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15-06-26 RCAF pics, Eric Richards
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Cam.card: d344 Initialized: 2015-06-26

D344-010 15-06-12 - Eric, front, middle. Outside the hangar, probably RCAF base Saskatoon.

D344-011 15-06-12 - Eric, middle row, below propeller.

D344-012 15-06-12 -

D344-013 15-06-12 -

D344-018 15-06-12 - Eric, kneeling, front, left. Looks like a crashed Harvard trainer.

D344-019 15-06-12 -

D344-023 15-06-12 - Saskatoon AFB. Five hangars and H-huts. These were standard issue barracks. Two wings joined by a utility and lavatory section. I recall them well from St. Hubert. Some of my Air Force school kid friends actually lived, post-war, in converted versions of these buildings.

D344-024 15-06-12 - Saskatoon city, air view. A chateau-style hotel in the foreground? The Bessborough was opened in 1935 by the CNR. Appears to have substantial landscaping in back. Plus an active heating plant.

D344-025 15-06-12 - Saskatoon again. Same hotel visible on the right. On the bank of the South Saskatchewan River.

D344-043 15-06-12 - Eric, blizzard

D344-044 15-06-12 - Eric, trumpeter. With corporal's stripes.
I recall a WW2 US army-inspired hitsong with the line: "Someday I'm gonna murder the bugler." With a nagging chorus of: "Ya gotta get up. Ya gotta get up. Ya gotta get up in the morning." Difficult, if last night you were singing, "Bless 'em all. Bless 'em all, as back to the barracks they crawl." (A song favoured by the RAF-inspired Canadians after a night out at the Corporals' Club.)

D344-045 15-06-12 - Eric, centre. In the messhall, top pic.
Playing The Last Post, bottom left. Don't know the role of the naval personnel. Could they have been marines? Or did the RCAF base also have a naval component? Or was Eric, as the only handy trumpeter, seconded to a funeral for some naval serviceman? The services were not well-integrated in those days, and still had distinctive uniforms. There probably would have been naval and army units, even on the prairies, if only for recruitment, training and logistical purposes.

D344-046 15-06-12 -

D344-049 15-06-12 - Probably Dad's crash crew. Eric, front row, second from the right. The women may have been from a first-aid detail. (rescan? pic could be sharper. srch.edit)

D344-054 15-06-12 - A child's garden of crashes. Somewhere, I read that the Commonwealth Air Training Programme had, at its height, 300 or more crashes a year. On a bad day, with dozens of students in the air, the recovery trucks could be chasing several crashes from one base alone. The injury and death rate was not inconsiderable. Daddy was a member of (in RCAF parlance) the ghoul squad. Back to top