Sid’s granddaughter

Who would have thought Millenna would comment more about Sid Seid?

Sid Seid Mosquito VI from 418 Squadron

Thank you! You know more about him than I do! He passed away when my father was 8 years old. . . I’m from Palau! You should tell some of your friends and come visit; it’s a great place! Anyways, I’m writing a report on him so if you have anymore info on him will you please share?

Thanks !

I was sure she would comment more on her grandfather.

Course 63 No. 2 S.F.T.S. Uplands

Advertisements

Sid Seid and the V-1s

I found this “funny” anecdote on a forum left on a message in 2007.

I was searching for more information on Sid Seil.

Sid Seid Mosquito VI from 418 Squadron

 

I am sharing this with Sid’s granddaughter who wrote a comment…

He’s my Grandpa ! Sid Seid

Sid Seid

Student pilot Sid Seid

Ever wonder how the paint got scorched off the Mosquito

BY DAVE MCINTOSH

The following excerpt is from Dave Macintosh’s book, “Terror in the Starboard Seat, “published by General Publishing Co. Ltd., Don Mills, Ont. It is Mclntosh’s personal account of his experiences as a 418 Squadron observer/navigator on Mosquitos and of his sometimes strained relationship with his pilot, Sid Seid.

Terror in the starboard seat

 

Seid was a Jewish-American in the RCAF whose main aim in life was to single-handedly win the war against Hitler. The story picks up on their 1944 encounter with German V-l buzz bombs.

There was nothing very complicated about the V-l. It was a small glider with an engine in it and it was loaded with explosive. Jerry put enough gas in the engine to make it go to London. When the gas ran out. the bomb fell down on whatever — or whomever — was underneath. The thing understandably made the Brits very jittery. It did me too.

The launching pads were near the French coast from Le Havre to Boulogne. You’d think they would be easy to find and bomb, but they weren’t. The only alternative was to shoot them down, preferably over the Channel where they could do no damage. There was little point in shooting them down over England because they were going to fall out of the sky anyway.

So away we went looking for flying bombs. Better than stooging around France, I thought, until I found out we’d be stooging around at 10,000 feet over France waiting for the bombs to appear.

SEARCHLIGHTS

The first night we set out for Beachy Head, from where we were going to make track for France. Near Brighton, a couple of searchlights snapped on. They picked us up right away. It was blinding in the cockpit.

“Jesus, tell them we’re on their side.” Sid said, crouching as far down as he could so he could see the instrument panel. This was old hat. I reached around and casually fired the Very pistol. A beautiful green flare shot out- But the searchlights didn’t go off as supposed to do. Two more stung with deadly accuracy. Zap!

“For Christ’s sake, you must have the wrong color,” Sid barked. He started to take the airplane into contortions to get out of the lights but then resumed straight and level flight. “They’ll think we’re Jerries if we try to get away,” he said. Meanwhile. I was scrambling around looking for the code color chart. I had left the green flare in from our last trip and had forgotten to check the chart.

“C’mon. for Christ’s sake.” Sid said. This made me doubly nervous. I located the color key in the map box. Then I began searching for my flashlight.

Sid exploded. “”What in hell do you want a flashlight for? You can read a ten-cent pulp novel in here.”

The chart said red and yellow for 10 P.M. to midnight. I was so unnerved that I looked at my watch to check the time.

Sid could read me like a book. “It’s after ten o’clock and it’s before midnight.” he roared. Then he added: “If you don’t get those lights off. I’m going to go blind.” He was really alarmed.

I looked along the rack and couldn’t find the right flare. I thought I was going to be sick. I started over. This time I found one, pinching my fingers getting the old one out, thrust in the new one and pulled the trigger. Nothing happened. My God. was there another red and yellow flare? I thought not. I pulled the breach open, slammed it again, fired. There was a sound like a fist in a pillow. Two beautiful red and yellow lights soared out aft. The searchlights went out like a basement light clicking off.

