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Artwork by Paul Tuttle

The painting was created for the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum’s collection. It depicts a BCATP Fleet Finch in the circuit at EFTS No. 17 Stanley, Nova Scotia.

Paul Tuttle has won awards with his artwork and it has also been collected and published internationally. He concentrates primarily on aviation or nature/wildlife subject matter. In regards to aviation art, Paul Tuttle’s objective is to preserve aviation history with his work. Many of his paintings can be found in a number of aviation museums including the Smithsonian in Washington DC.

Use the search button on the right side to look for someone’s name more than 250 posts I wrote about the BCATP.
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No. 9 B&G Mont-Joli, Quebec

Research by Clarence Simonsen

No.9 B&G

Excerpt

The new Fairey Battle RAF medium day-bomber was constructed with all-metal stressed-skin, retractable landing gear, flaps, and a transparent canopy over the two cockpits. The first production Battle flew in early June 1937. It flew faster and carried double the bomb load of the Hawker Hind biplane it replaced, and by May 1939, seventeen RAF squadrons were equipped with Battles.

During five short weeks in the summer of 1940, [The Battle of France] hundreds of young men met their death flying in the Fairey Battle, which had no defence against the German fighters such as the Bf 109E fighter. On 10 May 1940, the German assault began and by 22 June, France accepted terms for an armistice, and three days later the war in France ceased. The RAF lost 959 aircraft, 200 were Fairey Battles. With the total failure of the Battle medium bomber during the German attack of the Low Countries, most of these RAF aircraft were turned over to flying training in the United Kingdom, and later 739 came to Canada.

On 21 August 1939, the first eight pre-war British Fairey Battle aircraft arrived by rail at RCAF Station Camp Borden, Ontario. The first seven aircraft were assembled, test flown, and delivered to RCAF Trenton, Ontario, on 3 and 4 September 1939. The seven Battle aircraft serial P2155, P2171, P2172, P2185, P2186, P2187, and P2196, would be used mainly for RCAF flying instruction only. In total twenty pre-war Fairey Battle aircraft would be taken on strength by the RCAF from 21 August to 2 November 1939.


Text version without the images

No. 9 Bombing and Gunnery School,
Mont-Joli, Québec

This 1939 painting by Richard J. Treirthick appeared on the rear cover of the 20 May 1939, Royal Air Force Empire Air Day Official Flying Programme.

The new Fairey Battle RAF medium day-bomber was constructed with all-metal stressed-skin, retractable landing gear, flaps, and a transparent canopy over the two cockpits. The first production Battle flew in early June 1937. It flew faster and carried double the bomb load of the Hawker Hind biplane it replaced, and by May 1939, seventeen RAF squadrons were equipped with Battles.

During five short weeks in the summer of 1940, [The Battle of France] hundreds of young men met their death flying in the Fairey Battle, which had no defence against the German fighters such as the Bf 109E fighter. On 10 May 1940, the German assault began and by 22 June, France accepted terms for an armistice, and three days later the war in France ceased. The RAF lost 959 aircraft, 200 were Fairey Battles. With the total failure of the Battle medium bomber during the German attack of the Low Countries, most of these RAF aircraft were turned over to flying training in the United Kingdom, and later 739 came to Canada.

On 21 August 1939, the first eight pre-war British Fairey Battle aircraft arrived by rail at RCAF Station Camp Borden, Ontario. The first seven aircraft were assembled, test flown, and delivered to RCAF Trenton, Ontario, on 3 and 4 September 1939. The seven Battle aircraft serial P2155, P2171, P2172, P2185, P2186, P2187, and P2196, would be used mainly for RCAF flying instruction only. In total twenty pre-war Fairey Battle aircraft would be taken on strength by the RCAF from 21 August to 2 November 1939.

The first seven Fairey Battle aircraft with assigned RCAF serial number 21 August 1939

The RCAF list of twenty pre-war Fairey Battle aircraft which were purchased by Canada

Forty-Nine more Fairey Battle trainers would arrive in Canada and all were given RCAF serial numbers beginning with A51 and ending with A330. On 14 February 1935, the RCAF created an instructional register for all Canadian aircraft which were no longer fit for active service flying but still useful as a ground instructional aircraft, where airframe engine running could be practised. These instructional aircraft register all began with an “A” prefix followed by a numerical order. The first two Fairey Battle instructional airframes received by the RCAF were RAF #1314, which became Instructional A51 and RAF #1312 which became A52, both taken on charge by RCAF 20 September 1939. Battle RAF #1317 arrived on 3 November 1939 and became RCAF instruction airframe A56. Three more would arrive on 30 May 1940, instructional airframe A86, [ex-K7596] A87, [ex-L7636] and A88, [ex-L5089].

The RCAF instructional airframe serial numbers for Battle A86 to A125

The largest group of twelve Fairey Battle RCAF instructional airframes arrived in late 1940 and 1941, RCAF serial A132 to A187. A few of these instructional airframes were transferred by the RCAF back to flying status, from its original “A” state. It is almost impossible to identify these airframes, some which served with bombing and gunnery schools in the BCATP until 1945.

