I didn’t hesitate for long. Specifically, if I volunteered, I would be in England in May, undergoing submarine training with the Royal Navy. I’d be in England for a minimum of six months. A foreign appointment. A chance to visit the continent.
Would I volunteer?
Short weeks later, in May 1966, I was on a Canadian National train to central Canada, on my way to Trenton and an RCAF flight to Gatwick, England. While wandering through the train I noticed a couple of RCN sailors in the familiar bell-bottomed uniform.
Closer inspection showed they were stokers, and submariners to boot, on their way to the same service flight, returning to the UK. Short minutes later they were regaling me with salty dips about RN and Canadian submarines and submariners—some of which later turned out to be true.
That was the start of my initiation into the silent service.
(More to come in future posts)