Remembering since 2010…
Remembering since 2010…
Where Tony Marks got his training…
This past weekend I had the privilege to sit down with two gentlemen, both veterans of World War II, and conduct oral history interviews with them. I have written before about the importance of oral histories, but these were the first actual interviews that I have done as the primary interviewer. The process was not completely new to me, as I have sat in on many interviews and in some cases helped conduct them, but this was a whole different experience. Both interviewees were very gracious and helpful. It can be an intimidating thing to invite a stranger into your home, sign legal release forms and then try to remember events of about 70 years ago. The gentlemen in question were both stationed at Cochran Army Airfield during World War II and their stories are remarkably different and yet share many commonalities. The most important thing about these stories however…
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Marcel is now 89…
Marcel Bergeron is 82 and he is not a veteran Mosquito pilot nor is he a war hero.
Marcel went to see someone, a veteran air gunner of No. 425 Alouette. He asked for his help in finding more information about Eugène Gagnon. You see Eugène Gagnon was his hero when he was a youngster. In a sense Marcel is also a hero because he wanted to keep Eugène’s memory alive.
Marcel told me this anecdote.
Eugène died in a plane crash in 1947.
Collection Marcel Bergeron
Eugène’s sister moved to the United States. She came back to Canada where she had lived before. She threw away in the garbage all Eugène’s medals and also his precious logbook.
She did not know how valuable they were.
Marcel had kept a few mementos of his hero.He has his RAF wings and a button with a small compass hidden inside in case Eugene had to parachute over enemy territory. He also has a piece of the jacket Eugène wore when he died on October 21, 1947.
Those mementos are the most precious things he has of his hero.
Eugène Gagnon DFC
(Courtesy Mario Hains)
Marcel had also copies of his discharge papers.
But Marcel wanted to know more about Eugène’s service in the RAF… and he asked someone’s help who, in turn, asked me to help him.
To learn more about this search you will have to read my other blog titled Lest We Forget.
This is the article I wrote in 2013 about my search for Eugène Gagnon.
It all started in January 2010 with a simple request about a French-Canadian Mosquito pilot…
To be continued…?
Hi there, my grandad was Eric Maude and flew with Griff.
Eric Maude, unknown ground crew and Theo Griffiths
We are going to pay homage to Jack Thompson.
This is the last group picture taken of 23 Squadron. I have been using it since 2010 to remember these heroes.
Some are still unknown.
Little by little people who are related find this blog created in 2010 and leave a message…
Hi, My grandfather recently passed away and I am in the process of scanning and copying all of his things. I have come across lots of old photos of him in 23 Squadron and I also have his Flying log book. Would you be interested in copies of these for your blogs if you are still doing them? My grandfather is John William Thompson (Jack) he is the photo above middle row 6th person in. We will be saying our final farewell to him on Tuesday 13th September and would love to know if you have any more information on him.
I always write back like I did with Theo’s son-in-law…