Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tibute (Kathy Berger)

by Kathy Berger

My dad was a World War II Spitfire pilot in the RCAF with 80 or more missions into enemy territory; as a squadron leader he was responsible for accompanying bombers on their missions and engaging in firefights to protect them.

Dad moved to the States shortly after the war, met mom, and settled down. I know we sometimes felt the lack of celebration of his accomplishments in the war when Veterans' Day came around. He was a vet, but his service was ignored because it wasn't as an American pilot. Despite flying for an ally, he was left out of our national celebrations. ( Dad was a US Citizen, having been born in Massachusetts, but chose to go to Canada to enter the war before the US did, fighting for the land of his parents' birth.)

We lost dad on Feb 12, 2011. It was on the 4th anniversary of his death that I sat down to draw our Transportation release of dies. Fran had asked for a fighter plane; but immediately I knew I had to make it a Spitfire.

I really struggled with drawing this plane...it might have been because I was drawing through a veil of tears. But I did finish...and with the final touch of drawing call letters, I had drawn Dad's plane.

From that moment on, I knew I had to use that die in a trbute to Dad, and this card is that tribute. The map on the front of the card is marked with a pin at the place in Canada where my father grew to be a man. The Canada patch on the front is an actual-sized copy of a patch off of Dad's wollen dress uniform.

Inside the card is dad's spitfire on a simple pop-up mechanism, along with two pictures of dad. The top left is dad in his flight suit. The lower right is of him in dress uniform posing with his severely damaged plane. Despite having lost tail rudder and flaps, he safely returned to base and landed his plane. His feat was the talk of the base for quite some time.

The inside of the card also holds tiny scans of his service book, showing his next of kin, his rank and his assignment. Here is a last look at the inside of the card.

*** Materials for this project available at www.franticstamper.com.


  1. Beautiful tribute Kathy!

    1. Thank you, Rozy. I had limited supplies with me when I was making this, but I am happy with the way it turned out. It was one of the harder cards I have ever made, in spite of its simplicity, because of the emotions it evoked.

  2. What a wonderful way to memorialize your father's accomplishments...........I'm sure he is looking down on you from above and so proud of what you have done for him.

    1. Thank you, Ann. I was always proud of my dad, and at last, in the months prior to his death he told me how proud I had made him. I treasure those words...

  3. So lovely and precious Kathy. What a truly wonderful tribute.xo

    1. Thank you, Karen. The card was nearly as difficult to make as the plane was to draw...there were definitely bittersweet sentiments flowing for both.