Doug wrote back about his uncle Rod…
Unfortunately Rod is no longer with us so he can’t tell his own story. That said, if you browse the links below, you will find courtesy of others, he will always have a profile on the Internet (see links below).
In regards to his career as a fighter pilot during WWII, he and another young man from Edson, AB (William “Bill” Switzer) both enlisted at about the same time…both achieved their wings and were both assigned to RAF 193 about the time they received their first Hawker Typhoons.
Both men had many adventures flying Typhoons most of which was a bit hair raising to say the least. Like so many other Tiffie pilots, the risk to life and limb was always present. They lost many good pilots. Rod was hit twice by flak but landed safely…dead stick, one wheels down, one wheels up. He had many other close calls. Bill Switzer was hit on a few occasions and on his last mission he had to bail from a burning aircraft. In the process, he broke his leg, suffer burns but somehow managed to get out in time for his parachute to open. He soon found himself along the front lines and had to take cover for a couple of days…crawling the whole time. He eventually had to find water and in doing so was taken prisoner by German infantry. Their commanding officer was crucial in keeping him alive. Not long after, though, the German squad got into a fire fight with American troops and Bill was able to steal away into hiding. Before his ordeal was over, he had to avoid a tank battle, bush fires, but was eventually picked up by US troops who found him in pretty bad shape. Once they figured out he was RAF (and not a German pilot), the got him to medical aid. He was eventually moved to England to recover. About the same time, my Uncle Rod was finally removed from active service with 193 (132 combat missions, mental fatigue) and was shipped to England to recover. Both men made it back to Canada by Christmas, 1944.
Links to Rod’s story
Another fellow from Edson also ended up in Typhoons: