My Dad’s Missing War Pictures

Mark White writes about his dad…

My dad’s war pictures went missing for a number of years.

I had no pictures of my dad from the war.

In 2011 I contacted my dad’s only surviving brother, Tom, in Kenora, Ontario and asked him if he had any pictures.

He didn’t have any, but he obtained this picture from a local veteran, Edgar “Dink” Strain who had a wartime photo of my dad and three other Kenora vets onboard the New Amsterdam in August 1945.

Edgar took this photo:

(L to R) My dad George White, Clyde Hillman, Art Pykerman and Rolf Nelson.

I talked to Edgar Strain on the phone a few times. He had been a Warrant Officer with 421 Lynx Squadron during the war.

He was a very gracious gentleman and a very keen military historian with a tremendous amount of knowledge about the war.

When I talked with my uncle Tom, on Thanksgiving Day 2012, he told me Edgar had passed away.

Here’s Edgar’s obituary:

In Memory of

Edgar Wilson Strain

 

April 5, 1922 – July 13, 2012

In Loving Memory of

Edgar Wilson Strain

Edgar Wilson Strain passed away at his home on Friday July 13, 2012, at 90 years of age.

Edgar is survived by his sons Lindsay (Dorothy) and Gregg (Mary) and daughter Megan; granddaughters Larisa (Guy) and Siobhan; sister Lois Hoshwa; sisters -in-law Shirley Strain and Josie Strain. He was predeceased by his wife Isabella, parents Edgar and Eva, his sister Thomasina, brothers Neil and Lorne and brothers-in-law Nick Hoshwa and Ted Jorgenson.

Edgar was born in Kenora. He volunteered for service in the RCAF during WWII and served in Canada, England and throughout Europe. When he returned he married the love of his life, Isabella, and started a family. He worked at Williams Hardware for ten years and then founded Strain’s Stationery, later partnering with his brother Neil in the business until his retirement in 1987.

He was very involved in the community and his contributions of service and community development included work on the Kenora Thistle Hockey Team Board, serving as a trustee for the Kenora School Board, work on the Kenora Minor Hockey Association, board membership on the Central Community Club, the Kenora Economic Development Committee, a co-chair of the building committee for the original Kenora Recreation Centre and a field agent for Ducks Unlimited. He helped many other community groups and charities.

After his retirement, he followed his many interests which included sculpture, nature, gardening, architecture, the family camp, woodworking, reading, music and genealogy. He pursued these interests with passion, intellect and humour. His stories were enjoyed by family and friends. His wealth of knowledge will be missed. His ideas and actions influenced and inspired many.

Immediate cremation has taken place.

A private family service will follow at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, contributions of time or donations to a local charity of one’s choice would honour his life and service.

Online condolenes may be made at http://www.brownfuneralhomekenora.com

BROWN FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION CENTRE ENTRUSTED WITH ARRANGEMENTS.

Private family service at a later date

Thank you Edgar for the wartime picture of my dad and the conversations we had.

Fortunately my dad’s pictures were located.

Here’s another one I’ll share from his collection of some of the Erks from 403 Squadron checking out a captured FW 190 in Germany 1945.

Again, you may recognize some of the Erks from 403.

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4 thoughts on “My Dad’s Missing War Pictures

  1. Pierre,
    After looking closely at the picture of the captured FW 190, I’ve noted a couple of interesting things.
    Firstly, there are at least 3 sets of sergeants stripes around the aircraft.
    Secondly, it appears to me that the crew may be working at disarming the aircraft.
    Are those perhaps machine guns or cannons on the ground beside the plane?
    Maybe a reader with more knowledge of the FW 190 can clarify what’s going on in this picture.

    Mark

  2. November 4, 2012
    Hello Mark:
    My brother emailed me this article today and I could not let the moment pass without commenting on your picture. I did not recognize your dad, but we might find him somewhere in some of my dad’s pictures. My dad is the Clyde Hillman in your photo. We have a lot of photos from dad’s war experience, but this one was entirely new to us.

    Dad passed away in 2012 and I felt as if we had lost one more amazing war historian! Dad, like Mr. Strain, and many of the other WWII vets in Kenora, had a special connection or cameraderie. My siblings and I grew up knowing who other vets were and we always respected them. They also had incredible wartime memories -not just as it related to their own lives at that time, but also their hometown friends, war buddies and future lives. To this day, I am amazed at their historical sense! Further, dad’s and others’ indignation at historical inaccuracies and “fiction” would make the air turn blue! :-).

    Thanks for writing your article and for giving me a nice reminder of something so important, especially as Remembrance Day draws near -always a HUGE day in our family!

    Sincerely, Susan (Hillman) Brazeau

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