Hammond, Cy

Cy Hammond was born in Toronto in 1921. He lived in East York, in a working class family, with his mother and father. Cy used to play near the Don River with his friends and cricket at church. In 1941, Cy joined the Royal Canadian Air Force. After six months, Cy was sent to Halifax to board a boat and go overseas. Before they could leave, all the men were ordered off the boat because it was infected with bed bugs. The men were given new sheets and their heads were shaved. After the ship was clear of bed bugs, they were allowed back on the ship and headed overseas.

Once overseas, Cy was sent to a small town on the English Channel. He, and the other Canadians from the air force, stayed in hotels with American and British soldiers. They were then put into their squadrons. Each squadron consisted of a pilot, a bombardier, a wireless operator, the tail gunny, and the navigator. The members of each squadron were very close and had to rely on and trust each other at all times in order to complete their missions successfully.

On leave, Cy and his crewmates found a stable. When Cy got on his horse, it got startled and started to run. It ran around the base until Cy ended up crashing into the back of the mess hall. He fell unconscious and the next thing he knew, he woke up in the hospital. Cy was grounded and had to stay in the hospital for an extended period of time because of his head trauma. When he was finally released, Cy went to go see his squadron, but found that they had all been killed during a mission.

After the war, Cy came back to Canada and went to university so that he could get a job as a civilian. He attended Victoria College where he took many classes, including art history and agricultural studies.

Cy presently lives in the Veterans’ Wing at Sunnybrrok Hospital, where he was interviewed by students Emma Myers and Michael Lawee in November 2011.