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First Aeroplane Ride, Summer 1944



In 1943, I was fifteen years old and joined the Air Cadets. (131 Rotary Club Squadron, Quebec City). Summer camps were held at No.9 Bombing and Gunnery School, Mont Jolie, Quebec. The second year camp, in 1944, you could get a ride in an aeroplane as long as you had your parents’ permission. The types of aircraft were Nomads, Fairy Battles, and Anson’s Mark IV’s. The Ansons dropped bombs on the range and the Fairy Battles and Nomads were used to tow the drogues for the Air Gunners to practice. Furthermore, across the field, there was an operational squadron, whose main mission was to patrol the St. Lawrence River and look for German U-Boats (which had gone up as far as Trois Pistoles as attested by Charlie Belzile, a native of that town.) In those days, not many people in Quebec City had ever been up in an aeroplane, so I was very excited to be able to sit in the co-pilot’s seat of the Anson Mark IV. I was also able to crawl down to the bomber’s position in the nose. It might have been a short flight, but one I have never forgotten! (see images below).

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131 Rotary Club Squadron, Quebec City, Summer 1944



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131 Rotary Club Squadron, Quebec City, Summer 1944

first from left: Squadron Leader Johnson, fourth from left: Flight Sergeant Schofield, far right: Cadet Robert Heitshu.

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Avro Anson and Northrop A-17 Nomad



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  • 1 Air OP Flight Group photos.
    Assistance would be welcome in identifying personnel in these photographs: View Content.

    Compiled by BGen (Ret'd) R.G. Heitshu.