Svend Jensen (L) Ex-Air Gunner, President, Northern
Alberta Branch, being
presented with 100 Anniversary Medal by the
Rt. Hon. Norman Kwong,
Alberta Lt. Governor “for helping Albertans
live a better life”
Svend has been an active Member of the Ex-Air Gunner’s Association.
One of his contributions is interviewing Members and compiling a record
of their life histories.
The Globe and Mail
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Mieczyslaw (Mark) Oziewicz, RAF Wireless Operator
at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, Hamilton,
in front of the Lancaster. Mark flew in Lancs during
Mark Oziewicz was living in east Poland in 1939. Under Russian control
he was sent to perform slave labour in a Russian copper mine in the Ural
Mountains. Two years later, with thousands of other Poles, he made his
way to England by way of a treacherous journey through Northern Russia,
Central Asia, The Middle East, and Africa. Thousands died of disease.
In Africa he boarded the CPR ship, Empress of Canada. The ship was torpedoed
and sunk by an Italian submarine. Mark was picked up by RMS Mauretania
and finally arrived in England.
This explains why he became so fatalistic. “I don’t remember ever being
scared,” he said of the bombing missions, “what happened, happened. That’s
Members of the Canadian Ex-Air Gunners Association wish you good health
The following was written by Estanislao Oziewicz, Mark’s son.
“ Royal Air Force Warrant Officer Mieczyslw Oziewicz will be 89 in a
few months and he lost most of his hearing long ago, but the shattering
roar of the four powerful engines of the Lancaster bomber could never be
“I never thought I would ever see one again, a great plane, the best,”
he said, smiling and giving a thumbs up.
In the decades since his demobilization, my father has not been anywhere
near a Lancaster, until yesterday when, on a day of Remembrance, he joined
more than 1,000 others at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, outside
It is the home of one of only two airworthy Lancasters remaining of
the 7,000-odd that were built; the other is in England and maintained by
the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight display group.
My father, Mark, as he became known after immigrating to Canada in 1953,
had already endured years of suffering, dislocation, extraordinary hardship
– and adventure – before joining the RAF Bomber Command.
In the last four months of the war he flew 17 combat operations into
enemy Germany dodging flak and enemy fighters, not always successfully,
in Avro Lancaster Bombers of RAF Group One’s 300 Polish Squadron based
at Faldingworth, England.
On my father’s final sortie, the April 15, 1945, bombing of Berchtensgaden,
Hitler’s Bavarian mountain retreat, his plane was hit by flak and machine-gun
fire, wounding the pilot and the flight engineer and forcing an emergency
landing out side of Reims, France, with one engine billowing smoke, the
fuselage peppered with shrapnel and one of its two front tires blown.
But even with his bandaged leg, pilot Jan Witkowski was able to bring
the plane down safely – right at the very end of the runway and around
180 degrees. “The whole crew must have been born under a lucky star”,”
my father recalls. “We again won the lottery.”
They won it again after the war’s end when their Lancaster crashed in
England during a training flight, skidding on its belly perilously close
to an ammunition depot.
Wearing steel reinforced vests to protect them from flak splinters,
leather and fleece lined suits to keep them warm, and oxygen masks in upper
altitudes, my father used to sit in the space for wireless operator, maintaining
radio contact and tapping out morse code.
“It’s a lot smaller than I remember,” my father, a man of few words,
said after boarding the Hamilton museum’s plane.
Escorting German prisoners from Canada
to England September 1945.
by Ray Bishup
I believe most of the PoWs were officers, Air Force, and were held
out West. My story was that I was being trained as a Navigator in Summerside,
P.E.I. in June, July August 1945. In August the war in Japan finished and
training was stopped. We were to be returned to England at the end of August
by sea – the vessel was the Nieuw Amsterdam, Dutch luxury lines, built
On the vessel there was a group of German PoWs, I believe about 180,
to be repatriated. One of my jobs was as a guard on PoW’s quarters, on
a basis of 4 hours on and 8 hours off for the duration of the trip – about
We were armed with sten guns and .303 rifles with live ammo. Stens,
being unpredictable, fired a few times on their own with no injuries. The
.303 rifles were loaded with 5 rounds, all held in the magazine, none in
On handing over to the next shift you had to check the rifle to ensure
all the bullets were locate in the magazine, with none in the breech. This
was done by each person when receiving the rifle from the previous guard.
