The Sound of his Voice
There is nothing to compare to the unexpected pleasure of hearing a loved one's voice on the telephone no matter how sketchy the details or how harrowing what you do hear maybe. This was certainly the case for Air Force Warrant Officer Bill Burton's mom, Mrs. E.A. Dunn. It was wartime and like many other stories from the front, a report found it's way into the St. Thomas Times Journal. She might have been caught up in the moment just listening to his voice but I am quite sure her imagination received a workout when she had time to take in words such as jungle and wild game.
“Hello Mom! How are you?”
“You would never have known Bill had been away for more than two years to hear his voice over the telephone from Ottawa”, Mrs. Burton told the Times Journal.
Mrs. Burton has good cause to be thrilled for it is doubtful that there is another twenty year old of any country who has had more unusual adventures and escapes in this war than Warrant Officer Burton.
Lost in Jungle 47 Days
He was lost in the North African jungle for 27 days having to bail out with other members of the bomber crew in the darkness. He was dependent on primitive native tribes for food, water and direction for many days. Bill was reported missing over Tunisia and regained his squadron on foot several days late to be made a member of the Late Arrivals Club, whose emblem is the Winged Foot.
He is also a member of the famed Caterpillar Club exclusively for those airmen who are forced to bail out. He has lived on wild game in the heart of nowhere and has heard the black men of the jungle send their messages by resounding drum beats. And, he has been in the southern part of Africa on instructional duties and taking a special armaments course at Cape Town.
In the Pink
“It was really wonderful to hear his voice.” Said Mrs. Dunn. “I asked Bill how he was and he replied, “Right in the Pink””.
Warrant Officer Burton has been away since November 14, 1943 getting home on that well- earned leave. It was back in November of last year that he sailed from Cape Town on a troopship in the general direction of home. The ship sailed via the Indian Ocean and Warrant Officer Burton has been a lot of places since then, including a short stay in the British Isles.
Warrant Officer Burton attended Myrtle Street Public School and also the Aylmer public school and acquired his secondary school education at the Arthur Voaden Vocational School. He was with the Elgin Regiment (R) previous to his enlistment in the RCAF for air crew training.