Battle RCAF instruction serial #A249 to A296

Battle RCAF serial #1601 to 1619

Battle RCAF serial #1620 to #1682

Battle RCAF serial # 1683 to 1745

Battle RCAF serial #1746 to 1808

Battle RCAF serial # 1809 to 1871

Battle RCAF serial #1872 to 1934

Battle RCAF serial #1935 to 1997

Battle RCAF serial # 1998 to 2060

Battle RCAF serial #2061 to 2123

Battle RCAF serial # 2124 to 2140

The RCAF expansion of bombing and gunnery schools began in early 1941, to meet the operational demands for more air bombers, navigators class “B”, wireless operator/air gunners and air gunners. No. 9 Bombing and Gunnery School at Mont-Joli, Québec, became one of the largest constructed [work beginning 8 September 1941] and was used exclusively to train air gunners after 19 July 1942, first class #22A of eighteen trainees arrived 15 December 1941. On the official opening day, 15 August 1942, the school had 1,021 RCAF training staff, 304 gunnery trainees, and flew 84 aircraft. Fifty-nine gunnery trainers were British built Fairey Battles, thirteen equipped for drogue towing and forty-six fitted with Bristol turrets for air-to-air test firing. The first six American Northrop Nomad Target Tow aircraft arrived 17 July, and four Hudson aircraft arrived for German U-Boat patrols. U-132 sank three freighters on 5 July off Cape Magdalen, one on the doorstep of Mont-Joli.

This map appeared in the official opening program on 15 August 1942
The Official badge and map was created by LAC Ross on 4 July 1942

Modern Flying Training comes to French Canada, Star Weekly 13 February 1943.

15 December 1941 was the early official opening of No. 9 B & G school for ground training only as they had no aircraft on strength. The first aircraft arrived on 21 December, RCAF Norseman #3524, followed by the first two Fairey Battle aircraft on 9 January 1941. One of these aircraft was Battle IT [Turret], RCAF serial 1311 [RAF #P2233] which had arrived by rail at Camp Borden on 21 August 1939. This aircraft had its air gunner training turret installed on 18 February 1943, and flew at Mont-Joli until 16 February 1945, a true veteran. The base strength as of 31 January 1942 was 41 Officers, 543 Airmen, 79 Trainees, 3 Army, 43 Civilians and one Can. Dental Corps officer. The Aircraft Strength was 2 Norseman, and fifteen Battles for training. The known Battle serial numbers were – 1311, 1625, 1635, 1640, 1644, 1668, 1670, 1780, 1794, 1993, 2022, and 2129. [Serials recorded in Daily Diary records] Until late 1941, RCAF air gunners were trained in the United Kingdom, and there was a deficiency of Canadians for RAF gunners.

The following souvenir booklet commemorating the official opening of No. 9 B & G School, Mont-Joli, Québec, at 2:30 pm 15 August 1942. Major General the Honorable Sir Eugene-Marie-Joseph Fiset, Kt., CMG, DSO, MD and the Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of Québec, officially opened the new school.

The first graduation of Air Gunners Course #24, took place 16 February 1942, 29 trainees graduated and received their Air Gunner Wings. The A/G course had been increased from four to eight and now twelve weeks.

No. 9 BGS first fatal aircraft crash, 19 May 1942

The two students were part of Wireless Air Gunners Course #30, which was due to graduate on 23 May 1942. The body of the American pilot was never found. The next day [20 May] six members of the class had their photo taken under a shark mouth Fairey Battle serial #1679, trainer #73, an aircraft they had most likely trained in.
Names L to R – LAC J.L.H. Gougeon
LAC A.C. Reay
LAC J.C.M. Brosseau
LAC F.G. Bourque
LAC D.W. Fraser
LAC J.E.J. St. Michel
Official RCAF photo PL8928.
Course WAG #30 graduated on 23 May 1942, seen below photo.

Two months before the Axis powers went to war against the United States, 8 December 1941, the Roosevelt administration began making plans for their country’s eventual involvement in the European war against Hitler. These secret plans involved the American forces joining the British in a major air offensive against Germany. On 28 January 1942, these plans took effect when the U.S. Eighth Air Force was officially activated at Savannah Army Air Base in Georgia. Moving a bomber force of this size to England required quantities of ordnance, fuel, lubricants, and parts. The northern aircraft ferry route began at Presque Island, Maine, then Goose Bay, Labrador, Bluie West 1, Greenland, Prestwick, Scotland, and United Kingdom. Suddenly, the American pilots of these bomber aircraft required thousands of aerial maps for Québec, Labrador, and Newfoundland. [Newfoundland and Labrador were still a self-governing colony under British rule, not part of Canada]

The 1st Photographic [Recon] Squadron of the USAAF was activated on 1 February 1940, re-designated the 1st Mapping Squadron on 13 January 1942. They had requested and received an official emblem created by Walt Disney artists on 3 October 1941.

On a blue disc bordered with yellow with white clouds, a flying Falcon “Butch” in dark brown, light brown and white feathers, with yellow feet and beak, wearing an aviator’s helmet, focusing on black and light blue trim aerial camera.

No. 1 Mapping Squadron flew two Lockheed Model 14 Hudson Mk. III aircraft. The Hudson was originally built in 1939 for the British Government as a military conversion of the Type 14 model transport aircraft. The Hudson Mk. III was designated as A-28 or A-29 by the U.S. Army Air Forces, and “A” flight had two converted to carry aerial mapping cameras, US serial 41-23383 and 41-23394. The image below was taken by RCAF aerial gunner in training, LAC Leonard E.J. Cote, from Pierre Lagacé collection. The American Hudson A-29B on the right was one of the aircraft which aerial mapped the Province of Québec and Newfoundland [Labrador] for five months in summer of 1942, based at Mont-Joli, Québec.

The Star Weekly issue for 5 July 1941 contained an article on RCAF aircraft Nose Art.