The method was to click open the rifle bolt, but only as far so you could
see the bullets in the magazine, but not in the breech, close the rifle
and release the pin by pulling the trigger. If done correctly, there is
no bullet in the beech.
After handing over my rifle, with all the bullets I the magazine, the
person receiving it did not just open the rifle to check the magazine,
he pulled the bolt right back, pushed it forward, (placing the bullet in
the breech), and squeezed the trigger. “Bang”, the rifle fired and scared
the hell out of everyone. The bullet went through the PoW’s quarters and
finished in the ceiling, breaking a light bulb on the way.
The PoWs slept in two tiered bunks, and luckily the person on the top
bunk was lying down, resting. If he had been sitting up, he would have
got the bullet right about the eyes.
Ray’s article brought back memories of the Sten
Sten Gun MK II
Ray Bishup states that the Sten was unpredictable. On some squadrons
ground Senior NCOs were issued the Sten. The weapons were known to fire
a round when the butt was slammed onto the ground.
I roomed with a warrant officer accounts chap who was a stickler for
deportment. His brass and shoes always shone, his uniform pressed to perfection.
When on parade the Commanding Officer always selected his Sten gun for
inspection, knowing full well that the weapon would be oiled and clean.
One afternoon, after an 18 hour patrol, I crawled into the sack exhausted.
But sleep was prevented by a raucous Raven that persisted on cawing. I
got out the Warrant Officer’s Sten, slammed home a magazine, and emptied
it at the annoying bird. I don’t think I hit him but there was no more
disturbance and I was able to drop into a deep sleep.
The next morning, before I was up, there was an inspection parade that
my accountant roommate had to attend. I had not told him of the Raven incident.
I don’t know who was more surprised, the Commanding Officer or the Warrant
Officer, when they looked down the barrel.
At the time I was a Warrant Officer First Class, quite above suspicion.
What happened when a soldier accidentally dropped
FAST FORWARD TO December 23, 2005.
Regina Leader Post
“Raid Yields Machine Guns – Ten people are facing a total of 184 charges
relating to drugs and weapons found in homes …… The spoils of seizure included
two .357 hand guns, two .22 shotguns, bullet proof vests reinforced to
withstand high-powered bullets, clips and shells from an AK-47, two hand
guns, and four functional Second World War STEN GUNS.”
So Gentlemen, the Sten is still with us, albeit for different reasons,
and in less responsible hands.
National Post November 8, 2005
Eric Johnson, pilot, accepting gift from Danish Underground
(note engine still running)
At 4 a.m. on May 6, 1945, Johnson piloted his Halifax bomber from his
home station at No. 502 RAF Squadron on the Isle of Lewis in Northern Scotland.
His orders directed him and his six man crew to Skagerrak between Sweden
and Denmark. Allied Intelligence claimed German forces were attempting
to consolidate manpower and armaments in Northern Germany. Their orders
were to destroy any German shipping .
They bombed some ships but return fire ruptured an oil line in one of
the engines. Johnson got permission from his home base to land a Copenhagen
but when they arrived the city was shrouded in fog. Johnson flew his damaged
Halifax up the Danish Peninsula towards Aalborg, which he assumed Allied
troops had liberated. Johnson made a low pass over the town to check for
enemy activity. He got a green light from the tower, landed, and taxied
to the control tower. Only then did they notice that there were no allied
aircraft on the field.
Johnson kept one of his engines running to power the gun turrets in
case they were attacked. The airdrome was obviously still in German hands.
Suddenly a Daimler staff car wheeled into view with the stations Commandant
and his Adjutant in full uniform. They leapt from the vehicle and began
addressing the crew. The Engineer, Jock Horn, who could speak German
said, “they are surrendering the airport.”
Then, smashing through the fence at the far side of the airfield came
ten cars loaded with people. They were the Danish Underground. A Dane named
Thorkille, stepped forward and presented Johnson with a hastily wrapped
gift and the flag of the national resistance movement.
For the next 12 hours Johnson and his crew were driven down main street
before cheering crowds, taken to the Phoenix Hotel as guests of honour,
wined and dined, and given a tour of the Gestapo headquarters.
