Google Earth

Worth reading

Something Very Big

The internet is full of tools to make the life of a Bomber Command researcher easier. There are forums to connect like-minded folk from across the globe. There is the National Archives of Australia website to view digital copies of original personnel and casualty files (among many many thousands of others). And there is Google Earth, which has for me proven invaluable in giving some sort of an appreciation of the geographical setting of the events I’m investigating from the other side of the world.

I made heavy use of the program while I was researching and writing my 467 Postblog series over the last couple of years. I pulled the approximate routes flown by the bomber streams on various operations from either logbooks or the Night Raid Reports, then stuck those ubiquitous virtual yellow pins into the map. Then I could plot the locations of casualties, nightfighter attacks or…

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Just one story…

Updated March 21, 2021

The links on this post don’t work anymore.

This one does…

Obituary: Nat Gould

Original post

Arthur ‘Nat’ Gould, a fighter pilot in WWII, experienced a remarkable series of campaigns. He served in squadrons in the United Kingdom, in Russia, at the Battle of Milne Bay and finally in the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm. Nat’s stories of the dangers and triumphs of wartime flying are compelling.

Excerpt

I was about 14 or 15 and I used to go to Archerfield Aerodrome. I’d ride my bicycle out there and peer over the fence and watch them all… they had Gypsy Moths. I remember there was a wonderful aeroplane there… it was a rotary engine plane. The cylinders all went round, the whole engine went round, the propeller was fastened onto the cylinders, a most astonishing thing. Mum and Dad were immigrants. Dad worked for Queensland Railways. It was in the Depression years when I was growing up. There were five children. I had two elder sisters and two younger brothers. We weren’t poor, we weren’t desperate, but there was no way they could pay money for me to learn to fly… I used to go round the paddocks in Ashford where we lived, collecting cow manure, which I used to sell to the local gardeners, one and six a bag. Also I’d get up early and go and get mushrooms which we’d sell to the local pubs. I can’t remember how much we got for those. When I got 10 shillings or 15 shillings, on my bike out to the airport and got myself a half hour of flying. In fact it was such a success that by the time I was 17, I got a pilot’s license, just on cow manure and mushrooms.

Click here.

There are even more to  read.

WELCOME TO THE AUSTRALIANS AT WAR FILM ARCHIVE
12,000 hours of interviews about Australia’s wartime history.
2,005 interviews, 1,000,000 stories.
Told by the people who lived them.

Who remembers Vic Brighten?

MILLS, Ernest G, Chief Engine Room Artificer, 21508 (RCN), MPK – 29 April 1944

(note: Ernie Mills had been relieved/replaced as CERA by Vic Brighten. Ernie had stayed on board ship a couple of extra days to completed the turn-over as it was taking longer than anticipated.)

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Vic Brighten

From the book Unlucky Lady

 

Ernie Mills’ name is mentioned once in the book.

cover page 1

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From the book Unlucky Lady

Athabaskan was heavily damaged by a Henschel Hs 293 glider bomb during an anti-submarine chase off Cape Ortegal, in the Bay of Biscay, on 27 August 1943. HMS Egret was sunk in the same incident. (Wikipedia)

Photo6543

From the book Unlucky Lady

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Ernie Mills

From the book Unlucky Lady

Ripples in the water

My wife does not read my blogs, but she’s the one who said Ripples in the water about this…

photo 5

That’s about the only comment she ever made since 2008 when I started writing blogs.

The first blog was about genealogy and it was written in French which is my mother tongue. Nos ancêtres (our ancestors) was created in January 2008. I wanted to share with others what I had found about my ancestors.

Meeting my wife’s uncle led me to create Souvenirs de guerre and its English version Lest We Forget.

Souvenirs de guerre was about HMCS Athabaskan, a destroyer I knew nothing about.

Writing about HMCS Athabaskan led me to this sailor who died on April 29,1944.

