Every year on this day, I think about a man I never met. I share a first name—and a lot of DNA—with him. His name was Eric William MacDonald, and he was my mom’s brother.
Uncle Eric enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War Two. He volunteered. He felt that it was his duty to serve in the armed forces and fight for freedom and democracy. He didn’t have to go. It was his decision, and his choice.
He rose to the rank of Sergeant, and was deployed to England, serving as the tail gunner on a Lancaster Bomber in the 83rd Pathfinder Squadron. The Pathfinder Force (PFF) was a group of squadrons in RAF Bomber Command whose mission it was to locate targets and mark them with flares, providing increased accuracy for the main bomber force that came in behind them.