Alouette – Halifax Mk. III “B for Bully Beef” PDF and text versions

 

Halifax III B for Bully Beef

Excerpt

Research by Clarence Simonsen with contribution by Pierre Lagacé

Bully Beef, also called corned beef in Canada, is a variety of preserved meat made from a fine mixed corned beef and small part of gelatin jelly. It is believed the name comes from the French word “bouilli” [boiled] and possibly the head of a bull depicted on the British Hereford brand of canned corned beef.

Bully Beef and hardtack biscuits were the main mix of British Army and RAF field rations during WWI and WWII. These canned tins had a very distinctive oblong shape and were opened with an attached key, manufactured in the U.K., France, Brazil, and Uruguay [Fray Bentos]. They were still used in British Armed Forces field rations until 2009, and the British loved their Corned Beef Hash mix, still do.


Text version 

Alouette – Halifax Mk. III “B for Bully Beef”

Research by Clarence Simonsen with contribution by Pierre Lagacé

Bully Beef, also called corned beef in Canada, is a variety of preserved meat made from a fine mixed corned beef and small part of gelatin jelly. It is believed the name comes from the French word “bouilli” [boiled] and possibly the head of a bull depicted on the British Hereford brand of canned corned beef.

Bully Beef and hardtack biscuits were the main mix of British Army and RAF field rations during WWI and WWII. These canned tins had a very distinctive oblong shape and were opened with an attached key, manufactured in the U.K., France, Brazil, and Uruguay [Fray Bentos]. They were still used in British Armed Forces field rations until 2009, and the British loved their Corned Beef Hash mix, still do.

No. 425 [Alouette] Squadron was a unique RCAF Bomber Command “French-Canadian” air and ground crew formation.

Group photo taken in September 1944 via Pierre Lagacé

425 Alouette Ground Crews “A” Flight collection Réal St-Amour via Pierre Lagacé

425 Alouette Ground Crews “B” Flight collection Réal St-Amour via Pierre Lagacé

From June to October 1943, they flew tropicalized Vickers Wellington Mk. X aircraft in North Africa in support of the invasion of Sicily and Italy.

Wellington Mk X taking off from Kairouan in Tunisia

Wing Commander William St. Pierre was then in command of 425 Alouette Squadron. In this YouTube video Wing Commander William St. Pierre is seen at 6:00 with Group Captain Dunlap.

 

Screenshot

Wing Commander William St. Pierre was decorated by General Carl Spaatz with an American DFC.

collection Réal St-Amour via Pierre Lagacé

We see more of Wing Commander William St. Pierre on this YouTube video starting at 26;37.

 

These next photos were taken in North Africa. They are part of the collection of Roly Leblanc via his son.

 

 

 

 

More photos of the collection are found here on Pierre Lagacé’s blog Lest We Forget…

Rememberance Week: Off to North Africa

Issued with RAF rations, the meat was always tinned Corned Beef, which was not loved that much by Canadians.

One 425 Squadron RCAF Wellington aircraft [HE522 “B”] was painted with nose art of a Bull Head and was called “Bully-Beef” by all air and ground crews.

I have no photos of KW-B, HE522.  This Wellington flew 39 missions from Kairouan, Tunisia between 25 June 1943 and 05 October 1943.

If there are official “PL” photos, they would probably be between PL-16000 and PL-19000 mixed with photos of all the other Canadian bomber, fighter, transport, etc. squadrons present in England, North Africa, Malta, etc.  The descriptive cards generally give the names of the airmen but not where the photo was taken or the letters of the aircraft.  There are exceptions such as “Blues in the Nite” and “Turtle”.

The squadron returned to England, embarking for the U.K. on 26 October 1943. It arrived 6 November 1943 to No. 61 [RCAF] Base at Dishforth, Yorkshire, where crews began to convert to new Handley Page Halifax B. Mk. III aircraft.

 

On 10 December 1943, the unit moved to No. 62 [RCAF] Base at Tholthorpe, Yorkshire, and a new Halifax bomber [LW381] arrived on 12 December and was taken on charge, assigned the code letter “B” for Bull or Bully.

Halifax Mk. III, serial LW381 was given the code letters KW-B and nicknamed “Bully-Beef” by the ground and aircrew who flew her.

The simple white outline RCAF nose art featured a large snorting Bull Head, and she was considered to be a very ‘lucky’ aircraft flying 59 operations, from 24/25 February to 2 November 1944. That photo was taken after Op. # sixteen 22/23 May 1944.

First assigned to the aircrew of F/Sgt. M. Bryson on 20 February 1944, they flew her on the first operation on 24/25 February. It is possible this crew picked the Bull Head nose art and the name B for Bully Beef. They flew Halifax LW381 the most operations [fifteen]

February 24/25,

March 6/7, 15/16,

April 21/22, 26/27, 27/28, 30,

May 1/2, 7/8, 9/10, 10/11, 22/23, 27/28,

June 2/3, 6/7.

Other aircrew flew the Halifax once

F/O Taylor J.R. [Op. #3]

F/O Taylor J.R. image via Pierre Lagacé

F/O would later die.

Killed in action

F/O Wilmet R.B. [Op. #5]

P/O Dupuis L.B. [Op. #6]

P/O Dupuis L.B. image via Pierre Lagacé

F/Sgt Thomson R.A. [Op. #8]

P/O Côté J. A. [OP. #18]

P/O Côté J. A. image via Pierre Lagacé

WO2 Vincent V.R. [Op. #20]

F/O Gregson H. H. [Op. #22]

P/O Mauger A.R. [Op. #23]

P/O Haché J. P. D. [Op. #24]

P/O Haché J. P. D. image via Pierre Lagacé

P/O Brooks L. B. [Op. #25]

P/O Brochu L. B. [Op. #26]

P/O Brochu L. B. image via Pierre Lagacé

F/O Jacobs S.H. [Op. #27]

F/O Langlois S.H. [Op. #27]

F/O Langlois S.H. image via Pierre Lagacé

WO R151123 Boyer {Op. #29]

J86106 P/O Taillon A.F. [Op. #30]

J27416 F/O Jacobs [Op. #31].

Assigned to the RCAF aircrew of J27638 F/O N. E. Streight, they flew her fourteen times,

July 15/16, 18, 18/19, 20, 24/25

25/26; F/O N. Streight and crew flying Halifax III LW-381 coded KW-B was attacked by a unidentified single engine enemy aircraft, some strikes were seen.

August 3, 15, 16/17, 18/19;

September 9, 10, 12, and 17.

More single aircrew were now assigned, S/L Phelan [Op. #51, 6 October]

 collection William Phelan via Pierre Lagacé

For more information about Squadron Leader Phelan, click on the link below.

Home

F/O Beaulieu [Op. # 52, 14/15 October]

F/O Séguin [Op. #54, 23 October]

F/O Desmarais [Op. #57, 30 October]

 image via Pierre Lagacé

For more information (in French) on F/O Desmarais, click on the link below.

9 décembre 1944 – Desmarais… et Laurent Dubois

 image via Pierre Lagacé

P/O Corbett [Op. #58, 1 November]

 image via Pierre Lagacé part of Réal St-Amour’s collection

and the very last flight

F/L Hemphill [Op. #59, 2 November 1944].

F/Lt. R. Hemphill had the port inner explode and burst into flames just before the target. The Flt/engineer was able to put out the fire and they returned safely to base on 3 engines.

After repairs the veteran Halifax was transferred to No. 1666 H.C.U. at Wombleton on 12 November 1944.

On 1 December, again it was transferred to No. 1664 H.C.U. at Dishforth, Yorkshire, where she flew training operations until 7 April 1945, when No. 1664 H.C.U. was disbanded. On 20 April 45 it was flown to RAF No. 41 Group, arrived at 45 M.U. for scrapping on 23 April 1945.

Record card “Bulls Head” prepared by RCAF F/L Lindsay in late May 1945, who also took photo Roll 1 print 2.

Lindsay photo Roll 1 Print 2 May 1945

If this nose art was selected for preservation and shipping to Canada, it is not in the War Museum collection today. The bomb total painted is 62, however only 59 operations were recorded in the squadron records. It is possible that three bombs were painted on during her training, for “Bulls-Eye” bombing training operations over Germany late in the war.

This was a true RCAF Halifax bomber veteran that survived 59 operations, plus unknown number of Bulls-eye training flights, and two reported German fighter contacts, 15 July 1944 operation #32 and 25 July 44 operation #36.

RCAF Combat reports follow.

Painting by Clarence Simonsen


Epilogue (contribution by Pierre Lagacé)

31 May 1944

RCAF photo PL29958  image via Pierre Lagacé

Caption

Bombs provide a not-too-comfortable seat for the five veterans of the RCAF Alouette squadron pictured ABOVE. They are all armourers and all have been with the famed RCAF Bomber Group unit since its formation. Shown are (left to right) LAC Maurice Déry, 24 St. Patrick St., Quebec City; Cpl. G.J. Pitre, 148 St. Patrick St., Ottawa; LAC P. B. Giguère, Valley Junction, P.2.; Sgt. H. W. Barnes, 30 Walker St., Wrightville, P.Q.; Cpl. J.A.F. Geraghty, 76 Sudbury Ave. Quebec City.

Note on PL-29958,

That photo was taken about 31 May 1944, just east of the 425 shed on the north-west side of Tholthorpe, with the firing range visible in the background looking north.  What appears to be snow on the roof of this structure is sand in front of a cement wall (to stop bullets).

The Halifax on one of the 425’s hardstands is KW-B (Bull), LW381. 21 bombs for 21 sorties are painted on the fuselage.  It survived 61 missions with the 425 between 24 February 1944 and 02 November 1944. In order to better identify the 5 armourers in photo PL-29958, here is the first name(s) of each one and their serial number.

LAC Maurice Déry, R/55196

Cpl. G.J. Pitre = Cpl. J. Georges Pitre, R/53571

LAC P. B. Giguère = LAC P. Bruno Giguère, R/155087

Sgt.  H. W. Barnes = Sgt. Harry William Barnes, R/54057

Cpl. J.A.F. Geraghty = Cpl. J.A. Fred Geraghty, R/55137

About the nose art of KW-B

 

Newspaper clippings provided by a reader who commented on my blog dedicated to RCAF 425 Alouette Squadron

 image via Pierre Lagacé

 

p.14 LE DROIT, OTTAWA, MARDI 23 FÉVRIER 1943

One year overseas

Flying Corporal GEORGES PITRE, of Ottawa, 148 St. Patricks, is one year overseas today. He arrived overseas on February 23, 1942.

Le Droit d’Ottawa 17 juillet 1944

They probably have a lot to talk about, as they both come from the mining town of Sudbury, in Northern Ontario. On the left a C.A.R.C. correspondent, Sergeant Maurice LACOURCIERE, 10 East Elm Street, interviews his old friend Aurèle RICARD, 159 King Street, Sudbury, Ont. (C.A.R.C. Photo)

The three armourers pictured above appear to be pondering for a moment the destructive power of the bombs they are about to hang from the belly of the Halifax bomber in the background. But their death mission, they know very well, has been imposed on them by the megalomaniac in Berlin. It is up to Hitler and his accomplices to stop the avenging arm of the Allied power; it is unconditional surrender. These veterans of the famous “Alouette” squadron are, from left to right: Senior Airman Maurice DERY, 24 St-Patrice St., Quebec; Corporal J.-G. PITRE, 148 St-Patrice St., Ottawa; Sergeant H. Wagner, 24 St-Patrice Ave. Ottawa; Sergeant H. W. BARNES, 30 Walker Street, Wright City. 30. Walker Street, Wright City, Que.

(Photo R.C.A.F.)

Note: Wrightville is part of Hull, now Gatineau. Maurice Lacourcière, war correspondent, became a judge later in life.

LE DROIT, OTTAWA, JEUDI 21 DECEMBRE 1944 – page 12

Two sons of Mrs. Lausianna Pitre, of 414 St.atrice Street, are members of the C.A.R.C. On the left, Corporal GEORGES PITRE, 30 years old, enlisted since 1939, has been overseas for the past three years: he has been in Sicily and North Africa, and is now with the “Alouettes” squadron. An employee of Continental Paper, he was a popular softball player for the Continental club. Chief Airman ROGER PITRE, 26, enlisted in the air force in 1941 and was stationed in Newfoundland for two years. He has been in Iceland for a few months.

 

p.14 LE DROIT, OTTAWA, VENDREDI 29 JUIN 1945

Corporal GEORGES PITRE. of the RCAF, 148 Clarence Street, arrived last night in a group of 300 repatriated airmen who disembarked about midnight at Union Station. He is the son of Mrs. Widow Laudiana Pitre, and has served three and a half years overseas. He belongs to the French-Canadian Alouette squadron.


Final note by Pierre Lagacé

Are there photos of KW-B? A reader sent me this note after I had asked him for some.

