleships and destroyers of the Allied navy were sunk in the Atlantic ocean between 1940 and 1944 when Germany had control of the North and south Atlantic ocean and the Atlantic floor (with their formidable Uboats). These were terrible times to be a sailor. You would never know if you would make the journey across the Atlantic. Otto Kretschmer (U505) would surely be the most successful Uboat commandant having sunk during the battle of the Atlantic at least 266,000 tons. This would be about 40 to 45 ships sunk! Most of the battles of the year 1940 were fought in the North Atlantic. Italy entered the war in June of 1940 and was part of the European Axis being Allies with Germany so began the battle for the Mediterranean sea. The problem for England was immense! We need to be re-supplied and re-arm and be feed our friends and allies but our ships are being sunk in the Atlantic. Canada was re-supplying England and 1941 saw the United States entering the war because of the attack on Pearl Harbour. The United States were helping their Ally England in early 1941. The United States would lend Destroyers and cruisers on the basis of the Lend-lease act of 1941 and England was being supplied military ships which included destroyers and battle cruisers. England would lend-lease bases to the Americans in the Isles of the Bahamas and Jamaica. Basically England was broke because of the damage being done to their country so it lend basis to the United States during the war for any military assistance it can get! The battle was far from over and seemed as though everything was lost! Like the Battle of Britain in the air it seemed as though England would not be able to win the Battle on the sea. If the Isle of Britain is lost, we loose our diving board to Europe. Remember if we loose England how can we fight the Battle in France and else were in Europe.

The Kriegsmarine had a system of navigating underwater called a Wolfpack which was absolutely terrifying for Allied sailors. A wolfpack consisted of a group of Uboats. There was the leader and the group of Uboats who would follow from behind as a second row behind the leader you would have two Uboats and then the third row three Uboats side by side and so on! If one Uboat missed a ship with a torpedo the other one behind would most likely hit the target sinking the Allied ship in the cold Atlantic waters. Wolfpacks were usually done when more than one merchant ship would be sailing towards England. The war is not lost because the RCAF and the RAF are patrolling the North Atlantic sinking Uboats when they can, they were called the Coastal Command. The coastal command aircraft were based in Newfoundland and Nova's Scotia and in England and Scotland. Slowly but surely we are helping to turn the tide of war in 1940-1941. With the courage of the Coastal Command flying above the ocean for hours and enduring the elements they were able to help our sailors stay afloat and reach England but the course of the war was far from over in the Atlantic. When seeing the Allied Bombers in mid Atlantic and the Allied fighters when nearing the English coast flying above the sailors merchant ships made them feel very well secure and was indeed a very welcomed site knowing that their friends were there indeed to serve and to protect them on their perilous mission to help save England!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Why i love The Hawker Hurricane

Why i love The Hawker Hurricane

My love for this beautiful airplane started a long time ago! This is truly a beautiful airplane with a Rolls-Royce Merlin-powered engine armed with canons and rockets. This aircraft was a valuable aircraft in Europe, Africa and the far East. The Hawker Hurricanes were manufactured in both Great Britain and Canada in World War 2. Bagotville, Quebec was an Operational training unit during World War 2 for pilots of the Commonwealth Air Forces. I am proud to mention Bagotville because Bagotville is a city in the Province of Quebec in which i live in. This air base greeted many fliers from all over the Commonwealth. A truly remarkable aircraft the Hawker Hurricane was a great and valuable fighter to pilots of the Commonwealth during the Battle of Britain. Historically historians can say that the the Hawker Hurricane was a formidable aircraft against the Luftwaffe in August of 1939 and contributed to the victory of the Battle of Britain. This was only the first step, we saved England but now we must save Europe and the free world. I should also mention that the Luftwaffe having the Messerschmidt BF-109 fighter, the Stuka diver bomber and an amazing fleet of bombers that were also another formidable plan of attack but due to the determination of the Commonwealth pilots who were simply outnumbered by the Luftwaffe they were able to defeat the Luftwaffe in a stroke of luck and determination. I would highly recommended that you see the movie The Battle of Britain which it is a very accurate detail of how the war was fought and won but could also have been very easily lost and this would have changed the course of history. Many young people today do not realise this due to there lack of historical knowledge and then how close we came to loosing the Island of Britain and then the course of the war would have been totally different. With the constant bombardment of the Luftwaffe upon London and different British cities and military installations, the British with their stiff upper lips were able to hold a strong morale and push the enemy across the English channel back to France. Again luck was achieved on a wing and a prayer! This was only October 1940 and the war was far from over but the British, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, The Poles and the South Africans were able to say what a good show they did. Indeed you did do a very good show lads! Thank you from ourselves and our future generations because thanks to you we are living our freedom!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

