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

McMullen, Mel

Mel McMullen was born June 5, 1925 in southern California, growing up in the Los Angeles area.  He had two brothers, and both parents were employed; his father was a master welder, and his mother became a phone operator when the boys were grown.  With that, they were insulated from the worst effects of the

Hines, Audrey

Audrey Hines was born April 1, 1921 in Surrey, England, and she grew up in and around the village of Hindhead.   Audrey had 4 siblings, and her father worked in the iron business.  When the war came Audrey was already 18, and in the early years she did war work, working at a factory

Stevens, Larry

Larry Stevens was born July 10, 1924 in Alhambra, CA. He attended school up to the 8th grade, leaving early because of the reality of the Great Depression. The family needed to make ends meet, and saving spare change – even a nickel – was a lot of money.  When Pearl Harbor was attacked December

Sienkiewicz, Henry

Henry Sienkiewicz was born January 4, 1923 in Syracuse, New York.  He grew up in a working class neighborhood, where his father worked in the local foundry.  Henry worked a variety of jobs himself in the prewar years, helping the family to make ends meet during the Great Depression.  When the war came Henry knew

Palimaka, Jozef

Jozef Palimaka was born May 9, 1926, in Czaple Male, a village not too far from Krakow, Poland.  His parents had a small farm there, though they made the decision to relocate to Czarne Konce, near Lviv, a few years later, when they purchased a larger farm with an orchard.  As Jozef was the oldest

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

Forster, Wolfram

Wolfram Forster was born October 22, 1925, in Berlin, Germany.  He grew up in that city during the interwar years, witnessing the political changes that were taking place around him as he attended school.  Wolfram’s father was a Great War veteran who became a police officer, and who later fired when he refused to join

Sprecher, Becky

Becky Sprecher was born in 1950 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky – the Baby Boom had begun. Becky remembers her elementary school teachers saying on the first day of school, “I’ve never had a class this big!”  There were certain advantages in small town America in those days in that the kids could ride their bikes just

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. 

Miller, Keith

Keith Miller was born March 11, 1946 in Pittsburgh.  He grew up in small town America in the 1950s, enjoying what life had to offer, from TV to baseball to playing in the street.  It was also the time of the Cold War, and Keith remembers that his childhood was also interrupted by “duck and

King, Wallace

Wally King was born October 31, 1923 in Cortland, Ohio.  He grew up in that rural part of the Buckeye state, not too far from the Pennsylvania border.  Wally recalls a pretty normal childhood, growing up against the backdrop of the 1920s and the Great Depression 1930s.  His father had two sons from his first

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,

Hall, Phil

Phil Hall was born March 9, 1945 in Eagle, Wisconsin.  He grew up there against the backdrop of the “Fabulous 50s”; life was good coming out of World War Two – though Phil does remember plenty of after school jobs to pick up spending money, not to mention the early days of television.  He graduated

Wortley, Colin

Colin Wortley was born January 18, 1945 in Toronto, Ontario.  His father was a decorated World War two veteran, having been awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal for RAF service in North Africa.  When he returned to Canada Colin’s father left the air force, but he decided to re-enlist in 1950, as the Cold War was

Curtis, Des

Des Curtis was born July 16, 1923 in Caterham, England.  He was born in the Guards’ Depot there, as his father was a member of the Irish Guards, one of the foot guards for the monarchy.  Des’s father also happened to be a Great War veteran who served in the trenches and the major campaigns

Ellers, Lyall

Lyall Ellers was born September 7, 1923 in Perth, Australia.  He and his three siblings grew up against the backdrop of the Great Depression, going to school and doing all the things typical of Australian youth at the time.  Lyall’s father was a Great War vet who worked in the mines – and who certainly

Stachevich, Ron

Ron Stachevich was born September 5, 1936 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  He grew up against the backdrop of World War Two and the emerging Cold War, and when he finished high school he resolved to join and do his part.  Ron dreamed of becoming a pilot so he chose the air force, and headed off to

Damboise, Betty

Betty Damboise was born July 3, 1933 in Schoenecke, Germany.  She grew up in the Schnee Eifel region, near the Luxembourg-Belgium border.  Betty’s father worked in the metal trades, and he was classified as an essential worker because of his connections to the local farming community.  Betty started school in 1939 in her village, and

Ortega, Sandra

Sandra Ortega was born March 29, 1937 in Baltimore, Maryland.  She grew up against the backdrop of 1950s America, when the Jim Crow Laws governed life all across the south, a truth that was in evidence in her own city of Baltimore, where segregation ran deep.  From an early age Sandra learned the virtue of

Cassot, Art

Art Cassot hails from New Jersey, where he grew up in the northern part of the Garden State.  Art came of age in the Vietnam era, and wondered what his future might hold.  He considered the navy or the air force, but had long waiting lists at the time, so Art opted for the army,

Atherton, Paul

Paul Atherton was born July 15, 1921 in Hanover, New Hampshire.  The family moved around a bit when he was young, navigating the realities of the Great Depression.  Paul attended a one-room school for a time, but as his family moved to larger communities he grew accustomed to larger schools and different amenities.  Life in

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