I arrived into this world in 1922 and grew up in New Glasgow. My father was Samuel Muir and my mother was Margaret nee Grant. I have an older brother and a younger sister. In 1940 my father opened Muir’s Grocery in Windsor, Nova Scotia and I moved there with my family. My brother Grant was a Sergeant in the Royal Canadian Air Force. He served overseas as a Clerk. Building model aircraft and flying was always an interest. My Aunt Christine paid for me to have a flight near New Glasgow when I was about 14 years of age. A thrill I will never forget. Thus when the war broke out I joined the Royal Canadian Air Force on 28 May 1942.
I took pilot training in Goderich, Ontario on Tiger Moths. I was then transferred to Aylmer to fly Harvards. On Graduation Day Air Marshal Billy Bishop pinned on my wings. By this time I was a Sergeant.
In the Spring of 1942 I found myself going overseas on the QUEEN ELIZABETH I. All rooms on the ship were turned into barracks. The ship carried 5-6,000 Army, Navy and Air Force. I slept in one of the lounges. Hammocks were strung in rows10 feet high. I was lucky. Being posted to Gun Crew, I helped the Gunner load the 20mm cannon and was on lookout for enemy ships. As I was a smoker I was able to go inside the funnel where it was warm and smoke a
cigarette. If you were caught on board deck smoking you would have been shot!
Arriving in Scotland we filled our water bottles for our train trip designation. Mine being to Bournemouth in southern England. In the line up ahead of me were my two cousins, Norman and Gordon from Scotsburn. What a surprise!! Bournemouth was a resort town. All hotels were turned into barracks and the beautiful beach was filled with barbed wire. The German aircraft continually dropped bombs on the place. When strolling in the park we would duck under trees. I was there for two months. My wife and I visited Bournemouth after the war. It is beautiful. The hotels are still there and the park and beach all look the same. A member of the Aircrew Association I belong to married a girl from Bournemouth. Every summer they host a Bournemouth tea party at their home in Windsor, Nova Scotia.
In England I was an instructor and I also flew and towed Gliders, flew Hurricanes and escorted Bombers across the channel. Stationed in the Cotswells, I was the only Canadian on the Royal Air Force Base. Whenever I was in the air and used the mike someone would always say, “do you hear a bloody Canadian?”
Some of us were posted to another station. My friend Jock and I decided to wave good bye to the girls. Jock says - Lets fly low, about 100 feet over the town. He was in the glider; I was in to the tow aircraft. We took off on a hill and as we swept low over the town Jack said - Don the traffic light is Red. Please don’t stop. Roger says I!!
At Cheltinhan, a few days before D-Day I was flying and towing a glider at night. German fighter aircraft flew over and scraped the field with gunfire. The tow planes released their gliders and most of them crashed, although no one was hurt. I didn’t release my glider and they thanked me after. We were flying at night on D-Day and had to get out of the circuit in a hurry because aircraft going across the channel came over our field quite low.
The ISLE DE FRANCE brought me home from England, landing in Halifax at Pier 21. From there I took a train to Montreal for leave and I was discharged under KR(Air) Para 195(17) “On completion of a term of voluntary service during an emergency” on the Fourteenth day of September 1945.
I upgraded my high school education and attended Acadia University. When leaving Acadia my father died so with my brother Grant we managed his grocery store. As I was a King Scout I became a scout leader for 15 years. I also enjoyed hockey, playing on the town league. I met June Bearne and took her on our first date to a Gyro (Friendship Club) party. We married in 1956, have three sons and six grandchildren. In 1963 I joined Pfizer Canada as pharmaceutical representative. My work and travel took me to New Brunswick and parts of Nova Scotia. Gyro has been important in my life. I joined in Windsor in 1951 and have belonged to clubs in New Glasgow, St. John N.B., Truro and Windsor.
I also curl, golf, belong to St. John’s Church Laymen’s Association and Air Crew association, The Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 26, Golden K, Garden Clubs, and playing bridge.
June and I have enjoyed traveling. We have seen a lot of Canada, USA, the British Isles, Europe, Jamaica, Venezuela and Mexico.
In the 70’s a glider club was formed at Debert, Nova Scotia. I was their first President and the first pilot in Nova Scotia to receive a gliders license. The Debert Flying Club was formed in 1972. I received my flying license and have 80+ hours on Cessna 172. I have been active in Casara-Air 413 Search and Rescue, since 1989 being both a pilot and spotter.