Thomas Oscar Meteyer was part of 358th Fighter Squadron. This photo was found on Pinterest and it had a caption. LT Thomas O Meteyer P-51B 42-106736 YF-Jwith ground crew”Joyce” His son Michael had a similar one. Michael Meteyer had also this one. I have colorized it for his father’s birthday which is today. […]Remembering Thomas Oscar Meteyer — 358th Fighter Squadron
Chris Charland is on WordPress.
It’s worth the detour!
Before remembering Philip Ensor who was killed on a sortie on September 8, 1941, I have to tell you how I had created another blog in 2010 with the mission of remembering RAF 23 Squadron.
It was about remembering a RAF Squadron I knew nothing about. First it was about remembering a French-Canadian Mosquito pilot.
I had never heard about Eugène Gagnon before 2010. I was not alone in 2010. People here in Quebec don’t remember the Fallen that much. Eugène Gagnon did not die in the war. He died on October 21, 1947 in a plane crash.
The story of the crash is on the blog RAF 23 Squadron.
Eugène Gagnon was a night bandit as they were called back then. He would fly his Mosquito near German airfields just waiting for German night fighters to come back after shooting down RAF and RCAF bombers.
Eugène Gagnon flew 33 sorties but he never shot down a German plane. He was not an ace. But does it really matter?
Writing that blog led me to write about more and more about pilots and navigators who flew with 23 Squadron. I will spare you the list.
One of them was Alistair (Alec) Lawson. This is when I got this comment in August 2011 from someone I did not know… His name was Gilles Collaveri.
Good evening from France,
I am interested in 23 squadron for 2 reasons:
1) I met last year Alexander Lawson who flew Mosquitos with 23 Sq. and shot down a JU88 over Toulouse on 6 jan 1944; I found the remains of this JU88.
2) I shall look next week for the remains of Philip ENSOR’s Havoc I that crashed on 8 sept 1941 near Morlaix, Brittany.
If you wish to know more, let me know.
To know more about Alistair Lawson, click here.
To know more about Philip Ensor, click here.
I have known Gilles Collaveri virtually since at least 2011. He wrote a comment on one of my blogs. I would have to do a little research to find his first comment. In the meantime, I’m putting a link to his site.
It’s worth the little detour.
History continues to be written on Lest We Forget…
David Greenlees was my uncle. Born in Glasgow in 1921, he volunteered for the RAF in 1940 and was posted to 203 Squadron at Borg El Arab airfield in Egypt. Borg El Arab was a desert airfield west of Alexandria and approximately eight miles from the coast. He served as part of the support staff for the squadron.
Conditions at the base were rudimentary. There were no buildings or hangars, only tents. Aircraft were serviced where they stood, while the runway was a strip of concrete covered in sand. David was issued with a .303 rifle, an entrenching tool, two blankets and 15 empty four gallon petrol cans. These were to be filled with sand and covered with a great coat to serve as a bed. He had to share a tent with three other Scots.
The desert conditions were the enemy. There was no water at the base, it was brought up by water bowser. Sea water was used to cook food and to make tea, when the fresh water ran out! The wind blew incessantly, covering everything from food to toilet paper with sand. Sandstorms were a regular occurrence. The smaller ones were called “Gibblies”, but even they could lift up a tent and deposit it elsewhere. At times, David had to sleep in his gas mask to get protection against sand blowing into the tent.
About the 40th Anniversary commemorative escorted tour of the Athabaskan Association in 1984
These PDFs files are part of Alfred Kühn’s collection of memorabilia. His son Manfred has been sharing most of all he has about his father who was a sailor aboard the T24.
I had written this post in February 2019 following my virtual meeting with the son of a German sailor.
It was in September 2009 that I started writing about the war memories of a Canadian sailor. It was my wife’s uncle who had told us that he was aboard HMCS Athabaskan on April 29, 1944.
He was in the engine room writing to his parents when the next thing he remembered was being rescued by HMCS Haida. The Athabaskan had been torpedoed by the German Torpedo Boat T24.
In the engine room of the T24 was another sailor.
His son Willi told me his father’s story, which I’m going to share on this other blog.
End of the original post
Last week Manfred wrote me a comment on Souvenirs de guerre which is the French version of Lest We Forget. I asked him how he found my blog. He told me he was simply looking on the Internet to compare the picture he had of the captain of the T24 with his father’s war souvenirs.
HMCS Athabaskan was sunk by a torpedo launched by the T24. The rest of the story was well documented in the book Unlucky Lady co-written by Émile Beaudoin and Len Burrow.
Émile Beaudoin can be seen next to Alfred Kühn, Manfred’s father.
However what the story does not tell us in details is how many Athabaskan sailors were rescued and saved from certain death in the icy waters by the T24 crew of which Alfred Kühn was a member.
Souvenirs de guerre, just like Lest We Forget, its English version, is written to honour all those heroes whose stories will never be written.
His son Manfred told me his father’s story, which I will share later here on another blog.
On this day in 1941, Sergeant Clive Hulme learned of the death of his brother Harold, also fighting in the battle for Crete. The life expectancy for German snipers was about to become noticeably shorter.
More about 425 Alouette Squadron
On November 15, 2014, I had this comment from a reader on the original version of my blog dedicated to the Alouettes…
My father Jean-Paul Michaud was a KW Lancaster pilot with the 425 Alouettes squadron during WWII. I don’t know a lot about it since he died when I was very young and my mother knew very little about it because he refused to talk about the war. If through this blog I could know a little more about his history and the man he was, I would be delighted.
In 2014, there was not much information about Jean-Paul Michaud.
Five years later, this is what that reader sent me to help me find more about her father who did not talk about his service with 425 Alouette…
To be continued…