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RACICOT, F/O Charles Bernard Joseph (J92018) – Distinguished Flying Cross – No.425 Squadron – Award effective 3 July 1945 as per LondonGazette of that date and AFRO 1453/45 dated 14 September 1945. Born in Montreal, 1924; home there; enlisted there 25 September 1942.In Air Cadets, Montreal, before enlistment. Trained at No.3 ITS (graduated 25 June 1943), No.11 EFTS (graduated 20 August 1943) and No.13 SFTS (graduated 28 January 1944). Commissioned 1944. Award presented in Montreal, 25 November 1949. Shot down in the early hours of 19 March 1945; DHist file 181.009 D.1763 (RG.24 Vol.20610) has recommendation which included much more detail of that night and his subsequent experience as a POW.  

One night in March 1945, this officer was detailed to attack Witten. On the bombing run his aircraft was illuminated in a cone of searchlights. Flying Officer Racicot flew clear, however, and resumed the bombing run. Immediately after the bombs had been released the aircraft was hit by enemy fire and sustained heavy damage. The engines on the starboard side were hit, the outer one being put out of action completely, while the inner engine caught fire; the propeller of the latter had to be feathered. Other damage sustained very badly affected the controls. The aircraft began to lose height rapidly. Although Flying Officer Racicot gave the order to prepare to abandon the aircraft, he remained at the controls and finally succeeded in levelling out. Shortly afterwards it became necessary to leave the aircraft by parachute. Flying Officer Racicot came down safely, but in enemy territory. He was captured. Within a few days he escaped and later came in contact with the liberating forces. This officer has completed numerous sorties and has displayed exceptional ability, skill and cool judgement. He has at all times been a source of great confidence to his crew.

Bernard Racicot


Willow Run

About one of my favourite planes on my favourite blog…

Pacific Paratrooper


Whatever its flaws, the clunky, clumsy B-24 Liberator was the only bomber capable of crossing the vast distances between the Pacific Islands, especially after the ingenuity of Charles Lindbergh showed the aviators how to stretch their fuel.  The more the US planned to push the Japanese forces back from those many islands, the more they required the production of this aircraft.  It wasn’t long before assembly plants sprung up in San Diego, Dallas, Fort Worth and Tulsa.  But none would symbolize the rise of Liberator construction as the facility built near Detroit know as Willow Run.


Managed by the Ford Motor Co., the factory itself was in some respects a greater engineering feat than the planes it produced.  It was the largest plant in the world, spread across 3.5 million square feet, with 28,855 windows and 152,000 fluorescent lights.  The assembly line traveled so far that, when it reached the…

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