No, I have no photos of KW-B, HE522.  This Wellington flew 39 missions from Kairouan, Tunisia between 25 June 1943 and 5 October 1943.  If there are official “PL” photos, they would probably be between PL-16000 and PL-19000 mixed with photos of all the other Canadian bomber, fighter, transport, etc. squadrons present in England, North Africa, Malta, etc.  The descriptive cards generally give the names of the airmen but not where the photo was taken or the letters of the aircraft.  There are exceptions such as “Blues in the Nite” and “Turtle”.

 

 

 

Canada’s “Thunder-Gander” PDF and text version

Canada’s “Thunder-Gander” PDF and text version

Research by Clarence Simonsen

Canada’s Thunder-Gander

Excerpt

Robert B. Cornelius Noorduyn was born at Nijmegen, Holland, in 1893, and after receiving his formal education began his aviation career in Germany and England.

In 1926, he made his first trip to Canada, selling Fokker aircraft to the Canadian Government and Mr. James A. Richardson, the ‘father’ of Canada’s earliest airlines. [Richardson would be destroyed by the Canadian Government and dirty politics]

Noorduyn soon realized Canada was a virgin playing field filled with huge possibilities for air transport in the far frozen north. In 1933, Robert began on and off designs of a new ski/float-equipped aircraft, which could operate in the Canadian intense cold winter climate.

In 1934, he rented an office on the top floor of the Canada Cement Building on Philips Square in Montreal, Canada, where a full sized mock-up in wood was created.  His new concept was based on many years of experience with the design work on the Fokker Universal and Bellanca Skyrocket aircraft.

This in depth history can be found online and in many excellent published books. Noorduyn stated – “his new design, would have to be tough as a rhino, and water adaptable as a duck.”


Text version with images.

Canada’s “Thunder-Gander”

 

Robert B. Cornelius Noorduyn was born at Nijmegen, Holland, in 1893, and after receiving his formal education began his aviation career in Germany and England.

In 1926, he made his first trip to Canada, selling Fokker aircraft to the Canadian Government and Mr. James A. Richardson, the ‘father’ of Canada’s earliest airlines. [Richardson would be destroyed by the Canadian Government and dirty politics]

Noorduyn soon realized Canada was a virgin playing field filled with huge possibilities for air transport in the far frozen north. In 1933, Robert began on and off designs of a new ski/float-equipped aircraft, which could operate in the Canadian intense cold winter climate.

In 1934, he rented an office on the top floor of the Canada Cement Building on Philips Square in Montreal, Canada, where a full sized mock-up in wood was created.  His new concept was based on many years of experience with the design work on the Fokker Universal and Bellanca Skyrocket aircraft.

This in depth history can be found online and in many excellent published books. Noorduyn stated – “his new design, would have to be tough as a rhino, and water adaptable as a duck.”

In 1942, Robert Noorduyn was interviewed by a Montreal reporter Mr. Lawrence Earl, and one page is worth reading for Canadian Aviation history sake.

The 29th built Norseman Mk. IV #2456 was used for world-wide publication.

The 94th constructed Norseman Mk. IV aircraft was taken on strength by the RCAF on 9 September 1942, given the serial #494.

Photo Tony Jarvis – Edmonton

First assigned to No. 3 Training Command [Montreal, Quebec] it remained in storage until 8 January 1943, transferred to No. 1 O.T.U. [Operational training Unit] at RCAF Station Bagotville, Quebec, where the above photo was taken. On 8 November 1944, the aircraft was returned to reserve storage at Eastern Air Command, Montreal. On 18 October 1945, the Norseman was flown to RCAF Station Mount Pleasant, Prince Edward Island, and placed into long term storage. On 1 August 1946, the aircraft was taken off strength by the RCAF and transferred to War Assets for disposal. On 5 May 1947, Norseman 494 was sold to Associated Airways at Edmonton, Alberta, for one dollar, and registered as CF-EIH. It was re-sold to McDonald Aviation Company in Edmonton on 29 May 1947, and passed its Certificate of Airworthiness on 8 August 1947. Flown by Charter Airways Ltd of Yellowknife, N.W.T., the aircraft crashed at Allen Lake on the Cameron River, 25 August 1947. Damaged beyond repair CF-EIH remained on the shore line for the next 46 years, and most of the original parts and wing sections were removed by first nation people who put them to a new use. In 1993, the remains of the aircraft were recovered by members of the Alberta Aviation Museum in Edmonton, and slowly missing parts were located and restoration began.  The full history can be found in the archives of the Alberta Aviation Museum.

Cover from Alberta Aviation Museum Journal magazine 1998. – Tony Jarvis.

A well-known Alberta businessman, Mr. Sandy Mactaggart, and his U.K. based family donated $25,000 towards the restoration of CF-EIH and many missing parts were donated by Joe McBryan owner of Buffalo Airways, [“Ice Pilots”] fame]. After over 8,000 volunteer hours of labor the restored aircraft was unveiled on 18 April 1998, and dedicated to volunteer Chuck MacLaren.

Pilot Tony Jarvis [left] and author in front of “Thunder-Chicken” CF-EIH, 2013.

During the restoration of CF-EIH the remains of the original RCAF Norseman skins were not saved but thrown in the garbage. Pilot Tony Jarvis called the author and ask if I wanted them for my paintings and the answer was – Yes, Yes, please, Yes. I fully understood those were the original skins placed on the Norseman aircraft in Montreal, mid-August 1942, and not only flew the next three years with the RCAF, they also survived 46 years in the ice-cold waters of Allen Lake, N.W.T. That was just the type of original historical aircraft canvas I wanted for preserving my aviation paintings.

In 2010, the author retired and headed south to Mexico City, the birth place of my wife and where I had lived three or four weeks every year since 1990. The next four years would be spent living at many different locations where new relatives resided, both rich and poor. Two full years were spent a four-hour drive north of Mexico City, called San Miguel de Allende, in the state of Guanajuato. It has a small lake and a tiny beach, but it is truly a gem of the art world, and protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is best known as – “A Community of Artists” and it is a most special place which is still hidden from other tourist sites. Please Google the name and read, it is all true, and a hard place to leave, but always good memories.

It is impossible to describe and must be seen and enjoyed just once in your life, the streets are lined with mural art. The large main museum has every type of Mexican art in one huge street-like ex-factory complex, plus excellent food and drink.

My art room was bedroom size, where I painted four to six hours everyday and mixed Mexican true aviation with original Aztec and Maya history, which I had seen in person.

 

Mexican main building material is cement and stone of all shape, size, and colour. For the first time in my life, I was introduced to painting replica Maya art on original rock that dates back to ancient America, and you can really become immersed in all this skilled artistic past history. The above rock art was painted for a special day I experienced on 21 December 2012, the end of the Maya calendar known as the long count. This replica was the scene painted on the 14th century A.D. Codex which survives today in Dresden, Germany, [also survived WWII allied bombing] depicting the Maya sun and moon gods with a catastrophic flood. The Maya Long Count odometer turns over every 5,125.37 years, which was 21 December 2012, and there I stood with hundreds of Mexicans at the base of an ancient site and waited for the Apocalypse. Many Mexicans believed the end of the world was coming, with food offerings and prayers to their ancient gods. Nothing happened, the Gods were happy, no flood, so I went back to painting aircraft nose art.  We can all thank our Christian Gods for not naming an exact date of death and only stating in their Bible, the end will come on Judgement day. During my four years in Mexico, I had also transported soft aircraft skins taken from Noorduyn Norseman RCAF #494, for future aviation paintings.

This RCAF Tactical Helicopter war art was painted for the aviation component who were fighting in Afghanistan, original skin from Norseman #494, painted at San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and later presented to 1 Wing Headquarters, Kingston, Ontario, 16 December 2013.

The Canadian/Dutch Noorduyn Norseman is often called the “Thunder-Chicken” and will always be connected with two aviation accidents because of the famous personalities killed. Major Glen Miller, Director of the USAAF band, boarded a UC-64A Norseman in England on 15 December 1944, but never arrived in Paris.

On 20 May 1948, top-scoring RCAF fighter pilot ace George F. Beurling was ferrying a Norseman to Israel, when it caught fire over Rome, and he died in the fiery crash landing.

On 20 December 2012, I sent an email to Mr. Dennis M. Spragg, Senior Consultant, Glenn Miller Archive, American Music and Research Center, University of Colorado Boulder

Mr. Spragg had just finalized a comprehensive study on all aspects of the circumstances surrounding the Major Glenn Miller Norseman crash 15 December 1944, including over 5,000 pages of documents and first-hand reports. The research would soon be published in his book titled “Resolved.” I was not sure Mr. Spragg would even answer my email, [from Mexico] however he not only answered, he shared his research, answered all my questions, and gave in-depth advice on the correct painting of the Glenn Miller aircraft, Norseman USAAF serial 44-70285.

My painting began [2 January 2013] with a basic outline of the famous U.S.A.A.F. UC-64A type Norseman aircraft on original skin from RCAF Norseman serial #494. Photos were taken and submitted online to Dennis Spragg, who in turn replied with corrections and pages from his relevant documents and photograph base.

No complete aircraft photos of 44-70285 are known to exist, and many paintings have been completed showing different Glenn Miller Norseman markings. My interpretation would be based on the intense research conducted by Mr. Dennis Spragg and the Glenn Miller Archives at Boulder, University of Colorado, and Mr. Alan Cass. The Glenn Miller Norseman aircraft 44-70285 was the 550th aircraft constructed at Montreal, Quebec, Canada, in early July 1944.

 

Departure RAF Twinwood Farm at 1:55 pm, 15 December 1944.

 

The flight was charted over Beachy Head, England, via the normal American transport flight path. It did not reappear over Fecamp, France, [between 57 and 58 on map] on the other side of the English Channel, the standard route for American transport aircraft flight.

Photo sent by Dennis M. Spragg, showing Alconbury ground crew S/Sgt. Arthur Nanas posing with right foot on left wheel strut of Norseman #44-70285. Nanas testified the Norseman had maintenance repair on 12 December 1944, due to carburetor de-icing equipment malfunction, which was common in the UC-64A Norseman. The Board of Inquiry took this documented maintenance information into account when determining possible causes of the 15 December 1944 accident.

Painting completed in Mexico on 22 January 2013.

Original skin from Norseman RCAF #494

The author painting was based on the recorded known facts combined with the relevant documents and investigation conducted by Mr. Dennis M. Spragg, Glenn Miller Archives, American Music Research Center, University of Colorado Boulder, USA. The painting was mailed to Mr. Spragg in April 2013 and passed on to Mr. Alan Cass, Glenn Miller Archives.

 

Due to the fact this Canadian art was painted on original skin from RCAF Norseman #949, the Noorduyn Aviation Insignia and #94 [construction number] were included in the painting. An original strip of skin from Norseman #949 was also sent to the Glenn Miller Archives in an attempt to determine how many years the original skin of Norseman 44-70285 might survive in the English Channel.  RCAF Norseman #494 spent 46 years in fresh water at Allen Lake, [N.W.T.] Northwest Territories, Canada. The author’s surviving original #494 silver painted skin looked and felt like new material.

 

The RCAF was very slow to order their first Norseman aircraft, which had been offered to the Canadian Government in 1937, by Noorduyn himself, as a Canadian advanced trainer. Canadian officials still looked to Britain for building cheaper obsolete aircraft, and shipping British manufactured engines across the ocean, due to the simple fact Canadian’s could not manufacture top quality aircraft engines. The first major RCAF contracts came in May 1940, when 47 Mk. IV Norseman were ordered for navigational trainers. In total 759 Norseman were constructed for the USAAF and 79 for the RCAF. After fifty years of searching for a few good nose art examples that were painted on the famous Canadian [Thunder-Chicken] Norseman, I can still only find one, and it appeared in the RCAF at Gander, Newfoundland, which was not even part of Canada. I call this special forgotten simple “Canada Goose” Norseman aircraft nose art, “The Thunder Gander.”

The years between the two World Wars saw a great deal of turmoil in the Dominion of Newfoundland, which saw it revert back to the status of a British Crown colony. The “Rock” had become the Dominion of Newfoundland on 26 September 1907, but staggering under horrendous debt, they gave-up on self-governing and selected British rule by an appointed Commission of Government, with three members from Newfoundland and three from United Kingdom. In 1935, the Newfoundland airport originated in a signed agreement between Canada, United Kingdom, the free state of Ireland, and Newfoundland. In 1936, construction of the airbase commenced beside Gander Lake, and adjacent to the Newfoundland Railway line, which was very important for building supplies, etc. When the British Government declared war on Germany, 3 September 1939, Newfoundland was a British colony and this automatically brought Newfoundland into a state of war against Germany, seven days before the Canadian government declared war. With the United Kingdom struggling for survival and unable to find the resources to defend an invasion of Newfoundland, [Labrador] who had no money for any defence, negotiations for Canadian protection began. In May 1940, the Newfoundland airport was the largest in the world and with the fall of France, the defence of Newfoundland became even more precarious. As soon as an agreement for protection from Canada was signed by the Government of Newfoundland, the Newfoundland airport was placed under control of the RCAF and Canadian Department of Transport personnel. The RCAF moved in on 5 May 1941, Commanding Officer Group/Capt. A. Lewis, while most of the buildings were still under construction at RCAF Station, Newfoundland Airport. On 1 November 1941, the name in the Daily Diary becomes RCAF Station Gander, Newfoundland. On 1 December, the first edition of the station magazine is published, title – The “Gander” RCAF Station Gander, Newfoundland.