This posed image from Star Weekly was taken at the Federal Aircraft Ltd. plant in Montreal. The worker appears to be painting a nose art stencil of a Devil on an Avro Anson Mk. II aircraft, however very few Avro Anson Mk. II aircraft carried any form of RCAF nose art during WWII.

Eleven Canadian aircraft plants were originally entrusted to manufacture the components of the Canadian Avro Anson Mk. II aircraft. In June 1940, Federal Aircraft Ltd. [Wholly-owned Government of Canada Company] was formed to place this Avro Anson aircraft programme under one management and construction plant. The head office became 276 James Street West, Montreal, Québec. The Canadian Anson II was basically the English Anson modified with the installation of two 330 h.p. Jacobs L-6BM engines. Canada had purchased 2,300 engines from Jacobs Aircraft Company of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, at a cost of ten million dollars. The nose section was a Canadian moulded plastic-plywood aircraft front made by the Vidal process, with the first production aircraft flying in August 1941. Most of the Canadian production of the Anson II in 1942 were sent to pilot training schools in the BCATP. The RCAF navigator schools struggled alone with the old British Anson Mk. I, III and IV until 1943 when the Canadian Anson V began to appear. Beginning of 10 February 1942, sixteen new Canadian Avro Anson Mk. II trainers arrived at No. 9 B & G School, Mont-Joli, Québec, as bombing trainers.

In March 1942, Walt Disney artists created this insignia for the American 33rd Flying Training Wing, 68th Two-Engine Flying Training School at Ellington Field, Houston, Texas. This was a Texas flying training school for pilots who had advanced to two-engine aircraft, flying the B-25 Bomber. The Western Union stork first appeared in the 1941 movie “Dumbo” where he insisted on singing “Happy Birthday” to Mrs. Jumbo as he delivered her new baby Dumbo. Disney animator Art Babbitt created the stork and Dumbo went on to become the most affectionately characterized Disney movie of all time. This Disney insignia soon caught the eye of RCAF members in the BCATP training in Canada, which was ready made for the training duties being conducted by the Canadian built RCAF Avro Anson Mk. II bomber.

This Disney inspired nose art first appeared on the Avro Anson aircraft at No. 5 SFTS at Brantford, Ontario. In May 1942, sixteen Avro Anson Mk. II trainers at No. 9 B & G School received new markings featuring the same Disney Stork [below] inspired nose art insignia.

The new RCAF Avro Anson Mk. II bomber training aircraft received a diagonal red strip on the fuselage [50“wide] with white numbers beginning with #78 for RCAF serial 7111 and ending with #93 for serial 7130. Its unknown if Anson serial 7116 and 7117 were ever assigned to Mont-Joli, Québec, they do not appear on the Daily Diary records. The Disney stork insignia appeared on each bomber nose [possibly both sides] inside a 50” white disk. The first of four Anson bombing training exercises took place on the morning of 20 June 1942, however they would be short lived. On 19 July 1942, RCAF Command issued orders that no further Air Observer or Bombing Training would take place at No. 9 B & G School. From this date on No. 9 at Mont-Joli, would only train RCAF Air Gunners. On 16 September 1942, thirteen Canadian Federal-built Anson Mk. II aircraft were sold to the USAAF for testing at Wright Field, designated AT-20 aircraft. Eleven of these Anson’s had been on strength at No. 9 B & G at Mont-Joli, Québec, serial 7114, 7115, 7119, 7120, 7121, 7122, 7123, “7126” 7128, 7129, and 7130.

One of the Canadian built Anson’s as an American AT-20 with new serial and markings.

RCAF Official War Artist Sgt. Donald Kenneth Anderson [promoted to Sgt. 1 Feb. 1942] painted this Air Gunner in training beside his Fairey Battle I serial 1904, taken on strength by RCAF 21 April 1941. Beginning on 19 July 1942, No. 9 B & G School at Mont-Joli, Québec, was officially used exclusively for the twelve-week training of air gunners, painted by Sgt. Anderson in April 1942, for Star Weekly magazine in Toronto
The first class of eighteen air gunners arrived at No. 9 B & G on 15 December 1941, however the school was still under construction and had no aircraft on strength. The first two Courses [thirty-five trainees] #22A Air Gunners and #23 Wireless Air Gunners completed their ground training on 15 January 1942, then were posted to No. 6 B & G School at Mountain View, Ontario, to complete their flying training. The first Wings Parade at No. 9 B & G was Course #24 Air Gunners which graduated 29 students on 16 February 1942. This was followed by the first Air Observer Course #34, graduated 21 students on 28 February 1942. Each course originally lasted four weeks, was extended to eight, then to twelve weeks 19 July 1942.

1 March 42 Course #35 Air Observers graduated 29 trainees.
28 March 42 Course #36 Air Observers [20 students] and Course #26A Air Gunners [28 students] had a joint graduation ceremony.
11 April 42 A/G #38 graduated 32 students and WAG #27 graduated 29 students.
25 April 42 A/G #39 graduated 33 students and WAG #28 graduated 35 students.
9 May 42 A/G #40 graduated 29 and WAG #29 graduated 28 students.
23 May 42 A/G #41 graduated 23 and WAG #30 graduated 37 students.
26 June 42 WAG #32 graduated 32 students.
4 July 42 Air Observers #44 graduated 29 and WAG #33 graduated 31 students.
19 July 42 No. 9 B & G officially trained only Air Gunners beginning with Course #35A which graduated 34 students on 15 August 1942.