WW2 hero pilot statue unveiled

I wanted to share this great article with the world today! A nice article about a New Zelander who in 1941 gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. I think this is a very nice way to show him my respect by posting this article on my blog. Another true World War 2 hero. The statue of Carlisle Everiss who was a pilot officer 41318 with the Royal New Zealand Air Force was unveiled today in the village of Cowie, Scotland on May 20, 2007. Thank you Carlisle.

WWII hero pilot statue unveiled

The memorial was erected after locals raised £12,000.A statue honouring a heroic World War II pilot who was killed in action has been unveiled in the Stirlingshire village where he died.
New Zealander Carlisle Everiss lost control of his Spitfire over Cowie in 1941 but managed to steer it towards a local wood before crashing.
The 26-year-old was pulled from the wreckage by three local residents but died after being given the last rites.
Residents in Cowie have raised £12,000 to erect a bronze bust of the pilot.
Local councillor Gerard O'Brien said: "What is being done in Cowie will echo for generations to come.
"This pilot gave his life for the village. If it were not for him, the village would have been destroyed and a lot of people would have died.
"Once in a generation a guy like this comes along. We should not forget what he did and the statue is a way of saying thank you."

Carlisle Everiss died when his Spitfire crashed near Cowie
Cllr O'Brien said he hoped the pilot would also be awarded the New Zealand award for gallantry.
Mr Everiss, who was one of a number of foreign pilots stationed at Grangemouth during the war, died after his plane crashed into railway sidings at the Cowie Colliery on 2 October 1941.
He was buried at Grandsable Cemetery near Polmont.
A plaque was put up in memory of the hero in the 1970s after local resident John Craig went to New Zealand to trace Mr Everiss' family.
A war memorial and miners' memorial were established in the village recently and prompted local businesses, the community council and local residents to raise money for a memorial to Mr Everiss.

Friday, May 18, 2007

A little about myself and why i love history!

Why do i love history?

Why do i love the past, i kind of wonder. Ever since i was a little boy i always wondered about the past. Not that i don't like the present, sure i do! I love my life, i love everything around me. How was it back then though? Have you ever wondered what life was in the 1930's, 40's, 50's 60's. I do remember the 1960's as a little boy. Probably things weren't that much different than they are today. A father had to work hard for his living and the well being of his family. The mother would be home taking care of her children and loving them. I still believe though that things were quite different than they are today! Although there were no computers and cell phones and all that modern technology people were i think generally still quite happy. Imagine myself now being in my late 40's and writing about the past. The past is like a different world now i guess to me and probably to you also? I am indeed nostalgic about the past. Canada went to war in 1914 fighting in World war 1 as it raged on in Europe and World War 2 in 1939 against Nazisms and the thread of Japanese attacks on our homeland. What did we fight for? We fought for our freedom of speech, rights to vote and have the best of lives all together in this great country of ours and the free world.

I find what we lack the most in the years we are living in now are family values. Good quality life as a family unit. Where have they gone? Why have they gone? I like to think of myself as a man trying his best for his family, his community, his country and God. But what about the family life i see around us. Were has the family life gone. Why do we need to rush so much after time and money! Is time lacking in your life? If it is slow down and take a look around you! Life is short. Say i love you to that special person. To your parents, your spouse, your family and your friends even your pets. To life itself!

What about spiritually? Were has it gone? It is down the drain??? It is so sad to see the state of the planet. There is indeed a global warming changing the world right now, we can tell just by the weather extremes we are living across the globe. There is also a global change. The change is out of the family, the change is out of spirituality and out of respect and values. This is my opinion and this is why i love the past. I miss the values! I really do! If we are to fight as our fathers and grandfathers did, we should fight for our rights of freedom and also for our rights of values and spirituality which is so important to us! If we have the rights for our freedom but no values in our lives and in our families and communities and in our individual spirituality i think that somewhere along in our lives we are missing the most important point of what our veterans fought for and what they fought and died for in the past conflicts were the Values for the future and this is what we lack the most of today unfortunately!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Training on a Harvard if you want to become a pilot

