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De-coding cryptic entries in father’s WW2 pilot logbook leads to first book for Maple Ridge author

Clint Coffey journey’s into father’s wartime past to share history of Canada’s WW2 bomber command crews
Clint Coffey just published his first book The Job To Be Done . (Clint Coffey/Special to The News)

Clint Coffey was trying to make sense of some cryptic entries in a pilot’s logbook belonging to his father during the Second World War.

Coffey, who thought he already knew about his father’s escapades as a bomber command pilot during the war, started looking more deeply into his father’s past in 2014, two decades after his dad passed away and the Maple Ridge resident inherited the logbook along with some other wartime memorabilia.

But, the more he delved into his father’s history, the more he realized he barely knew a thing and began searching for and speaking to the families of his father’s former crew mates.

That was how his new book, The Job To Be Done, was born – a unique blend of the history of Canada’s bomber command crews in the Second World War and the story of how the author journeyed into his father’s wartime past and the connection he made with the families of the former crew mates.

“If you had told me 10 years ago that I would be publishing a book, I would have laughed, as the thought has never crossed my mind. I have been a voracious reader all my life but never thought of myself as a writer. But life has strange twists and turns, and what started out as just trying to understand some cryptic notations in my Dad’s logbook took on a life of its own,” explained Coffey, who grew up in Kelowna before moving to the Yukon after graduating high school in 1980.

After growing up and graduating high school in Kelowna, Coffey moved to the Yukon, where he worked for a while before touring the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the Canadian Maritimes.

Eventually, he returned to Canada in 1999 and settled in the Vancouver area, getting work at a correctional centre in Maple Ridge, where he spent the next 23 years, rising from security officer to correctional officer and eventually to correctional supervisor and acting assistant deputy warden before retiring in 2022.

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After spending a year researching his father, Coffey realized he was well on his way to writing his first book. It is illustrated with unique documents, photographs, and maps created just for the book.

“I decided early on that I didn’t want to just use easily available stock images to illustrate the book. I was hoping to use photos and images that might not have been widely seen before, so I scoured eBay for original, wartime documents and press photos,” explained Coffey.

“Between these and the original photos and logbook pages my dad left me, and the material his crew mates’ families shared with me, I am really happy with how the book is illustrated,” he added.

Coffey said he found the experience of writing his first book so enjoyable and rewarding that he is now pondering subjects for a second.

The Job To Be Done is available for sale at Friesen Press and Barnes & Noble.

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Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

I got my start with Black Press Media in 2003 as a photojournalist.
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