 

The first RCAF Gander base aircraft, a D.H. Fox Moth arrives on 17 December, given RCAF Instructional Airframe #A135.

The second edition Vol. 1, #2, arrives in early January 1942, complete with impressive cover art of a flying Goose by squadron artist Sgt. R.G. Falconer.

 

The back cover contains a single drawing of a Canada Goose, wearing a pilot helmet, and saluting with his right wing. This art by Sgt. Falconer becomes an instant hit with all members, and the RCAF Gander will now become the mascot, badge, insignia, trademark, and even rare aircraft nose art at RCAF Gander, Newfoundland.

Crest Craft in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, manufactured a number of different “Gander” crests which were worn by RCAF members from Canada and Newfoundland with pride.

The next Crest Craft design was created for the Gander Signals Section, a rare “Ganderia Wogosid” wireless bird.

In July 1934, Imperial Airways of London, England, purchased two D.H. 83 aircraft equipped with floats, for operation in the Newfoundland Government Air Service. In August 1934, they were registered as VO-ABC [#4093] and VO-ADE [#4094]. While anchored during a windstorm, 25 September 1934, both aircraft were damaged by a log boom and VO-ABC could not be repaired. VO-ADE was salvaged and required extensive repairs before returning to service. On 11 January 1938, VO-ADE made the first inauguration flight into the new Newfoundland Airport, and this history can be found online.

This free domain image dated 12 January 1938, records the special aviation moment, and the special markings on D.H. Fox Moth VO-ADE. The special orange markings on the Fox Moth can be found online in model sites and other fine publications. This aircraft made the last official Newfoundland Government Air Service flight from St. John’s to Gander on 24 February 1941, and was then turned over to RAF Ferry Command. On 17 December 1941, the Fox Moth was taken on strength at RCAF Gander, Newfoundland, and used as an Instructional Airframe, given RCAF # A135. At some unknown date the aircraft was painted RCAF yellow and received the famous nose art of the Newfoundland Gander.

The author believes these were the possible RCAF colours applied to A135, but photos are very hard to find. In 1944, F/O Horace William “Jimmy” Westaway C10734, RCAF Gander Mercy Flight pilot, had his photo taken in front of Fox Moth A135. This image was found in the Daily Diary and is very bad quality, however it confirms the unofficial “Gander” nose art did in fact appear on the famous Fox Moth airframe. The correct colours of the aircraft striping are unknown. This trainer aircraft did not require any RCAF code letters of national markings, only the A135 which most likely appeared on the tail fin. Any RCAF images of this aircraft would be appreciated by the author. The RCAF Fox Moth was damaged beyond repair at Gander Bay on 22 February 1944, struck off strength by Government of Newfoundland on 24 October 1945.

The first Norseman #2479 to arrive at RCAF Gander was the 52nd built, assigned to No. 12 Squadron, Rockcliffe and Search and Rescue Command on 9 March 1942. Taken on strength Gander in mid-July 1942, crashed at Ochre Pit Cove, [near St. John’s] Newfoundland, 21 August 1942.

 

 

Norseman #3527, the 71st built was assigned to No. 3 Training Command 14 September 1942, placed into reserve storage, arrived RCAF Gander in early April 1943. Flew Newfoundland training and mercy flights the next five months. On 19 September 43, transferred to E.A.C. and assigned No. 121 “C” Squadron. Flew in Western Canada [Alberta] until 12 June 1947. Destroyed in No. 1 Hangar fire at Edmonton, Alberta. [#2485 was also destroyed in fire].

On 7 October 1942, two D.H. 82C Tiger Moth aircraft with floats were taken on strength at RCAF Gander, Newfoundland, used for rescue work. It is unknown if these different aircraft, Norseman #2479, Lysander #447, and Tiger Moth float planes #9693 and #9695 ever carried RCAF Gander nose art. [Needs research]

RCAF #491, the 91st constructed Norseman, 9 September 42, arrived Eastern Air Command on 7 November 42, to RCAF Gander April 1943. Category “A” accident at Torbay, Newfoundland, 26 October 1944. The author believes this Norseman possibly carried the first unofficial RCAF Gander nose art, however photos are required for proof.

The fourth and last Norseman assigned RCAF Gander on 13 August 1943, the 138th built, serial RCAF #789. Constructed for the USAAF the aircraft was Lend-Least to the RCAF for Air-Sea rescue missions.

 

Photo – Gander RCAF magazine Summer 1945

Constructed for the USAAF as 43-5147, delivered 10 June 1943, and then lend-lease to the RCAF, receiving serial #789, arrived RCAF Gander, Newfoundland, August 1943. RCAF pilot F/O “Jimmy” Westaway was posted to RCAF Gander on 13 June 1943, and this became his main “Mercy” flight sea/rescue aircraft.

Norseman RCAF #789 was painted with impressive “Gander” nose art.

The main pilot for “Mercy” flights was Officer-Commanding RCAF Air-Sea rescue at Gander, Flying Officer “Jimmy” Westaway. The second pilot was F/O Labreche, and the mechanic, who flew on all missions was Cpl. Upton, [above] with nose art on Norseman #789. The 6 September 1944, rescue flight was published in RCAF Wings magazine September the same year, with F/O Westaway standing beside “Gander” nose art on trainer RCAF Fox Moth #A135.

 

The RCAF Gander, Newfoundland, continued to be used in Victory Loan drive art and even the Officer’s Christmas Menu for 1945.

 

 

The RCAF Gander insignia appeared on the rear cover of the Gander magazine on the last issue published in June 1945. The USAAF side of the base even copied and used the same insignia on two humorous certificates [Master Fog Eater] issued for time posted in Newfoundland.

 

The little Canadian nose art lady “Sierra Sue” landed at Gander on her return to Canada from England. RCAF Lancaster Mk. X serial KB746, VR-S [for Sue] flew the fourth most trips of all Canadian built Lancaster’s, surviving 68 operations. Above photos taken at Pearce, Alberta, September 1945, where “Sue” was scrapped two years later.

 

In the summer of 1945, [August] RCAF Gander demobilized while the airport remained an important commercial transport landing base. As the years passed, the WWII RCAF Gander was slowly forgotten and just disappeared. The military returned in 1957, however a Gander did not reappear until 1 April 1993, the date CFB Gander was renamed 9 Wing Gander with an official flying Goose insignia and badge. RCAF history had repeated itself with a design close to the original that was created in December 1941, for a foreign country, Newfoundland.

The Flying Gander created by RCAF artist Sgt. R.G. Falconer in December 1941, [when Newfoundland was a British Colony] once again flies with 9 Wing Gander, Newfoundland, Canada. On 1 April 1924, the prefix “Royal” was officially adopted to the Canadian Air Force, and 1 April 2024 marks their 100th Birthday. The original Gander insignia is eighty-three years old.

Author replica “Gander” painting on original Norseman aircraft skin from RCAF #494, aircraft preserved today at Alberta Aviation Museum, Edmonton, Alberta. Will the WWII “Thunder Gander” even fly over Newfoundland again?  How about April 2024, the 100th Anniversary of the RCAF, over to you “Mother Goose” [Lt. Colonel Lydia Evequoz] C.O. of 9 Wing Gander Newfoundland, Canada. This nose art flew with the first RCAF sea/rescue flight at Gander, Newfoundland, 1942-45.

Remembering Unsung Heroes – Flight Lieutenant Gordon McNab Templeton (J88506) DFC

Updated 17 February 2022 with the source of the citation.


Remembering Unsung Heroes?

This is one of them.

Source: airforce.ca website

TEMPLETON, F/L Gordon McNab (J88506)

– Distinguished Flying Cross – No.186 Squadron

– Award effective 5 July 1945 as per London Gazette dated 17 July 1945 and AFRO 1558/45 dated 5 October 1945.

Born 11 November 1921, Montreal; home there.

Insurance clerk.

Enlisted in Montreal, 24 April 1942;

to No.5 Manning Depot, 24 May 1942.

To No.5 Equipment Depot, 3 July 1942.

To No.3 ITS, 29 August 1942; graduated and promoted LAC, 24 October 1942 but not posted to No.11 EFTS until 21 November 1942;

may have graduated 15 January 1943 but not posted to No.13 SFTS until 23 January 1943;

graduated and promoted Sergeant, 14 May 1943.

To No.1 GRS, 28 May 1943.

To “Y” Depot, 23 October 1943.

Taken on strength of No.3 PRC, 31 October 1943.

Commissioned 11 July 1944.

Promoted Flying Officer, 24 December 1944.

Promoted Flight Lieutenant, 28 December 1944.

Repatriated 8 April 1945.

To No.13 EFTS, 19 May 1945.

To No.1 SFTS, 15 September 1945.

To No.2 Release Centre, 18 October 1945.

Retired 23 October 1945.

Award presented in Montreal, 25 November 1949.

No citation other than “in recognition of gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations against the enemy”.

Public Records Office Air 2/9082 has recommendation dated 20 March 1945 when he had flown 35 sorties (177 hours 38 minutes), 18 October 1944 to 5 March 1945. * denotes daylight mission

18 October 1944 – Bonn (5.03)

* 20 October 1944 – Stuttgart (6.12)

22 October 1944 – Neuss (4.27)

* 23 October 1944 – Essen (5.25)

25 October 1944 – Essen (4.18)

* 28 October 1944 – Cologne (4.41)

* 30 October 1944 – Wesselring (4.50)

* 31 October 1944 – Welhein (5.03)

* 15 November 1944 – Dortmund (4.42)

* 16 November 1944 – Heinsburg (4.41)

* 20 November 1944 – Homberg (4.44)

* 21 November 1944 – Homberg (4.24)

* 23 November 1944 – Gelsenkirchen (3.56)

* 26 November 1944 – Fulda (5.53)

* 29 November 1944 – Neuss (4.54)

2 December 1944 – Dortmund (3.57)

* 5 December 1944 – Schwannenauel (4.09

* 8 December 1944 – Duisburg (4.20)

* 12 December 1944 – Witten (4.31)

* 15 December 1944 – Seigen (3.08)

* 28 December 1944 – Cologne (4.05)

* 31 December 1944 – Vohwinkel (5.06)

* 2 January 1945 – Nuremburg (7.15)

6 January 1945 – Neuss (5.09)

7 January 1945 – Munich (7.43)

11 January 1945 – Krefeld (5.28)

* 15 January 1945 – Erkenschwick (5.05)

* 22 January 1945 – Duisburg (4.45)

9 February 1945 – Hohenbodberg (4.39)

13 February 1945 – Dresden (9.03)

27 February 1945 – Gelsenkirchen (5.19)

* 28 February 1945 – Gelsenkirchen (4.47)

* 2 March 1945 – Cologne (5.26)

* 4 March 1945 – Wanne Eickel (4.52)

* 5 March 45 – Gelsenkirchen (5.38)

* This officer has completed many operations against heavily defended German targets in Germany. As captain and pilot he has flown both by day and by night and has always shown fine captaincy. Photographs of the target on some of his sorties have been outstanding and prove that every effort has been made to hit the aiming point, regardless of heavy flak.

NOTE: The Station Commander adds, on 22 March 1945, his rather illuminating comments: An officer whose highly-strung temperament have him a very real appreciation of danger but who, with great courage, coolness and determination completed every mission in a most efficient manner.

End of the citation

To be continued on Lest We Forget II then on a new blog.

Found on YouTube – Trouvé sur YouTube

Found by my friend Jim Christie

Source: Library and Archives Canada. Peter McQuaid fonds, 1969-0055, IDC 328755.

Scenes shot in North Africa. 420 and 425 squadrons were stationed at Kairouan in Tunisia. At 6:00 we see in the back Wing Commander Joe St. Pierre DFC (American).

About Bergen-Belsen

In April 1945, when the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp was surrendered and handed over to the British Army, Canadian forces arrived on scene to provide support, to bear witness, and to document the crimes. They were overwhelmed, understaffed, and left without adequate supplies, equipment, and medicine. Their encounters at the camp were haunting, transformative experiences that forever changed their lives.

In Kingdom of Night, Mark Celinscak reveals the engagement of Canadian troops and other personnel at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The book brings together a series of gripping, often deeply moving accounts that demonstrate the critical relief work carried out by Canadians who have been largely overlooked for more than seventy-five years. It outlines in both stark and moving detail what a cross-section of Canadians both said and did during the liberation efforts at one of the most notorious sites in Hitler’s camp system.

