diary of bruce johnston diary of bruce johnston





Pre 1944


( see map at bottom of screen )

Since joining the service in Toronto, Ontario, in March 1942, Johnston has trained at several locations in Canada and England (see Timeline). On December 31, 1943 he is based at 12 Operational Training Unit Chipping-Warden, near Banbury, northwest of London

RCAF - Royal Canadian Air Force

Tiger Moth - The de Havilland Tiger Moth was a biplane with room for a student and instructor that was used extensively by the Allies during the war as a trainer for pilots

De Havilland Tiger Moth

Anson - The Avro Anson was a twin-engine plane that could accommodate 3-4 people, that was used by the Allies during the war as a crew trainer

Oxford - The Oxford, or “Ox Box”, was a three person twin engine RAF plane developed exclusively for a variety of training purposes, including bombing

Operational Training Unit - A training unit attended once one left the Advanced Flying Unit, that specialized in molding airmen into aircrews, who could work as a team

Wellington - The Wellington was a twin engine bomber with a six person crew, that carried out much of the RAF’s night bombing offensive early in the war, until the heavy four engine bombers were introduced. Its success was due to a unique geodetic construction, consisting of a network of Duralumin-channel beams. This resulted in a combination of high strength and low weight, which also allowed it to survive terrific battle damage. It was nicknamed the “Wimpy” or “Wimp” after the Popeye comic strip character J. Wellington Wimpey.

Up to December 31, 1943

At the close of 1943, the Second World War has been underway for over four years.

The Germans occupy much of Western Europe, and continue bombing and rocket attacks on Britain. The Allies are staging in Great Britain, and conducting their own bombing missions against German targets, in preparation for a major counter-offensive.

Bruce Johnston is a 20 year old Canadian from Guelph, Ontario. He has dropped out of High School in March 1942, and enlisted with the goal of becoming a pilot in the RCAF.

After learning to fly Tiger Moths, and twin engine Anson aircraft in Ontario, and Prince Edward Island, he has been sent to England in July 1943.

Over the remainder of 1943 he has been based at a series of training units, where he learned to fly the larger twin engine Oxford aircraft, with the goal of joining Bomber Command.

As 1944 begins, he has completed training on Oxfords, and has just been stationed to 12 Operational Training Unit Chipping-Warden, near Banbury, northwest of London. Here, he will begin to assemble his crew, and learn to fly the larger and more advanced twin engine Wellington bomber.

The story of his time in training and eventual tour of operation in Bomber Command continues with his first diary entry on the next page.

Bruce Johnston

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