Box 023, folder 51: William R. Chalcraft

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Canadian CHALCRAFT, Wm. R. R.C.A.F.

Box 23, #51

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When and how did he find out that his daughter had been born? 217116 F/O W.R. Chalcraft Please interview by telephone on this point.

THOUSANDS OF MEN, ON LAND AND SEA AND IN THE AIR, PARTICIPATED IN THE INVASION OF NORMANDY BETWEEN MIDNIGHT JUNE 5, 1944 AND MIDNIGHT JUNE 6, 1944. IF YOU WERE ONE OF THEM, PLEASE ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS.

What is your full name? William Robertson CHALCRAFT

What was your squadron, station, unit? #419 Sqdn. Middleton St. George, County Durham, England.

Where did you arrive in Normandy, and at what time? Bombed [inserted]German[end inserted]Coastal gun installations 1 hr and 30 minutes before 'H' hour on 'D' Day at Longue, France.

What was your rank on June 6, 1944? Flight Lieutenant

What was your age on June 6, 1944? 25

Were you married at that time? Yes

What is your wife's name? Joan Chalcraft.

Did you have any children at that time? Our daughter Donna Frances Chalcraft was born at 10 AM on 'D' day June 6-1944 at [?Woraster?] England

What do you do now? Flying Control Officer- Royal Canadian Air Force.

When did you know that you were going to be part of the invasion? When we were briefed for our bombing mission just prior to take-off.

What was the trip like during the crossing of the Channel? Do you remember, for example, any conversations you had or how you passed the time? We were in cloud most of the trip and concentration on looking out for other aircraft as there were so many aircraft in the air that night.

What were the rumors on board the boat, ship or plane in which you made the crossing? (Some people remember scuttlebut to the effect that the Germans had poured gasoline on the water and planned to set it afire when the troops came in). None than I can remember.

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Your name W.R. Chalcraft

Did you by any chance keep a diary of what happened to you that day? Include any impressions from it. No.

Were any of your friends killed or wounded either during landing or during that day? No

Do you remember any conversations you had with them before they became casualities? No

Were you wounded? No

Do you remember what it was like--that is, do you remember whether you felt pain or were so surprised that you felt nothing? N.A.

Do you remember seeing or hearing anything that seems funny now, even though it may not have seeemed funny at time? No

Do you recall any incident, sad or heroic or simply memorable, which struck you more than anything else? No

Did you encounter any enemy aircraft or flak? Was your aircraft damaged? There was considerable flak over the target, however it was a very routine trip for us, with no enemy fighters sighted and our main attention being concentrated on watching and for our own aircraft and gliders in the dark. Of course on our return home at dawn we could see the concentration of ships of the land and sea invasion force in the English Channel.

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Your name W.R. Chalcraft

In times of great crisis, people generally show either great ingenuity or self-reliance; others do incredibly stupid things. Do you remember any examples of either from D-Day? No.

Where were you at midnight on June 5, 1944? In Lancaster R[?B?] 707 on our way to [?Longue?] France, with 11-1000 lb bombs and 4-500lb bombs to bomb [inserted]German[end inserted] gun installations

Where were you at midnight on June 6, 1944? On Leave In an English train on my way to my wife's bedside to see my new daughter.

Do you know of anybody else who landed within the 24 hours of D-Day, June 6, as infantry, glider or airborne troops, or who took part in the air and sea operations, whom we should write to? No Our Squadron Commander [crossed out] recieved a signal [end of crossed out] wiring Commander W.P. [?Cleasance?] received a singal the following day from Field Marshall Montgomery to say that the German Gun Installation we had bombed was completely wiped out. PLEASE LET US HAVE THIS QUESTIONNAIRE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, SO THAT WE CAN INCLUDE YOUR EXPERIENCES IN THE BOOK. WE HOPE THAT YOU WILL CONTINUE YOUR STORY ON SEPARATE SHEETS IF WE HAVE NOT LEFT SUFFICIENT ROOM. FULL AC KNOWLEDGEMENT WILL BE GIVEN IN A CHAPTER CALLED "WHERE THEY ARE NOW;" YOUR NAME AND VOCATION OR OCCUPATION WILL BE LISTED. THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP.

W.M. Lee Squadron Leader Director of Public Relations (Air) Air Force Headquarters, Ottawa, Ontario.

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Now in France RCAF Fighter wing Marville, France

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