TRURO, N.S. – The Second World War veteran who came to Truro last October to reunite with a member of his former flying crew has died.
Henry James “Chick” Hewett, of Oshawa, Ont., was 96. His obituary stated Hewett died peacefully on Wednesday in hospital with his family by his side.
Hewett suffered a heart attack in January, which was followed by a stroke. He’d spent much of the time since in hospital.
Hewett served as a navigator on a Lancaster bomber during the Second World War, flying 30 missions with Roy Morrison of Truro Heights.
“The line is getting shorter,” Morrison said, following Hewett’s death, of the dwindling number of veterans from their era.
Hewett and Morrison, who served as a tail gunner, were the only Canadians among their seven-member crew.
The two had lost contact over the years and had not seen each other since about 1983 until they met up last October when Hewett was flown to Truro by the Air Force Association.
The two vets had initially reconnected by telephone last April after Morrison was inducted into the Lancaster Living Legends project. During an interview with the Truro Daily News, Morrison mentioned how he had lost contact with Hewett since they had last seen each other in Florida more than three decades ago.
A couple of days later, Morrison was presented with all of Hewett’s contact information. When word of that reconnection made its way to the Air Force Association’s national office in Ottawa, preparations were subsequently made with the association’s 102 Wing in Truro to bring Hewett to Nova Scotia.
“It was like a resurrection because both Dad and Roy didn’t know if the other was around, if they existed, because they had lost contact,” said Hewett’s son Glen, who accompanied him on the trip.
“He just came out of his seat with excitement,” Glen said, of his father’s reaction when he learned last April that Morrison would soon be calling him.
Hewett was a member of the 420 Wing in Oshawa for more than 60 years and served on the executive.
His funeral will be held Monday in Oshawa.