Jacques Morin, the last airman to touch ground in WWII Redux

I have a new reader on this blog.

Richard Koval.

I wonder if Richard knows this…

Believe it or not…

Jacques Morin was the last airman of 425 Alouette Squadron to touch ground in WWII.

His plane was the last one to touch down after the last raid.

The Alouettes’ parting fling at the foe was a daylight crack at gun batteries on Wangerooge in the late afternoon of 25 April, which came a week after a similar and even more satisfying blow at Heligoland, that flak and fighter outpost which had for so long been shown a hateful respect by bomber crews. When Command had done its deadly work, both islands were little more than cratered shambles. No 425’s last crew to bomb Festung Europa was led by Flt. Lt. L.R. Paquette, whose bomb-aimer, Flying Officer L.J. Mallette, pressed the bomb-release button at 1720 hours. The last to land after a flight over enemy territory was captained by Flying Officer J.E. Marcoux. When he eased “T”-Tare on to the Tholthorpe runway at precisely 1950 hours, the Alouette show in the heavy bombing campaign of the Second World War was a fait accompli.

(Source)

Since he was the tail gunner, he was the last airman to touch ground.

Nuncie « Nick » Leone RCAF 405 Squadron

This picture comes from his private collection. Everything I wrote about him on my other blog comes from his private collection. He was willing to share it with my readers. 

Jacques Morin is not pictured here on a Lancaster. It’s another tail gunner. 425 Alouette converted on Lancasters in early May 1945 too late for operations over Germany.

You can visit my other blog and enjoy all the pictures Jacques Morin shared. I have written more than 180 posts since April 2010.

Just click here.

Footnote

Richard, I am so glad you’re back.

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Jacques Morin, the last airman to touch ground in WWII

Believe it or not…

Jacques Morin was the last airman of 425 Alouette Squadron to touch ground in WWII.

His plane was the last one to touch down after the last raid.

The Alouettes’ parting fling at the foe was a daylight crack at gun batteries on Wangerooge in the late afternoon of 25 April, which came a week after a similar and even more satisfying blow at Heligoland, that flak and fighter outpost which had for so long been shown a hateful respect by bomber crews. When Command had done its deadly work, both islands were little more than cratered shambles. No 425’s last crew to bomb Festung Europa was led by Flt. Lt. L.R. Paquette, whose bomb-aimer, Flying Officer L.J. Mallette, pressed the bomb-release button at 1720 hours. The last to land after a flight over enemy territory was captained by Flying Officer J.E. Marcoux. When he eased “T”-Tare on to the Tholthorpe runway at precisely 1950 hours, the Alouette show in the heavy bombing campaign of the Second World War was a fait accompli.

(Source)

Since he was the tail gunner, he was the last airman to touch ground.

Nuncie « Nick » Leone RCAF 405 Squadron

This picture comes from his private collection. Everything I wrote about him on my other blog comes from his private collection. He was willing to share it with my readers. 

Jacques Morin is not pictured here on a Lancaster. It’s another tail gunner from a different squadron. 425 Alouette converted on Lancasters in early May 1945 too late for operations over Germany.

You can visit my other blog and enjoy all the pictures Jacques Morin shared.

Just click here.

Joe the C.O.

That’s how Jacques Morin affectionately called Wing Commander Lucien Joe Lecomte.

He told me so when I met him last year at his home.

He did not have this picture. I found it on the Internet.

Who is Joe the C. O.?

LECOMTE, W/C Joseph Hector Lucien (C1181)
– Distinguished Flying Cross
– No.425 Squadron
– Award effective 2 October 1944 as per London Gazette dated 13 October 1944 and AFRO 2637/44 dated 8 December 1944.

Born 1917 at St.Theodore d’Acton, Quebec; home in Acton Vale, Quebec (university student).  Enlisted in Montreal, 9 October 1939. Commissioned October 1939.  Flying instructor before going overseas in 1943.  Commanded Nos.425 and 415 Squadrons and Base Tholthorpe.

