Remembrance Day at the Comox Air Force Museum this year saw a very bright spot come through the door. Twelve year old Emma was visiting from Victoria with her father, Rob. It seemed that Emma had been stricken with the genealogy bug and was searching for information about their uncle and great-uncle, Gordon.
Like many young men in WW2, Gordon had left his home in Montreal to join the RCAF as a WAG (Wireless Air Gunner). In May 1942 his 407 Squadron Hudson aircraft was shot down during a night attack. Gordon and his crew of 8 have no known graves. Their names are inscribed on the Runnymede War Memorial in England.
Each time we found another book in the library with source material for Emma, she quickly took a photo and wrote notes, not wanting to forget anything she was hearing. Her enthusiasm was infectious! More volunteers collected at the table, anxious to hear Emma’s story of her great-uncle, and see if there was anything new we could add to her story.
Our Manager, Jon Ambler returned to the museum from the Cenotaph, and was immediately drawn into Emma’s court. Jon took Emma and Rob on a tour of the museum, adding great context to the stories Emma had heard of her relative and the war in general.
I believe when Rob and Emma left in the afternoon to return to Victoria, they were very pleased with the new information they had found at the museum. However, I think all the volunteers felt we had been the lucky ones, watching this bright young girl latch onto each new piece of information and quickly add it to her family history.
Allison Hetman- CAFM Librarian