In addition, biographical overviews are presented for each Canadian featured in the book, not only highlighting some of their life-saving and humanitarian work, but also revealing what ultimately became of their lives after the war. Kingdom of Night depicts the gruelling efforts by those who assisted the victims of one of the greatest crimes in history.

 

Mark Celinscak is the Louis and Frances Blumkin Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the Executive Director of the Sam and Frances Fried Holocaust and Genocide Academy at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

 

Source of the above: https://utorontopress.com/9781487532581/kingdom-of-night/

Transcript

Foreword

I am a survivor of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, a horrifying site of abuse, neglect, and death. This book collects eyewitness testimony by our Canadian liberators. When British and Canadian forces first entered the camp in
April 1945, they could not fully understand what they were witnessing.

Near the end of the war, Bergen-Belsen had become terribly overcrowded as prisoners were arriving from other locations across Europe. Josef Kramer, the former commandant of Auschwitz-Birkenau, oversaw this horrific camp. There was hardly any food or water. Every morning we awoke to see more dead bodies in our barracks. The crematorium was working all the time, but it was not enough. At one point I was tasked with dragging and pulling the corpses into ditches and pits. I remember that we had to take off our belts, put them around the necks of the dead bodies, and pull them into the pits. These are scenes that you cannot adequately describe.

Passing through the gates of Bergen-Belsen was as though life and time were suspended. We thought that it was the end of everything. I was fortunate that I did not get sick and was able to walk around and survive. There are some things that you cannot even remember what happened or how you managed to deal with these problems. A few days before our liberation we could sense that something was coming to an end. The night before our liberation we heard the big cannons and the bombs in the distance. We knew something had happened. We thought our liberators might soon arrive.

I remember the moment when I saw the first British tank coming into Bergen-Belsen. Soldiers were standing on top of it. They were looking around and they did not know where they were or what was happening. The camp was situated in a forest, very deep in the Lüneburger Heide, which is a large woodland area in northern Germany. Our liberators looked at us in shock.

For many of us, thin, weak, and dishevelled, we did not celebrate or smile at our liberation. Many of us were crying. We had already lost so much. Any joy or celebration came later. Liberation was beyond our imagination, and I suppose we simply could not believe what was happening. A day before, we did not think that we would survive or be alive for another day. We must not forget that at the moment of our liberation, at the same hour when British and Canadian forces occupied Bergen-Belsen, people continued to die. Death was all around us even after liberation.

The first personnel who came into the camp were medics. They did not know what they were facing and were not fully prepared. There was no medication. They gave us the wrong food. They were not equipped to do anything. At that point, I believe there were about sixty thousand men and women in the camp. At the same time, there were pits and ditches with thousands of people in mass graves. Our recovery came slowly, and many people did not make it.

After liberation, some of us were transferred over to the German military complex next to the camp. Bergen-Belsen was in such a terrible state that there was a danger of a typhus epidemic. The British decided to evacuate everybody as soon as possible – and burned down many barracks – because it was too dangerous.

After the war I remained in the German military complex until the end of 1949. I stayed in the displaced persons camp where I had a job at the Jewish Agency, where we were mainly busy with educating and preparing people to go to Palestine, which after 1948 became the State of Israel. In 1950 I immigrated to Israel with my wife, whom I had met in Bergen-Belsen. After several years in Israel, I eventually immigrated to Canada and settled in Toronto with my wife and two children.

This book collects the accounts of Canadian liberators and relief personnel. While their hardships were nothing compared to our own, it is important to recognize the challenges they faced in helping us try to survive in the aftermath. These stories will help us remember the terrible crimes that were committed against the Jewish people and many other victims. Let us never allow such crimes to ever occur again.

Joseph Podemski, 1922-2021

Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Footnote

This is a research done by Clarence Simonsen. It was about a Spitfire pilot. This is Part Six of the research where Gordon McKenzie Hill recounts when he went to Bergen-Belsen.

 

The Making of a WWII RCAF Spitfire Pilot
P/O Gordon Hill J37340
Part Six

The move into Germany begins on 11 April 1945, when thirteen squadron Spitfires depart for B.100 Goch, Germany, [76 on map] where they will remain until 14 April.

The ground party moves out on 12 April, and follow the blue line on map. They cross the Rhine River at Wesel, [#57 on map] and proceed to B.108 at Rheine, Germany, where they spent the night.

Gordon was running the Orderly Room while Adjutant Howe was away, and requested to drive the squadron Jeep, so he could take photos of crossing the Rhine into Germany.

Crossing the Rhine [looking south] at Wesel, Germany, blue circle #57 on map.

North bound to Wesel, Germany

On 24 March, the American 9th Army and British Second Army forces swept across the Rhine at this point and the city of Wesel was secured. At the same time airborne troops landed on the German plain north of the Ruhr.

No 416 RCAF ground “A” convoy crossed at the same spot on 12 April 1945. Gordon returned to B.100 Goch and rejoined his flight.

The river banks were still heavily mined by the retreating Germans.

The pilots and thirteen 416 Spitfire fighters flown to B.100 Goch, Germany, on 11 April 1945. Gord flew patrol the next day, attacking buildings, and trains, from 06:48 until 09:16 hours.

Welcome to Germany, flak damage at B.100 Goch, Germany, 13 April 1945

No. 440 RCAF Typhoon at B.100 Goch

Gordon’s April trip to Dusseldorf clearly shows the effects of the Allied bombing campaign.

On 14 April 1945, the Spitfires arrive at B.114 Diepholz, Germany, and Gord records the fighters. It snowed on 21 April, and this image was taken some time later, with still snow on the ground. No. 416 [Lynx] Squadron left B.114 on 26 April and arrived at B.154 Reinsehlen, Germany, where they remained for the next two months.

Gordon with his camera

B.114 Diepholz was a former Luftwaffe base and contained excellent hangars and aircrew living quarters. They only stayed for twelve days and then departed North West 100 miles to B.154.

The ground “A” party left at 8 am 26 April 1945, and the Spitfires left just after 1 pm. The new drome was located 35 miles south east of Hamburg, Germany, near Schnenerdinge, Germany. Twenty miles south was the village of Bergen, Germany.

The fighter pilots were ordered to taxi to the end of the runway, park, and remain beside their aircraft, as the airfield had not been cleared of mines. Around 4 pm the British Army arrived and commenced to clear the area of German mines. By the time the area was secured, ground party “A” arrived and began to unload tents and supplies.

Ground party “B” arrived on 28 April 1945, and found they would be living in tents, and working out doors from their mobile hangar trucks. The Daily Diary made note the billets were not as good as the last ones, they would have to make the best of it.

The mobile aircraft hangar repair shop at B.154 Reinsehlen

The squadron group photo at B.154/ Reinsehlen, Germany, June 1945

Baseball game at B.154

On 2 May 1945, the pilots learned the village of Bergen was just 20 miles south of their location and two miles away was a large concentration camp named “Bergen Belsen.”

Gordon and four other RCAF pilots took the squadron Jeep and drove south to the large concentration camp. Gordon stated – “No amount of words can give a true impression of what we saw, heard, and smelled that horrible day. I still wish I had never gone, and it really bothered me for the next twenty years of my life. Nazi Germany conquered, enslaved, and plundered Europe, but we five pilots had no idea what to expect, and it defied any description, even still today.”

The entrance sign erected by the British Army around 29 April 1945.

Original black and white colorised by Pierre Lagacé

Flowers at a mass grave site.

Bremen bombed docks seen from a Canadian Spitfire, 3 May 1945.

F/O Picard and F/O McCallum

On 4 May 1945, F/O G. M. Hill was one of six Spitfires [TB237 – SM200 – SM191 – SM466 – SM470 – and his “S” TD187] attacking German shipping off shore at Eckerrerde Bay. They returned to base at 14:20 hrs. and were informed the war in Europe was over. This was later confirmed by radio at 20:30 hrs that evening.

On 5 May 1945, No. 416 was assigned a special escort of 14 Dakota transport aircraft to Copenhagen, Denmark, and the signing of the German surrender of Northwest Germany. Gordon flew DN-S, serial TD187, and the return trip took 2 hrs. and 25 minutes. The RCAF Spitfires could not land, as they did not have a self starter like the American P-51 fighters, who were also conducting escort of VIPs.

The 492nd Bombardment Group of the American 8th Air Force arrived at North Pickenham, England, on 14 April 1944, and flew a total of 64 missions until 7 August 1944. They were withdrawn from combat on 5 August and assumed special operations at Harrington, replacing the 801st Bomb Group. On the afternoon of 6 May 1945, Col. Robert W. Fish was assigned a secret mission to fly an American C-47 from Harrington, England, to Copenhagen [Kastrup] Denmark. The passengers were members of the Danish Government and two members of the Danish Royal Family. This was for a secret unconditional signing of the German surrender documents, as the Germans Forces had surrendered on 5 May 1945. The V.I.P.s arrived at Harrington on 7 May 1945, and the C-47 took off at 10:00 hrs, stopping for fuel at Eindhoven, Belgium. They were then joined by two American P-51 fighters who escorted the C-47 to the airport at Copenhagen, Denmark. They were cleared to land, and found the airport was still partly in control of the Germans. The V.I.P.s departed and the flight crew were treated to a huge meal by the Danish, then returned to England.

On 7 May 1945, “B” flight, No. 416 Squadron was informed four pilots would be flying escort for a single RAF Mosquito fighter to Copenhagen-Kastrup, Denmark. The Mosquito was transporting a special VIP for the unconditional surrender of North-West Germany, Denmark, and Heligoland. The No. 416 escort pilots selected were – P/O L. E. Spurr, [TD251 “F”] F/O K.J. Williams, [TB905 “K”] F/O R.O. Brouillard, [SM466 “Y”] and F/O Gordon Hill, [TD187 “S”].

These four pilots flew – “The last No. 416 Squadron operation in World War Two.” This special escort took place from 16:05 hrs to 18:25 hrs, 7 May 1945. The special Danish V.I.P. is unknown. F/O Hill had aircraft problems and returned to base, recorded as [D.N.C.O.] Duty Not Carried Out. Gordon is unable to recall the events.

The total number of special escort operations completed by No. 416 Squadron on 7 May 1945.

This image was taken by Canadians at Fleasburg airfield, Denmark, 5 May 1945. The Danes had removed all the propellers and spinners from the German fighters, preventing them from being flown out.

Copy of the final WWII newsletter – ‘WINGTIPS XTRA.”

 

On 8 May 1945, the war was officially over, and all RCAF ranks had the day off. Gordon, two other pilots, and three ground crew, drove north from Hamburg to an airfield [B.164/Schleswig] south of Flensburg, Germany. They were looking for German aircraft to bring back to the squadron and German guns. They loaded two cases of rum [12 – 16 oz. bottles] and headed off into northern Germany.

 

The original history by F/O Gordon Hill in his photo album.

The ex-Luftwaffe airfield was now home to a unit of British Marines, and they loudly advised – “No Bloody way you’ll get any guns, let alone any German aircraft.”

While standing on the airfield a German two engine bomber appeared, landed, and the two crew surrendered to the RCAF pilots. Gordon Hill took three photos.

The German pilot [right under engine] stated he came from Norway then Denmark. Possibly Junkers Ju188D-2 from 1. Fernaufklarungsgruppe 122, Kirkenes, Norway. Number on nose appears to be 032.

Standard green camouflage with pale blue-grey over spray, code white H and black letter R.

The Canadians requested lodging for the night, and that evening invited the British Marine Captain in charge, and two of his officers over for a few drinks of rum. The morning of May 9, 1945, the two ground crew returned to base driving the squadron Jeep. The three RCAF pilots each flew off in a German aircraft, loaded with German guns, and Gordon stated – “The remainder of the rum was left with the British Captain for medical use.”

This No. 416 captured Messerschmitt Bf 109, was now joined by three more German aircraft.

This is the original note given to F/O Gordon Hill from the British Marine Captain, to take the two Bücker Bü 181 aircraft, which he identified as Me 108s. It’s amazing the power a bottle of rum has in making a deal. F/O Hill flew one of the captured Bü 181s back to base, and this unofficial flight is not recorded in his log book. The German aircraft [RL-E1] were given the code DN-X and Gordon flew it on 11 May 1945, 6 and 19 June 1945, recorded in his log book.

 

RCAF Batman LAC Grieve, [left] on right is “Jules” the No. 416 Flemish civilian Batman, who received a ride in the German aircraft Bucker Bü 181 courtesy of pilot “Pic” Picard.

The third captured German aircraft, a Bf 108, was taken by the C.O.

It became the new squadron ‘pet’ as this Messerschmitt Bf 108, was flown by all the squadron pilots, who loved her soft leather seats. F/O Hill flew it one time on 15 May 1945, with F/L Parry, F/L Commerford, and the C.O. S/L Mitchner as passengers. Marked with 127 Wing and the initials of 416 Squadron C.O. S/L J.D. Mitchner used it to fly around bases in Europe and even to England for meetings.