The school officially opened on 15 August 1942 and graduated 29 students from A/G Course # 36A on 25 August 1942. During the first eight months of operation No. 9 B & G School had managed to train 315 Air Gunners, 50 Air Observers, and 205 Wireless Air Gunners, while they were still under civilian construction. Now they prepared for full-time RCAF Air Gunner training [twelve weeks] with obsolete [originally French purchased] American built Nomad trainer aircraft which begin to arrive at Mont-Joli in late July.

In June 1940, the French government purchased 93 ex-USAAC Northrop A-17A ‘Nomad’ fighter planes but they were not delivered before the fall of France to Nazi Germany. The French government order was taken over by Great Britain and 32 of these aircraft were directed to Canada to be used for BCATP training. These aircraft were all taken on strength by the RCAF on 13 and 26 August 1940, with all assigned to No. 3 Training Command. In late July 1942, the first six RCAF Northrop Nomad aircraft arrived at No. 9 B & G School at Mont-Joli, and by the end of September they had received twenty of these obsolete old American fighters. The following serial numbers in yellow are known to have first flown at No. 9 B & G School, however by January 1943, Mont-Joli had on strength twenty-four Nomad trainers, which trained [towing Drogue Lines for twenty-months] until August 1944.

Nomad serial 3509 was converted to a Target Tow on 1 October 1941, and possibly delivered to No. 9 B & G with the first six arriving in late July 1942. This free domain image was from the aviation collection of Charles Daniels in B.C. Wearing her Mont-Joli trainer marking #60 she would tow drogue lines until 29 April 1943. The other nine Nomad aircraft [serial 3491, 3497, 3498, 3500, 3503, 3510, 3512, 3514, and 3521] flew at Camp Borden. Nomad 3491, 3503, 3512, and 3521 were all lost at Camp Borden, in early 1941, and 3521 was not found until 27 July 2010. This rare RCAF Nomad history and recovery can be found on many excellent websites.

This image taken by M/Cpl. Roy Maclelland appeared in the Globe and Mail newspaper on 30 October 2014, when Northrop Nomad RCAF 3521 came to the surface of Lake Muskoka in Ontario. A very rare part of RCAF WWII aviation history saved and preserved for future generations of Canadians. Only eight of these Nomad trainers remained at RCAF Camp Bordon, while the other twenty-four were all taken on strength at No. 9 B & G School Mont-Joli, Québec. Northrop Nomad #3506 had a Cat. “A” accident on 30 November 1942, and #3513 caught fire in mid-air and crew bailed-out on 9 May 1944. Pilot R168256, F/Sgt. C.A. Robertson was too low and his parachute failed to open, killed on impact. The old Nomad target tow trainers were all transferred from No. 9 B & G by mid-August 1944, they had done their job for Canada.

The old RCAF Northrop Nomad did her duty at Mont-Joli and managed to appear in a cartoon drawing for the December 1943 “First Issue” of local RCAF newsletter “Target.” As this cartoon suggests, flying a target towing Nomad was an unpopular assignment. The station had on strength 22 Nomad Drogue [Target Tow] aircraft on 31 December 1943. By October 1943, the base strength had grown to over 2,000 and A/G trainee’s strength from 600 to 800 students.

No. 9 B & G School had become the largest Air Gunners training base in the BCATP, with 5,394 air gunners training exercises completed in the month of August 1944. They had 75 Fairey Battle on strength and 17 in reserve storage. August was the first month they did not have on strength or fly any American Nomad Drogue aircraft.

No. 9 B & G flew the Nomad until August 1944, with peak aircraft on strength [23] for Nov. 1942, [23] for December 42, and [24] for January February and [22] for March 1943. The only RCAF School in the BCATP to train with twenty-four original French government purchased Nomad Target Tow trainers. The French connection you might say.
LAC Jacques Morin began his Air Gunner training at No. 9 Mont-Joli, Québec, in early January 1944, Class #74 which graduated on 6 April 1944. His training targets were towed by Nomad aircraft.

During his air gunner training LAC Morin had his photo taken on Fairey Battle #43 and in the background is #36. Both contain the same [nose art] of a Red Devil on cloud, holding a white bomb with his pitch-fork. Photo Sgt. Jacques Morin from Jacques Morin’s collection via Pierre Lagacé.

The last Course #100 to graduate 31 March 1945.

This shows how RCAF No. 9 Bombing and Gunnery School divided each air gunner course into classes containing 14 – 15 students. It’s possible none of these graduates went overseas.
Beginning on 25 September 1942, No. 9 B & G School conducted 56 Air Gunners Courses, [#35B to #100] 31 March 1945, where they graduated 5,874 Air Gunner Wings. The first Flight/Engineer Air Gunner training began with Course #1 on 30 December 1942, and 29 Courses were conducted until 29 June 1944, Course #35, graduating Wings to 573 RCAF Flight/Engineers.
The RCAF operated ten Bombing and Gunnery Schools in Canada during WWII [plus RAF No. 31 B & G at Picton, Ontario, which trained 1,392 British gunners] and trained a total of 12,917 RCAF Air Gunners. They also trained 244 RAAF and 443 RNZAF gunners. No. 9 B & G trained a total of 6,189 Air Gunners or almost half the total Wings who graduated from RCAF schools. In total 1,913 Flight Engineers were trained in Canada, with 573 receiving their Wings at No. 9 B & G School. They also graduated 50 Air Observers, [ended October 1942] and 205 Wireless Air Gunners. In over-all total, No. 9 B & G School graduated a total of 6,444 Air Gunners Wings from 15 December 1941 [Class 22A] until 31 March 1945 [Class #100].