RCAF Flag of ww2


Before going off to war in Europe in 1939 or Asia in 1941 you needed to know how to fly an airplane if you wanted to become a pilot. This naturally was only normal for any 18 or 19 year old kid who wanted to join the RCAF. Flying an airplane for any aviation enthusiast is the greatest thrill ever. From the roar of the engine and the smell of engine fuel it is very exiting indeed. Because of the great Harvard trainer thousands of young men became pilots of bombers and fighters. Men from all over the British Commonwealth came to Canada to train under the British Commonwealth Training plan. Pilots from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, England came to Canada to train as pilots. Also came to Canada air crews such as Navigators, Radio operators, Engineers and gunners. American citizens also joined the RCAF before 1941 to fight against the Axis and were know as the Eagle Squadron and when the USA entered the War in 1941 these airmen were transferred to the United States Army Air Corps. You want to fly young man, learn to fly on the Harvard. Please see on my blog the trailer of this great training documentary of Harvard's and their students from the World War two movie starring James Cagney in Captain of the clouds. See training aircraft's such as the De Havilland Moth and the Hawker Hurricane and the Boulton Paul defiant. There are in all four videos of the training and of the airplanes. All you have to do is click on either one of them to view it. Between 1939 and 1945 over 50,000 allied airmen died for our freedom. See what kind of training these men went through. You indeed had to be very courageous and very strong to live through these tough times. You lived your life on a wing and a prayer. There were no room for mistakes. Watch your take offs, your turns your altimeter and your speed son then you will become a good pilot!

Beginnings of the Royal Canadian Air Force

The Royal Canadian Air Force was founded in 1924. The life of the RCAF is short and brief but was quite an accomplishment. In 1924 the RCAF is created and disbanded in 1968 to become the Canadian Armed Forces. The Air Force, Navy and Army are all combined as one unit. I am very proud of our armed forces and what they have accomplished as Peacekeepers and of what they are doing today in Afghanistan and around the world to promote world peace and stability! The RCAF as a unit was only 44 years old! Quite young indeed!

England being drawn into conflict with Nazi Germany Canada and other Countries of the British Commonwealth had no choice but to help another country that is under the British Crown. Canada declares war to Germany on September 3rd, 1939. With mostly planes left over from the late 1920's and 1930's Canada was very modest in it's air capabilities and had to reorganize to be able to combat the Axis in Europe. Canada being what it is organised itself quickly and was able to produce airplanes on a large scale that would have not been seen thus far in it's industrial era becoming the Fourth largest air force of the Allied Air Power.

Due to the great depression of the 1930's many people were simply out of work with no food to feed their families and many men had simply no place to go. How terrible when you are proud and young and would like to have a job to earn an honest living. I remember very well my mother telling me as a young girl in the 1930's living on a farm in St Jean Port Joli, Quebec many men would be riding on trains and even on their roof tops looking for food and work. These men would come from Montreal, Quebec City even from Ontario looking for a better life but there was not much to go on! Times were tough! In Germany Adolf Hitler was creating a War machine against the free world that their domination would fix the problems that had encounter in the 1920's and 1930's and that was a lack of work and prosperity. Hitler was a very dangerous man with many dangerous followers. Basically the world was in economical depression and so was the United States of America. This until Pearl Harbour dragged the USA into the second world war against Japan and Germany.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

My tribute to the Royal Canadian Air Force 1939-1945

Per Ardua Ad Astra (Through adversity to the stars)

I would like to dedicate this blog to all our World War 1 and World war 2 veterans and also of Korea who have served in the Royal Canadian Air Force. (Please note that i have the uppermost respect for today's flyers of the Canadian Armed forces but this blog is being done on historical World War 2 basis!)

This is my way of showing them all the respect i have for our World War 2 flyboy's to them and for what they have done for our freedom.
(Please note that i also admire and respect our soldiers and sailors) I have always had a soft spot on my heart for the RCAF and the reason being for this is that i always loved aviation. There is nothing more beautiful than watching an airplane flying above in the sky! Our World War 2 airmen had the right stuff and still do! Through time i will list the achievements and sacrefice that our pilot's and air crew's have done on such famous airplanes as the Spitfire, Hawker Hurricanes the Wellington bomber and the Halifax of the RCAF.
Please return to my Blog shortly because i shall continue our travel through time and show our airmen all the respect they deserve. Please stay tuned for more! Thank you.