Roy was born in Toronto on January 29, 1924, the second

oldest in a family of three brothers and three sisters. He

lived on Dovercourt Rd. North of Bloor St. and attended

Kent Public School and Central Tech. He quit school after

Grade 11 to work at Viceroy Rubber Company. He enlisted

in the Air Force in June 1943 at the CNE in Toronto to avoid

being drafted into the Army. Two of his brothers were in

the services as well. He did his basic training at Lachine,

Quebec and was sent to Souris, Manitoba. There he did

general duty as a Leading Air Craftsman, but earned an

extra $1.00 a day sitting behind student pilots who were

learning instrument flying in Ansons enclosed in a canvas

screen. His job was to watch out for other planes and warn

the pilot if they got too close.

anson bomber

He was sent to England in 1943, sailing from Halifax on the

luxury passenger liner, the Ile de France. Roy recalls with a

chuckle that it was his first "cruise" but, unfortunately, well

below decks. He was posted to an RAF base at Wombleton,

Yorkshire, which also had a RCAF Bomber Squadron. He

served as Ground Crew, loading bombs and servicing the

Lancaster bombers, but not doing any mechanical work

for $1.50 a day.

lancaster bomber loading

During his leaves, Roy visited Scotland and London

during the V-I "buzz-bomb" attacks. His mother

and aunts had been home children, sent from England to

Canada and he tried to find their birth certificates but had

trouble doing so as his mother had changed her first name

from Nellie to Hazel (because Nellie was a name everyone

called their horses.)

Roy was demobilized in August of 1946 at the CNE and

returned to his job at the Viceroy Rubber Company. He

worked there for 42 years until the company went into

receivership and he was let go with no severance pay or

pension. He had met his wife Mary, who had been a student

nurse in Toronto and had looked after his mother, who

suggested that she call her son. She did so, and as they

said, that was it. In 1988, they sold their house in Toronto

and moved to Hickory Hills in Tillsonburg.