Rememberance Week: Off to North Africa

This is a good account of the history of 425 Squadron.

Click here (broken link).

This is taken from the text.

The sea voyage of the ground party was interrupted by sporadic attacks by German bombers in the Bay of Biscay area, attacks which, except for livening up the trip somewhat, were inconsequential, there being no casualties.

The same could not be said for the aerial part of the transfer.

Twenty aircraft left Portreath on 4 June and nineteen reached Telergma, Tunisia, the same day. The lone exception encountered trouble over the same Biscay area, trouble in the form of the airborne enemy. Its crew and two groundcrew passengers were eventually obliged to hit the silk when over Portugal. All were interned in that country for the remainder of hostilities.

By mid-June most of the personnel and equipment had reached the new airfield-home at Kairouan.

Now started all over again the arduous process of establishing themselves in the
business of carrying bombs to enemy places. For this phase of operations the squadron formed part of No. 331 Wing, in No. 205 Group.

The Alouettes soon became aware of the physical and meteorological nature of their environment. There was eternal sand; there was eternal heat; there were periodical torrential rains that transformed the airfield into what looked more like a swamp minus the bulrushes; there were the sand-laden breezes of the sirocco, fresh from the desert, which seared the eyes, dust-draped everything in sight, and finally dried everything up, making it possible for the miserable cycle to start all over again.

The Alouettes had traded the mud, wind, and rain of Yorkshire for the mud, wind, and rain of Tunisia, with heat thrown into the bargain. Just when they were getting reasonably adjusted to this sort of thing, they were called upon to attack their first target in this theatre.

Michael’s dad was off to North Africa as these pictures will show you. I don’t think Corporal Roly Leblanc expected the kind of conditions described above…

So here are the 40 pictures taken by Corporal Roly Leblanc RCAF.

These are unique.

So enjoy the scene… before going to the airbase tomorrow…