Somehow I'm sure old Relic would find it all slightly funny...no real acting (or real flying) though...I spent some nice days chatting with Mr Clothier over the fence at my parents summer place near Gibsons during the Beachcomber years...he never mentioned his bomber days...a very nice man he was, and apparently had some talent!
I know a couple of WWII ex-bomber guys. It was a tough job and they don't really say too much about it. Not much fun watching those little puffs of smoke around your plane and being front and centre in a cone of searchlights.
In keeping with CBC's "politically-correct" agenda (where anything even remotely entertaining doesn't make the cut) I knew the WASP male head honcho wouldn't last long. Sure enough, he keels over within 15 minutes of the pilot episode.
So, what minority will take command now: the white-collar Eskimo, the cute woman captain, the co-pilot from India, or Nanook, the Siberian Husky?
You're welcome fellas. I didn't know about Clothier myself until a few years ago. There was an article in a CAHS Journal, I think it was, about the man. He deserved his awards. Davaar and I toured the Aviation Museum in Ottawa one afternoon some years ago. Of particular interest was the Lanc front section, where you can look down into the cockpit from the catwalk. It was pretty damn sobering to think that in many cases the guy in that single seat was barely out of his teens. This was not long after the CBC had aired the McKenna hatchet job on Bomber Command, implying that that young man was a war criminal. Disgusting.
I would write in to the show with some of my northern experiences. Unfortunately most of the good stories either involve alcohol, strippers, drunk passengers, pilots crapping in puke bags or passengers crapping on the floor of the airplanes while aiming at puke bags. Sometimes, combinations of two or three of previous experiences.
Somehow, I donít think they would put any of that stuff on the show.
oops..edited to add the p.....lots of stories have p in them too!
Let's get back to something that really means a damn (or dam as in the Dam Busters) - those Lanc pilots like Clothier who were mere kids - most of them plucked right off the wheatfields.
The inside of a Lanc is not that big; you have to almost be a contortionist to go from the tail turret to flight deck. I once saw an ex RCAF (in his eighties) scoot from front to back in a matter of seconds. After all these years, he knew exactly where to duck, squeeze, and contort.
He was one of the lucky ones. Half of those in the Bomber Command never saw their 22nd birthday, never mind their 80th.