Rees, Frank

Frank Rees is from Toronto.  He grew up in the city’s east end, against the backdrop of the Great Depression.  He attended Danforth Tech and served in the reserve army during the early part of the war.  When the time came for him to join up, Frank chose the RCAF – he remembers that it was the thing to do, and he also recalled that the RCAF in his mind was more romantic.  Upon enlistment, his air force career began at manning depot, where Frank remembered doing a lot of marching. From there it was time for the Critish Commonwealth Air Training Plan and ITS.  Frank was on his way to becoming a pilot, but he didn’t have the necessary skills, so the commanders decided to make him a navigator instead. He went onto Navigation School in Portage-la-Prairie; from there he was given leave in Toronto, where he met his girlfriend and showed off his Sgt-Navigator stripes.  Halifax was the next step, and the troop ship. . Once in England, Frank was attached to the 409 Squadron, flying Mosquitoes in night missions against the Luftwaffe. As such, Frank and his fellow pilots followed the ground troops into Germany itself, helping to secure victory for Canada and its Allies. . When the war came to an end, Frank returned to Canada, marrying his girlfriend and starting a family in postwar Toronto.

Frank was interviewed for this project in December 2019, when Mr. Masters and Crestwood students visited him in the Sunnybrook Veterans’ Wing.


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