Don Looker - War and trepidation

Running time
2 min 10 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


I was at school when the war broke out in 39'. September 39', and some of my school mates, their fathers had been in WWI and they'd served in France. And one of them had been gassed very badly. He couldn't sleep in the bed, he used to sleep in. He couldn't breathe properly because of the gas he'd received in France. And he used to have to sleep in a lounge chair at night. And I'd seen him, and he was a nice guy. But he suffered a lot, and another one his father was an alcoholic because he'd been shelled quite a lot when he was served in France. And then I thought, "God I didn't want to be in this someone will stick a bayonet in me". I'm only a little bloke, and so I thought "Oh I'll be glad that I'm only sixteen. It'll be all over when I'm old enough to go when I'm eighteen".

But when you get to, as things got worse and the Japs started to come down you could just feel that you had to go to war. And you know I couldn't give a thought about joining any other service but the air force. I really don't know why it's hard to say. But that's one of the reasons I didn't want to go. And I hope we don't have any more wars.

I'm glad people are coming back from Afghanistan. Because there's been 40-odd killed there. In WWII, there were 55 thousand Bomber Command people killed. So you know that's a dreadful waste of young life. One of my mates got killed in a raid in Cologne on Christmas day. He was very intelligent bloke he had a lot to offer the country. With his brains and that sort of thing. You know just lost, waste of a good life. For what? All right that's enough.

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