The men of Bomber
Command were both proud of their service and talented. It is only natural
that those with access to materials and tools would, in their spare time,
continue the trend of previous wars, with the production of what has become
collectively known as “Trench Art” – a souvenir of wartime service.
This fine sample was probably made from the wreckage of a downed or
badly damaged aircraft, combining both metal and plexi-glass into the model.
The black base is actually made of oak. It has a wingspan of 18 cm., and
a body length of 13.5 cm., it stands 26.5 cm. High.
Regretfully, few items of “Trench Art” were ever dated, named, or otherwise
identified by the maker when they produced their souvenir. Most often,
such items were given to family and friends, or on occasion, retained by
the individual as a keepsake of his/her service.
Trench Art is a vast, varied category for collecting, with recent publications
expanding on the history and development of different forms of the topic.
The sample pictured is held by the Homefront Archives & Museum collection.
UNDER THE WIRE
by William Ash and Brendan Foley
Published by Thomas Dunne Books (St Martin's Press)
C$34 in most bookshops, but
Amazon Canada have it for about C$23.
UK/Rest of world edition:
UNDER THE WIRE by William Ash and Brendan Foley
by Bantam Press, (Transworld Publishers)
I'm a London-based author and spent the last few years helping
one of America's greatest unsung heroes of WWII, William Ash, put together
his wartime autobiography UNDER THE WIRE, which has just been published
in USA and Canada.
Bill, who just celebrated his 88th birthday, is probably the greatest
living US prisoner of war escape-artist of WWII. Born in Texas, he joined
the RCAF in 1940 and flew Spitfires until shot down in 1942. He then became
a serial escape artist, attempting 13 PoW-camp escapes - cutting through
the barbed wire, climbing over it, or tunnelling under it before finally
escaping for good.
When the book came out in the UK a few months ago, it became an instant
best-seller, but somehow it has been almost completely ignored so far by
the media in North America. The only thing we can do to get Bill and his
book the recognition they deserve in the US and Canada is to turn to the
internet and people who care about WWII and the people who fought it for
us. So I would be very grateful if you would forward this note to anyone
who you think might like the book or help to spread the word that it is
out there, available at most good bookshops or online at Amazon
I have sent this note as a one-off to individual email addresses from
my favourite WWII/aviation/history websites, forums and guest books, but
would really appreciate it if you could spread the word to anyone who you
know cares about WWII and keeping the spirit and history of the 'greatest
generation' alive for future generations. It is in the bookshops now.
Comments from authors:
Veteran William Ash and author Brendan Foley
What a splendid book! A young Texan brought up in the middle of the
Depression who pulls himself up by his boot straps, thereafter hikes to
Canada to fly Spitfires for the Brits while America is still neutral. Just
as the U. S. enters the war, he is shot down, and another exciting and
terrible episode in his life begins. Living under terrible conditions he
makes several attempts to escape until he finally succeeds in saving himself
and many of his fellow POWs. This is a moving and heroic story of a young
man who overcomes all obstacles with a sense of humour and succeeds in
the end. Hollywood should snap this book up in a flash. Buy it, read it,
Charles Whiting, author of Hero, Life and Death of Audie Murphy
Under the Wire is a well-written
and exciting memoir of wartime captivity that is packed with incident and
vividly recreates the oft-neglected early days of Stalag Luft III and the
now forgotten mass escape from Oflag XXIB, Schubin - a sort of dress rehearsal
for the famous Great Escape. The author himself is one of the great unsung
heroes of the Second World War, as are some of those whose adventures he
records in this remarkable book. It also makes a refreshing change to read
a memoir by someone who is politically literate and knew exactly what he
was fighting against and what he was fighting for.’ There are passages
in this book - particularly those concerning the political awakening of
POWs and their determination to create a better post-war world - that make
the reader want to stand up and cheer.
Charles Rollings, author of Wire and Walls, Wire and Worse
Under the Wire is everything
I would expect from a memoir by Bill Ash -- fast-paced, exciting and moving,
but also coloured by his mischievous sense of humour. He has a real gift
as a storyteller -- the characters and events come off the page as if we
were meeting and experiencing them ourselves. Bill Ash was one of the great
escape artists of the Second World War, and always managed to put himself
in the centre of the action. He endured a lot, but never lost his essential
humanity and zest for life, something that comes through very strongly
in his book. That's what makes Under the Wire such a joy to read
-- getting to know the irrepressible Ash and reliving his adventures with
Jonathan Vance, author of A Gallant Company: The Men of the Great
Rt. Hon. Mackenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada
During WWII, congratulates William Ash.