No. 9 BGS at Mont-Joli, Québec was designed and constructed as the largest air gunner’s training school and used exclusively for the twelve-week course designed for air gunners. It was a very sound training base which provided so many with as close as possible real experiences of air gunner’s combat.

More about No. 9 B&G Mont-Joli by Clarence Simonsen
8 May 1942
The Battle of the St. Lawrence began on 8 May 1942, when German U-553 slipped into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. During the early hours of 12 May, U-553 torpedoed and sank the freighter’s “Leto” and Nicoya” on the north Gaspe coast.

German U-132 entered the Cabot Strait on 30 June 1942, and in the twilight of 6 July 1942, fired torpedoes into two ships of convoy QS-15, and two hours later struck another ship in the same convoy. Two Fairey Battles took off on recon, very rare history.

Two Fairey Battles from No. 9 BGS were dispatched with two 250 lb bombs, and they did not even have radio equipment in the old trainers. This is the only known RCAF combat patrol carried out by the British Battle trainers in WWII.
In the next six weeks U-517 and U-165 would proceed into the Gulf and carry out the most successful German sinking’s of the war.

More about No. 9 B&G Mont-Joli by Pierre Lagacé
19 May 1942
These photos are courtesy of Mark Cote whose father Leonard E. J. Cote was an air gunner during World War Two.

Collection Leonard E. J. Cote (courtesy Mark Cote)

Collection Leonard E. J. Cote (courtesy Mark Cote)
Chris Charland had added this information about the crash scene.
The accident record cards noted that the aircraft was on a gunnery exercise when it crashed at high speed and burned five miles south-west of St. Eluce, P.Q. Pilot Officer Halamka was originally declared missing and believed killed. He had a total of 30 hours dual and 105 hours solo on the Fairey Battle.
Chris
Then I got thinking five miles south-west of St.Eluce?
Salut Pierre – Lots of spelling mistakes on the accident records cards. St. Luce had no military affiliation during the Second World War according to ‘Abandoned Military Installations of Canada’ Volume 2 – Québec. It is a highly researched series by Ottawa-based Paul Ozorak. Worth the money if you can find a used copy.
Chris
St. Eluce was a typo of course, but five miles south-west of St.Luce would put the crash in the St. Lawrence River!
So I read the crash report again.

Farmer’s field in Ste. Flavie Parish!

That made more sense to pinpoint where the crash scene was photographed on May 19, 1942.

Category A
+ HALAMKA, P/O A.F. (Pilot)
+ ROOKE, Cpl C.J. – RCAF
+ SHAW, LAC I.J. – RAAF
+ WEAL, LAC K.G. – RNZAF
Battle Mk. I
Ex RAF L5207.
Serving at No. 9 Bombing and Gunnery School, Mt.-Joli, PQ at time of crash.
first date: 22 July 1941
last date: 3 July 1942
Taken on strength
Struck off, after Category A crash on 19 May 1942

Accident report

About the pilot (body never recovered)

About the accident (Rooke’s death certificate)

About the other two airmen
Name: WEAL, KENNETH GEORGE
Initials: K G
Nationality: New Zealand
Rank: Leading Aircraftman
Regiment/Service: Royal New Zealand Air Force
Age: 19
Date of Death: 19/05/1942
Service No: 413287
Additional information: Son of Arthur Thomas Weal and Christina Weal, of Pukeatua, Auckland, New Zealand.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Lot 34. Grave 1.
Cemetery: METIS BEACH (UNITED CHURCH) CEMETERY

Name: SHAW, IRWIN JACK
Initials: I J
Nationality: Australian
Rank: Leading Aircraftman
Regiment/Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Age: 27
Date of Death: 19/05/1942
Service No: 413494
Additional information: Son of John Henry and Emelie Shaw; husband of Kathleen Mary Shaw, of Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Lot 34. Grave 2.
Cemetery: METIS BEACH (UNITED CHURCH) CEMETERY

About this photo, this is the information David Young added…

Fairey Battle S/N 1794 of the 9 B&GS at Mont-Joli……
On the 4th July 1942, the Battle 1794 struck the airfields boundary fence during its take-off and the undercarriage sustained damage. During the subsequent landing the undercarriage collapsed and the aircraft was damaged further. Initially it was thought repairable but this was not confirmed and the aircraft was cannibalised for spares. The three crew members survived uninjured…..
(Clipped Wings Vol 2)

More photos from the collection of dated
Summer 1942 – No. 9 Bombing and Gunnery School, Mont-Joli, Québec

Collection Leonard E. J. Cote (courtesy Mark Cote)

Collection Leonard E. J. Cote (courtesy Mark Cote)

Collection Leonard E. J. Cote (courtesy Mark Cote)

Collection Leonard E. J. Cote (courtesy Mark Cote)

Collection Leonard E. J. Cote (courtesy Mark Cote)

Collection Leonard E. J. Cote (courtesy Mark Cote)

Marc Cote wrote a book about his father.

More about Jacques Morin by Pierre Lagacé
I have met Jacques Morin in 2011. He had never talked about his war years except with a few people. When I saw I knew about 425 Alouette Squadron and I was writing a blog about it, he shared what he knew and what he had: photos, stories, log book…

Jacques Morin’s collection

Jacques Morin’s collection

Jacques Morin’s friend at Mont-Joli was Georges Tremblay. He lost sight of him after the war. In 2016 Georges’ son visited Jacques Morin and shared some of his father’s photos.

