Avro Anson

About the message behind a picture taken in August 1941.

British Commonwealth Air Training Plan

Avro Anson August 1941 modified

I have seen people on Facebook get all excited about pictures of planes used in the BCATP.

I can see why. This picture was taken from Walter Neil Dove’s photo albums. If you want to use it please give due credit to Walter Neil Dove.

Walter who?

Walter was also known as Wally Dove.

Google Walter Neil Dove and you will see who is Walter who.

Walter never flew the Avro Anson, but he took that picture in August 1941.

Avro Anson August 1941 modified

He flew Spitfires with RCAF 403 Squadron from December 1944 till the end of the war.

Mervyn Jack Mills also flew Spitfires but not for long. He went missing on November 19th, 1942. Easy to remember that date. One of my sons was born on November 19th.

Been born in a world with less tyranny is one of the reasons I write blogs about WWII and pay homage to those…

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Where the cooks, clerks and drivers were at back then?

Updated 7 April 2020

Sometimes you get to meet people whether in person or through e-mails, Facebook, or through WordPress.

This is how I met a blogger who writes about a paratrooper in the Pacific.

This is how I met Allan who writes about his uncle who was a tail gunner in the Pacific.

This is how I met the daughter of a Hurricane pilot who flew in Palestine then who flew a Hawker Typhoon in England.

How he managed to survive operations on a Typhoon is still a mystery.

I could go on an on with stories of how I met people since 2009 when I first created Souvenirs de guerre which is the equivalent of Lest We Forget.

I have learned a lot since 2009 and I never forget.

Where the cooks, clerks and drivers were at back then?

It’s about what some veterans will recount about WWII.

It’s easy to find if they tell the truth.

Are they only talking about themselves and never about their comrades-in-arms?

Are they talking period…?

This is the story of a tail gunner who never talked about the war…

until he met this man’s nephew.

Eugène Gagnon

Eugene Gagnon

Intermission Stories (25)

Story about how D-Day really was…

The more I read, the more I know why most veterans prefered never to talk about the war.

Pacific Paratrooper

Martin Painkin Martin Painkin

Martin Painkin

The U.S. Army Ranger

Martin Painkin was born in the Bronx, New York and joined the National Guard in the fall of 1940 – he was 15 years old.  Nearly four years later, he landed in the middle of a massive invasion.  “It was a slaughter.  It really was,” said Martin.

As a 19-year-old Private First Class with the 2nd Ranger Battalion, Painkin landed at Pointe du Hoc, the cliff promontory between Utah and Omaha Beaches, at 0711 hours – 41 minutes after H-Hour on the Longest Day.  The Germans welcomed the Rangers to Normandy with concentrated rifle, artillery and rocket fire.  For many of the men, the assault was over before it began.


“As soon as we hit the beach and they dropped the ramp, bam!  They were dead,” said Painkin.  “All around you there were burning ships and a lot of guys floating face…

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Sgt. Bob Herres bailed out of his B-24 bomber over Ploesti in WW II

Incredible story.

War Tales

Sgt. Bob Herres was 20 when this picture was taken. He was in the 15th Air Force in Italy when his B-24 "Liberator" bomber was shot down over enemy territory. Photo provided Sgt. Bob Herres of Venice, Fla. was 20 when this picture was taken. He was in the 15th Air Force in Italy when his B-24 “Liberator” bomber was shot down over enemy territory. Photo provided

It was dark and eerie when he climbed out of the sack at 4 a.m, shaved and ate a breakfast of powdered eggs, Spam and coffee. Then he and the rest of the 10-man crew of “Shack Happy,” a B-24 bomber, headed to the briefing room with scores of other B-24 crews to get the bad news.

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Les plages de Normandie

From a reader of the French version of this blog.
He visits the beaches of Normandy every year. He wrote this.
Someday I will translate in English what he wrote since automatic translation does not render the underlying message properly.

Souvenirs de guerre

Un texte écrit de la plume d’un lecteur. Il écrit sous le pseudonyme de Ti-Mick.

Pour un Québécois, il y a plusieurs manières de visiter les plages de Normandie.
En allant du sud au nord, ou du nord au sud ? Ou en choisissant selon qu’elles sont de Débarquement états-uniens, anglais ou canadiens ? Ou encore, en procédant au hasard des Commémorations et des événements, lorsque le 6 juin est proche.

Mais toutefois, il n’y a que deux alternatives pour les aborder : celle-là du touriste qui a pour but de faire les plages du Débarquement parce qu’elles sont sur son itinéraire ou bien celle autre, d’une personne qui a le sens du sacré. Mais alors, c’est d’abord le temps qui prend une toute autre valeur.


A chaque fois que je me retrouve sur une de ces plages, celles-ci incluant celle de Dieppe, je suis visité par l’arrivée toute en…

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D-Day: History Geek hits Omaha Beach

Normandy 2013: thoughts from a tourist with opened eyes…

History Geek

Today is D-Day.  And I don’t mean that in the figurative sense.  Today marks the 69th anniversary of the Allied landings at Normandy on 6th June 1944.  The original non-metaphorical D-Day.  To commemorate this day of days I thought I’d share some of my personal experiences from a visit to one of the most iconic battlefields of the Second World War – Omaha Beach.

Omaha was a code name given to one of the five beaches chosen as the landing points for Allied forces.  The Americans landed at Omaha and to the west on Utah Beach, with the high cliffs of Pointe du Hoc separating the two.  The U.S. Rangers scaled these heights in the early hours of that morning to neutralize a gun battery overlooking the beaches – but that is another story.  To the east Allied forces landed at another three beaches, Gold, Juno and Sword.  Behind all…

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