On 30 May 45, F/O Chuck Darrow was flying too low in one of the Bü 181s and hit wires, taking off the tail and made a crash landing. His punishment was one-week Duty Pilot and one-week of Orderly Officer. The second aircraft had her engine destroyed by using 150 octane aviation fuel from the squadron Spitfires.

F/O Gordon Cameron, S/L Jack Mitchner, F/O Picard, and Dove, with war trophies.

Trap-shooting was used to keep fighter pilots eye-sight keen, and for pleasure.

F/L Walter Norman Douglas J2933, age 24, from Halleybury, Ontario, was accidently shot and killed by a shotgun blast. He is buried in the Becklingen War Cemetery at Soltau, Germany. F/O Gordon Hill witnessed this accidental shooting and was confined to barracks until the enquiry was completed. The official statements follow.

Now that the hostilities in Europe have ended, No. 416 is one of four RCAF day fighter units selected to remain in Germany under the British Air Forces of Occupation. They fly to Base 152, Fassberg on 2 July 1945, now under command of No. 83 [Composite] Group, No. 126 [RCAF] Wing.

The RCAF grave site at Eindhoven, Holland, June 1945

End of Part Six

Next chapter: Postwar Germany

Mentioned in Despatched

Clarence Simonsen is sharing this February 1943 issue of Mentioned in Despatched.

 

Painting by Clarence Simonsen

 

Transcription (all transcriptions will be added later).

HOW TO PROLONG A WAR

In one month, not so long ago, over 500 aircraft were involved in accidents. As a result, these aircraft were put out of action for periods ranging from half a day to eternity. This means that, in one month, over 500 aircraft – DOUBLE THE COMPLETE PRE-WAR STRENGTH OF THE RCAF – were rendered useless to us for the work in hand. Meanwhile, the war goes on just that much more slowly.

THE SADDEST PART OF THIS SHOCKING STATE OF AFFAIRS IS THAT 70 PER GENT OF THE ACCIDENTS DID NOT-HAVE TO HAPPEN.

This 70 per cent resulted from :
1. DISOBEDIENCE
2. CARELESSNESS
3. PILOT ERROR

You know the type of accident we mean …

INSTRUCTOR forgets to lower undercarriage and fails to see airmen flashing red lights.

A “C” crash.

INSTRUCTOR carries out unauthorized low flying. Aircraft stalls in steep turn close to the ground.

Aircraft and instructor lost.

INSTRUCTOR taxying too fast, runs off end of runway, hits rough ground, wipes out undercarriage.

INSTRUCTOR taxies into gasoline tender.

INSTRUCTOR fails to hold control column back while running up engine. Machine goes up on nose.

INSTRUCTOR fails to notice parked aircraft and whacks into its propellor while demonstrating gliding approach.

Not one of those accidents had to happen. Yet there, are hundreds like them,and this dismal story seems to drag on ad infinitum. Leadership must come from your instructors. Then, and only then, can you reasonably hope for the pupils you dream about.

 

Painting by Clarence Simonsen

 

Transcription

They say this chap’s face is still red,

He and two stupils were up instrumenting. The laddie under the hood couldn’t keep the Crane straight. It kept swinging to the left.

Our instructor (#11 SFTS) took control, and found that not only did it want to go to the left, but that it’s nose was heavy. Also, as he expressed it, he “felt a surging.”

So he cried “Jump, jump,”‘ in duly-prescribed fashion.

And out they all went.

The Cessna – well, believe it or not, the Cessna made “an almost normal landing.”

All by itself, too.

Investigators said the controls operated normally, though perhaps they were a bit stiff.

Command commented: “All symptoms described are those which occur when the door of a Crane is inadvertently left open … It is believed this may have been the cause of the strange behavior of the aircraft.”

Court of inquiry said: “The crash was due to an excited pilot ….”

An excited pilot – with over 500 hours!!!

Yes, McGurk takes great pleasure in awarding this month’s BOOT for the above performance.

 

Painting by Clarence Simonsen

Transcription

TAIL – HE LOST!

We don’t like to think that instructors and pupils are flipping coins to see who’ll look out for other aircraft while in the air.

But they certainly seem to be doing something of the sort.

It has been found necessary at one school (No. 1 SFTS) to suggest that “STUDENTS AND INSTRUCTORS ARE TO WARN EACH OTHER OF AIRCRAFT IN THE VICINITY.”

This suggestion followed an accident which occurred after the the toss (presumably) resulted in a tie. Anyway, no one was looking. Two Harvards, each containing an instructor and a pupil, were flying very close to each other..

“THE INSTRUCTOR,” says the report, “DIDN’T SEE THE OTHER MACHINE, AND HE ALLOWED THE STUDENT TO TURN TO THE RIGHT WITHOUT LOOKING. THEY STRUCK THE TAIL OF THE OTHER AIRCRAFT.”

One plane dropped.

One flew back.

Luckily, nobody was hurt.

Painting by Clarence Simonsen

 

Transcription

If you don’t want to live – O.K.

But PLEASE remember the aircraft!

!LOOK AROUND !

THIS IS NO BULL

If it isn’t one thing, it’s another. Look at this –

A navigation instructor was “stooging along,” stressing the differences between a river and a main highway, when one engine stopped.

Unable to maintain height on the other, he promptly whipped into the correct forced-landing procedure, and was all set to put her down when – a bunch of cattle stampeded in front of him.

Instead of coming to a graceful rest on the greensward, the aircraft achieved a gloomy end in a coulee.

A complete wreck.

They say the pilot no longer eats beef.

 

Painting by Clarence Simonsen

Transcription

TWO-FIFTY OR BUST

Read these, fellows …

“MY STUDENT’S JUDGEMENT WAS RATHER POOR,” said the instructor (No. 15 SFTS), “SO I CAME LOWER TO POINT OUT HOW IMPORTANT IT WAS TO MAINTAIN A CONSTANT HEIGHT WHILE LOW FLYING.”

Because of the instructor’s error in Judgement, “THE AIRCRAFT STRUCK A RISE IN THE GROUND, SHATTERING BOTH PROPELLORS AND NECESSITATING A FORCED LANDING.”

Again:

Our second instructor (No. 8 SFTS) was also giving a masterly demonstration of low-flying. Apparently he’d never heard of 250 feet either that, or he thought it sissy stuff.

But anyway

“HE TOUCHED BOTH PROPELLORS ON THE FROZEN SURFACE OF A SMALL LAKE, BREAKING THE TIPS OFF THEM. THEN, IN PULLING UP, HE HIT THE RUDDER TWICE, TEARING IT LOOSE FROM THE RUDDER POST… PIECES OF PROP NOPE HOLES IN THE NOSE AND FUSELAGE.”

Yes, his logbook was endorsed,

And yet again:

The sergeant (No. 32 SFTS) was showing the eager student how to low fly in perfect safety while navigating, map-reading, pin pointing, etc. at the same time…

 

“HE HAD JUST TAKEN OVER CONTROL SO THAT THE STUDENT COULD CHECK THE FUEL GAUGE. HE MISJUDGED HIS HEIGHT AND COLLIDED WITH THE TOP OF A HILL.”

 

When you get that low, you might, as well. take a train.

 

 

 

 

More crashes found on the Internet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Clarence Simonsen’s painting

 

July 1943 issue of Mentioned in Despatched found on the Internet .

 

HIGH, WIDE AND LIVE SOME

You may not know this, chaps, but people have been shot down right in their own circuit.

Yes, when only a few moments away from a quick snort and a good meal they and their aircraft have been turned into a heap of rubbish by an enemy sharpshooter.

There was only one reason –

OUR LADS FAILED TO KEEP THEIR EYES OPEN –

THEY DIDN’T KEEP LOOKING AROUND.

Fighter pilots who have lived to fight another day will tell you that when in the combat area, and even at home,

90 PER CENT OF YOUR TIME SHOULD BE DEVOTED TO LOOKING AROUND, THE OTHER 10 TO FLYING AND FIGHTING.

That is, if you want to live.

That “looking around” habit is one you MUST develop now.

There are no enemy planes, but there are plenty of pilots around who seem to think their eyes are for ogling girls only, certainly not for watching out for other aircraft.

Despite the fact there’s enough sky to give each aircraft a few million cubic feet, there were about 50 mid-air collisions during the last six months.

FIFTEEN WERE FATAL.

In four days four collisions took 12 lives.

Somebody didn’t look around.

From his first flight, a student should be taught to keep his head swinging as though on a pivot. Slap hangar duty at him if he doesn’t.

And you staff pilots and instructors don’t you be afraid of straining your necks either.

It’s good insurance.

 

 

 

MORE SOCIAL NOTES OR WHAT OUR PILOTS ARE STILL DOING

THIS ONE (No. 1 OTU) was flying in formation when his engine, with a disheartening cough, quit. Our pilot and his Hurricane wound up most ungracefully amid the rocks and shrubbery. A quick cockpit check (on the ground) showed his reserve tank empty– his main tanks FULL.

YES, HE FORGOT.

THIS ONE (No. 32 SETS) couldn’t make his starboard undercarriage light turn green. He took “preliminary emergency measures”, but still no green. So in he whistled on his belly. The landing wasn’t bad, but not half as good as the one he could have made with his wheels down had he used the emergency undercarriage system.

THIS ONE (No. 1 NAG) was lumbering along in his Swordfish when he spotted another Swordfish. He decided a bit of formation might be in order. The fact that the pilot in the other machine didn’t know anything about it would add to the sport. So up he pounded.

He overshot.

He also struck the other plane with his tail. 

“BAD AND CARELESS FLYING”, said the report.

Quite.

THIS ONE (No. 35 EFTS) was really hot stuff. With 1,000 hours, he didn’t need as much take-off run for his Tigerschmitt as others normally did. SO-O-O-, even though there was no wind, he allowed himself only 200 yards.

YES, HE HIT THE FENCE.

THESE TWO (both instructors at No. 13 EFTS) were enlivening an otherwise dull afternoon with a spot of low flying up a river. They didn’t get burned when they hit the high tension wires, but were in for a real scorching when they arrived back at the airport. The accident was ascribed to

1. Low flying.

2. Disobedience – “TEMPORARY LOSS OF COMMON SENSE”.

 

 

GET THE HELL OFF THERE!

THIS ONE (No. 9 B and G) is no more. He decided to visit his home village by air. To make sure everyone saw him, he went down low, and circled the place. Hundreds of people looked up and waved. He probably waved too. On the third round he hit some telephone wires, then a house, then piled into a wharf.

HE DIED.

It was his first solo flight on the type.

THIS ONE (a student at No. 34 EFTS) is probably wondering if it’s really worthwhile. He got lost in bad weather and with loss of much sweat and perhaps some hair set his Moth down in a big field – – unharmed. His instructor came to fly it out. He wrecked it shooting up the field.

HE ALSO KILLED HIMSELF.

THIS ONE (another young innocent – – No. 23 EFTS) also got lost in poor weather. He did a quite good precautionary, breaking only his prop. The chief instructor, a flight lieutenant, flew the Cornell back to the airport. He wiped out the undercarriage and propeller on the signal area. We admit the visibility wasn’t the best.

THESE TWO (No. 7 EFTS) were taking off out of a field. They failed to notice a single wire in their path. This slowed the aircraft down. The boys finished up on their back. A five-foot fence was credited with the assist.

Both pilots got an endorsement.

BETTER GIVE THEM CORRECTIVE GOGGLES, TOO.

 

 

THIS ONE (a flight looie with 1200 hours  – – at No. 1 OTU) led a formation of two Hurricanes on an exercise over the Lake St.John area. They flew merrily about for a while, then changed over, flew about for another 20 minutes, changed over again. They had been going around in circles so long, they didn’t know where they were, despite the fact it was the only large lake in the area, and familiar to both. So they separated. No. 2 man flew east and landed safely.

The flight looie flew round and round until his fuel ran out. Then he landed, wheels up, in a field. 

HE WAS ONE MILE FROM THE AIR-FIRING RANGE.

O MA BABBY

McGurk takes great pride in awarding No. 3 B and G the wooden medal for the “suggestion of the month”.

Two pupils wandered into a Battle prop. One was killed, one hurt.

They had failed to look around when walking across the taxi strip, even though looking about is almost effortless and definitely worthwhile.

 

A flight lieutenant, for OC flying, recommended, as means of…

 

…avoiding future similar accidents : –

PROVIDING ESCORT TO TAKE PUPILS TO AND FROM AIRCRAFT.

Perhaps nurses to feed them would be helpful, too.

SUMMA CUM LAUDE 

It isn’t often that McGurk, Pontifex Maximus of Flight, finds himself without words.

