Peter Lecoq’s Latest Contribution: Spitfire 944

A wonderful story…

RCAF No. 403 Squadron

Great viewing!


8 mm footage recovered 50 years later and converted to modern media by the photographers grandchildren and presented to the Spitfire pilot in the film.  

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Fred J. Jewell Quartermaster Second Class

Tribute to a sailor…

Our Ancestors

You probably never heard Fred J. Jewell’s name before. That’s a pity unless you read the comments on my blog.

I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. My grand mom would know of such feelings. She sent 3 sons off to war. Two in the Navy, one in the Army Air Corps. All 3 went M.I.A. during the last year of the war. My uncle Randy was shot down over Germany P.O.W. My dad’s ship got frozen in the North Atlantic after battle with no radio communication. My dad, Coy A. Jewell made it back from the North Atlantic. Almost lost his legs from gangrene. Uncle Randall M. Jewell was machine gunned by a German guard left for dead. He came home. My uncle Fred didn’t come home. You see Fred Jackson Jewell was aboard the U.S.S. Bullhead the last American submarine sunk in WWII. Your son did not die…

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John Colton Was a Typhoon Pilot

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John Colton Typhoon

F/L Colton flew Typhoon SF-K, shown on the airfield at Eindhoven, on July 10 and 11, 1944. On Dec. 31, 1944, his friend, Pilot Officer James ‘Paddy’ Shemeld, was killed while flying SF-K after it was hit by flak. P/O Shemeld has no known grave.

Photo Credit: © Imperial War Museum.

John Colton died on May 14th, 2013.

John Colton

F/L John Colton, age 22.
Photo Credit: Courtesy John Colton.


Flight Lieutenant (retired) John Colton, age 89, from Sherbrooke, Que., is a survivor.

He was only 19 when he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in January 1942, and 20 when he received his wings and went overseas for further training. Flying single-seat Hawker Typhoon fighter-bombers with Number 137 Squadron, Royal Air Force, during the Second World War, he carried out 104 operational sorties. It was an extraordinary feat, considering that Typhoon pilots flew an average of only 17 sorties before being shot down or reported as missing.

Able Seaman Moyle Haliburton Croft

Message from Joan who wrote this comment a few minutes ago.

Thank you so much for doing all this work of the Athabaskan, my dad was a stoker on the Athabaskan on that fatal morning, his name was Moyle H Croft. also a very heart felt thanks to the people who put together all the information into the Unlucky Lady book, I treasure that book. I still miss my dad.


Here is a picture of my dad

sailor Athabaskan

Moyle Haliburton Croft

Born: 3 July 1912

Place: at First South

Married: 27 September 1939

Place: Rose Bay, Trinity United Church

Rank: Able Seaman, Official Number A-4958, R.C.N.R.



On the CVWM Site

In memory of Able Seaman


who died on April    29, 1944

Military Service:

  • Service Number: A/4958
  • Age: 31
  • Force: Navy
  • Unit: Royal Canadian Navy Reserve
  • Division: H.M.C.S. Athabaskan

No pictures…

“It” and Memorial Day


Masako and Spam Musubi

In the 2012 limited release movie, “Memorial Day”, children are playing at their grandparent’s home in a rural setting. It is Memorial Day weekend.  A 13 year old boy stumbles across a dusty box in a barn.

The box is his grandfather’s WWII Army footlocker, emblazoned with the unit insignia of his famed unit, the 82nd Airborne.  It is filled with “souvenirs” he had brought home from war.

The young grandson probingly asks the grandfather for the stories behind the souvenirs to which he curtly answers no – and bitterly orders the boy to take the footlocker back to where he found it.

“It’s Memorial Day…” says the grandson.

“Damn straight it is,” barks back the grandfather.

The young lad digs in, not wanting to fall short in his quest for answers, and pushes the footlocker even closer to his grandfather.

The grandson then doggedly asks, “What is it I’m…

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Going Home

The greatest story ever told…

Pacific Paratrooper

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Gradually, the men of the 11th Airborne Division would earn their points to be shipped back home and they would allow the fresh, green G.I.’s to take their place in the occupation of Japan.

Click on any photo to enlarge.

Everett (Smitty) Smith would return to Broad Channel, New York to restart his civilian life in February 1946. He gradually got to know Lillian Barrow during his morning rides on the bus, going to his job and he would chuckle whenever he related that story. Despite my mother’s protests, he would relate that he knew why Lillian was always on the same bus with him, but she was being coy. “I was just going to work myself,” my mother argued. Smitty would reply, “Then how do you explain that your job was in the opposite direction than the bus was going? You didn’t know that I was aware of that…

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One of my favorite post on my blog Lest We Forget

Bristol WW I MonumentIt’s about William Lagasse a doughboy… from Bristol, Connecticut.

Pacific Paratrooper


In the U.S., if you do not fly your flag everyday, here is a special occasion to put out the sign of your patriotism! In 1949, President Truman decided to consolidate the individual Army, Navy, Marine, etc. days into one as a means of signifying the unification of all the military forces under a single government. (The Marines did not give up their day, but also celebrate AFD.)


The first Armed Forces Day was celebrated on Saturday, 20 May 1950. Armed Forces Week begins on the second Saturday of May and ends on the third Sunday of May. Due to their unique schedules, the National Guard and the Reserve units may celebrate AFD/Week any time in May.


President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953 – “Today let us, as Americans, honor the American fighting man. For it is he – the soldier, the sailor, the Airman, the Marine – who has fought…

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December 1945 – The story of the sword

A little anecdote that tells a lot about two great men

Pacific Paratrooper


This was the Christmas card sent from Japan to Broad Channel, New York in December 1945. Anna Smith had been waiting to hear this news from her son Everett (Smitty) for over three years. On the back, it reads:

“Dear Mom:
This is the best Xmas card I’ve sent to you since getting in the army. I figured this would be what you have always been waiting to see, here it goes.

“I’m finally on my way, so don’t send any more mail.
Love, Everett
“P.S. I’ll keep you posted on my various stops.”

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Even though Smitty had earned his points to go home, he was still an NCO on General Swing’s staff and was required to finish out his duties as such. After going through combat in the South Pacific, it would be in peaceful occupational Japan where Smitty’s temper would get the better of him.

Non-nonchalantly going about…

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The Picture on the Wall

That’s the picture I saw on the wall when I visited Dennis Connolly back in 2012.


That’s the reason I wanted to see him again so he could talk more about it. Not to talk about the war, but about his plane.

I did not know he had more pictures until I saw those… on this site.

91 Squadron Days

Dennis is pictured there with Flight Lieutenant Demozay. I talked about Demozay here on my French version of this blog.

We also pay homage to this French pilot on this Website. The funny thing, if I might use the word funny, is that I would have never known about Flight Lieutenant Demozay and Dennis Connolly if I had not listen to Marc-André Valiquette’s advice to come and see his book presentation.

The Best Kept Secret on the West Island

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