Three Years

Three years of research on this pilot who lost in life in a plane crash October 21, 1947 in Windsor Mills. I was not even born when it happened.

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Three years of research on Joseph Achilles Eugène Gagnon, a Mosquito pilot with RAF 23 Squadron. I am not even related to him.

A young French-Canadian, born May 28, 1921, a home town boy from Bromptonville who does not even have a street named to remembering him by…

A forgotten hero of Bromptonville, a town that does not exist anymore after its annexation with Sherbrooke.

Eugène Gagnon

23 Squadron, a RAF Squadron almost unknown stationed near the little village of Little Snoring in England also almost unknown. A squadron little known before I started writing a blog about it especially dedicated to it in 2010 to reach out for descendants of these airmen, pilots and navigators.

23 Squadron protected Bomber Command bombers flying over Germany like Halifaxes of 425 Alouette Squadron. 

Boulanger G Halifax 01

Thirty-three missions, most of them at night, flying at 600 km an hour at an altitude of 200 to 300 meters.

People should remember… 

Never injured, but death was always present.

DFC mission crash landing 27 March 1945

Keeping Me-262 away from Berlin…

Me-262

Flying on the last operation of Bomber Command in WWII…

Last Operation of Bomber Command 2 May 1945

At last… VE-Day!

The Mosquito was not that easy to fly especially on take-off and landing. 

A crew: one pilot and his navigator. A navigator who I only had a name: R.C. Harris in 2010, and I was not even sure.

Eugene Gagnon 1945

A research that is now bearing fruits because I have found the son of the navigator who is now scanning his father’s precious logbook..

Flight Officer R. Harris

All this to pay homage to his father who died in 1967.

Eugène must have been happy to see him after 22 years… The last time they saw each other was when this picture was taken in July 1945.

Eugene Gagnon 1945

People should remember these airmen decorated with the DFC.

DFC

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6 thoughts on “Three Years

  1. I was unaware the Mosquito was a task to take-off and land. They handled so well once in the air, especially given the fact they were made out of wood. Wonderful recognition given this once young man.

    1. George Stewart who I met for 5 hours and 30 minutes told me all about it.
      I will talk about George again on the blog.
      You will love it.

    2. The pilot had to reach the safe take-off speed above 130 mph in case one engine would fail. Same thing when landing… They had to land at quite a high speed.
      It was a wonderful plane to fly though.

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