Tuesday, December 14, 2010

ABC Wednesday

The letter for this week is the Veritable V

V is for VETERANS

During the Second World War Bournemouth was a disbursing centre for Airmen who had just arrived in the UK, and these three Airman, school chums from the Okanagan, all with the same desire - to one day be VETERANS, met by chance while stationed there awaiting posting.

They agreed that if they made it through the war they would all meet for a celebration drink in the Royal Canadian Legion in Penticton on July 1st, Canada Day.  It was a harrowing experience.  The one on the left was a Tail Gunner and the only one left alive when the plane he was in crashed into a mountain top.  The one in the middle went to the Continent and kept fighter planes flying for the allies, in the thick of it. The one on the right became a Lancaster Pilot in 170 Squadron,  and lost both his brothers after D Day.  But they all returned home, - and now they were VETERANS.

Well, time passed, and the years flew by, - they all got married and had families.  They saw each other intermittently, and although they never forgot their vow to meet again in the Legion, it just didn't happen until a retired school teacher who is writing a book of veterans' stories, got them all together and brought the Tail Gunner and the Communications and Radar fellow to our place (the home of the Pilot) for lunch last Friday.




What a fine time they had, - a lifetime of memories, and all three of them still the same handsome fellows they were sixty-six years ago, - but now with the addition of canes, which really makes them quite debonair.

Best Visitors we've had in a long while.

For more interesting V's click here to visit ABC Wednesday

17 comments:

Sylvia K said...

That is so fantastic! What a terrific meeting for them and others! My family rented out my bedroom to young pilots in training at an airbase near my hometown so their wives could have a place to stay and be near them for as long as possible. As an only child, it was thrilling to suddenly have "brothers and sisters" and I loved it! Thanks so much for sharing this Hildred!

Sylvia

Leslie: said...

This makes me want to cry because my Dad was in the RCAF, too. But he passed away 3 years ago. He used to tell me stories of flying through the clouds. You are so lucky to have met these three wonderful veterans! :D

Tumblewords: said...

What an eVent...a wonderful and warm read!

Hildred and Charles said...

I am sorry your Dad is no longer with you Leslie, - I am lucky to have met these three great fellows, - especially the one on the right who is my husband, Charles, and I ran into him down by the North Saskatchewan River in 1943....

Penny said...

Fantastic that they are still here and going strong. Well done to the three of them.

photowannabe said...

Outstanding. What an exciting time that must have been. Thanks for sharing this momentous occasion with us.

Rajesh said...

Such wonderful people. Excellent choice.

Reader Wil said...

Thank you so much for this story! What a wonderful meeting after so many years. The first plane we saw after the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, was a RAF plane circling over our concentration camp and dropping flyers to tell us that the war was over. I wonder what became of these pilot and crewmembers.
Have a great Christmas time.

RuneE said...

Now, that is what I call V with a Vengeance! The retired school teacher did a great job :-)

Roger Owen Green said...

this is VERY touching portrayal of the VETERANS.
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Cheryl said...

What a wonderful story of these 3 courageous veterans. They were and are quite handsome fellas. Thanks for sharing a piece of your history with us.

Cezar and Léia said...

A wonderful homage for these brave men!
Thanks for sharing this lovely post!
Léia - Bonjour Luxembourg

Carver said...

What a great post and so wonderful about the visit all those years later.

Jay said...

What a great story! I'm so glad to hear that they not only made it through the war in one piece, but finally met up again for that drink!

So many vows like that were made in the war, only to be broken by the deaths of one or more of the people involved. It's a very sobering thought.

Rinkly Rimes said...

What a wonderful story! And so beautifully told. And how lucky that they are all enjoying old age!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

What a wonderful story Hildred! Merry Christmas to you and the pilot!

Barb said...

How wonderful for them to get together after all these years. My father-in-law was in WWII and still meets with a handful of guys from his battalion. He's 87. I liked seeing Charles there on the right!