“FOR DISTINGUISHED STUPIDITY”

Not that he is “windy”, as the vulgar would say. But he is generally able to come through with the proper though perhaps caustic comment for a particularly flagrant performance.

However, in the following shocking case, he feels that the words of the station itself (No. 9 EFTS) are ample.

He contents himself with announcing that the instructor involved is awarded

The Boot

The report reads :

The instructor (with 1100 hours–ed.) was giving dual on forced and precautionary landings.

“After a practice approach WHEN HE ALLOWED THE AIRCRAFT TO COME WITHIN 20 FEET OF THE GROUND, the instructor levelled off and opened the throttle to gain speed. AT THIS POINT HE ceased giving instruction on forced landings and STARTED TO PREPARE THE STUDENT FOR INSTRUMENT FLYING BY TELLING HIM TO GET UNDER THE HOOD.

“The instructor was then taking over control.

“By this time the aircraft had flown across the forced landing field and was nearing the windward side where there are trees approximately 30 feet high. Noticing he was close to them, he pulled up (really quick thinking – McGurk) and opened the throttle fully.

The engine coughed, and apparently lost power momentarily due…

 

 

… to the rapid opening of the throttle. By this time the airspeed was close to the stall and the left wing dropped. Noticing this (remarkable perception McGurk), the instructor attempted to right the aircraft. At this point the throttle was fully opened and the engine had started to pick up.

“BUT IT WAS TOO LATE.

 

“The aeroplane slipped inward, turned to the left, struck some trees, then some hydro wires and

“CARTWHEELED INTO A NEARBY FIELD.”

Reading it, McGurk, who admite his own flying is faultless, just shook his head.

When his Oxford started to shake and lose height, our instructor (No. 32 SETS) figured it high time to get down.

He did – crashing on landing.

Technical examination showed no reason for the shuddering. Other pilots experienced the shakes, too, attributing it to “weather inversion caused by rapidly rising temperature.”

So investigators reported:

“…….THE VIBRATION WAS CAUSED BY AN INVERSION and the pilot jumped to the conclusion there was something radically wrong with the aircraft. He forced-landed immediately without a careful and Intelligent inspection as to the cause of vibration”.

Cloudy Joe, in his lofty eyrie in Penquin Palace, is upset no end. He says: “an inversion means peace and serenity,not turbulence”.

 

 

CR-A-A-SH!

It may be the pupils.

Perhaps it’s the instructors. it might even be pixies.

But whatever it is, the boys at no. 11 EFTS recently seemed to be finding it a bit difficult to make a good landing.

In five days the poor old Finch took an awful beating. Aircraft ended up in nearly every conceivable position.

There were only so many things that can be done incorrectly while landing. 

They were all nearly done.

Read these :-

Student on his first solo on wheels landed in 150 degree crosswind (their own words) with slight drift. The aircraft swung to the right and the left wing went down. He applied corrective measures too late. The left wing dug into the ground.

THE AIRCRAFT NOSED OVER.

Student landed too far up on the field. tried to change direction at high speed.

THE AIRCRAFT GROUNDLOOPED.

Student failed to correct swing after a crosswind landing. THE AIRCRAFT groundlooped violently and went up on its back.

During the landing run the student evidently touched his brakes

THE AIRCRAFT NOSED UP.

 

 

While landing, the student’s right wing dropped. In the attempt to recover he overcontrolled, causing the aircraft to FLIP ON ITS BACK.

The student evidently landed with his feet on the brakes. There was a 60 degree crosswind at the time. The left wing dropped. In attempting to correct, brakes were applied.

THE AIRCRAFT NOSED UP.

The student overcontrolled on his second solo, and GROUNDLOOPED.

The student bounced, stalled, and did not use corrective measures.

THE AIRCRAFT OVERTURNED.

The pupil swerved on his landing run, applied rudder in the direction of the turn.

THE AIRCRAFT NOSED UP.

And you’ll like this last one :

“When practising a precautionary landing at the airport, the student came in high (10 feet) and closed his throttle immediately after going over the boundary fence.

“The instructor attempted to ease the aircraft down with throttle, but the engine wouldn’t respond. The aircraft hit hard, and fractured the right oleo leg.”

“THE ACCIDENT,” said the school “WAS DUE TO THE CONDITION OF THE AERODROME A VERY ROUGH SURFACE”.

My My!

Frankly, we think a 10-foot.

 

 

 

QUICK MOTHER, THE ICE-PAK!

My, my, life is embarrassing at times!

Look at this :

During a night take-off the Anson (No. 7 B and G) swung violently to the right, the undercart crunching like an eggshell.

But that wasn’t all.

THE AIRCRAFT SQUATTED ON A LIGHTED FLAREPOT.

IT WENT UP IN SMOKE.

By the light of the flaming plane (it was just about 1 a.m.) the pilot explained that seizure of the starboard brake caused the swing.

And just read this :

A staff pilot and four others (No. 4 AOS) were on a night cross country. It was snowing quite hard and the pilot was letting down to get a definite pinpoint.

His navigator told him to go easy, as the land was a bit higher at this point.

The pilot levelled out.

But it was too late.

As he turned to the left, the wing tip hit something and everything went black.

When daylight came, investigators nearly fainted when they saw where the plane had gone.

 

 

It had : JUST CLEARED SOME TREES

FLOWN UNDER TELEPHONE WIRES

CLIPPED FENCE POSTS WITH THE PORT WING TIP.

The pilot admitted :

“I was concentrating so hard on the direction gyro, artificial horizon and airspeed indicator

I DID NOT LOOK AT MY ALTIMETER AFTER I HAD COME DOWN BELOW 2000 FEET.”

And this is good, too :

Our instructors were on the BA course at No. 1 IFS. They were so senior, and so good (1400 hrs.) they could fly without thinking.

That’s just what they were doing.

They were on the final approach, and at 250 feet when the port engine out.

THE LAD UNDER THE HOOD DID NOTHING.

THE LAD OUT OF IT, DITTO.

The Oxford took matters into its own hands.

EVERYBODY WOUND UP IN THE BAY OF QUINTE.

Said the “pilots”:

“We were so intent on the beam procedure WE FAILED TO SWITCH ON THE AUXILIARY PETROL TANKS.”

Frightful, isn’t it!

 


Clarense Simonsen is also sharing this January 1944 issue of Mentioned in Despatched.

 

DONKEY SERENADE

Our subject for today is donkeys.

Not the kind with the big long ears, but the kind that need only those ears to make the resemblance complete.

These are the flying donkeys.

The antics they pull in the air are described as “asinine.” Any dictionary will tell you that asinine means “pertaining to asses,” or “belonging to, or resembling the ass.”

Frankly, we hardly think it fair to put the harmless and very useful long-eared donkey in the same class as the short-eared flying donkey.

WE’VE KNOWN QUITE A FEW OF THE USEFUL KIND IN OUR DAY AND ANY ONE OF THEM HAD A HIGHER I.Q. THAN THE SPECIES WHICH WHIRLS ABOUT IN THE BLUE.

No self-respecting long-eared donkey would think of doing the things that the short-eared type pull off in their flying machines high in the air or very close to the ground.

There are all kinds of flying donkeys.

There is the show-off type, such as this one which flew Harvards at No. 13 S.F.T.S.

Now most donkeys are very hard to get going, and they aren’t steeplechase material at the best. Manoeuvreable would hardly be the word to describe them. But this donkey wanted to show the world how fast he was; how he could run rings around a speed artist like a train.

So, WITH A LOUD BRAY, HE DID.

 

He shot this way and that way, and over and alongside – all at 200 feet.

Then he did three slow rolls.

HE WAS ALSO COURT MARTIALED.

Most donkeys are the dare-devil I-don’t-give-a-damn-for-rules and-regulations type. Frequently they are paranoiacs, with an emphasis on the delusions of persecution. They think everybody is just out to spoil their fun.

DEATH never deters them.

If some donkey smears himself doing something which the book of rules warns is bad medicine, the other donkeys never concede that there must be something in that regulation after all.

NO SIREE.

They conclude that their late friend, Joe Donkey, forgot to look at his airspeed, or did something equally stupid, and they would never be as careless as that.

CERTAINLY NOT.

This donkey (late of No. 31 B. and G.) thought regulations against aero batting twin-engine aircraft a lot of twaddle.

SO HE TRIED TO LOOP AN ANSON.

He’ll never do it again.

But even before the body was cold, so to speak, another donkey, (No. 9 S.F.T.S.) was doing the same thing. This donkey (who survived to be the main feature of a court-martial) was an even bigger donkey from another standpoint.

He was due to graduate in a week – AS TOP MAN.

HE LEFT AT THE BOTTOM.

And, of course no list of aerobatic donkeys would be complete without that at No. 8 B.

 

This desire to be close to the ground has, of course, killed a lot of donkeys.

BUT THE SURVIVORS REASON THAT THEY’D HAVE DIED AT HEIGHT ANYWAY, AND BESIDES, THEY WERE PROBABLY A BIT CARELESS.

This donkey (No. 19 S.F.T.S.) was on a low-level cross-country flight, and his student got somewhat off track.

While the student pin-pointed, our donkey friend decided to take in a baseball game. He couldn’t read the names on the program sheet, and he just had to know who was playing, so he went a little lower,

HE WAS SO LOW THEY THOUGHT HE WAS PLAYING CENTRE-FIELD.

Other fielders had to flop to the ground.

Another low-flying member (No. 32 E.F.T.S.) of the donkey fraternity sighted a car belonging to friends roaring along the highway. He thought he’d say how-do-you-do.

Since theirs was a very close friendship, the greeting had to be warm. He whacked the top of the car.

And in the midst of all these salutations, a telephone wire reared its ugly head. The donkey couldn’t get over, so he tried to go under.

HE MISSED.

HE LANDED.

HE ALSO LEFT THE SERVICE.

This donkey (No. 118 Squadron, Sea Island, B.C.) was ordered up to 25,000 feet to do an oxygen test.

HE HIT A BOAT.

 

It seems that after he’d been up that high, he decided to come down a bit to improve his sight before landing. As his sight got better, he spotted a fishing vessel and noticed it had no identification. And as his sight sharpened he noticed. “an unusual number of men on deck.”

SO HE WENT LOWER.

THEN HE CLIPPED THE BOAT.

The next donkey of whom we are going to speak was a senior member of the tribe. He was an instructor at No. 1 F.I.S. and is now, so far as the R.C.A.F. is concerned, a member of the great unemployed.

He took off in a Harvard at 9 p.m. and the donkey in him took control.

HE DOVE DOWN ALONG THE TARMAC AT 25-50 FEET, THEN DID AN UPWARD ROLL. DOING A DONKEY-QUICK TURN, HE ROARED BACK AT 200 FEET AND DID A SLOW ROLL. THEN HE MADE ANOTHER PASS AT THE AIRPORT AND LANDED.

And out he went.

This donkey (No. 13 E.F.T.S.) has a passion for livestock. He loves farms and everything connected thereto.

Apparently that’s why he descended to 25-50 feet over a farm recently, though at the court-martial he said no. He stated that while pounding along at 2000 feet, minding his own business, he saw some people on the ground. One of them was holding something white, and waving.

“Think that SOMEONE MIGHT BE IN DISTRESS,” and he might get an A.F.C. out of it,

 

His friends, the livestock, scattered,

After shooting hither and thither for a few moments, just nicely off the ground, he decided that it was just a false alarm, and that the people were just waving at him.

THE COURT-MARTIAL WAS NO FALSE ALARM.

Another lover of farm life was this donkey (No. 3 S.F.T.S.). Instead of doing a bombing exercise, as ordered, he did a few steep turns then hurried down to the donkey tribe’s natural level –

JUST OFF THE GROUND

Livestock and people went in all directions.

He said he wanted to be a fighter pilot.

There’s a good chance he won’t fly at all.

Being a family man, himself, this donkey (No. 16 S.F.T.S.) thought he’d like to visit his home in view of the fact this was his last trip ere graduation. His home was Toronto, and of course he had to go down low enough to get the house number or otherwise he might bother the other residents by mistake.

SO DOWN HE WENT.

Four times he roared low over the general area, undoubtedly having difficulty in getting the number as there was a tree or garbage pail or something in the way.

Kids were screaming to high heaven.

EVERYBODY ELSE BUT THE DONKEY WAS CONVINCED HE WAS ABOUT TO CRASH.

 

He didn’t.

BUT IT WAS HIS LAST FLIGHT.

An instructor donkey (No. 4 S.F.T.S.) was down on a low-level cross-country flight when a school house came into his sights, so to speak. The school house brought back old memories to him, so he thought he’d give the youngsters a slight relief from the general tedium.

THE WINDOWS SHOOK AS HE POUNDED OVER, AND ONE OF THE YOUNGSTERS SCREAMED THAT THE PLANE WAS CHASING HER.

The donkey said he noticed the kids waving and being a hero worshipper himself, he gave them a few sharp short turns. And, he admits, THEY LOVED IT.