“Sorry.” I said. It didn’t seem adequate.

Mercifully. Sid didn’t say anything. I think he didn’t want to betray that he had been scared too.

SUPERSTITIONS

The trip was a washout. We couldn’t concentrate on anything after that, though it was really a very minor incident. We carried out a two hour patrol but didn’t see anything.

The next night started out the same. I wore the same shoes as I had the first trip. I also peed under the port wing before takeoff. I stuck with these superstitions, though my feet got damn cold sometimes and the ground crew complained now and then about having to tramp around in my wet spots. A superstition is not a good one unless you stick with it through thick and thin.

I think I had always been impressed by the film in which Clark Gable got in flying trouble the moment Spencer Tracy forgot his habit of sticking his wad of gum on the cockpit before takeoff. I was not particularly superstitious before the war but I have been since. More than the ordinary …. a black cat crossing your path, breaking a mirror, walking under a ladder. When I struggle out of my high-back rocker. I have to make sure it stops rocking before I leave the room. Never a hat on the bed. Happy is the corpse that is rained on. You name it — I’ve got it.

We took off, crossed the English Channel and took up station inside France east of Le Havre. We were at about 2,000 feet. “Look out the back.” Sid said. I stayed like that for an hour. There was a real danger, sitting up in the open, that we would draw a Jem’ nightfighter. “Jesus, there’s one,” Sid said suddenly. He jammed the throttles forward.

I looked down. Sure enough, there was the red glow, the exhaust of a V-1. It seemed to be moving fairly slowly, poor judgement on my part. We went into a dive to get more speed. The V-1 was ahead of us. In the blackness, of course, all we could see was that small burning sun in front of us. Because the V-1 was smaller than a plane, you had to get fairly close to get in a telling shot.

We were doing more than 350 mph by this time but we weren’t gaining. In fact, we were dropping back a bit. In a minute or so, we had to face the truth that the damn thing was running away from us.

We had been warned about this too. Jerry mixed ’em up. He’d send one over at 500 miles an hour, which we couldn’t catch, and then poop one off at 200 miles an hour. Whether this was deliberate or not we didn’t know, of course, but it drove us crazy. We climbed back up to 10,000 feet: Sid was sore as hell. He took the two misfires as an affront to his flying ability.

Another hour went by and we were thinking of doing one more stooge before heading home, when we spotted a third doodlebug. “By God. this time.” Sid said.

The speed went up as we went down. I looked at the clock. It read 350 mph. I looked out along the wing. It was flapping like a seagull working in a hurricane. My stomach gave another wrench. Christ, the wings will come off and we’ll go straight in. I didn’t take any comfort from what had happened to Tony Barker and Gord Frederick, his navigator. They hit the drink was thrown hard against my straps because the cannons going off cut down the speed suddenly.

When the explosion came I thought I was going to be dead. The goddam thing went off right in our faces. I opened my eyes and caught a glimpse of things whirling around outside the window. Black things and blobs of smoke.

“I can’t see,” Sid said.

“OK boy,”I said. “Just keep her like that. You can cut your speed though.” He throttled back. After those hours of darkness, he had been blinded for a few seconds by the flash. Why we hadn’t been smashed up from all that flying debris. I don’t know. We had flown right through it.

” I got too close,” Sid said.

“I noticed,” I said.

Now that I found myself in one piece and the props still going around, I wanted to laugh and natter and be Jesus H.(for Hannah) Christ in a blue bottle sitting on the mantlepiece. “Boy, I bet we saved the life of some limey in London reading his paper about how all the doodlebugs are being shot down by ack-ack guns,” I babbled.

“Yes. you’re quite a little savior,” Sid said. But he didn’t fool me. He was pleased he had finally made a score, no matter how small, in his Jewish war against the Germans.

“Russ said to go to 10,000.” I said. Russ Bannock, our new flight commander, and Don MacFadyen, had worked out some tactics for the V-l. One of Russ’s pieces of advice was to climb to 10.000 feet and wait there for the V-l launching. The height would enable us to gain our maximum speed of about 400 in a dive. “Look out the back.” said Sid. We climbed to 10.000 feet and stooged around, my neck getting sorer by the minute.

