Saturday, July 31, 2010

Gift from above

Reprinted form the Whig Standard by PETER HENDRA

Bill Morton will take a trip down memory lane on Saturday, but his will be a bit different than most.

The Bobs Lake resident will again fly in a Tiger Moth, the same plane in which he first trained during the Second World War.

"I think about (Saturday's flight) all the time," Morton said. "I can't wait to get up there."

Morton will climb into the Tiger Moth's open cockpit at a Gatineau, Que., airport, a gift from a group of friends to mark his 90th birthday, which actually took place in May.

"I don't know if it's sentimental or whatever you want to call it, but it's the first plane I ever flew," Morton said.

When he enlisted in the air force, Morton was an air gunner. He was asked if he was interested in becoming a pilot and, when he said yes, he was transferred to Virden, Man., to attend elementary training flying school.

It was there that he piloted his first plane, according to his logbook, on Aug. 31, 1942.

Morton said that he always wanted to be a pilot, "but ... I was only 20 years old.

"It was more of a 'let's get in and get the war over with' kind of thing," he said.

Despite his training, Morton never saw action in the war. Instead, he was transferred from the Royal Canadian Air Force to the Royal Air Force in England, which then sent him to Scotland to be trained as an instructor.

"I was just lucky," Morton said. "When I say that, all my friends who weren't sent to be instructors -- they went to bomber command and such -- they're not living now. They didn't last too long."

Follow the blog today to read more about his flight here at Vintage Wings. The weather is CAVOK for the highly anticipated flight!

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