"The Forgotten Hero"
The Wartime Memories Project are pleased to announce that the
DVD "The Forgotten Hero", is now available.
Documenting the story of the Statue to Andrew Mynarski VC, which was
unveiled at ex. RCAF Middleton St George in June. The DVD tells a brief
the history of RCAF Middleton St George, and the men who flew the hazardous
missions, including interviews with veterans, telling their experiences
in their own words. The film provides a lasting record of these men whose
numbers are slowly diminishing, invaluable as an educational tool for the
future. The story of Andrew Mynarski is retold, accompanied by a dramatic
reconstruction of the events.
The story of the making of the 8 ft bonze statue is also told, with
footage of the children's visit to Keith Maddison's studio, with an explanation
of the method used and photographs taken at various stages of the sculpting
process. The casting and welding of the bronze, is set to Pie Jesu sung
by Sarah Kelly accompanied by Middleton St George school choir in a beautifully
The film also documents the arrival of the statue and it being lowered
into place, watched by a few invited guests recording the reactions of
those who had been involved in this project from the start, as they saw
the statue for the first time.
Also included is a question and answer session with Pat Brophy's two
daughters, Colleen Bacon and Sherry Sullivan, filmed when they visited
the school and answered the childrens' questions about their father and
their thoughts on the statue and unveiling ceremony.
There is also a very thought provoking interview with sculptor Keith
Maddison and air historian Geoff Hill giving their thoughts and feelings
having re-enacted the events, in full flying kit, which took place in the
Lancaster on that night sixty years ago.
The film concludes with a series of short interviews giving thoughts
on the completion of the project from those involved.
On the second disc is the full unveiling ceremony with the emotional
fly past of the Battle of Britain Flight Lancaster.
The two-disc set is priced at £11.99 plus P&P (£1.50
in the UK and £2.50 for outside the UK )
Which is $24.50 plus $5 postage and packing in Canadian Dollars
DVDs can be ordered by credit or debit card at our secure online store:
Or by sending a cheque in £ or CA$ payable to "The Wartime Memories
The Wartime Memories Project
PO Box 325
Stockton on Tees
For each DVD sold £2 (4 Canadian Dollars) will be put towards
the fund raising effort to have a copy of the statue made and erected in
Mynarski's home town of Winnipeg, and the remainder of the profit, £2
will benefit Middleton St George Primary School.
Flt. Sgt. James Andrew Ringer
The following letter was sent to Bill Hillman, our Web Master, and
Bill forwarded it to your Editor.
If you can help David Barnes please write Editor of Short Bursts.
I found your site the Ex-Air Gunners while doing a google for CFB Summerside.
I am doing some family research on my wife's side. Her Grandfather served
at CFB Summerside, PEI and died in accident while on air patrol. I am trying
to find out if his name is on the monument at Memorial Square in Summerside.
He was Flight Sergeant James Andrew Ringer. He died June 9 1944.
I don't have any other information, such as aircraft, squadron, other
men aboard. Any help is greatly appreciated.
David Logan Barnes
HALIFAX 57 RESCUE (CANADA)
Progress Report No.10 DEC. 20, 2005
By Karl Kjarsgaard ~ Project Manager
Registered Charity 84586 5740 RR0001
Christmas time and the festive Christmas season is upon us. As the year
2006 approaches I want to wish all of our members and supporters a special
thank you for all your help and encouragement this past year.
2005 has been The Year of the Veteran and it has been a wonderful
year for those warriors of World War 2, the youngest being 78 years old,
who were able to attend special functions as we celebrated the 60th anniversary
of VE and VJ Day. Certainly the dedication ceremony of RAF Halifax NA337
at the RCAF Memorial Museum in Trenton, Ontario on November 5 was a highlight
for our airforce veterans. It seems like just a short time ago, after two
years of effort, when I watched her rise up from the deep onto that Norwegian
Those critical times in World War 2 when our society and its survival
hung in the balance, defended by so many good and young people who fought
for all of us, those times must always be remembered for their effort and
sacrifice. The great symbol of Canadian excellence in combat is the RCAF
and her crews, whose majority of airmen flew the Halifax to Allied Victory.