“There’s another bastard.” Sid said. He banged the throttles forward and stuck the nose down. The sudden dive lifted me up hard against the straps and my guts came up with a thud against my heart. Down we went like a bat out of hell. We wouldn’t be too slow this time. We weren’t. We went screaming by the bloody thing before Sid could get set for a shot.

Down, down, down. We were gaining some because the fire coming out the ass end of the V-l was getting bigger. The Mosquito was screaming in every joint. Sid had both big, hairy hands on the stick. When he began to pull back. I thought the wings would never stand it. But we began to level out and the clock said 400 mph. Sid pulled and pulled and she kept coming out of the dive. I tore my eyes away from the shaking wing and looked ahead. It was just like looking into a blast furnace.

“We’re too close,” I screamed. I shut my eyes as the cannons began banging away.

I gave Sid a course: “Three-four-eight.” Then I checked the IFF and the gas gauges.

“I bet we’re all blistered.” Sid said. He was talking about the Mosquito.

We drifted in over the coast and pretty soon our circle of lights showed up. He did a circuit and landed and parked. A flashlight bobbed around under my wing, the door opened, a ladder came up and with it a blurred face.

“Where in hell have you been?” ; -.-.-Hal.

“We got a doodlebug.”

“From pretty close.”

“That’s been mentioned.” Sid said.

I climbed down the ladder. Sid followed and took Hal’s flashlight and played it on the wings and nose. There wasn’t an inch of paint anywhere. The Mosquito was black. No roundel, no number, no letters, nothing.

What did you do, fly right up its ass?” asked Hal.

“Looks like,” Sid said.

The truck with its little dim lights arrived and we rode back to the ops room. Sid reported to the IO.

A few minutes later, Pete came in smoking an enormous cigar. “One ceegar,” he shouted, waving his smoke. He meant he had shot down a V-l.

“The son of a bitch,” Sid said to me. “What’ll he do if he ever shoots down a plane?” He was really annoyed.

The next afternoon, all the crews went around to have a look at our scorched plane and the CO said in the mess, “Don’t get too close to ’em.” I could have said that.

Sid didn’t talk about shooting down a V-l. He talked about mistakes. “Jesus Christ. There we were going down like a stone in a well and my alligator sitting there with his balls in his mouth he’s so scared and I’m fingering the old tit to get ready for a shot when we go tearing by as if that goddam thing had stopped to let somebody off. Then my alligator lectures me on tactics.”

The bar laughed and roared. “Back up we go. with my alligator twitching like a dry leaf on the end of a dry twig in a dry wind because he’s afraid a Jerry is going to come up our ass while we’re trying to get up the doodlebug’s ass. Well, we spot another, though my alligator here pretends he doesn’t see it and says we should go home another way, like the three wise men. Well, down we go again. I don’t know how you’re supposed to tell how far away you are. I thought we were about 300 yards away when I fired. Jesus, we weren’t three yards away. I’m going to wear dark glasses at night after this.”

More laughter.

No other pilot talked like Sid did. The others never admitted mistakes. They’d rather die than admit they had, for instance, overtaken a V-l without getting a shot in. Oh, they had heard of that happening to somebody over in 605 Sqn (our RAF equivalent). But that was all.

Except when describing a kill, most crews kept to themselves what went on in the cockpit. I was always interested in how the other navigators got along with their pilots and once in a while I found out.

One said his pilot gave him **** all the time in the air — a constant stream of instructions, complaints, invective about his navigation. But he didn’t feel like retaliating because his pilot was so damn good he didn’t make mistakes — he knew exactly what he was doing and what his plane could do every second the plane was in the air. It was uncanny. He added that he didn’t speak to his pilot except in the ops room and in the plane. This must have taken some doing because, like the rest of us, they bunked in the same room.

