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Muir, Henry Watson (Scoot)
- Township: Embro & West Zorra
- Branch: Royal Canadian Air Force
- Date of birth: 1922
- Where born: Embro, West Zorra Township, Oxford County, Ontario, Canada
- Burial location: North Embro Cemetery, West Zorra Township, Oxford County, Ontario, Canada
- Wars Served: World War II
- Years of service: September 1942 -
- Country enlisted with: Canada
The war-time tale of an Embro fly boy
By Scoot Muir
Henry Watson [Scoot] Muir (born 1922) grew up at Commissioner St., Embro. In the Second World War, he served with the Royal Canadian Air Force.
I joined the RCAF in September 1942 but was sent on leave, without pay, until Oct. 14, 1942. I reported to 1 Manning Depot on the exhibition grounds in Toronto where I received basic training, which consisted of military drill aptitude tests and shots.
In December 1942, I was posted to Hamilton for a math refresher course encompassing every thing needed for aircrew. We lived in private homes, and I boarded with Mrs. Harris at 17 Central Ave. She was a Scottish widow who was like my second mother One night, I had a bad cough, and she administered a shot of Scotch whisky which cured the cough. That was the beginning of my relationship with the nectar of Scotland.
At the end of March 1943, I went to Rockcliffe (Ottawa) for what was known as tarmac duty, which was really some place to put us until we could get into an initial training school. In the last week of April, I was posted to No. 2 Initial Training School in Regina, for more training in navigation, Morse code, armament and other odds and ends that prepared us for aircrew.
I always thought that Regina was the nicest city. Going to the church of your choice on Sunday was a sure invitation to Sunday dinner in someone’s home. Saturday night at the Trianon Ballroom was a must, especially if you had met a girl while having Sunday dinner.
From No. 2 ITS, I was posted to No. 15 Elementary Flying School which was also near Regina. There we learned to fly the de Haviland Tiger Moth, a biplane which everyone loved. I flew my first solo flight on July 8. I’ll never forget that 15 minutes. After that, everything was routine. Willis Blair of Lot 9, Concession 2, was at the ITS at the same time, and he and I were invited to the home of Max Cody of Embro fame for dinner. Max was the publisher of the Regina Leader Post.
On Aug. 20, I was posted to the advance training school in Saskatchewan, where we learned to fly the twin-engine Cessna Crane. I soloed in it after seven hours of scaring the hell out of my instructor, a real prince of a guy, Ron Page. After a routine period of training, on Dec. 10, 1943, I was presented with my wings, one of the proudest moments of my life. Now I was ready to take on Adolf Hitler all by myself and win the war. The night before my graduation, I phoned home and talked to my sister to the tune of $11, which I had to pay when I got home.
After a leave, including Christmas at home, I was posted to the Royal Air Force’s No. 34 Operational Training Unit at Pennfield Ridge N.B. There, we flew the Lockheed PV-1 Ventura, a powerful-twin-engine Bomber.
I was at Pennfield until April 20. It was an isolated station, so not much happened that wasn’t routine. After three weeks leave, it was overseas to Great Britain. On July 30, I was posted to No. 13 Operational Training Unit at Finmere (Buckingham) and the Douglas Boston, a twin-engine fighter-bomber that was a dream to fly. From there it was a posting to Harford Bridge, Surrey, from where my crew and I flew eight trips. As the hostilities were winding down, the squadron was downsized, and I was sent back to Canada to go to the Pacific Theatre of Operations. But the A-bomb took care of that.