We who are carrying on, as the veterans' numbers are reduced with the
passing years, must stay connected to the heritage and honour of these
past warriors to keep us strong for what trials and tribulations of life
lie ahead for us.
There can be no finer real life symbol of all these things just mentioned
than Halifax LW170, a Canadian combat Halifax, which we must bring home
to Canada. LW170 will be the best thing to happen to our country. It will
also be the best thing for those poor Canadians, almost two full generations,
who have had to grow up in a educational system which puts Canadian history
and excellence in combat at the bottom of their system's list of priorities.
If only I could tell them how they have missed out, no thanks to their
educators, on learning what it means to be a Canadian and help others to
fight for world freedom
LW170 going down.
(If all goes well LW170 will find a home in Nanton
These are the Hali-facts.
In report No. 9 I mentioned that Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada) was being
included in the Remembrance Day ceremonies at the Canadian Embassy in Washington,
D.C. on Novemebr 11. Director Chris Charland and myself flew down on Air
Canada passes and attended the ceremonies. We were allowed to display our
beautiful print of LW170 "INVINCIBLE ITEM" in the lower lobby of the embassy
where we were able to hand out information on the Halifax Project. The
Tom Withers family of Nellysford, Virginia was officially invited as special
guests and Tom , an American RCAF air-gunner killed-in-action in a Halifax.
was spotlighted in Ambassador McKenna's speech at the Remembrance Day ceremony.
Flora Withers Ballard, Tom's sister, was presented with a set of Air Force
Association sweetheart wings by the Ambassador as a symbol of gratitude
to the Withers family. Tom's other sister, Margaret, could not attend but
sweetheart wings were sent along to her with best regards.
Chris and I were most appreciative of all the help and hospitality provided
by Ambassador McKenna and the Military Attache's offices of Colonel Paul
Drover, Lt. Col. Mike Dorey, and Lt. Col. Jamie Robertson. Much progress
was made towards spreading the word of our Halifax Project to the American
people with our special dedication to those unknown 704 Americans killed-in-action
in the RCAF. This will help immensely in the near future as we go to the
American press during the building up of our Halifax support and awareness
in the USA.
Further to this, yours truly made a strong proposal to Alberta Cabinet
Minister David Coutts on October 31 just before going to the Washington
ceremony. Lloyd Patten DFC, pilot of LW170, also attended this meeting
at the Alberta legislature along with Laurie Hawn, Conservative candidate
and RCAF CF-104 pilot. I explained the full project to Minister Coutts
with all the historical, technical, and financial aspects included. He
was most attentive and stated that he would do his best to obtain funding
from Alberta for the Halifax Project. I did explain that we have not received
any funding from the federal government for this national level project.
I did receive some good advice from Minister Coutts on the politics of
such a project and the support, or lack of support, that we should expect.
Very educational, indeed.
While in Washington I was directed to Mr. Murray Smith, the official
Alberta government appointee, who is charged with looking after the
Alberta interests of commerce and trade in the U.S. I made a full proposal
to Mr. Smith highlighting the Canada-USA bonds of the American volunteers
in the RCAF. With Halifax LW170 coming to Alberta and dedicated to those
forgotten American RCAF warriors killed-in-action this would be a fine
goodwill project for both of our nations to rally around. Both proposals
to Minister Coutts and Murray Smith are in process right now in Edmonton
and I have high hopes for the approval of financial support by the Alberta
government. Perhaps we will have a special present under our project tree
soon. More in our next report.
Author John Neal is going great guns on the sale of his book "BLESS
YOU, BROTHER IRVIN" about the exciting bailout adventures of Allied aircrew.
John has agreed to donate proceeds of the sale of his unique book to the
Halifax Project. He has sold hundreds of copies so far and remember every
book sold is really a donation in kind to the Halifax Project. Please see
the ad for "BLESS YOU, BROTHER IRVIN" on the main page of this website
with all the details for buying this entertaining book about our aircrew
bailouts. I highly recommend it for good reading.
