In Memoriam – John Leonard Greaves (1964-2017)

In my search for more information to use on my blog paying homage to VF(N)-101 I had found this Website earlier this week.

It was about the Battle of Midway.

This is the link…

There was something that caught my attention.

A painting and the story behind it. I had to look and read the story.

“The Other Sole Survivors”Torpedo 8 TBF Avenger at Midway – June 4, 1942


All paintings © John Greaves Art (used by permission)

Now the story behind the painting.

The only survivor of a flight of six TBF Avenger torpedo planes struggles to return home to Midway Atoll after attacking the Japanese fleet. Flown by ENS Albert Earnest with radioman Harry Ferrier RM3c and turret gunner Jay Manning Sea1c, the badly damaged TBF has hydraulics shot out causing the tail wheel to drop and the bomb bay doors to open. Without a working compass, Earnest flew east towards the sun and climbed above the cloud deck where he could see the column of smoke rising from Midway in the far distance. Earnest managed to bring back the TBF using only the elevator trim tab for altitude control and successfully landed. Manning died in his turret and Earnest and Ferrier were wounded.



There is another story behind this story.

I wrote John Greaves to get his permission to use his painting on my blog.

But little did I know…

GREAVES, John Leonard

John Greaves died unexpectedly and peacefully at home on Monday, January 9, 2017 in Airdrie, AB at the age of 52 years. John is lovingly remembered by his wife Janet, and their 2 daughters; Emma and Katy of Airdrie, his parents; Len and Eleanor, brother; Stewart of Abbotsford, B.C., Janet’s sister; Sandra (Sam) Hamilton and family of Saskatoon, SK. John was born in Calgary, AB on September 1, 1964. John and his family moved to B.C. prior to John and his brother starting school, eventually settling in Abbotsford where John attended Abby Jr and Sr High School. John attended Fraser Valley College where he pursued his passion in Art, then went on to further study in graphic arts and business at BCIT. A Memorial Service will be held at Aridrie Alliance church, 1604 Summerfield Blvd, Airdrie, AB., on Saturday, January 14, 2017 at 1:30, with a reception to follow. Sandy Isfeld and Nathan Kliewer will be officiating, please join us in Celebrating John’s Life In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in John’s memory to the Canadian Diabetes Association, 240, 2323 – 32 Ave. NE, Calgary, AB, T2E 6Z3.

Messages of condolence may be left for the family at

The source is here


John Greaves’ artwork is being used on this blog by special permission of his wife Janet…

I give you permission to use his paintings in the two blogs you mentioned, with credit given to my beloved John, who had a passion for history and art.
Janet Greaves

The source of the artwork is here:

In Memoriam of John Leonard Greaves (1964-2017)


Click on the image to read the story behind the painting.


Click on the image to read the story behind the painting.


Click on the image to read the story behind the painting.


Click on the image to read the story behind the painting.


Click on the image to read the story behind the painting.


Click on the image to read the story behind the painting.


Click on the image to read the story behind the painting.


Click on the image to read the story behind the painting.


Click on the image to read the story behind the painting.


Click on the image to read the story behind the painting.


Click on the image to read the story behind the painting.


Click on the image to read the story behind the painting.

All paintings © John Greaves Art (used by permission)

Preserving the Past – Stuart Goff Wireless Operator

Preserving  the  Past – Stuart  Goff Wireless Operator

Preserving the past

Sergeant Gerald Thomas Padden

The wireless operator in Horace Bagnall’s crew…

has been found!


Hi Pierre,

Stuart Goff is the last man on the right in the top row. I also have a letter from him taking about his life on the base around the time of his commencement of his second tour. I have sent a copy to Graham Padden as well.

I got re interested in this on seeing the story on YouTube about the Stirling found in Normandy and that the French don’t want to investigate the crash see below.

Thanks Rod


Sgt. Stuart John Goff was on his second tour. Stuart had survived the first one.

This is the letter he wrote to his Uncle…


Dear Uncle, many thanks for your letter…page-2




Cheerio and best of luck.
Your loving nephew


Letter courtesy Rod Mountford

The letter will be transcribed later  for posterity…

Two airmen in Horace Bagnall’s crew…

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Remembering Richard Emerson Harmer

Remembering Richard Emerson Harmer

Act of heroism

US Navy Night Fighter Squadron VF(N)-101

How could I have been remembering Richard Emerson  Harmer before Flight Lieutenant John Kelly’s son sent me this picture in 2015, and got me writing this blog remembering unsung heroes?


Collection John Kelly (courtesy Gunnar Kelly)

Or Robert Brunson for that matter…


Richard Emerson  Harmer was just smiling as well as other night fighter pilots from VF(N)-101 aboard the Enterprise…


This is what I found this morning on the Internet about Richard Emerson Harmer, and got me thinking  and writing this post.

Dec 41 to Aug 42 – LTJG (Lieutenant (junior grade), VF-5 USS Wasp

Aug 42 to Oct 42 – LT, (Lieutenant)VF-5 (XO) USS Saratoga

Oct 42 to Mar 43 – LT, Project AFFIRM NAS Quonset Point

Mar 43 to Dec 43 – LT, VF(N)-75 (XO) NAS Quonset Point

Dec 43 to Feb 44 – LCDR (Lieutenant commander), VF(N)-101 (CO) NAS Barbers Point

Feb 44 to…

View original post 44 more words

The Development of Night Fighters in World War II

The Development of Night Fighters in World War II

Navy night fighters in WWII

US Navy Night Fighter Squadron VF(N)-101


Modern warfare took on a new dimension with the innovation of radar; one of its most effective applications was in aerial combat.

Radar was in its infancy at the beginning of World War II, but already an essential part of Britain’s air defense system. When England’s small, but gallant, force of Hurricanes and Spitfires made daylight bomber attacks too costly, the Luftwaffe turned to night raids. To counter this, the Royal Air Force (RAF) employed hastily modified Bouton-Paul Defiant aircraft to fly at night. This handful of planes-cooperating with radar-equipped ground control intercept (GCI) stations, antiaircraft fire, and searchlights- was the key element of the infamous “Killer Belt” night defense system. With darkness no longer a safety screen for German bombers, night attacks against Britain were curtailed. The men of the RAF who fought and won the desperate Battle of Britain in the latter half of 1940—hailed by…

View original post 2,018 more words



About the start of a journey into the past of Gerald Thomas Padden


Sergeant Gerald Thomas Padden

My name is Graham Padden. I’m 50 years old and recently embarked on a mission to familiarise myself with the life of my Uncle “Bunty”. A man I never had the pleasure to meet, that was taken from us on the evening of 17th December 1942.

 He was the son of a Headmaster, my grandfather, Gerald Luke Padden (B.E.M.) and the brother of 4 others. Brian, Norah, Dennis (my father) and James (Jim) His mother Janetta ( My grandmother) died following the complications of childbirth during the delivery of Jim in 1934 and the family were brought up by their father, Aunty and a housekeeper.
My father Dennis is the only remaining sibling and whilst he can of course remember his brother Bunty he left these shores in 1941 when my dad was only 11 years of age to begin pilot training in Canada and America.

 My father is now…

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