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Raid Over Frankfurt

Heroes Remember

The first one was a trip to Frankfurt. It was a thousand bomber raid, there were a thousand aircraft going to Frankfurt and the purpose of the trip was to destroy the rail yards and stop them from using the rail yards. The bombs were preset - one to explode every minute of the one thousand aircraft. Nobody knew what, once the bomb aimer released the bomb, press and release, nobody knew which bomb they had. So we went in and we had a squadron leader Nichols. He was an experienced pilot for our first bombing trip and after we finished running the bomb on the bomb run and the bomb supposedly dropped, squadron leader Nichols said, “Bomb aimer, did you check to make sure the bomb is gone?” And Bert says, “Oh no I’ll do that!” So he said, “There’s a red light at the back of the air craft and if you can’t see that, there’s something in the bomb bay.” So he said, “No can’t see anything.” So he said, “Get back the same plan is in, you can look from the back to the front if you go to the back spar.” So he went, nothing was heard. It seemed like a long time, I’ll tell ya. He said, “Engineer, did Bert take an oxygen bottle?” “I don’t know!” Well he said, “Look!” He’s getting testy at this time. So anyway he went to the back, “Take a bottle with you and plug in to Bert as soon as you find him.” So he got to the back and then he said, “Check to see if the bomb is gone.” He said, “Can’t tell, no light.” So anyway the bomb was gone fortunately for us otherwise we would have been blown all over Germany. It only weighed about ten thousand pounds.

Mr. Callas describes a tense situation when crew were uncertain of bomb release on raid over Frankfurt.

Charles Callas

Charles (Cal) Edgar Callas was born in Wainwright, Alberta, on February 24, 1924. He enlisted in Edmonton, Alberta, in late 1942 after completing grade 12. He completed basic training there and then enrolled in an SFTS (service flight training school) in Dauphin, Manitoba. Mr. Callas trained in Trenton, Ontario, and MacDonald, Manitoba, in bombing and gunnery, and joined the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Air Crew, 625 Squadron, 1 Bomber Command. He successfully completed 33 trips between March and July of 1944, and had achieved the rank of pilot officer when the war ended. He was presented with the Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM) in 1946 by the Governor General of Canada. He returned to Edmonton and married his fiancée Wynee Gould. They raised three children, and are proud of their seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Mr. Callas celebrates 70 years with the Royal Canadian Legion this year, as well as long time memberships with the Canadian Air Search and Rescue Association (Air Division), the Royal Canadian Air Force Association and the Army Reserve..

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
June 2, 2012
Person Interviewed:
Charles Callas
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Air Force
625 Squadron
Mid Upper / Tail Gunner

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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