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 opted to join the RCAF, and because of his technical background he was chosen as a ground crew candidate and went into training in the BCATP.  His training began in Belleville, and Jim hoped to go overseas to join the fight, a chance that did not present itself.  Jim specialized in the instrument panels of the new generation of WW2 aircraft, a task he continued when he was stationed in Nova Scotia, where he spent the duration of the war servicing the planes that patrolled Canada’s east coast during the Battle of the Atlantic.  Jim also married during the war, having met a girl when he was stationed at Brantford, and the two of them would be together for 75 years.  After the war, Jim made the air force a career, rising to the rank of Warrant Officer-1 and travelling the world.  We were able to interview Jim Bays over zoom during the pandemic spring of 2021, and we thank the Sunnybrook Veterans’ Wing for their assistance in facilitating this interview.