Bill told me about his pilot: “Look, the guy makes mistakes. He puts us on the wrong course sometimes. He’s not one of your wonder pilots we have around here, with years of instruction. He made the course and he tries hard and he really flies pretty well. Do you think I’m going to hold him up to ridicule in front of the mess?”

I didn’t consider that Sid was ridiculing himself or me. He was simply entertaining the Squadron. Besides, he was telling the truth while he did it, with a pinch of exaggeration here and there. I won’t say he was the only one who told the truth. But he was the only one who broadcast it.

(Dave Mclntosh is a retired journalist living in Ottawa.)

Feel free to comment

This is the reason I am writing this blog with all the scanned images Greg Bell sent me when his grandfather was an instructor at No.2 S.F.T.S Uplands in 1942 and 1943.

Comments like this one.

He’s my Grandpa ! Sid Seid

Sid Seid Mosquito VI from 418 Squadron

Sid Seid

Course 63 No. 2 S.F.T.S. Uplands

Back Course 63 No. 2 S.F.T.S. Uplands

You can contact me using this contact form, or just feel free to write a comment in the comment box.

Sid Seid – An extreme pilot

I had never heard about Sid before finding his name in a logbook and on the back of a picture.

 

Back Course 63 No. 2 S.F.T.S. Uplands

This is what you will find on Airforce.ca about Sid Seid.

Sid Seid Mosquito VI from 418 Squadron

Mosquito Fighter/Fighter-Bomber Units of World War 2 (page 58)
Martin W. Bowman

SEID, F/O Sidney Platt (J22036) – Distinguished Flying Cross – No.418 Squadron – Award effective 20 December 1944 as per London Gazette dated 2 January 1945 and AFRO 471/45 dated 16 March 1945. American who enlisted in the RCAF. Born 28 April 1921 in Santa Rosa, California; home in San Francisco; enlisted in Vancouver, 24 October 1941 and posted to No.3 Manning Depot. To No.15 SFTS (guard), 5 December 1941. To No.2 ITS, 31 January 1942; graduated and promoted LAC, 28 March 1942 but not posted to No.2 EFTS until 9 July 1942; graduated 28 August 1942 and posted next day to No.2 SFTS; graduated and commissioned 18 December 1942.

Sid Seid

To No.1 Flying Instructor School, 4 January 1943. To No.13 SFTS, 13 March 1943. Promoted Flying Officer, 1 June 1943. To No.36 OTU, 11 November 1943. To “Y” Depot, Lachine, 29 January 1944. Taken on strength of No.3 PRC, Bournemouth, 14 February 1944. Repatriated 3 December 1944. To Western Air Command, 19 January 1945. To No.7 OTU, 22 January 1945. Promoted Flight Lieutenant, 18 March 1945. To No.8 Release Cengtre, 22 August 1945. Retired 29 August 1945. He was pilot to F/O David N. McIntosh, and thus figures prominently in the latter\’s book, Terror in the Starboard Seat. Award presented 24 June 1947.

Credited with the following victories:

21/22 June 1944, one V-1 destroyed;

6/7 July 1944, one V-1 destroyed;

11/12 July 1944, one V-1 destroyed;

13/14 July 1944, one V-1 destroyed;

30 August 1944, one FW.190 and one Bf.110 damaged on ground;

15 October 1944, one Bf.109 destroyed plus one Bf.110 destroyed plus five Ju.88s destroyed plus two Bf.109s damaged plus two Ju.88s damaged plus one unidentified enemy aircraft damaged, all on the ground.