Georges Tremblay’s Collection

Unknown LAC
Georges Tremblay’s collection

Unknown LACs
Jacques Morin’s collection

Unknown LACs with Jacques Morin (center)
and Georges Tremblay (last one in the back)
Jacques Morin’s collection

George Tremblay, Jacques Morin and unknown LAC
Jacques Morin’s collection

This is a booklet, part of Jacques Morin’s collection of memorabilia. The annotations are from him. The booklet were given to LACs during their training.

Jacques Morin’s
log book pages

Training at No. 9 B&G

No. 22 O.T.U.

No. 1666 C.U. Wombleton

425 Alouette Squadron

Jacques Morin’s crew with
RCAF 425 Alouette Squadron

Chapter Four – Security Guard Duty No. 13 S.F.T.S. St. Hubert

Guard Duty at No. 13 EFTS St. Hubert in 1941

Flight Lieutenant Frank Sorensen

Foreword written by Vicki Sorensen

My father, Frank Sorensen, immigrated to Canada from Roskilde, Denmark with his family in August 1939. He volunteered in the Royal Canadian Air Force in March 1941 and trained to become a Spitfire fighter pilot. He was shot down while serving with RAF 232 Squadron, over Tunisia, in North Africa on April 11, 1943 and became a prisoner of war at Stalag Luft III. He was an active participant in the tunnel digging operations that was later known as The Great Escape.

After my father’s death February 5th, 2010, when he was 87, I came into possession of letters written by him to his parents during the war that they had saved and given back to him. Along with the letters were numerous photos and service record documents. There were 174 letters in total which start from C.O.T.C., 1940, #1 Manning Depot, #3 Initial Flying…

View original post 2,704 more words

No. 1 Manning Depot – Toronto 1941 March 1941

Security Guard Training

Security Guard Training, #1 Manning Depot, Toronto, 1941 (Frank Sorensen, kneeling, 2nd from left) - Copy

Frank Sorensen - Security Guard Training, #1 Manning Depot, Toronto, 1941

Dad - #1 Manning Depot, Toronto, 1941

Dad - #1 Manning Depot, Security Guard Training, 1941

All these photos are part of Frank Sorensen’s collection of WW II photos. Frank Sorensen became a Spitfire pilot, and he survived the war. His daughter is now sharing her research about her father on this blog.

This is one letter her father wrote…


March 26, 1941

Security Guard Training

#1 Manning Depot, Toronto

Dear Mother & Dad;

Oh, I’m tired tonight, good and tired. I just came from a free show here in the building, it wasn’t much of a show hardly worth while seeing.

Get up at 6:00, make my bed, polish my boots and buttons, wash and go for breakfast. P.T. parade at 7:45 in fatigue clothes, we are marched outside and the Corp. chases us round the place. It’s just wonderful to have P.T. in weather 10 degrees above. One really has to work to keep warm. After P.T. we have squad drill until 11:30. Then I go to my bunk and rest a bit. I am a little tired especially my shoulders but the more it hurts the more I work with it. Tomorrow I don’t think I’ll feel anything. After dinner I have to be at another parade or route march at 1:30 and at 4:15 we are through for the day. I go to my bunk, rest, shine my buttons, I am awfully tired but after my daily shower I feel perfect. I shave twice a week. Supper at about 5:00, then I line up for my mail if any and I wish again that my name began with anything but S.

I go to my “home” again (bunk) play the banjo or I go to the lounge to write. I might also go for a walk along Lake Ontario – alone – believe me or not. You see, I realize now how expensive it is to fool about with women and what a lot of waste of time. Of course I wish I knew a real girl, but I’ve got plenty of time.

If I keep on spending money at the rate I am now I should be able to send ¾ of my money home. I’ll get $40 a month, $1.20 a day. It’s not much money, but I don’t see why I should spend it on food or anything of the kind when I get all the food I can eat (plenty of butter and apples). For the last week or so I have had 38 cents in my money belt and yesterday I spent the last bit as I missed my supper (because I have no watch). We’ll get paid next Monday for the first time. The $5 Dad gave me soon went on a money belt, boot polish, Brasso, etc. You don’t get everything in the army. It’s lights out now so goodnight.

Friday – I didn’t get my mail yesterday so I got your letter today. I was going to make this one a long letter but your letter reminded me that Dad was soon leaving so I’ll send it now. I just had my dinner and I have about ½ hour to get ready for the afternoon parade. I’m on what is called Security Guard Training which lasts for about 10 days so I won’t be here very long. The day Wilkins was in town we all marched down town. He stood on a platform as we marched past. In the evening we got free tickets to hear his speech and I went. As he was through he got up on the table and he nearly fell down. I went out before the others and stood in the front row as he got in the car.

Last week I went to “Lille Norge” and had a talk with them. They also take Danish subjects. I spent an evening with a fellow Nielsen. I must go.

Love Frank

RCAF joins the American Ninth Air Force – More updates

This story never dies…

Ken Muska’s cousin was one airman mentioned in an update. Ken Muska is sharing more about his cousin at the end of this post.

The first to comment was Carl Fleck. He had commented on a research done by Clarence Simonsen about the RCAF joining the American Ninth Air Force. Carl Fleck had sent this personal message with lots of pictures from his father’s collection.

Hi Pierre,

Here’s a  few images from the 83rd squadron period. I’ve got to rescan these images as their resolution isn’t very good.