équipage Louis Ledoux

Louis Ledoux

And to his nephew who led me to his father Jean Ledoux.

Jean Ledoux Louis Ledoux's brother

Jean Ledoux, Louis’ brother

This blog has more than 700 posts.

Each one is like a stone thrown in the water.

This is one ripple.

Ernie

It’s part of this original picture sent by Paul Sulkers, Herm Sulker’s son.

old photo WW 110002

Herm Sulkers was aboard HMCS Athabaskan like Ernie Mills. Herm Sulkers was taken prisoner on April 29, 1944.

cropped-athab-2.jpg

Fourth sailor on the right

Writing about the Athabaskan led Garry Weir to find my blog Lest We Forget.

Garry led me to his Website.

Two days ago, Garry added this note to Ernie Mills… using an information provided by Doug Edwards.

MILLS, Ernest G, Chief Engine Room Artificer, 21508 (RCN), MPK – 29 April 1944 (note: Ernie Mills had been relieved/replaced as CERA by Vic Brighten. Ernie had stayed on board ship an couple of extra days to completed the turn-over as it was taking longer than anticipated.)

Who remembers Ernie?

Hello Pierre,

Attached are the pictures taken on December 31, 1941 on board the St. Laurent.

photo 5

Back row,
Lto R, Sammie McDowell,
Bill Arnold, Dick Wilson, Jack Ross and my father, Ralph Edwards.

Front Row,
Ernie Mills, the E.O. Jacques Piggott, and Keith Inglis.

The note Ernie sent to my dad on friendship, reads,

Links of Friendship
Form an Everlasting Chain
Of Happiness
So, Let not Ravages of
Time and Age
Make the Bond of Our
Link one bit Less

Year 1941-1942
Ernie Mills

photo 4

Who remembers Ernest Mills?

Ernest G. Mills

MPK – 29 Apr 1944

HMCS Athabaskan

Who remembers Ernest Mills?

Chief Engine Room Artifacer Ernest Mills,
Royal Canadian Navy
HMCS Athabaskan

Someone who had written this comment:

My dad, Captain (E) Ralph W. Edwards, aged 95, served on the old Sally with Ernie Mills, who was lost on the Athabascan. The other day he and I were going through some old photos and I came across one of the Sally’s ERA’s at a Christmas party in 1941, the picture of course including Ernie Mills, a very close friend of dad’s. Under the picture was a note written by Ernie to dad about friendship, and how important friends were to Ernie. I know this doesn’t directly relate to Athabascan, but would the photo and the note be of interest?

Who remembers Ernest Mills?

Who remembers Ernest Mills?

Ernest G. Mills

MPK – 29 Apr 1944

Click here.

 

Who remembers Ernest Mills?

Someone who wrote me this comment:

My dad, Captain (E) Ralph W. Edwards, aged 95, served on the old Sally with Ernie Mills, who was lost on the Athabascan. The other day he and I were going through some old photos and I came across one of the Sally’s ERA’s at a Christmas party in 1941, the picture of course including Ernie Mills, a very close friend of dad’s. Under the picture was a note written by Ernie to dad about friendship, and how important friends were to Ernie. I know this doesn’t directly relate to Athabascan, but would the photo and the note be of interest?

A bucket of shrimp

A different kind of war stories

Fix Bayonets!

They say old folks do strange things. At least, I think that is what young people say about us when they talk about us at all —which isn’t all that often. I think this is because we old folks are a bother. I think this must explain why younger people want to place us in nursing homes.

In any case, this story unfolded every Friday evening, almost without fail, when the sun resembled a giant orange and was starting to dip into the wide blue ocean.

Seagull Feeding 001Old Ed came strolling along the beach to his favorite pier. Clutched in his bony hand was a bucket of shrimp. Ed walks out to the end of the pier, where it seems he almost has the world to himself. The glow of the sun is a golden bronze now. Everybody has gone, except for a few joggers on the beach. Standing out on…

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