Dodds, Richard

Richard Dodds was born November 22, 1925 in Toronto, Ontario.  He grew up in the city’s west end, where he attended Humber Park Public School and later Humberside Collegiate, where he played sports in all seasons.  His father raised horses – racing was popular in interwar Toronto – so the family was insulated from the worst impacts of the Depression.  When the war came, Richard waited until it was his time – or so he thought.  He tried to volunteer for the RCAF when he was underage.  Asked to return the next day, he did – but to no avail.  He learned about an opportunity in the navy and thought he would look into that.  Quickly he found himself in the Royal Navy, attached to the Fleet Air Arm, where he hoped to be a pilot attached to an aircraft carrier.  He was sent to Halifax and then overseas; training ensued in England and Scotland as his flying skills were put to the test and Richard was assigned to a base in northern Scotland.  He would spend his war flying patrols over the North Sea and Norwegian coasts, monitoring German battleships in the fjords.  He remembers it as not terribly exciting, but it was a part of the grand Allied strategy, intended to keep German forces away from Normandy and the fighting in the south.  Richard enjoyed his time in Scotland, and he returned on subsequent occasions, long after VE Day.  The war over, Richard was back to civilian life, ready to play his part in Canada’s postwar boom.  Mr. Masters’ History 12 class zoomed with Richard in his room at Sunnybrook just before Remembrance Day 2021.