Canada Geese - by Charles Thompson


A Lancaster of No 7 Squadron, based at RAF Oaklington. This was done for Charles late father-in-law, Bert Graham, a Canadian from the Kingston area. Bert was in England to get married when the war broke out and he joined the RAF. He flew with No 7 Squadron as a rear gunner, first in Stirlings and later in Lancasters. Shot down in 1942 over France, Bert was seperated from the rest of his crew and hid in a farmhouse. The farmer's wife wanted to turn him over to the Germans (as anyone found harbouring a downed flier was shot), so Bert, who understood a bit of French, snuck out the back door! Bert was then fortunate to connect with the French 'underground' and eventually, via Spain and Gibraltar, made it back to his squadron, although because of his knowledge of the underground he never flew on operations again. He continued to live in England after the war and passed away at the age of 75.

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