A Story of love Life and the PBY Catalina


Joe & Audrey

It is very rare that we get to glimpse into the private lives of men at war. Sure there are diaries of men at the front, describing the hell of life in the trenches, and the death of people close to you, but little is available of the stresses and strains that war time brings to the private life of soldiers awaiting imminent posting to the war zone.. This rare letter of Joseph Colclough Barfoot, from North Toronto, gives us some idea of what went on in countless families across Canada.
It was 1943; the world was in the midst of a terrific and devastating war that was killing millions. Canadian civilians, by the hundred thousands, like Joe Barfoot, signed up for duty overseas.

When war broke out he had lived in North Toronto. When he signed up for the Air Force, being a civilian, he needed training, which had to take place far from Toronto, where he had developed a relationship with Audrey Mackenzie, a nurse who hailed from a farm near Erin, Ontario.
Joe awaited months of training at Summerside, PEI, and expected to be sent overseas. What to do about a relationship, pending imminent posting to the war zone, has plagued many a soldier and his gal, in every society, since time began.
This letter gives a glimpse of how Joe and Audrey tried to deal with hesitant parents when the clock was ticking… for love and life… Read More


Barfoot at Ucleculet