Wwii bombardier boyd paquin records life story for future generations electricity worksheets grade 9


“You needed an 83 and I got an 84. And I didn’t know anything about airplanes,” Paquin said. “I ended up in Fort Kelly, Texas and I was in the pilot program. But nothing was happening for around two months, so I went over to the headquarters and found out I could sign up as a bombardier and start then.”

“As a bombardier, you would drop the bombs down sight, you would be a gunnery officer and a first aid officer,” Paquin said. “I went to gunnery school in Laredo, Texas and after, I was shipped to Salt Lake City as they put the crew together.”

Paquin trained for 5 months and earned a promotion to lead bombardier in Mountain Home, Idaho. Paquin’s crew got their overseas orders and started their trip towards the front lines, first going through Nebraska, then Puerto Rico, Trinidad, Brazil and Marrakesh, Africa.

“Everyone got their briefings and the day of the mission, you got fried, fresh eggs. The only time you ever saw them,” Paquin said. “We had to load up the plane and then sit there and wait to take off. And you gotta realize, that plane isn’t that big. And there are 1,000 airplanes taking off.”

Paquin said his crew’s worst mission was Frankfurt, Germany. In Frankfurt, they had two engines shot out before they could get to the target. Losing altitude and hovering around 10,000 feet all alone, Paquin’s crew flew all the way across Germany, France and the English Channel, where they reached an airfield on the edge of England.

“The English Air Force base, my God, it was like a college dormitory they had for the officers. Beautiful living quarters. Nothing like we had,” Paquin said. “We stayed there overnight and since our plane was full of holes, they sent us a new one.”

“We flew three missions that day and I got nothing to talk about,” Paquin said. “We flew over the coast and we didn’t have radar at the time. We flew three missions on D-Day and didn’t drop a bomb. Few guys would admit that. We couldn’t see the ground, it was too cloudy. We turned around and came home three times.”

“I stole everything I could get that I could come home with I thought I’d like,” Paquin said. “Baseball equipment and a couple of guns, you know stuff I had but didn’t turn back in. They actually kicked me off the plane, because I had so much weight. So I’m left and had to wait three days when finally a big C-54 came through. I was the only passenger.”

After getting home to Washington D.C., Paquin said he found out what it was like to be an officer. Waiting for him at the airport was someone with a sign with his name and orders to drive him to the hotel where he would be staying; after a trip to the mess hall.

Paquin’s military career continued right up until the end of the war, but instead of fighting on the front lines, he was transferred to Texas to train Brazilian cadets on how to be a bombardier. Paquin said he didn’t know if they ever got a chance to fight, but was happy to come home after being discharged, rather than heading to the South Pacific like he was originally ordered.

“I was there a year and a half and thinking about getting out when I saw a sign that said ‘Colgate’. I got into a long line and out of the whole mob, I was one of the two they took,” Paquin said. “I got into Colgate and graduated. I got my first teaching job in Earlville. A teacher was pregnant and had to quit the middle of the year. Someone came over to Colgate looking for someone to finish up the year and they took me. I taught there for a year and a half.”