EPISODE 166 VICTOR POPPA RECONSIDERED
Nov 13, 2020
VICTOR POPPA is a familiar name to some of you. To others, Victor Poppa is a stranger.
In the next Five episodes I will re-tell his story and then tie the story fragments together
using two startling events that came to me via the Internet.
One story came from Belgium
where I was surprised to find out that the crash of HX 313, The Blonde Bomber, has been
recently memorialized. HX 313 was a Halifax Bomber crewed by Canadians as part of Bomber
Command in World War II. Victor was the Tail
gunner. The mid upper gunner was my cousin George Freeman, a young man I would
never meet. He was killed in the crash on the evening of May 27, 1944. Up until his
death he and Victor tried to cram a lifetime into a few months for they were both sure
they would soon be dead.
The second story arrived in my email yesterday, Nov 12, 2020. A note sent to me by
Victor Poppa’s grandson, ADAM GARNIER, born in 1982 and fascinated by the fragments of
Victors life he was able to assemble. Victor was never boring. Adam was two years old
when Victor wrote his journal. Now he is trying to piece his grandfathers life together.
It is one massive jigsaw puzzle.
Victor Poppa lived his life intensely. He was a gregarious person full of piss and vinegar.
His life was one long adventure. His war years diary was sent to me 40 years ago…amusing,
profane, terrifying, earthy, freewheeling. For some reason I decided to transcribe his
diary in the fall of 2019. Several months before our world was turned upside down
by the Covid 19 Pandemic.
NOTE: Victor’s story was the beginning of a whole series of diverse stories sent to friends at
the rate of one story every day beginning when we all went into semi and total isolation
lest the virus kill us. Victors Story was not initially numbered but is now numbered
Episodes 166, 167, 168, 169, 170.
To understand the life of Victor Poppa I suggest you read my beginning Episode #166
which is included below. If you have already read these stories you might enjoy