My father flew in few B25s. In the image CASTBEN.jpg, refers to a the location where the 12th BG were located Castel Benito. The plane #52, my father flew in, is over Tripoli in the image.

Image M5 (Mighty Five)  the CO of 83rd Squadron crew…left to right…. Lt. Muska, Lt Wilson, Capt Young, Sgt Fleck, Sgt Wilson.

I’ve attached a couple of log pages….you may find the dates interesting.

 Cheers,

 Carl Fleck (Jr.)

Collection Carl Fleck

This is the original article.

 

Research by Clarence Simonsen

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941, American and British leaders arranged for a joint meeting to be held in Washington, D.C., between 24 December 1941 and 14 January 1942. This was called the Arcadia Conference, which formed overall plans to conduct a total global war against the axis powers. The first major American force established was the 8th Air Force, which moved to England and became operational on 17 August 1942. The next urgent action was needed to relieve pressure on Russia and stop the advance of German General Rommel across the Western Desert.

The whole story is here…

American 12th Bomb Group and RCAF

Text version

RCAF joins the American Ninth Air Force

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941, American and British leaders arranged for a joint meeting to be held in Washington, D.C., between 24 December 1941 and 14 January 1942. This was called the Arcadia Conference, which formed overall plans to conduct a total global war against the axis powers. The first major American force established was the 8th Air Force, which moved to England and became operational on 17 August 1942. The next urgent action was needed to relieve pressure on Russia and stop the advance of German General Rommel across the Western Desert.

The existence of 23 American B-24’s plus a dozen B-17’s in Egypt in June 1942, was a fortunate coincidence of war as Rommel made his push for the Suez. On 17 June, Washington, D.C. ordered Colonel Harry Halverson to taken charge of this small force of U.S. large bombers, in response to the threat of the German Africa Korps. This new air arm of the US Army Forces in the Middle East was pressed into service to help the British 8th Army hold Cairo. Out of combat necessity, the American Ninth Air Force was unofficially born on 28 June 1942, when Major General Lewis H. Brereton was placed in charge of this newly formed United States Army Middle East Air Force. At the same time, two stateside combat bomb groups were ordered to prepare for movement to North Africa. Leaving Florida, the 98th Bomb Group ferried its B-24’s across the Atlantic arriving in Egypt the last week of July 1942. Following the 98th were the B-25C Mitchell medium bombers of the 12th Bomb Group. These two Groups aircraft were all painted in “Sand No. 3” covering all areas that had been painted dark Olive Drab. Even new this sand paint had a pronounced apricot shade, and when exposed to the North Africa sun, the yellow pigments faded, leaving only a strong pink color. These aircraft became commonly known as “tittie” or ‘desert pink’.

The 12th Bomb Group was formed 20 November 1940, and patrolled the west coast of United States after the attack on Pearl Harbor. They began training in the B-25C medium bomber in January 1942, for duty overseas. On 16 July 1942, the S.S. Louis Pasture departed New York with 4,882 men of the 12th Bomb Group, assigned to the 12th Air Force. They arrived at Deversoir, Egypt, on 31 July 42, just before Rommel’s Panzers made their last gamble to take Alexandria. The key to victory in North Africa was Allied air power, which could deny the Germans their spare parts, ammunition, fuel, food, and water. The 12th B.G. was the first USAAF medium bomber group in the Mediterranean theatre of war, which introduced the ‘desert pink’ B-25C to desert combat. The B-25 crews had little time for training and joined No. 3 Wing South African Air Force on 25 August, attacking targets in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia. No. 3 Wing was made up of South African, British, Australian, and Canadians in RAF squadrons flying Boston and Baltimore aircraft. At first there was friction when the Americans thought their training was superior to the British. Although the Americans had never experienced anything like the North Africa combat conditions, it took time to convince them the British and Commonwealth veterans knew a little more than they did. To aid American radio operators to learn British radio procedures, 23 [cousins] RCAF wireless/gunners were freely loaned to the 12th Bomb Group, and four would be killed in action.

The USAAF crews soon welcomed the new Canadian radio operators who also prevented ‘friendly fire’ incidents from British anti-aircraft gunners, unfamiliar with the new B-25 bombers. The 23 Canadians served one year in their four respective bomb squadrons, first located in two airfields in the Nile delta, – the 81st and 82nd B.S. at Deversoir and the 83rd and 434th B.S. at Ismalia.

Under command of Col. Charles Goodrich, the 12th B.G. took the unofficial name “Earthquakes” and sported some very impressive nose art on their desert pink aircraft. The first mission was flown on 16 August, two days before the full complement of ground crew arrived. By the end of September 1942, the 12th B.G. had flown 21 missions and dropped 139 tons of bombs, with the loss of only six B-25 aircraft.

B-29

This early 12th B.G. nose art paid tribute to the new B-25C Mitchell bomber.

Earthquakers

Sahara Sue

This photo shows one of the RCAF Canadians pointing to the American nose artist in the 12th Bomb Group “Earthquaker’s”.

This is a list of the RCAF airmen who participated and four who died with the Earthquakers

ANDERSON, Sgt. Trevor Maxwell [promoted to P/O] R87853 – officer J17875

BROWN, F/O Joseph Alfred, J17884 – Sarnia, Ontario.

CARR, P/O Alexander Lawrence J17877

CRUIKSHANK, P/O Donald Herbert, J17887 – St. John, New Brunswick.