Another project for fundraising which is proceeding very well, although
about a month behind schedule, is the final preparation and autographing
of the beautiful Halifax aviation print of LW170, titled "INVINCIBLE ITEM"
by artist Michael McCabe. Yours truly has spent 18 days in late November
and early December travelling back and forth across Canada collecting the
signatures of every RCAF veteran still alive who flew LW170 during her
combat career. Each veteran had to sign 500 prints that I had to ship in
special boxes wherever I flew. As of Dec. 14 I had travelled over 14,000
miles criss-crossing the country and visited eleven men, average age 83,
who flew LW170 in combat. They personally signed all 500 prints. The final
signer is the artist, Michael McCabe, who is finishing signing all 500
Friends and members, I have seen some good and detailed paintings and
images of Halifaxes over the past 20 years but none can compare with this
beautiful close up print of our LW170. The print measures 3 feet by 2 feet,
in brilliant colour on a daylight raid, with the 11 authentic signatures
of the combat crew and the artist. This print is one of the best and certainly
one of the last great signed Halifax paintings available. It is RCAF and
all Canadian. I have not even advertised yet and still we have received
orders for 26 prints so far.
The marketing of the prints will begin in early January. Please see
all the details on the main website page for ordering your copy of "INVINCIBLE
ITEM". We will have 500 signed as well as 250 unsigned for those looking
for pricing options. Please do not wait too long to place your order.
I would like to ask all members and supporters who wish to see a beautiful
image of Halifax in their Legion Branch or Airforce Association Wing to
please promote this print to their branch executives. In order for us to
proceed with our Phase 1 sonar survey in the summer of 2006 we must have
sold almost all the prints by early May, 2006. The directors of Halifax
57 Rescue (Canada) need your help to get the Project funding drive rolling
Finally I wish to extend the warmest Christmas Greetings to all of you.
Hoping that you will have health and happiness this season and in the New
Year. Keep your eyes on the target, and Merry Christmas
Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada)
phone: 613 835 1748
Found in a Soldier’s Obituary
A SOLDIER DIED TODAY
He won’t be mourned by many,
Just the few who knew him well,
For his war has long been over,
Though its tales are left to tell.
He held a job and raised a family,
Going on his quiet way…
And the world won’t note his passing,
Though a soldier died today.
If we cannot do him honour
While he’s here to hear the praise,
Then at least let’s give him homage
At the end of his days.
Perhaps just a tiny headline,
Just a simple note to say
‘Our hearts are filled with sadness,
FOR A SOLDIER DIED TODAY.’
I am a frustrated Editor. My computer succumbed to engine failure
and crashed on December 9th, we didn’t get it back until Dec. 29th.
The Guru wants it back in his shop after the New Year to iron out some
minor faults. We lost programs, but the worst was that it wiped clean the
address book. I cannot notify members when the page is up on the Net. If
you would like to keep in contact with us send an E-mail with your address.
We received a book for review; FROM WINGS PARADE TO MANDALAY by
Allan Coggon, Mahone Bay N.S. The author, an Ex-RCAF Pilot, gives us a
detailed account of that “forgotten War” in Burma while serving with 31
Squadron RAF and of his frustrating service career before arriving in Burma..
As our computer scanner is not functioning to reproduce pictures and maps,
this review will appear in the February Page. It is a gripping read, once
you pick it up it is hard to put down. Watch for the review in the February
In the interim check it out: ISBN 1-4120-6921-1
6E-2333 Government St.,
Victoria, B.C. V8T 4P4
Tel. 250 383 6864 or 1-888-232 4444
Trafford Publishing (UK) Limited
9 Park End Street ,
Oxford, UK. 0X1 1HH
Ken Hill, President of the Ex-Air Gunner’s Southern Ontario Chapter
sent us an excellent DVD of their group’s entertainment and sing-along
following the Remembrance Service November 10, 2005. We have forwarded
the DVD to Svend Jensen, President of the Northern Alberta Group, (780-465-7344),
with the suggestion, after their group has enjoyed it, to send it on to
another AG Branch.
The songs are the old familiar melodies of WWII and Ken Hill does some
of the vocals. His voice has certainly not deteriorated with age.
While you are closeted against the winter winds, take time to put pen
to paper and send us some articles for future Short Bursts publications.
Doreene and I wish you all a joyous and healthy New Year.
John and Doreene Moyles.