Fonds F 349 - George Friel fonds

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George Friel fonds

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F 349

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  • [192-?-1995], 2000-2005 (Creation)

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Physical description

26.9 cm textual records
31 photographs
1 audio disc (1m 48s)

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Name of creator

Biographical history

George Henry Oscar (Joe) Friel was born on May 21, 1919 in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan to Charles and Mabel (Prizeman) Friel. He attended elementary and high school in Moose Jaw and completed his studies in 1939. Friel worked for the Security Lumber Company in 1939 as a Second Man in the Company's Avonlea lumber yard, and in 1940 as a Stock Checker in its Moose Jaw lumber yard. During this time, he also studied to be a Wireless Operator.

Friel voluntarily enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force on September 2, 1940. He received training in Manitoba and Nova Scotia and graduated from flight school, receiving his "wings", in 1941. Friel entered the Royal Air Force's Trainees' Pool in February, 1942. After further training in England and West Africa, Friel was posted to Karachi, Peshawar in India in September, 1942. Friel's duties in South Asia included the delivery of supplies by air to land soldiers posted in India and Burma. He was a member of Royal Air Force Squadron 194 and, as a Flight Sergeant, captained a Hudson aircraft. The climate and conditions of South Asia were unkind to Friel as he suffered from malaria followed by anemia in October, 1942 and frequent bouts of bronchitis in 1942 and 1943. Still, he endured and logged over seven hundred flight hours as part of Squadron 194.

Increasing health concerns related to bouts with asthma led to Friel's repatriation to Canada. After a brief stay in England, Friel was repatriated to Rockliffe, Ontario in July, 1944 for assessment, and then posted to Comox, British Columbia in September, 1944. Friel served as an instructor and test pilot for the remainder of his military service and was honourably released as a Flying Officer on October 25, 1945. Joe Friel received the 1939-45 Star, the Burma Star, and the Canadian Service Medal with Clasp and War Medal 1939-45 in honour of his service during the Second World War.

Joe Friel married Shirley Marguerite (Parsons) on June 14, 1945 in Comox, British Columbia. They spent much of their married life in Moose Jaw, raising four children: Joanne, Dawn, Jon and Mark. Joe Friel was employed by the Crown Lumber Company Ltd., in Moose Jaw for over twenty years. He was promoted to District Manager for the parent company, Crown Zellerbach's Southern Saskatchewan Division. After employment by Crown Zellerbach, Friel earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Administration from the University of Saskatchewan, Regina Campus. He became an instructor of Administration – Retailing at the Saskatchewan Technical Institute in Moose Jaw in 1970 and was employed in this position until his death.

Joe Friel died on June 18, 1978 in Moose Jaw.

Custodial history

Dr. Jon Parsons Friel, son of George Friel, donated these records to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives in two accessions in 2005: R2005-295 (August 24, 2005); R2005-382 (December 19, 2005).

Scope and content

This fonds consists of records created, accumulated and used by George Henry Oscar (Joe) Friel of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and his family, and pertain to: George Friel's service in the Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Air Force from 1940-1945, including correspondence written by Friel to his mother in Moose Jaw; his years prior to his service; his post-war employment and family; research done by Dr. Jon Parsons Friel relating to his father's service; and the Christian Science religious movement followed by the Friel family.

Records of George Friel's military service have been photocopied from the records held at Archives Canada and were acquired by Jon Parsons Friel in 1983 and 2005.

The types of records included are Airman's Service and Pay Book, certificates, correspondence, Pilot's Flying Log Book, photographs, publications, research documents, and a sound recording.

The fonds has been arranged into two series: Military Service; Personal and Family Records.

Notes area

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Fonds, series and file titles supplied by archivist. Alphabetical arrangement within each series imposed by archivist.

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Availability of other formats

A compact disc copy of the audio disc is available.

Restrictions on access

Records are open for research use.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Use, publication and/or reproduction of records are subject to the terms and conditions of the Copyright Act.

Finding aids

SAFA 230 consists of a fonds level description, file level listings of textual records and an item level description of the sound recording. The electronic finding aid consists of a file level database for textual records and an item level listing of sound recording. See reference archivist for assistance.

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Further accruals are expected.

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