While I write this blog as an American, it is not solely of American citizenship from which I descend. My father was born in Windsor, Ontario to a Canadian mother and an American father. It is through my family that I am proud to claim a small connection to Canada. Having established my genealogy, I would like to share a family member of which I am quite proud and eternally grateful. He is my great-uncle Denis Allchin. I have fond memories of being a small boy riding on his garden tractor as we traversed his property to fetch the post. I remember him as a having a warm smile and a joyful heart.
At 21 years of age, Denis was to earn his wings as a Sergeant Pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force at RCAF Station Centralia. As stated in Wikipedia, "Centralia was the location for No. 9 Service Flying Training School (SFTS). Service Flying Training Schools provided advanced training to pilots who had graduated from Elementary Flying Training Schools (EFTSs). Trainee pilots flew Ansons and Harvards." He would go on to qualify with the Avro Lancaster, and in turn share his abilities for flying assigned as an Lancaster flying instructor "overseas" in England. Below is a letter he penned to his sister (my grandmother in 1944).
Being a noncommissioned officer myself, I can humorously relate Denis' trust in his fellow NCOs. I can only imagine the "crate" coming to a screeching, crashing halt, and out pops the cool-headed all-NCO crew! Denis passed away in 1997, and as poet John Gillespie Magee Jr, would say, "slipped the surly bonds of earth...and touched the face of God." With eternal thanks to his and his mates' service, we have all been gifted a world free from NAZI oppression and domination, and all of its brutalities.