- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Anton Lyon MY GRANDA
- Location of story:
- Canada ,A
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 03 June 2004
This story was given to me by my grandfather Anton Lyon . Mr.Lyon told us that he used to get dripping and toast when they ran out of butter. Their radio was charged at at the local garage and was called an accumulator. One was in the radio been used and the other was at the garage been charged so that they had power for it. He loaded bombs onto Halifax plane for three months. It took him quite a while to realise that there was heavy end and a light end. He was to Canada to train to be a fighter pilot. He sailed there on a ship called the Empress of Scotland. They were attacked leaving Southampton by submarine but sailed so quickly that they got away.
They took the polar route and faced waves at least 30 metres high . The water froze around their anti - aircraft gun . They were based in ST. John's in eastern Canada where they learned to ski whilst they waited to be trained. They went by train to Florida for more training- this took three days. They were now based in Palm Beach. They could go to the cinema, but cigarettes and have a full steak dinner for one dollar. They were given an American uniform to wear which was very popular with the ladies. In the mornings they were trained in technical areas of the plane (navigation etc.) and in the afternoon they flew them- sometimes in formation. The food was fantastic and rationing was not an issue in the States. He sat in the back seat and his instructor was in the front. Amazingly he learned to fly before he learned to drive. His two favourite manoeuvres were looping the loop and low flying at 50 feet.
They enjoyed flying up to 10000 feet and throwing toilet rolls. Then they used to beat it up with the plane- cleaning it when they landed.
Several planes crashed during training. Some crashed into the Everglades and were never recovered. His final trainer plane was an American A16, which flew at 240 mph. He was paid three shillings a day to start going up to 7 shillings by the time his training finished. His total flying time was 105 hours.
The war finished just as his training ended.
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