Bill Purdy - Crewing up

Running time
2 min 48 sec

Department of Veterans' Affairs


At the end of the induction course, when you had all these people put together to form a crew, they threw pilots, navigators, bomb aimers, wireless operators, gunners into this hanger and said “Well, all you fellows sort yourselves out,” and you just came out as, just in crews of seven people.

And it sounds a bit odd but there was a lot sort of jockeying before that.

I know that before I got into the hanger there to sought of decide it all, it was virtually decided because I had a bomb aimer and a wireless operator who were very, very friendly together, they were both married men, one was twenty-seven, one was twenty-five.

And they told me after-would that they vetted carefully every pilot that was going into that hanger and came to the conclusion that I was going to bring them back alive, and fortunately it worked out that way.

But then the bomb aimer knew a navigator who he had done a half course with and so he came in, and the navigator knew a rear gunner who came in, and the rear gunner knew a rear gunner, and slowly but surely we had these things all sought of nutted together so it was comparatively easy. I often wondered what happened.

There must have been at the end of all this - one pilot, one navigator, one wireless operator all sitting around all looking at each other thinking to themselves "Why weren’t we picked?"

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