Bruce and Douglas Warren
One evening, we were invited to go into High River with Dusenbury
and several other students. Of course, we ended up in a beer
parlour (that was the accepted drill). We did not smoke
or drink, and declined to have a beer, which was unusual
as most of the young trainees enjoyed the opportunity to
drink. We had never smoked because, if we had any money to
spend, we would buy an aviation magazine.
On one of these occasions when we were in High River at
a restaurant having snacks and milkshakes, Dusenbury confessed
to us why he had asked for Duke to be given to another instructor.
There was a very strict regulation that, before sending a
student solo, he had to have been shown spins, and also be
capable of recovering from a spin. It seems that after he
had signed one of us out solo, he had a terrible thought!
Did he show one of us spins twice and the other none at
all! It worried him terribly until the twin who had just
been sent solo landed safely. Dusenbury was never able to
tell us apart all the time we were at High River.
While at High River (and all through our lives), we were
always aware of where the other was, and what the other
was doing. Because of this, there was an incident which took
place at High River. We were both flying one afternoon and,
when flying ceased, I went to check with Duke. But, I couldn't
find him. I went to the Flight Commander to ask where
they had landed. The Flight Commander checked the authorization
sheet and said "The instructor has signed in. So, they
landed here and your brother has probably gone to his quarters."
I was not satisfied, as I knew this was wrong!
I went out
to the hangar, checked the letters on all the aircraft,
and counted them. One was missing, and the hangar doors
had been closed for the night. I returned to the flight
office and reported my findings and, with obvious irritation,
the Flight Commander went out into the hangar and confirmed
my statement. At once, he sounded the alarm of a missing
aircraft and preparations began to launch aircraft for a
search. However, just at that time, the missing aircraft
proceeded to land. They had done the exercise west of the
aerodrome and had been blown far away by a strong wind
that had become a strong headwind upon their return. An instructor
had signed in for his friend, because he thought the one
airborne had forgotten to do so. He was reprimanded for
About halfway through the course there was little ground
school, but a good deal of flying. Checking our log books,
I find that in the month of August 1941, at High River, my
twin flew 55 times, for a total of 26 hours and 25 minutes
dual , and 25 hours and 10 minutes solo. In my case, I flew
for a total of 21 hours and 15 minutes dual and 26 hours
and 40 minutes solo. When checking
our log books at the time of writing this, I found on August
19,1941, I flew six times that day for a total of five hours
and 40 minutes, and my twin flew five times for a total of
four hours and 45 minutes.
One year later, we were a section flying Spitfires over the
Battle of Dieppe three times, for a total of four hours
and 45 minutes.
We were kept busy and it was an early-to-bed, early-to-rise
existence to finish the course on time. Our major time off
was on every second Saturday, when we had a pass from 5:30
p.m. until 1:00 a.m. on Sunday. I believe we also were granted
two 48-hour passes during the time we were at High River,
for I reported in one of my letters home to expect us that
The end of August saw the finish of our training at No. 5
Elementary Flying Training School, High River. It was a special
point in our training, and we left High River with a total
flying time of 60 hours and 5 minutes for my twin, and 57
hours and 45 minutes for me.
That is what was recorded in my log book.
Our posting order read: Posted to No. 3
Service Flying Training School, Calgary. We then boarded a train in anticipation of the next step
to become qualified pilots.