Bruce Norman Edward Ford-CoatesX

Born: November 25, 1922

Location: Calumet, Michigan

My name is Bruce Norman Edward Ford-Coates. I was born on November 25, 1922. I grew up in boarding school from the age of seven until I graduated. I only came home for holidays. I went to college at St. Andrews in Scotland, same as Prince William. In 18 months, I graduated because there was a war. I was a Royal Air Force pilot with the rank of squadron leader (same as major in U.S. Air Force). While training U.S. pilots in Georgia, I met my wife. She was a U.S. Army Air Corps flight nurse. Two weeks, later we were married. We both ended up in Europe a short time later for the War. I was shot down in Holland and ripped my face up. I got plastic surgery to put my face back together. Luckily, I was not burned. Also, I was shot down flying the Typhoon. I was the first allied officer in Copen Hagen, Germany, which was behind enemy lines. After World War II, I was in England and I took the first available boat. I was supposed to go to Australia to take over a farm, but the first available boat was going to the U.S. If I hadn’t taken that first boat and traveled to the U.S, I wouldn’t have the wonderful family I have now. I went on to have three sons, twelve grandchildren, and twelve great grandchildren, so far. I became a U.S. citizen in 1947. The impact I have on my family is, I believe in hard work, and I hope I have instilled a sense of responsibility and a sense of both national and family pride. The challenge I over came was, even though I was shot down three times and seriously wounded, I survived World War II.

Contributed by: Autumn Weidman, Calumet Elementary School