In the skies above: Dieppe, August 19, 1942

A man, who is wearing a military uniform and has a white bandage wrapped around his head, stands beside a damaged aircraft.
Flight Sergeant Robert Mehew “Zip” Zobell, from Raymond, Alberta, and a member of 401 Squadron, RCAF, returned from Dieppe with a wound on his forehead and his Spitfire damaged by enemy fire. According to the original caption, “his only complaint was that the medical officer would not allow him to fly during the rest of the day. ‘I missed a lot of fun,’ he said bitterly.” PHOTO: DND Archives, PL-10629

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Some had slept. Probably the veterans – those fighter pilots and bomber crews who knew what it was like the night before a “big show”. Others, new to the idea of going into combat, likely tossed and turned, thinking of the thousand and one details that had been briefed the day before – or trying not to think at all, lest their thoughts stray to the unthinkable.

It did not matter now. Fresh or tired, the crews donned their goggles, gloves, boots and life preservers as they made their way to their squadron areas. Some may have spoken boastfully to their comrades of deeds to come, while others enjoyed the moments before dawn in thoughtful silence awed in part by what they had been told the day before. It was Wednesday, the 19th of August 1942 and Operation Jubilee was about to begin. Read the rest of the article . . .

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