“Hi Chick. It’s Roy Morrison,” he says, when the phone is picked up. “Remember me?”
The voice on the other end acknowledges – with a hint of humour – of indeed knowing a Morrison from about 50 or 60 years ago. With that, the two elderly men began catching up on each other’s lives.
Between November 1944 and March 1945, Morrison, 93, of Truro Heights, and Henry “Chick” Hewett, 95, of Oshawa, Ont., flew 30 missions between England and Germany together on an Avro Lancaster bomber during the Second World War.
The only Canadians out of a crew of seven, the pair maintained some contact over the years. But time and life moved on, and they lost contact after last seeing each other in Florida more than three decades ago. Until Thursday, that is, when they finally reconnected in a telephone call.
“It was really a surprise and it made my day,” Hewett later told the Truro Daily News from his home in Oshawa. “To be honest with you, I wasn’t sure whether Roy was alive or not.”
Besides being the only Canadians on their bomber crew, Hewett believes they are also the only two surviving members.
“As far as I know we’re the only one’s left.”
Morrison was also “thrilled” to reconnect with his old flying mate, especially after being unable to locate any contact information for him in recent years.
“It meant a lot to me. I felt good because he is good,” he said. “I’ve been trying to get hold of that guy for years. I haven’t seen him since the eighties and I haven’t talked to him since then,” he said.
Despite, perhaps, a bit of nervous anticipation leading up the call, old bonds quickly reformed as they spent about a good half hour catching up on each other’s lives.
“I was all buoyed up,” Hewett said, of his emotions following an earlier call from his son. Glen. That’s when he learned an inquiry had been made seeking his contact information.
“Very excited and Roy sounded like I thought I sounded.
“It was like old times, really,” he added. “I was thrilled to know that Roy was still around. It was just great.”
Morrison was recently inducted into the Lancaster Living Legends project at the Greenwood Military Aviation Museum. And that inspired a renewed interest in wanted to connect with Hewett, he said, because organizers are searching for other Lancaster crew members to include in the project.
And he has since notified them that he now has Hewett’s contact information.
“That would be an honour if could be arranged,” Hewett said, of the possibility of his induction.
During a recent interview with Second World War veteran Roy Morrison, Truro Daily News reporter Harry Sullivan found out Morrison was hoping to reconnect with his former flying mate, the only other Canadian on a Lancaster bomber crew.
“I used to have his address in Oshawa and I could write to him,” Morrison said of his former navigator and Flying Officer (ret.) Henry “Chick” Hewett.
“But after something happened, I don’t know what happened, I wasn’t getting through.”
Subsequent attempts at Internet searches were also unsuccessful, he said, and it left him wondering of Hewett’s fate.
Armed with the information that Hewett was from Oshawa, Ont., Sullivan decided he would try to track down Hewett and a couple of days later, Morrison was presented with all of his former navigator’s contact information.
Shortly after, the two old veterans were chatting like the old pals they once were.