My father was in the Second World War. He was in the Air Force, flying as a crew member of a Lancaster bomber. He was a tail gunner, which was less than comfortable, given that he was over six feet tall.
My father spent 17 months in a German prison camp, after having been blown out of the back of the plane when it was hit. He and one other crew member survived. He had a picture of his crew that I found after his death. All were named on the back, plus the country of origin; he flew with a Commonwealth crew, as opposed to a uniquely Canadian crew. Above most of the names, he had written “dead”.
My father was born in 1922. All of this had been happening to him between the ages of 21 and 23.
My father regularly attended Remembrance Day services, but never in uniform, and never with medals. Wore the same nondescript overcoat and hat, instead. The only way we learned anything about his wartime experiences was through our mother; our father never talked.