Bill Waterworth - Second World War
|A Wartime Log : a remembrance of home through the Canadian Y.M.C.A., 1943. Bill Waterworth fonds ( M215-lc-cover ; M215-lc-cover)|
The story of Bill Waterworth's experiences during the Second World War is just one of the many stories in the new Gateway to the Rockies exhibition being developed by the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies. We want your input and feedback on this permanent (ten year life) exhibition that we are planning to open at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies in the spring of 2012. Tell us what you think of this and the other concepts and stories featured here. Let us know how you think we could make this exhibition more interesting. Please keep in mind that this is a draft of the storyline, not the finished product. As the stories develop, information will be updated.
Bill Waterworth was born in Banff in 1922. His carefree childhood as a Boy Scout, fishing down by the Y, playing hockey and delivering newspapers did not prepare him for war.
Like many during this era he yearned for adventure, and at age 18 he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force. On September 19, 1942 Waterworth was shot down over the French coast, just short of completing his 33rd mission. He parachuted out of the burning plane and eluded German patrols for two weeks before being captured and taken prisoner by the Gestapo. He was sent by boxcar to a Prisoner of War Camp in Lamsdorf, Germany (now called Lambinowice, Poland). Stalag VIIIB/344 would be his home for the next three years.
In 1943 the Red Cross issued each prisoner a blank 151 logbook titled “A Wartime Log: a Remembrance from Home through the Canadian Y.M.C.A.” Waterworth treasured his log during his captivity and collected photographs, artwork by fellow prisoners, newspaper clippings, and letters from home. In January 1945 with the advance of the Soviets, the prisoners were forced to march from Poland to France. Waterworth carried his log throughout the ordeal. In April 1945 General Patton liberated the area and Waterworth was finally safe in an American camp. His sense of history and purpose with the Wartime Log continued throughout his life with follow-up stories of fellow POWs and of their reunions. The last entry in the log is dated 1999. Waterworth died in December, 2009.
|A Wartime Log : a remembrance of home through the Canadian Y.M.C.A., 1943. Bill Waterworth fonds (M215-lc-title b; M215-lc-title c)|
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