Remained in postwar RCAF; commanded Camp Borden, 1949-1951, and Station Trenton, 1951-1955.  Service also included NATO duties and command of Nos.423 and 432 Squadrons.

Retired December 1966.  Died at St.Bruno, 18 December 1975, age 59.

No citation other than “completed…numerous operations against the enemy in the course of which [he has] invariably displayed the utmost fortitude, courage and devotion to duty”.  DHist file 181.009 D.1633 (RG.24 Vol.20603) has recommendation dated 28 July 1944 when he had flown 21 sorties (122 hours five minutes), 15 February to 21 June 1944.

From the time of his arrival on No.425 Squadron, Wing Commander Lecompte has shown exceptional aggressiveness, courage and fine offensive spirit which have been an example and goal for all members of his squadron.

Wing Commander Lecompte tackles all his work with vigour and has spent many hours in the air on training each captain of his squadron.  That this has paid dividends is evidenced by the fine operational record attained by this squadron during the past months.  In June his squadron was awarded the Base Pennant for all around efficiency.

Wing Commander Le Compte’s organization of ground training, and constant and diligent attention to all phases have been of the highest order.  He is untiring in his efforts to press home to all crews by personal lectures, points of airmanship which he has learned over years of experience.

In addition to ground duties, Wing Commander Lecompte has operated on 21 sorties since February 1944 over targets in Germany, France and Belgium, including Berlin, Schweinfurt, Essen and Stuttgart.  His fine offensive spirit and keenness for operations has kept the morale of his squadron at a very high level.

In recognition of this officer’s devotion to duty and fine leadership I recommend the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross. [G/C J.L. Hurley, CO Station Tholthorpe].

LECOMPTE, W/C Joseph Hector Lucien, DFC (C1181)

– Mention in Despatches – Station Tholthorpe – Award effective 1 January 1945 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 337/45 dated 23 February 1945.

LECOMTE, G/C Joseph Hector Lucien, DFC (C1181)

– Mention in Despatches – Station Tholthorpe – Award effective 1 January 1946 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 322/46 dated 29 March 1946.  AFRO gives unit only as “Overseas”; unit found in McEwen Papers list of recommendations for MiD.

LECOMTE, W/C Joseph Hector Lucien, DFC (20168)

– Croix de Guerre with Silver Star (France) – Award as per AFRO 485/47 dated 12 September 1947.  Pilot.

Source

Who is Jacques Morin?

All my articles on him on my blog written in French about 425 Alouette.

Rememberance Week: Off to North Africa

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

Click here.

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…

 

Corporal Roly Leblanc RCAF collection

Rememberance Week: You can write to me by clicking here

Sherry Pringle wrote me yesterday, but she had written to me before. Sherry is the author of All the Ship’s Men.

All-The-Ships-Men

She found me while visiting this blog in 2009 which at the start was only written in French.

Michael LeBlanc wrote a comment last Friday on my blog about 425 Alouette Squadron. He wrote this…

Hello all readers,

I am the son of a veteran of 425 Sqdn.

Only ground crew but a member from the beginning to the end. I am heir to his personal ‘war’ diary (and other documents) from 1943-1945, a fantastic war period album collection especially for the ’331 ‘Wing period in North Africa, and don’t know what to do with all of this.

I believe it should be shared.

Michael Moores LeBlanc

Michael sent me all of his father’s pictures taken in North Africa. His father was a member of the ground crew.

Michael also sent me this last personal e-mail…

I know he won’t mind if I share it also with you…

I believe it should be shared.


Hello Pierre,

Just sent you what I have for the 331 Wing period.
Trust you will give full photo credit to Cpl John ‘Roly’ LeBlanc, RCAF.
All his life, he was very proud of 425 Sqdn, instilled in me his respect and reverence for aircrew and till he died, was deeply devoted to the Royal Canadian Legion and good works by that society.
He was a good man.
Michael


Cpl John ‘Roly’ LeBlanc, RCAF

There is more to come this week to pay homage to his father Cpl John ‘Roly’ LeBlanc, RCAF and also to someone else related to his father…