|This is my uncle Earl
Bawtinheimer, my mother's brother and only
sibling. He was killed in Nova Scotia when a
bomber he was landing went out of control and struck a
rock. His sole companion was also killed.
Earl w as a Sgt. Pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force and at age 21 had volunteered at the start of World War 11.
Martial links in my family are not particular strong.
I believe a Bawtinheimer served with the British Militia during the War of 1812 ( see City of Hamilton archives), Uncle Sid Summerlin (brother-in-law to my aunt Elsie Summerlin) was gassed in the trenches of World War 1, uncle Ted Clancy, husband of Phylis Potruff, was an Royal Air Force rear gunner in the World War 11 (he was a teenager); and my nephew David Ritchie is currently serving with the US Army in Afghanistan as a surgeon.
My own military experience was as a volunteer member of the Hamilton RCAF Squadron based at Mount Hope.
I was in the photographic section and wore a very prickly uniform and wedge cap.
Mount Hope is now called the John C. Munro airport ( I knew John as a teenager and for a time he rented a room at 20 Barclay Street).
Mount Hope was a Commonwealth air training centre during World War 11. The airfield is directly opposite the spot where my aunt and uncle Whalley's farm stood. As a kid visiting them I often watch Harvard Trainers taking of and landing. The farm was sold and demolished.
Speaking of Harvard trainers, the Harvard is the first plane I had flown. I remember my friend Jim Head, also a volunteer, going up in two planes. All went well until our our pilots decided to stage a mock dog fight.