SUCH IS THE PATHWAY BLOG
As the most heavily defended industrial target in Europe, Leuna would become so dark from flak, German smoke pots, and exploding oil tanks that "we had no idea how close our bombs came to the target."
Seconds after the bright orange-red glow of flames succumbed to the cold blackness of that night, F/O Malcolm MacLeod of the Royal Canadian Air Force would be dead.
Or soon to be, as the plane he once piloted plummeted downwards to meet the soil of Germany.
Only one lucky crew member of Lancaster X KB806 SE-X, the rear gunner, would survive to join the meagre 12% of Lancaster crews able to bail out of their stricken planes. The rest of the crew, Malcolm and those five other souls, would perish.
Their names added to the 10,000 other dead Canadians of Bomber Command. Who in in turn added to the 56,000 other British and Commonwealth deaths in total. All of them guinea pigs in the Second World War experiment of aerial bombing.
77 years after that night, a son from Canada will return to the last place on earth his father stood.
This blog explores the work I am making about that journey to Europe in the summer of 2022 to Canadian sites of memorial, Vimy Ridge, Dieppe, Juno Beach as well as R.A.F Croft in North Yorkshire.
This work explores what happened that night and the ways traumas of the past still linger on to affect the present.
It is a trauma that affects a son, still in search of his father, and his family framed by war, loss and the orange-red glow of flames, from one night long ago, which still burns bright.