Major William A.C. Crew

Dad was born in Hamilton, Ontario. Shortly after graduating from high school he joined the air force. After basic training he was posted to Halifax as a LAC with the 443 Spitfire Squadron, where he became an armourer loading machine belts onto the plane. Soon enough the squadron was transferred over to England and began flying missions to protect England and the troops readying for invasion. In 1944 following D-Day he followed the squadron as it transferred to France and later Germany.

With the end of the war he returned to civilian life but quickly found it wasn’t for him. He did finish high school but decided to take officer training in the army. He completed his training and was transferred to the 1st Battalion Queen’s Own Rifles just in time to go with the battalion to Korea. Fortunately for them there was a ceasefire before they saw any action.

In 1957 he was one of the first 100 peacekeepers ever as part of the advance party of the UNEF in Egypt as Canada took on the newly invented role of peacekeeper. In 1964 he reprised this role in Cyprus. While there his company was fired on by the Turks. They hit the ground a radioed for assistance. After 20 minutes the firing stopped. Shortly thereafter he was interviewed by the CBC. Asked if he was scared he replied honestly, “I nearly peed my pants.”

In 1967 he was sent to Vietnam as part of a UN mission to provide a means to exchange prisoners and assist in creating peace if needed. Radio contact was lost with him once for three days during a Viet Cong offensive. A very scary time indeed. Fortunately he was all right.

In between all this he married his penpal from his time in Korea and raised 4 very proud kids.


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