Omemee Airman returns home
Omemee, Jan. 10 (Staff)—Another Omemee Airman has returned to his home in the village after serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force in England, France, Belgium and Holland. Sgt. W.J. Mackey is the youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. S J Mackey, Omemee.
Enlisting in Toronto on July 7, 1942 in the Radar division of the RCAF Sgt. Jamie Mackey received his training at Manning Depot, University of Toronto and Clinton. In April 1943 he was posted overseas arriving in England on May 24th of the same year. An interesting coincidence is that LAC Arthur Weir, another Omemee boy travelled overseas on the same boat.
In December, 1943, Sgt. Mackey remustered to enter Educational work and for several months was employed at RCAF Headquarters in England. At his request he was then assigned to Second Tactical Air Force and with this unit, went to France in July 1944.
In an interview Sgt. Mackey explained that the TAF co-operates very closely with the Army, moving behind the lines to give constant Air Support. It is a completely mobile unit and is capable of moving on two hours' notice. The personal live under canvas at all times regardless of weather conditions.
Sgt. Mackey's unit entered Belgium early in September 1944 and were in the capital city four days after the Allied Armies first arrived there. He describes Brussels as being comparable to a carnival as enthusiastic crowds welcomed the Allied forces. A great respect was evidenced for Canadians who are well remembered by the Belgian people from the last Great War. Holland was reached on September 19th and while the Dutch people welcomed them warmly. Sgt. Mackey says he found quite a contrast in the two countries. Holland, he thought seemed more grim and the people not so well off nor so gay as the Belgians. In both countries, he said was evidence that the people were badly in need of food and especially was this true in Southern Holland.
In December 1944 he was posted back to Canada and on the 14th of that month left Holland, arriving in England on the 17th. Leaving England on December 27, 1944 he reached Lachine on January 4, 1945 and was in Omemee the following day. Following his month of leave Sgt. Mackey expects to be discharged to work for the Canadian Service on Rehabilitation. Before enlisting he was on the teaching staff of Willowdale Collegiate.