Davis, Howard

Howard Davis was born July 7, 1925 in Wentworth County, Ontario.  His father was a veteran of the Great War, and his mother was a “country girl” as he recalls.  Howard had two brothers and a sister, and they grew up in a rural community, attending the one room schoolhouse in Valens, Ontario.  Howard did not finish high school; he went to work on local farms in a bid to support his family during the Great Depression.  With the coming of the war – and the expectation of his call up – the 18 year old Howard volunteered for the RCAF.  He reported to Manning Depot in Toronto and was soon into the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, attending schools in Aylmer, Ottawa, and Mont Joli.  In that last school Howard learned gunnery training.  He and the other men would go up in their Fairey Battles and fire at the drogues for target practice; Howard recalls that this was very difficult, and that they spent most of 1944 going through the steps of the BCATP.  That lasted into 1945, as the war was getting into its final stages.  After all that time getting ready for the fight, Howard began to realize that he was not going to get his chance.  The men were asked to volunteer for the Pacific War, and 97 of the men at Mont Joli committed to that, but the atomic bombs obviated that possibility.  Howard would be demobilized in short order, and after a short stay at home, he went into the construction industry, where he became a crane operator.  He also married and raised a family, and together they found their way in postwar Canada.  Howard Davis was interviewed by Scott Masters at his home in Barrie, Ontario in February 2024.  We thank Zach Dunn for the introduction, and you can see his interviews here – https://www.youtube.com/c/ZachDunnTV/playlists.