World War II Combatants:
The Prince George Connection
By Stephen J. Bathy
More than fifty years ago, the greatest aerial conflict, ever, was fought over Europe. Young men from all sides took into the air day and night to carry out their duties with honour.
There is one common strand between the five airmen portrayed in this book: at one point of their life, they all lived in Prince George, B.C. after the Second World War.
Jim Lang worked as the Industrial Officer, first for the City of Prince George, then for the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George in the early 70's. He was also the Chairman of the School Board for School District #57. Currently he and his wife, Helen, live in Sidney, B.C..
John Mill worked for the Ministry of Transportation and Highways. He was the region's Approving Officer at the time of his retirement. He and his wife, Virginia, reside in Ocean Park (Surrey), B.C..
Syd Pozer moved to Prince George in 1948 and resided here until his untimely death in 1996. During those years he worked for a hardware store and operated, then managed several motels.
Emil Weinmann came to Prince George in the late 50's or early 60's. He worked in the sawmill business as a mill-wright for many years. He retired after working for ten years in the Land Title Office. August 18th, 1999, he passed away in Nanaimo, B.C..
Frank Pynn died in a fiery plane crash in Prince George before I arrived in Prince George.
All these men, regardless of how long they lived in Prince George, contributed to the city's development and economy through their work and their lives. Their exploits in the air are not well known. Let these few chapters provide them with a place in history.
About the Author
Stephen J. Bathy, a long time Prince George resident, grew up in Hungary during the Second World War. As a child, he used to watch the aerial battles high above his home. He became interested in aviation history after he arrived in Canada, following the 1956 Hungarian Uprising. After graduating from UBC, he worked in the Lower Mainland, then in 1969, Steve joined the staff of the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George. He worked in the planning, parks and heritage field until his retirement in 1998.
During his working years, Steve served on many committees and boards. He sat on the Prince George Community Heritage Commission and the Prince George Airport Advisory Committee. He is a life member of both the Giscome Portage Historical Society and the Fraser-Fort George Museum Society.
Steve represented the north-eastern area of our province on the board of the Heritage Society of B.C. for six years. Steve participated in the successful campaign to save and keep in Canada the Grumman 'Goose' amphibian aircraft. For his preservation work in the heritage field, Steve received the prestigious BC Heritage Trust Award of Recognition in 1996.
Throughout the years, Steve wrote numerous aviation and military related articles for the International Plastic Modellers Society publications, both in Canada and the United States. He translated two books from Hungarian to English, entitled "Hungarian Air Force" and "'Messer': the Messerschmitt 109 in the Royal Hungarian Honved Air Force".
He has been involved for years translating into English, and publicizing, the history of the Royal Hungarian Air Force in World War II, and particularly of the exploits of
the famed 101 "Puma" Fighter Group.
In 1998, Steve was honoured by the veterans of the former "Puma" Fighter Group whose members invested him into their group as an "Honorary Puma", and presented him with a Puma Group lapel pin. Only six or eight individuals have ever had this honour bestowed on them.
In February, 2001, he received the Jeanne Clarke Memorial Local History publication Award, for his book,
World War II Combatants: The Prince George Connection.
Steve and his wife, Margaret, reside in Prince George, British Columbia.
National Library of Canada Cataloguing in Publication Data
Bathy, Stephen J. (Stephen Julius), 1936-
World War II combatants
1. Airmen--British Columbia--Prince George--Biography. 2. World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives. 3. World War, 1939-1945--Aerial operations. 4. Prince George (B.C.)--Biography. I. Title.
D785.B388 1999 940.54'4'0922 C2001-910509-6
Printed in Canada.
8½" x 11"
Think Plastic Publications
311 Clark Crescent
Prince George, BC
Canada V2M 4W3