November 11 – R220222’s Final Mission – Epilogue
Last time I wrote about Jean-Paul Corbeil’s final mission. He had survived 40 operations flown over Europe from May to September 1944.
Well I was wrong. He flew his last operation on August 16.
In 2015 he had an idea.
This is the English version of the letter he wrote in March 2015.
The letter was in an enveloppe with another enveloppe with a special card inside. On one side of the card there was the cover of his log book and a photo of his crew taken in May 1944. On the other side there was an image of a page taken from his log book where we can see his two operations on D-Day.
86 letters and cards were sent in the weeks leading up to Remembrance Day 2015. Some were sent in Canada, some in England, some in the United States, some in Belgium, some in France.
Later, he asked me to write again to these people and to add this to the blog…
My last mission
As Remembrance Day approaches, let us remember the 42,000 young Canadians, including some 19,000 airmen, who gave their lives in the defence of freedom during the Second World War. I would like to share with you my last letter that accompanied the reproduction of a page from my logbook, along with a photo of our crew, and ask that you keep these authentic documents for posterity.
I want to suggest that you give copies of this mission card, as well as the envelope with a postage stamp created especially for this project, to people of your choice who will be able to pass it on from generation to generation.
Also, you may freely distribute copies of everything you have received to people who would be interested in promoting the duty to remember in their entourage. The next time I contact you by email, I will tell you where and when the idea for this project came to me and what happened next.
What about this project? One hundred original cards, accompanied by a letter explaining my last mission, were sent around the world to people who had expressed an interest in honouring the memory of Alouette Squadron and promoting peace. Several people wrote to me and told me to whom they would eventually send the card, letter and stamped envelope specially for this project.
On behalf of myself and all the Alouettes, we wish you and your family a serene and long lasting peace.
Jean-Paul Corbeil, Canadian veteran
Jean-Paul Corbeil died on October 3rd, 2018 and the final mission has been dormant since. That was until I found the grandson of Lloyd Lafoy who flew one operation with Jean-Paul Corbeil in 1944.
Lloyd Lafoy was known as Lucky Red. Red because of his hair colour and Lucky because he always came back from his operations.
Lucky Red was also an air gunner. When he flew with Jacques Terroux’s crew he was manning the mid-under turret and Jean-Paul Corbeil was the mid-upper gunner. In my numerous meetings with Mr. Corbeil we never spoke about Lucky Red because I did not know they were both on the same operation.
Since my last contact with Che Lafoy who received a card, I have started to find people who would understand Mr. Corbeil’s final mission on Earth.
All of the remaining cards have been sent. Each recipient shares something with R220222.
One recipient is the grandson of Wing Commander William Gerald Phelan. His grandfather signed one of R220222’s log pages. He had checked his August 1944 entries for errors or omissions.
Something was not by the book. Day operations had to be in black and night operations in red. R220222 had to enter all the information the right way.
Squadron Leader Phelan approved his log book.
I am sure R220222 was not reprimanded for it, but he remembered it when he told me about what would happen if a Squadron Leader would find something wrong in an airman’s log book…
Don’t give me no bullshit…