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A terrific book! Guy should be very proud. I knew Howard away back when we both worked at Brysons Bread. I was still in school but had summer employment there. Howard and I became good friends and I feel privileged to have known him.
Like Howard, I was short of my matriculation when I enlisted in August, 1942. However, I was sent to the University of Montreal for the matriculation cram course. When I received my wings and commission, I was unexpectedly was sent to Camp Borden as a flying instructor on Harvards, rather than being sent overseas as Howard was. I was there for the duration of the war.
One day after the war, when Howard was flying for Red Wing Air Service, he was parked at the dock in Couchiching park with a bi-wing Waco on floats. He took me for a ride and I was impressed with float flying. Afterwards I got my commercial licence I flew part time with Orillia Air Service.
Howard was flying for John Parry and operated out of an air strip on John's property. Howard had a very great love for animals. I remember him collecting green leaves from local stores and feeding a herd of about 12 deer located on John's property.
Howard's War record is outstanding, but I'm not surprised. Although unassuming, he was always a dedicated man. I could say lots more about Howard, but suffice it to say that he was a great man and I feel privileged to have been his friend.
- Clayt French
There is really but one word for your book and that word is remarkable
The only other stories I have read that are in any way comparable, and that primarily because of a similar subject matter, cannot share shelf space with "Astonishing Luck!" While they have good stories to relate, there is something missing, some little spark of soul somehow absent from their mix that makes "... Luck" such a rare treasure.
Their problem, of course, is there is no Howard -- and no Howard's son with the inherited sensitivity and the strength of will power to bring about this loving tribute to a very special father.
Whether as a youngster spinning across the ice of Lake Couchiching on his belly as the end man of a high speed crack the whip skating misadventure or as a war-time pilot calmly seeking a valley in the vicious swells of Biscay Bay, hunting the best spot to ditch his Beaufighter aircraft to allow all aboard to fight free in the 90 seconds before the plane sank below the seas, Howard was a born survivor, loaded with luck and skills.
But underlying all the hijinks of warriors everywhere shines the true Howard Wainman, as seen through the eyes of a loving son. You and your Dad have written a grand book Guy. I am proud that I got to know you both.
Ken Robertson - Author of the book 'Windcharm'
Wow!! I am starting to read the book again.
It was so well presented and interesting to read . it is about a time that every one should be more knowledgable
Just finished reading a copy of the book. Well done. I think you have done a fabulous job recounting your father's life story. Having met him a couple of times at your place it is even more poignant. I obviously had no idea of the story behind the man. What a truly wonderful tribute. Hope you and your family are well.
- Richard Reid
Excellent job, Guy. My first meeting with your dad was strictly by chance. I went into Rombo's Restaurant on a rainy day in the late 90's. The place was packed; your dad, sitting by himself, gave me a sign to join him. Well, it was my luck ... we got along very well. Some people you just meet and open up to each other (despite differences in background and age), you just get along.
Two hours passed very quickly. At this point, I got the Beaufighter story, but he refers to a senior officer only. Time to leave, he stands up, shakes my hand, and says, "Philip, you just shook the hand that shook the hand of Lord Mount Batten." What great theatrics, I will never forget him!!
With great respect,
I read the book shortly after I picked it up from you. I've been intending to thank you for having the time and interest to go to all of the effort to put the whole thing together. It is a wonderful story. Your Dad's life would make an excellent movie. I wish that I had known him.
Congratulations for what you have done.
- Stan Passfield
Enjoying the book! Very readable, interesting local connections, gutsy, engrossing read. Congratulations. Considered a blog?
- Dave Armishaw
I have not read the book yet but I am looking forward to doing so. Readng "The Story" reminded me of the time when Howard and I spent an evening doing night circuits at Muskoka. For some reason he did not get his licence validated for night flying. Not that he had never flown at night. Beaufighter to Cessna 150. He seemed to enjoy himself and as one would expect, he was a very humble student. And of course he shared many stories with me. I will never forget that evening and of course Howard Wainman.
- Mike Stephenson
What a great collection of wonderful stories about a most unique man. Knowing him, even for a brief part of his life, has given me a greater appreciation for mine. The book was a fascinating look into the past. A higher power was guiding him throughout, no doubt about that!
- Bob Cowen, Cleveland, OH
I just finished your book! It was/is an amazing work. Your Dad was one of those unsung Heros that we hear about and assume they come from and lived elsewhere. Here is a hero and a wonderful man right under our nose.
You did a great job bringing him to life for those of us that didn't know him.
- Kelly Schnurr
I find your book a treasure; written in a very folksy and informative way. Although your Dad and I were squadron mates on "404" from May 1944 to November 1944 when I was posted back to Canada, I did not know your Dad. Schoales, Christenson and Pierce were in my "Wings Class" and were part of the original members of "404". I unfortunately was not being attached to the R.A.F. for my first two years overseas. I did not have the good luck to finally get posted to "404" on or about June 1943. Although I was not a personal friend of your Dad, I certainly got to know him well through your illuminating book. I now wish your Dad and I had a more personal relationship.
- Herbert E. Hallatt
Finally got around to visiting the website, looks great! It seems that everywhere I go I am seeing a copy of your book, which then leads to very interesting discussions. Having had the pleasure of listening to Howard's stories from the source it doesn't surprise me when the underlying theme of these discussions is how much the experience of reading the book is like hearing it directly from Howard. A truly enjoyable experience, great job Guy.
- Alan Flannigan
Well...I have read the whole darned thing...I am now ordering a copy for both my dad and one of my best friends.
I enjoyed the book very much. It brought me a lot more information about the Beaufighter pilots and what they went through during training and the war.
I loved the book so much, Guy, that I passed it to Katie my daughter who is now reading it as we speak.
Is there any chance you might be able to get some of this information to the History Channel folks. They cover lots of subjects but rarely do I see anything about this very famous warbird.
- Mike Stephenson
Read the book twice and enjoyed it very much. I consider it a great honour having such a brave uncle and being able to fly with him many times as a young boy. I will remember him fondly.