Bentley, Lloyd

Lloyd Bentley was born August 1, 1923.  He grew up in northern Ontario, in Kirkland Lake and Sault Ste Marie, during the Great Depression years; the family was on the move as Lloyd’s father searched for work.  When the war came, Lloyd joined the air force, and he began his training for the RCAF, following the BCATP training scheme from Brandon to Fingal to Toronto to Windsor to Brantford.  Lloyd earned his pilot’s wings in Brantford, and then honed his navigation skills in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. He and his girlfriend made the decision to get married before Lloyd went overseas; an eventful honeymoon in Toronto and Muskoka followed.  Soonafter Lloyd was sent overseas; he arrived in England, but was soon sent in another convoy to Egypt, where the men were stationed near the Bitter Lakes. The time in Egypt was relatively uneventful, and the men were recalled to England and put in Transport Command.  Training for D-Day followed, and Lloyd and his colleagues trained for paratroop drops and glider operations. Their role on D-Day proved to be very successful. In the aftermath of D-Day and during the Battle of Normandy, Lloyd was tasked with flying in supplies and flying out the wounded.  Lloyd’s next major military operation would be the failed Operation Market Garden, where much of the Transport Squadron was shot down. Lloyd came through it though, and he continued to do support flights. With the end of the war, Lloyd expected to be shipped to the Pacific War, but he was kept in Europe where he did flights for SHAEF for a time.  Soon he went home though, where he reunited with his young wife and took up employment at London Life. He and wife raised their family, and fell into the rhythms of postwar Canadian life.  

Lloyd was interviewed for this project in August 2019, when Scott Masters visited him in his home in Brantford, Ontario, courtesy of the Memory Project.