EMERY, F/L Charles Emile Michel, J18025 – Westmount, Quebec.

FLECK, P/O Carl Sidney,J17125 – Middle Stewiake, Nova Scotia.

NO57

CASTBEN

Carl Fleck’s plane over Tripoli (source Carl Fleck Jr.)

left to right: Lt. Muska, Lt Wilson, Capt Young, Sgt Fleck, Sgt Wilson

left to right: Lt. Muska, Lt Wilson, Capt Young, Sgt Fleck, Sgt Wilson

LOG4 LOG3

Collection Carl Fleck

FRASER, F/L David Scott, J17879 – Calgary, Alberta.

FRY, F/Sgt. Cyril James Howard, R67842 – Amherstburg, Ontario, KIA

Killed in action at age 25 years, Boston medium bomber missing 14 September 1942, 12th Air Force

GALL, P/O Robert Davidson, J17127 – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

GALLIVER, Sgt. William Thomas, R86558

HALL, F/L Stewart Llewelyn, J17882 – St. Catherines, Ontario.

HENRY, Sgt. Hank, Montreal, Quebec, POW

KELLY, Leonard Thomas, J17885 – Ottawa, Ontario. KIA

Wireless air gunner 27 years old, B-25 Mitchell bomber shot down while attacking Adrano, south of Mount Etna, Sicily, 5 Aug. 1943. No Known Grave.

LAMOUREUX, P/O Alexander Paul, J17130 – Edmonton, Alberta.

MACLEAN, F/L Cornelius, J18373 – Stelerton, Nova Scotia.

MARTIN, F/O Anthony Arthur, J17876 – Squamish, British Columbia.

MARTINO, P/O George William, J17880 – Montreal, Quebec.

MIRON, F/O Wilfred Arthur James, J17883 – Toronto, Ontario.

PARADIS, P/O Joseph Jean Paul, J17129 – Quebec.

RENNIE, P/O Henry Thompson, J17129 – Elora, Ontario, KIA

Medium bomber Boston aircraft shot down 12 March 1943, Sidi Barrani, Arab republic. Reburied National Cemetary at Fort Scott, Kansas, USA.

ROBERTSON, P/O Forbes, J17881 – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, KIA

Wireless air gunner 23 years old, went overseas in October 1941, assigned 12th A.F. December 1942, flew 22 missions in B-25 Mitchell. On return from mission on 29 April 1943, hung-up bomb fell on landing, exploded. War cemetery Tunisia.

ROBERTSON, P/O Ronald Douglas, J17128 – Roblin, Manitoba.

SIBBALD, P/O Roy Everett, J17878 – Cochrane, Alberta.

B-25

This is the image of the famous “Desert Warrior” taken at Red Sea base of Desouire as it prepared to leave on the first B-25 promotional tour of the United States.

Crew – [back row left to right]

Capt. Ralph Lower, [pilot] Lt. W.O. Seaman, [co-pilot] Lt. Lloyd Pond, [navigator] Lt. T.R. Tate, [bombardier]

[front row left to right]

Sgt. Pat Garofalo, [top turret gunner] Pilot Officer Anthony Arthur Martin [RCAF] wireless air gunner, Sgt. John Dowdy Crew Chief.

B-25-1

Press release error – F/O Anthony Arthur Martin was “Canadian” from Squamish, British Columbia.

The nose art was impressive

B-25-3

This memorial to the RCAF members killed in action while flying with the American “Earthquakers” is painted on original skin from the B-25 in Alberta Aviation Museum at Edmonton, Alberta. This B-25 flew with the U.S. Navy during WWII. Thanks again to pilot Tony Jarvis.

 

Ken Muska’s comment…

Pierre,
I have attached my cousin (once removed) Major Albert P. Muska’s navigation school yearbook and newspaper article of his missing in action notice. There are many strange things we are finding out about his missing status. The first is it took 17 days to send a search party to locate his plane a crew. The plane took off on 11/3/1943 but a search party was not dispatched until 11/20/1943. They never found the plane or crew. The second mystery is it took over a year after Albert’s death to issue his mother a Purple Heart Medal. If there are any experts out there in WWII Army Air Force protocol, I’d like to hear their theories why these delays took place. It was almost like they took the plane out for a joy ride. My cousin, Gary recalls as a small boy his father, another uncle and family friend said Albert and crew were on a highly confidential mission.
Thanks!
Ken Muska

 

ALBERT P MUSKA INFORMATION (PDF FILE)

THE LOG BOOK NAVIGATION SCHOOL KELLY FIELD TEXAS (PDF FILE)

Searching for George Glen Harrison Cowper

I had been in contact with someone on Facebook.

Pierre,

Do you have any training record mentions of a George Glen Harrison COWPER from England, who later flew Lancasters with 550 Squadron in Lincolnshire?

I was just sent this photo.

BCATP Tiger Moth

I was not told if he is on the left or on the right. My guess is that he is on the right. These two airmen are in front of a Tiger Moth. George Glen Harrison Cowper’s son told that his father got his training in Canada which would make sense since we see the enclosed cockpit added for flight training during winter.

George Glen Harrison Cowper’s son will be looking for his father’s log book.

This story will be updated.

Updated 2019-08-19 11:30

Flying Officer Cowper DFC was the pilot.

FOCowperCrewFOCowperTheStumpHomage_to_Bader

Source: http://www.550squadronassociation.org.uk/php-library/mysql-utils/reports/rpt_squadron_decorations.php

Now we know he was on the right.

BCATP Tiger Moth