OTU began with a posting in fall of 1941 to #31 OTU (later #7) at Debert, Nova Scotia. This unit operated Hudson aircraft and training flights included the taking of radio bearings on maritime radio stations. Herb remembers one flight destined for Windsor, N.S. which scattered to various airports because of a sudden storm. Crews of two aircraft were killed in crashes. His next move was to Dorval, P.Q. for some intensive Morse training with the objective of joining crews flying Hudsons to the UK. On December 7, 1941, however with the attack by Japan on Pearl Harbour, all such flights were suspended.
In the early spring of 1942, Herb left Halifax in a four-ship convoy - two troop ships (he was on S.S. Volendam) and two US destroyers. One destroyer was sunk by a U-Boat. The convoy landed at Greenoch. After the usual stint at Bournemouth, Herb was posted to #6 OTU, Thornaby, and crewing up with pilot, navigator and two WOP/AGs on Hudsons.
In April, 1942 Herb joined # 59 Squadron, RAF Coastal Command at North Coats, near Grimsby. Canadian #407 “Demon” Squadron was there for a short time before moving to Bircham Newton. Herb recalls one day being called to the ops room to replace a crew which had cancelled out because of illness. His aircraft joined two others with the objective of attacking a German convoy off the coast of Holland. The convoy consisted of two destroyers and eight merchant vessels. Herb describes his position as being on his stomach, aiming a Lewis gun through and opening in the rear floor with the second gunner in the upper turret. The tactics of the time called for a low-level attack, often at 50 feet, and all three aircraft dived on the convoy. Flak was heavy and Herb recalls that he could hear and feel hits on the aircraft. They dropped four 250 lb. bombs and then took violent evasive action to clear the area. The other aircraft were not so lucky - they were shot down. Clear of the convoy, Herb reported to the pilot that they were losing fuel from a wing tank, one engine was on fire, the wheels were down and the bomb bay doors open. The pilot shut down the engine but they could not maintain height on a single engine so he took a chance and restarted the faulty engine - and it worked. On reaching base, they flew around trying to get the wheels locked down, even pouring coffee into the hydraulic system but no luck. The crew took up crash positions nad the pilot made a smooth landing on grass. Subsequently, low-level attacks were abandoned because of the high casualty rate and bombing was done from 4,000 ft.

May 24/47 Gladys & Herb
1947 - 1982

Married Feb 12, 1983 to Phyllis
Phyllis died in 1997