Around the World, Around the Corner

By Dave O’Malley The immensity and complexity of Second World War seems beyond comprehension—a global and total war that reached every corner of the planet—from the remotest of Aleutian Islands to the estuary of the River Plate; from frozen Iceland to steamy Ceylon; from grey Murmansk to sun-baked Malta, from the broken streets of Stalingrad to the surrender of Singapore. The cataclysm involved hundreds of millions of people, vacuumed up the industrial might and natural resources of every country involved and some that weren’t, brought about the brutal deaths of more than 70…

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Of Goats and Men

With Dave O’Malley During the Second World War, hundreds of journalists, photographers and correspondents risked their lives alongside soldiers, airmen and sailors. Among them were recognized best selling-authors of the highest renown. Edgar Rice Burroughs of Tarzanfame, covered the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbour while George Orwell worked for the BBC. There were, among these men and women, two giants of American Literature who were recipients of both a Pulitzer and a Nobel Prize— Ernest Hemmingway and John Steinbeck. Hemmingway was present during the Normandy landings and later attached himself to the 22nd Infantry Brigade and covered the…

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No Logical Reason

During the long and endless months of the Second World War, Canadian skies from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia to Vancouver Island resounded with the bellow and drone of aircraft engines and, for those who lived in the flatter parts of the land, there was the daily sight of yellow trainers of all types. Farmers everywhere gazed skyward, hand held to shade the sun to see the frisky flight of a Tiger Moth challenging a novice pilot on a hot day; oily yellow Harvards with their trans-sonic snarl looping and winging in cerulean heights;…

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For the Record

By Dave O’Malley The stories of the heroic airmen of the Second World War that we are all familiar with and which command our interest and our passion for history, are stories of flight training and the adventures and tragedies of combat pilots and aircrew. Stories of the courage and professionalism of Bomber Command Pathfinder crews. Stories of B-17s struggling for home with heavy damage and dead or wounded aboard. Stories of handsome and insouciant Oxford graduates battling the Luftwaffe in the skies over London. Stories of lone wolf aces that…

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Hero Around the Corner

By Dave O’Malley It’s springtime in the Glebe. May 14th to be exact. The sun shines with a new intensity. The breeze billows through the screen window of my office, wafting paper across my desk. It was a particularly tough winter but the pain of it is soothed by a fine evening. Tonight is one of those evenings in which it is very good to be alive. My office is on the second floor of a small building at the corner of Third Avenue and Bank Street in an area of Ottawa known…

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