George was born at Timmins, Ontario in 1920. He had his early education in Timmins. He applied to join the RCAF at age 21 in May 1941.
George enlisted first as a Clerk General in which capacity he served for eight months in eastern Canada. One of his postings was to #8 AOS at Ancienne Lorette, P.Q. where he met his future wife, Edna. George states that they went to a local cinema to see “Of Mice and Men” after which she spoke the immortal words from the film “Tell me about the rabbits, George”.
George applied to remuster to aircrew and was accepted for Observer training. He graduated as an Observer in the fall of 1942.
Overseas, November 1942. OTU Moreton-in-Marsh, Glos. Left Hurn, June 20, 1943 almost two years after joining to deliver a new Wellington to Monistir, Tunisia. Missed Monistir but found Sfax and spent some time enjoying Mediterranean beaches. Delivered aircraft to Port Said on Suez Canal. After two months in a holding camp in Cairo, crew declined offer to fly Wimpy’s as torpedo bombers and instead flew another Wimpy to Karachi, via Bahrein and Sharjah. At Sharjah, the Australian pilot volunteered to help calibrate the towe’s radar, and on, landing in torrid heat, floated to and overshoot and ploughed into a sand dune, effectively ending the Wimpy’s life. Eventually reached Karachi thanks to two Sunderlands.
In March 1944, after four or five unproductive months, George joined an operational squadron- #52 Transport-at Dum Dum, near Calcutta with a new crew. Quarters in Clive of India’s old digs were comparatively luxurious with the Officer’s Mess still operating under the old orders of five and six course meals for dinner. This Squadron flew three types of operations: one over the hump to Kunming in China; one on scheduled trips around India to Bombay and Ceylon: and one to forward areas in what is now Bangladesh and to Rangoon, as that area became liberated.
George recalls many highlights: his first trip to Kunming, coming home the next day in a snow storm and into hospital with dysentry for three weeks. This was followed by three weeks recuperative leave in Darjeeling. On return from leave, George was teamed up with another crew. Regulations called for a day off after a day flying A typical trip was to Bombay, a day to recuperate on the beaches, then back to Calcutta on the third day. Trips to Ceylon were even more gruelling - lovely little hotels on palm-lined beaches. This continued for a year and a half. But some trips were less exotic. Almost daily trips were flown into Bengal when the Japanese were trying to break through the Arakan hills onto the plains of India. Regular stops were made at Comilla, Akyab and Chittagong. After the Japanese were stopped at Akyab nad the 14th Army started moving back into Burma rough landing strips were bulldozed out behind the lines so that urgently needed equipement, mail and ESNA artists could be flown in.
George was now flying with a Canadian crew including Mel Farion, Toronto and Sidney Martin from New Westminister(member of Vanouver ACA branch), who is still in touch with George. Early in August 1945 the three Canadians went to New Delhi to enquire about repatriation. George got to the UK in early October and was back in Canada in December. He had flown 1300 hours and did a complete tour of ops. Although he recalls many idyllic moments in his service career, they were somewhat offset by flying in horrendous storms over Bangladesh during which he feared the wings would be torn off the Dakotas he was then aboar.
George and Edna did marry and made their first home in Timmins where he studied to become a mine accoutant in which capacity he worked in Elliott Lake and Bancroft. Now retired in Scarbouough, they stay very active in their community and in the Legion an ACA. They have two children- “one of each” George says- both married and living nearby in Scarborough.