Monday, September 20, 2010

Frank Waywell, a Veteran a Hero and a Happy Rider

For all the hard work and sweat-equity invested in putting on an air show, the payback is often not measured in the number of spectators in attendance nor the donations collected at the front gate. While these are important quantifiers for determining a successful show - we did well on both accounts - there are other moments that turn a good event into a spectacular event. Those moments are what our veterans give us.
Vintage Wings is a place to allow military veterans to feel safe and shed some stories and tears that they might not otherwise share under other circumstances. Veterans enrich our lives with tales of days gone by when freedom was never taken for granted and democracy was not so certain to last forever. They are the stories of the Frank Waywells, to name a few, a WWII veteran who took up arms to fight for freedom and democracy and paid a hefty price in the fight and for the generations to follow after him. Frank spent two years in a Prison of War camp and successfully escaped. He was in attendance at our air show Saturday feeling rather humbled and honoured to be commemorated.
To recognize his efforts and give back what he so bravely gave to us, Vintage Wings treated him with a flight in a classic warbird.

- Frank Waywell joined by grand-daughter Wendy and her son, an Air Cadet and future aviator himself, after his flight in the P-40 Kittyhawk piloted by Dave Hadfield.

Frank Waywell began his military career with the Royal Army Medical Corps, later joining the air force. Prior to the end of the war, Frank was taken hostage by the Germans and after spending time in a prison camp outside of Naples in Italy, he was moved to Stalag Four between Leipzig and Dresden. He eventually escaped from the prison camp. At the end of the war, Frank and his wife moved to Canada to have better opportunities for their children. To learn more about Frank, visit the link to view a video interview by TownTv, Oakville.

1 comment:

  1. The whole weekend was awesome, as the younger ones say, ending in the 70th Anniversary celebration

    I am gradually realizing that Harry and I are part of a diminishing group who are becoming a living part of history that we have to share with you

    A year ago we felt embarrassed to be treated as VIPs. We owe it to you all to share what we can with you.

    -Frank Waywell, in an email to Dave Hadfield