Schweinfurt One: sixty B-17s downed, 559 airmen killed

From a newly found blogger…

John Knifton

I am sure that most people would understand the difference between “hot courage” and “cold courage”. During a robbery, the person who suddenly confronts the would-be robber and tries, as the English say, to “have a go” is showing hot courage. The same would be true of the person who tries to drag an unconscious victim out of a burning car crash. In the context of war, it may be the man who solves the sudden problem of an enemy tank by jumping onto the top of it and throwing a hand grenade in through the hatch.
All of these acts show great heroism, but as far as I am concerned, “cold courage” takes it all into a different dimension. “Cold courage” is the person who faces a painful terminal disease without losing his dignity. “Cold courage” is the person who sets off to walk along a highwire stretched hundreds…

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My friend Jim

How I got to write so much about the war…

Lest We Forget

I have a close friend.

Very close, yet so very far.

I live in Quebec and Jim lives in Manitoba.

We have never met…

We have never met in person.

Only on the Internet.

Maybe his father Jim met my wife’s uncle on the Athabaskan.

Sailor Jim L'Esperance

Jim L’Esperance

Maybe my wife’s uncle did not recollect exactly the story he told us on a summer day in Monkland, Ontario. I remember it was in July 2009.

How could I forget what he told us although he did not say much?

Was he really on the Athabaskan on that faithful early morning of April 29th, 1944?

Could he have made up a story to impress us as some veterans did?

Athabaskan sinking 1944

I don’t think he did.

So I got curious and started searching about that Unlucky Lady, a Canadian destroyer I never knew had ever existed.

I got lucky…

cover page 1

This is how Jim…

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Boon Pong – and other forgotten heroes

Worth remembering

Green Writing Room

Tucked into one of the books on Barry’s shelves about Far East POWs was a little photocopied leaflet of 1998, being re-issued for ‘X’mas 2000’. It starts:

I am one of the persons who had seen the event about the railway construction from Kanchanaburi to Myanmar during World War II when I was 19 years old, 1941. As a saleswoman at Khao Chon Kai (Chungkai) War-prisoner Camp.

page 1 of Lulu's story page 1 of Lulu’s story

Her name was Lulu Na Wanglan and she tells her story, explaining that even after 50 years, ‘I dreamed of those war-prisoners before I started to wright.’. She supplied prisoners until she had ‘no more capital to trade or sale goods.’ At this point she was given some money, probably by the local underground, to continue supplying prisoners. She was suspected of spying by the Japanese and warned by Mr Bunpong (Boon Pong) in time to escape. The…

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La mission du 5-6 janvier 1945

January 5/6, 1945

133 Halifaxes from 408, 415, 420, 424, 425, 426, 427, 429, 432, and 433 squadrons were joined by 57 Lancasters from 419, 428, 431, and 434 squadrons on an attack at Hannover. The crews were over the target at between 18,000 to 20,000 feet, releasing 1,587,000 lbs of high explosives. According to reports, bombing was scattered through out the city.

425 Alouettes

F/Sgt. J. Cauchy, RCAF–POW and crew from 425 squadron, flying Halifax III MZ-860, coded KW-E, failed to return from this operation.

Sgt. E. Faulkner, RCAF–POW
F/O J. Lesperance, RCAF–POW
P/O J. Piche, RCAF
Sgt. R. Cantin, RCAF–POW
P/O J. Lamarre, RCAF
F/Sgt. J. Cote, RCAF–POW
2 crew were killed and 5 were POWs.

F/O J. Seguin, RCAF–POW and crew flying Halifax III NR-178, coded KW-J, failed to return from this operation.

P/O G. Noonan, RAF
F/O J. Bilodeau, RCAF–POW
Sgt. J. Cantin, RCAF–POW
P/O J. Lapierre, RCAF–POW
F/Sgt. J. Huet, RCAF–POW
Sgt. B. Simonin, RCAF
2 crew were killed and 5 were POWs.