MEMBERS OF THE COURT-MARTIAL DIDN’T.

Now we want to tell you about a very rare type of donkey. This donkey (No. 8 A.O.S.) was not a pilot, but an observer. However, flying looked pretty simple to him, so he climbed into an Anson, and away he went. This, of course, very, very solo.

2 hours.

He was up for

He got quite a reception on landing, and many plans had already been made for recognition of the flight.

They included the court-martial.

 

BASICALLY, WE ARE ALL POTENTIAL DONKEYS, BUT THE GOOD MAN DOESN’T LET THE DONKEY IN HIM TAKE CONTROL. IF YOUR EARS BEGIN TO TWITCH, PINCH THEM AND SHOUT”GET THEE BEHIND ME, SATAN.” IF YOUR EARS

A pilot (No. 5 B & G), asked by a visiting flight to fly a certain compass course, couldn’t set the required course on the verge ring. Asked how he flew a course, our pilot replied: “Oh. I always have a pupil bomb timer set it for DI”. And he’d been flying on exercises for eight months, too.

 

 

THIS CHAP REALLY GOT THE JACKPOT.

An instructor (No. 17 S.F.T.S.), he landed his Anson, to discover that he had no brakes. However, he decided that he would be a “hot pilot”, rather than a smart pilot –

He’d taxi without brakes.

After all, when you’re the confident, determined type, like our hero, brakes are just something else to wear out.

Going straight down the taxi strip was simple. But then he started turning corners, and weaving between other aircraft, etc., etc., etc.

AND THAT’S WHEN THE TROUBLE STARTED.

He was picking his way through two rows of parked aircraft when, to his dismay, he noticed that “a collision was imminent”, which means, in the language of the street, that he was about to smear another aircraft. He banged open the port throttle.

And his wingtip CLIPPED THE RUDDER OF A PARKED PLANE.

On he careened, SMASHING THE RUDDER OF A SECOND MACHINE.

Then he groundlooped.

And HIT A THIRD AIRCRAFT.

HIS SCORE- FOUR AIRCRAFT AND THE BOOT!

MY ONLY REGRET IS THAT I DIDN’T SEND IN A CONTRIBUTION!

 

 

IDIOTS DELIGHT

MY, HOW SOME OF THESE CHARACTERS DO CARRY ON !

This Flight Lieutenant (No. 12 S.F.T.S.) with over 1000 hours. thought he’d save a little time on take-off and get his under cart up a bit ahead of time.

Besides, it’d

reduce his drag, and get him up faster.

INSTEAD HE WENT DOWN

on his belly !

Said his station : “It is impossible to instil common sense in a pilot of such experience. With an ordinary amount of common sense this accident would never have occurred.

QUITE !

Our pupil (No. 41 S.F.T.S.) was doing steep turns, and after getting himself thoroughly tied up in circles, he came out to learn that he didn’t know where he was. He hunted here, and scurried there, and finally, since his gas was running low, he landed in a field – WHEELS DOWN- NOSE DOWN.

He DID NOT carry maps.

This instructor (late of No. 31 E.F.T.S.) spun in and died. So did his pupil.

THEIR LAST MANOEUVRE, IN A CORNELL, WAS A STEEP TURN, AT LOW ALTITUDE, WITH FULL FLAP!

This student (No. 10 E.F.T.S.) was doing circuits and bumps (with an emphasis on the bumps) in a Moth. On one circuit, he dropped his wailing aircraft in from a great height, but figured that since it would still run there couldn’t possibly be anything wrong.

 

 

His next landing was a beaut.

BUT THE UNDERCARRIAGE CAVED IN.

A staff pilot (No.33 A.N.S.) landed downwind, overshot and whacked a fence. As he cringed from the wreckage, he admitted he’d seen the landing T “but made a little mistake.”

AND WITH 700 HOURS, TOO.

Another instructor (No. 33 S.F.T.S.) was demonstrating single engine landings. He removed the horn fuse so he could hear himself think. He obviously didn’t hear a peep; that is, not until he saw his props gradually whittle themselves down to hub size along the tortured runway. The silence must have lulled him into a false sense of security, for

HE COMPLETELY IGNORED HIS UNDERCARRIAGE.

Generally one demonstrates stalling at 1000 feet ONLY ONCE.

This pilot (No. 2 W.S.) found that out.

HE’S DEAD NOW.

This pupil (No. 13 E.F.T.S.) got permission to take off, and was so happy about the whole thing he didn’t care where he did it.

WITHOUT EVEN A TEENY-WEENY PEEK AHEAD, HE BANGED THE THROTTLE WIDE OPEN.

The roar of the engine was exceeded only by the roar as he tore into the taxi post.

REMEMBER Willie (NOV. ISSUE)? – HE DID NOT BURN.

 

 

Another pupil (No. 6 E.F.T.S.) was doing medium turns, and on recovering from one (his last), his port wing dropped and his Tigerschmitt started slipping toward earth.

This was all very strange.

No matter what our student tried, the aircraft apparently just didn’t want to come out, and thinking that the whole world was about to fall apart, OUR STUDENT BAILED OUT.

THE AIRCRAFT THEREUPON STRAIGHTENED OUT ALL BY ITSELF AND DIVED STRAIGHT INTO THE GROUND.

This instructor (late of No. 10 E.F.T.S.) apparently wanted to see where a certain river ran to. So that he wouldn’t miss anything he went right down over the water.

HE DIDN’T MISS A THING NOT EVEN THE CABLE STRETCHED ACROSS THE RIVER.

He died.

So did his pupil.

Yet another instructor (No. 7 S.F.T.S.) saw smoke issuing from his port engine, and presumed it was on fire. So he promptly shut down that engine, and headed back for the airport. So far so good.

BUT THEN HE SLIPPED.

He was so excited he forgot that sequence popularly described as a downwind check.

YEP, ON HIS ABDOMEN !

 


FLYING BLIND

We’d like to tell you about a staff pilot (No. 1 C.N.S.) who had poor eyesight.

He’s dead now.

So are EIGHT other people.

This pilot was given glasses to wear because his eyesight wasn’t good enough without them.

But he never wore them.

He didn’t like them.

AND SO, THE OTHER NIGHT, THE ANSON HE WAS PILOTING, AND ANOTHER, COLLIDED IN MID-AIR AND CRASHED IN FLAMES. AND, AS WE SAID, NINE PEOPLE DIED.

We’re not blaming him entirely.

IN FACT, PERHAPS THE GREATEST BLAME SHOULD REST ON THE OTHER PILOT. HE CAME IN TO LAND WITHOUT GETTING PERMISSION TO DO SO.

However, it is reasonable to presume that had the other pilot worn his glasses he would have seen the other plane, and there’d have been no collision.

“Without the glasses,” said the Medical Officer, “his vision would not have been good enough for night flying.”

Glasses are not given to fill up your pockets.

They’re provided to wear.

WEAR THEM!

Wireless Air Gunners War Art

Research by Clarence Simonsen

Wireless Air Gunners War Art

Click on the link above for the PDF version


Text version with all the images

Wireless Air Gunners War Art

From October 1940 to March 1945, 18,496 Wireless/Air Gunners were trained in four RCAF Wireless Schools in Canada. Aircrew W.S. graduates by country were:

RCAF – 12,744,

Royal Australian Air Force – 2,875,

Royal New Zealand Air Force – 2,122,

Royal Air Force – 755.

Today [2022] a large part of RCAF Wireless School training history is still preserved in forgotten photo albums in Australia, New Zealand, England and Canada. Please share and help the author preserve our past, mostly lost aircraft markings and art from the war era.

The majority of young RCAF aircrew volunteers began their wartime career at the local RCAF Recruiting Centre, which was full of inspiring WWII air force painted poster art. Secretly, each one wanted to be the handsome hero pilot painted on many posters, but only a selected few would become pilots, and the majority would become bomber pilots, not fighter pilots. The BCATP trained 131,533 aircrew members in Canada, which included 49,808 pilots, 29,963 navigators, 18,496 Wireless Air Gunners, 15,674 Air Bombers, and 14,996 Air Gunners.

In 1940, the aircrew selection began with the recruiting officers, who accepted candidates in two broad categories “Pilot or Navigator.” Next came a Manning Depot, and after five weeks the recruit learned the basic elements of life in the RCAF. The course at Initial Training School lasted another four weeks, class room lectures, navigation, mathematics, armament, aerodynamics, mixed with parade square foot drill and daily physical training to keep in shape. The final and vital concern to all trainees was the sorting of students into five aircrew categories, and deciding for some they would remain on the ground and never fly.

Once again the RCAF used official training poster drawings which stressed the importance of teamwork and working together in aircrew positions. In the first 166 recruits who entered No. 1 Initial Training School on 29 April 1940, eight failed, ninety-two were chosen as pilot, forty-one air observer [air navigator] and twenty-five wireless operator/air gunner.

No. 1 Wireless School, Montreal, Quebec

The first wireless operator/air gunner trainees were sent to No. 1 Wireless School at Montreal, Quebec. First formed at Trenton, Ontario, in January 1937, the Wireless School transferred to Montreal, beginning 16 February 1940, [advance party] with the new formed Flying Squadron located at St. Hubert, Quebec. After twenty-four weeks of wireless instruction and in-flight training, the first wartime class graduated from Montreal on 16 August 1940. They now attended four weeks of gunnery training at a bombing and gunnery school, then off to England.

During this early BCATP construction and growing period, the training of wireless / air gunners was a haphazard learning experience and many arrived overseas never using the equipment they would fly with on combat operations. On 20 December 1940, a simple line in the Daily Dairy read – “2,000 copies of the new No. 1 Wireless “Review” newsletter was distributed to unit personnel.

The front cover came with a new unit insignia created by artists LAC A.E. Danes and AC2 Woodman the school cartoonist.

The first RCAF Wireless School “unofficial” unit insignia designed by RCAF members in Canada. Coloured by the author, which gives a better idea of this first created wireless image which most likely appeared on Mess walls and possibly even painted on trainer aircraft, or beside the W.A.G. poem of 1941.

On 3 March 1941, LAC Woodman drew a page dedicated to the Staff of the Newsletter, including the two artists who created No. 1 Wireless School Insignia.

A busy [cartoon] training day at No. 1 Wireless School, Montreal, 3 April 1941.

“Personalities” cartoons from LAC Woodman, W.A.G. Class 9A.

The first twenty-three DH 82C-2 Menasco Moth II aircraft constructed were all assigned to No. 1 Wireless School at Montreal, St. Hubert Airport. Menasco Moth II #4816-4817 and 4818 arrived St. Hubert on 3 January 1941. On 22 January 41 Moth – #4812-4813-4814-4819-4821 and 4822 arrived. The next day #4810-4815 and 4820 arrived, all recorded in Daily Diary.

DH.82C-2 Menasco Moth I, [ten built] D-4 Super Pirate 125 h.p. inline inverted 4-cylinder engine. Opposite rotation of propeller and reversal of the cowling openings.

DH.82C-4 Menasco Moth II, [125 built] same as the DH82C-2 but with reduced fuel capacity and minor alterations for wireless radios.

DH.82C-4 Menasco Moth III [one built – serial 4934] fitted with American AT-1/AR-2 radio, which was intended to be a radio trainer. Cancelled when British Gipsy Major engines arrived at de Havilland, [Toronto] Canada.

The ten DH 82C-2 Moth I trainers built by de Havilland in Toronto, Ontario, assigned RCAF 15 May and 11 June 1941.

Only one DH 82C-2 Menasco Moth I was assigned to No. 1 W.S. Flying Squadron at St. Hubert, Quebec, serial #4943.

Grant Macdonald was an official War Artist and one of Canada’s most famous portrait artists. This is his self-portrait completed in December 1943. He drew and painted men and women in all three services of Canada. His WWII sketch art sells for average $1,000 on today’s market.

Grant Macdonald came to No. 1 W.S. in 1942 and completed a number of drawings.

 

On 14 September 1944, No. 1 Wireless School moved to Mount Hope, Ontario, [today home of Warplane Heritage] where they operated until 31 October 1945. The new magazine was called “The Circuit.”

The cover art for No. 2 Wireless School at Calgary, Alberta. [The complete author history with school art can be found on Preserving the Past II]

https://clarencesimonsen745590793.wordpress.com/2018/11/29/no-2-wireless-school-pdf-version/

https://clarencesimonsen745590793.wordpress.com/2019/09/28/no-2-wireless-school-updated-text-version/

No. 2 Wireless School, Calgary, AB, “W.A.G. magazine” contains some very good art, insignia, maps, and cartoons. [Today the large collection is stored in archives at SAIT Campus, Calgary]

The Calgary Wireless School Flying Squadron was formed 6 January 1941, flying eight D.H. 82C-4 Menasco Moth II trainers which had been ferried from Montreal, No. 1 Wireless School. They flew training flights from the Municipal Airport TCA [Trans Canada Airlines] hangar at RAF No. 35 SFTS North Calgary. [Later became No. 37 SFTS R.A.F. Calgary] On 12 May 1941 they moved to a hangar at No. 3 SFTS [RCAF] which is today the campus of Mount Royal University, Calgary. The third and final move was made on 25 November 1942, to “their own” RCAF No. 2 Wireless School Flying Squadron at Station Shepard, [South Calgary].

Today the WWII Wireless training base is a huge industrial area, however, the original C.P.R. Railway station, used by the RCAF during training, survives at Heritage Park, Calgary, Alberta. The author has been inside many times, sadly, the world visitors to Heritage Park have no idea it had roots with the W.A.G. trained in Calgary during WWII. The Flying Squadron also created a “Willie the Wolf” Walt Disney inspired training badge, which was manufactured by Crestcraft in Saskatoon, Sask. [A few Wolves survive, the author has seen them, but they are way over-priced by collectors]

No. 2 W.S. Flying Squadron at RCAF Shepard, Alberta, “The Shepard Wolves.”

No. 2 Wireless School Trumpet Band, March 1941, Calgary. [SAIT Archives]

Painting by author based on original cloth badge [from private collection] used at RCAF Shepard, Alberta, November 1942 to 30 March 1945.

The RCAF H-hut ‘Wolves’ living quarters [top] and Airmen’s Lounge, No. 2 W.S. Calgary.

This was the standard Combined Training graduation diploma presented at the four RCAF Wireless Schools in Canada by the RCAF. This New Zealand student at No. 2 Calgary graduated with 22 words per minute and no errors, Class 100, 9 February 1945. [SAIT Archives] I’m sure his life was spared, as the war would be over in Europe [three months] 8 May 1945.

No. 2 W.S. Calgary closed on 14 April 1945.

No. 3 Wireless School, Winnipeg, Manitoba

The wireless training at No. 3 W.S. Winnipeg was delayed because of inadequate facilities and an embarrassing shortage of training aircraft.  The first non-Canadian personnel trained under the BCATP in 1940 were forty Australian pilots. They were the vanguard of 9,606 who would sail to Vancouver, B.C., then disembark and board special trains for their RCAF trades training location across Canada. No. 3 W.S. at Winnipeg, Manitoba, was first selected as the main wireless training school for Australian and New Zealand recruits, and in the first year they outnumbered RCAF recruits four to one.

The Wireless Training rooms as described in their Daily Diary – 31 March 1941.

 

Aerial photo of No. 3 W.S. which appeared in the first issue of W.A.G. Vol. 1, #1 – December 1941.

On 1 March 1941, 118 New Zealand Air Force recruits arrived by train from Vancouver, B.C., and Course 13 began wireless training on 19 of the month, with 145 students. The R.N.Z.A.F. recruits were divided into four groups of 36 students and numbered Squadron 13, Flights A-B-C and D. The students in No. 13D Class [Flight] mailed a letter to Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California, requesting a Disney Wireless Insignia for their training class. Disney artists would design over 1,200 insignia for American and Allied Nations in WWII.

[On file at Walt Disney Archives, Burbank, California, – 1986]

When Hank Porter [Disney artist] designed the Royal New Zealand Air Force Squadron No. 13 insignia, his choice of a Canadian Bear became an instant hit. The Insignia included a Canadian Brown Bear [Winnipeg] standing on a 500 lb. blue bomb, as he directs wireless signals to the ground. [The author has painted this replica wireless Bear many times, one hangs in the Bomber Command Museum of Canada at Nanton, Alberta, and the second in the Western Canada Aviation Museum at Winnipeg, Manitoba] This Disney insignia is a big hit with museum visitors of all ages, and I’m sure it was painted on walls and a few trainer aircraft. The needed proof might still be contained in a long forgotten Australian or New Zealand photo album, like the image seen below.

Internet New Zealand Air Force Museum – MUS0604812. The inside of a RNZAF H-Hut at No. 3 W.S. Winnipeg, 1941. [Below] The Wireless Air Gunners badge they would earn on graduation.

On 31 March 1941, the RCAF trainees were out numbered by four to one, 290 New Zealand and Australians to 73 Canadians.

The BCATP number of training aircraft allotted to No. 3 W.S. Winnipeg, 19 December 1940.

The Canadian constructed D.H. 82C Tiger-Moth, Primary Training Biplane, was powered with a 130 H.P. Gipsy-Moth four cylinder in-line inverted air cooled engine. When British engine delivery to Canada stopped, 136 DH 82-C, T-Moth aircraft were fitted with American purchased Menasco D-4 Pirate engines, and became D.H. 82C-2 [ten built] and D.H. 82C-4 Menasco Moth II trainers. One-hundred and twenty-five [serial #4810-4945, see list at end of history] were fitted with the D-4 Menasco Pirate 125 H.P. engine, and assigned to RCAF wireless schools for [air experience] wireless trainers.

Twenty-five D.H. 82C-4 Menasco Moth II from the above block were assigned to No. 3 W.S. at Winnipeg in early April 1941. The ten marked in yellow were confirmed, including a rare survivor serial 4861, below DND Archives PCN-4631. [Can. Air and Space Museum at Ottawa]

On 18 May 1941, three flights from No. 3 W.S. Flying Squadron, D.H. Menasco Moth II aircraft took part in the Winnipeg Decoration parade. On 31 May 41, forty-four wireless trainees were given their first air experience training flight in five Norseman and twenty-one Menasco Moth II aircraft.  The R.N.Z.A.F. students from Squadron 13, Flights A-B-C- and D [Bear] began their wireless air training [air experience] on 13 July 1941, and graduated 1 August 1941.

This image from the WAG magazine December 1941, shows the very basic markings used on the Menasco Moth II trainers. Only a single trainer tail fin letter was painted on the Moth IIs.

D.H. 82C-4 Menasco Moth II serial 4870 was taken on strength RCAF 29 March 1941, arrived No. 8 R.D. Winnipeg, 30 April and was assembled, assigned No. 3 W.S. Burnt 17 May 1944, at Winnipeg.

The first Canadian built Fleet Fort was taken on charge No. 3 W.S. Winnipeg on 4 April 1942 and in total forty-three would be used as trainers until 14 July 1944.

Air-to-air photo Fort 3614 which arrived No. 8 Repair Depot, Winnipeg, 23 February 1942. Caught fire mid-air made forced landing, scrapped 23 October 1943. [Norman Malayney]

Fort 3622 No. 3 W.S. Winnipeg. [Norman Malayney]

The Question remains: – “Was the Winnipeg “Wireless Bear” even painted on a Norseman, Menasco Moth or Fleet Fort Wireless Flying Squadron aircraft?” Replica on original Norseman skin painted by author for Bomber Command Museum of Canada at Nanton, Alberta.

The new No. 3 W.S. insignia appears in 1943.

The W.S. closed at Winnipeg on 20 January 1945.

No. 4 Wireless School – Guelph, Ontario

Opening day RCAF free domain image. The citizens of Guelph did not want the Wireless Training School.

In February 1942, the first edition [Vol. 1, #1] of the local wireless magazine was published, with small cover header created by L.A.C. Lynn J. Chapters, entry class No. 39.

Training classes began at No. 4 W.S. on 7 July 1941, the official opening on 9 August 1941. The original wireless program was twenty weeks, followed by four weeks of gunnery training.

No. 4 W.S. Guelph was the fourth and last wireless school formed, yet, they became the first to select the “Fist and Sparks” official trade badge as their cover newsletter title. The official wireless air gunner sleeve trade badge is giving Hitler a punch in the nose, which was a very truthful drawing by artist LAC Chapters.

The magazine was very professional, high quality, and contained very good informative articles, but it totally lacked any humor, art, unit badge, pin-up girls, or RCAF cartoons. It was very British style conservative, [southern Ontario] to the point of being boring. I believe this was possibly due to the two consulting editors who were both man of the cloth. [See above]

The first full cover art appeared in Vol. 1, #7, for September 1942, created by RCAF Armament Section Sgt. “Tex” Wilson, and I believe the original was painted in full colour. Dedicated to the Vickers-Armstrong Wellington bomber, where thousands of Canadian wireless operators flew combat operations, and died. [RCAF lost 127 Wellington aircraft with aircrew of five]

Colour painted by author. The wireless trainee is seen sending a Morse signal from his D.H. 82C-4 Menasco Moth II trainer and three Wellington bombers fly in formation, [top] Mk. II, Mk. III, bottom Mk. X aircraft.

February 1943 issue cover was dedicated to the RCAF Mosquito. Top aircraft is a Mosquito Mk. VI, center a Mk. XIII, and bottom a Mk. XXX fighter, with up-turned ‘radar’ nose section.

In July 1942, RCAF aircrew special categories and wireless training changed, thanks to the new fast de Havilland Mosquito fighter/bomber aircraft. In September 42, navigator “B” and navigator “W” categories were formed and training began in November. The navigator “B” remained with RCAF bomber squadrons, [gunnery training] while the new navigator “W” was a special trained wireless operator trained to navigate, provide wireless, and read radar, in the fast twin-engine Mosquito. This special trained recruit spent twenty-eight weeks at a wireless school, then another twenty-two weeks at an air observer school, where he earned his navigator’s badge, while wearing his “Fist and Sparks” wireless sleeve badge. This special aircrew member became the eyes, [navigation-radar] ears, [wireless-radar] and mouth [wireless] for his pilot in the fast RCAF Mosquito night-fighter squadrons. The Luftwaffe feared these Mosquito RCAF intruder night-fighters.

No. 410 [Cougar] Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force earned the distinction of becoming the top-scoring night-fighter squadron in the Second Tactical Air Force, from 6 June 44 [D-Day] to 8 May 45, flying Mosquito Mk. XXX aircraft. They saved thousands of Canadian Army lives.

Patrick Anderson photo

This image was taken at Glisy, France, early March 1945. The RCAF pilot was F/L Stan R. King J27022, [Markham, Ontario] and the ground crew of No. 410 [Cougar] Squadron, Mosquito code “W.” The photo was taken by [Air Navigator] F/O Alexander “Patrick” Anderson, [note Cougar door art], who flew training in this Mosquito [“W”] once. Pat flew 15 operations as a Mosquito navigator, wireless, radar operator, plus numerous training flights, eleven in “G” MM757, six in “O” MM767, nine in “P” NT491, and ten in “Y” serial NT377. This image clearly shows the up-turned ‘radar’ nose on the Mosquito Mk. XXX aircraft, the first twelve arrived with No. 410 in the first days of August 1944. This was the reason Sgt. Wilson dedicated the February 1943 cover of Sparks magazine to the Mosquito aircraft and the new Navigator/Wireless aircrew members. The Mosquito “W” could be serial MM757, MM786, MT485 or NT377.

The No. 410 Cougar door art was painted by LAC Donald Jarvis from Vancouver, B.C. [1923-2001]. Born in Vancouver, he became a cartoonist in his teens, enrolled in the Vancouver School of Art and Design after WWII, graduated in 1948, becoming a well known Canadian abstract artist. He also decorated RCAF Mess buildings with mural art during 1944-45, his forgotten lost wall war art, and painted at least three No. 410 [Cougar] Squadron Mosquito Night-Fighter nose and one Mosquito door art – “Death in the Dark.”

The author replica “Door” art is painted in correct colours.

Beginning November 1942, the four RCAF Wireless Schools in Canada trained 4,298 Navigator/Wireless aircrew members, 3,847 were R.A.F. and 412 were RCAF. Most of these graduates served in RAF/RCAF Mosquito radar intruder squadrons during 1944-45.

Records on the Flying Squadron at No. 4 W.S. are very difficult to locate. The citizens of Guelph did not want the Wireless School during the original formation and their air exercise station was constructed 43 [air] miles south at RCAF Burtch. Students were bused [1 ½ hours] to the airfield for their ‘air experience’ training.

This little No. 4 W.S. Flying Squadron “RCAF Gremlins” cartoon [LAC Pinnegar] appeared in 1943 and it just might be the best way to preserve their Menasco Moth II past at Burtch, Ontario.

Photo MIKAN 4820767 of RCAF Burtch on 9 December 1941, taken from the control tower, showing one two story H-Hut, one fire hall, one aircraft hangar, and one D.H. Menasco Moth II, serial 4896, [engine running] delivered and taken on charge by RCAF 3 June 1941. Involved in Category “C” accident on 28 October 1941, and it is possible this photo records the return of the aircraft after repairs had been completed. Major aircraft repairs and maintenance were completed at RCAF Station Jarvis, Ontario. This aircraft was struck off charge by RCAF on 25 February 1944.

The Flying Squadron moved to No. 5 SFTS St. Catharines on 25 February 1944, the school closed 12 January 1945.

The total of 136 DH.82C [Menasco Moth I, ten built] DH.82C-4 [Menasco Moth II, 125 built] and one DH.82C-4 [Menasco Moth III] serial #4934.