RCAF photos are PL-28420, PL-28424, PL-32823, PL-34590, PL-40220, PL-40221 and Pl-40800. In particular, RCAF photo PL-32823 (ex UK-15082 dated 20 September 1944 shows arrival of parcels from sponsoring city of Edmonton; mascots Butch, Rufus and Tony with F/O George Drew, RAF (trained at Port Albert, Ontario), F/O Chuck Redecker (Windsor, Ontario), F/O E. Gent, RAF, and F/O Sid Seid of San Francisco. RCAF photo PL-40220 (ex UK-15891 dated 18 October 1944) shows P/O D.N. McIntosh (left), Stanstead, Quebec and F/O S.P. Seid (San Francisco) discussing sortie into Germany which resulted in destruction of eight enemy aircraft with no damage to their aircraft. Photo PL-40221 (ex UK-15891 dated 18 October 1944 shows Seid on left, McIntosh, and CBC interviewer F/O R.R. Mackness (Vancouver).

Flying Officer Seid has successfully completed a large number of operational sorties. He has attacked the enemy’s road, rail and water transport and destroyed at least eight enemy aircraft on the ground and damaged others. In September 1943, while enroute for an attack on a German airfield, this officer encountered an enemy convoy on the Zuider Zee. In the face of heavy anti-aircraft fire he made repeated attacks and obtained hits on at least three of the vessels. The long hours spent by Flying Officer Seid in careful planning and studying of tactical situations have been reflected in his outstanding record of achievement which has been an inspiration to all in his squadron.

I wish I had all those PL- pictures from RCAF files to show you…

Terror in the starboard seat – Take 2

Sid Seid Mosquito VI from 418 Squadron

Sid Seid on the right
Dave McIntosh on the left

Mosquito Fighter/Fighter-Bomber Units of World War 2 (page 58)
Martin W. Bowman

 

Some book reviews found on Amazon…

Terror in the starboard seat

This one by Theodore A. Rushton

Perhaps it comes from living next door to Americans, but Canadians have a knack for staring tragedy in the face and remembering something to laugh about afterwards. It’s little wonder that many of the funniest modern comedians, from John Belushi to Peter Jennings, are Canadians.

World War II produced “the greatest generation,” says Tom Brokaw, who wasn’t there. Dave McIntosh was there, flying 41 combat missions in the navigator’s seat of a Mosquito night fighter, and he calls it “the scardest generation.” It takes common sense to be afraid; fear is often the one element that provides the extra margin of caution needed for survival.

It helps explain why the 24 Mossies of 418 Squadron achieved the highest scores in RCAF history, with 105 aircraft destroyed in the air, 74 on the ground, 9 probables, 103 damaged and 83 V-1s destroyed. Not bad for planes built of Ecuador balsa, Alaska spruce, Canadian birch and fir, and English ash, often by furniture makers. The twin engine Mosquito had a crew of two, but it carried the same weight of bombs as a B-17 and could fly at 400 miles an hour.

Granted, McIntosh volunteered for the RCAF. He schemed to get into 418 City of Edmonton squadron, which flew night intruder missions. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, one of Canada’s highest awards for valor. He wasn’t looking for a safe and comfortable seat to sit out the war. Most veterans who’ve been in actual combat have little to say; those who do talk often emphasize the humor. One of their favorite songs had the lines, “When the compass course is west, that’s the time that I love best” — in other words, heading home, away from the enemy. It’s little wonder he took until 1980 to write this book.
It’s a different kind of war memoir. Americans brag, Brits keep a stiff upper lip, Germans are betrayed heroes, Russians are ‘zhlobi’ — crude and uncouth. Canadians are like hockey players in a power play on the goal — all of the above, and then some. It has the same mood as ‘The Corvette Navy’ by J. B. Lamb, the loneliness of fighting men who are trivialized by everyone not in combat. Only the Canadian military trains “zombies.” There’s a common feeling the government compromises anything to avoid upsetting anyone on the home front — an attitude American soldiers didn’t acquire until the Vietnam.

Sidney Seid, a San Francisco Jew who joined the RCAF before Pearl Harbour, was the driver (pilots were never called pilots) for McIntosh. Seid loyally stayed with the Canadians even though he could have doubled his pay by in the US forces. It wasn’t an easy life. McIntosh tells of one crew that spent its ops circling off the coast of Holland, afraid to cross into enemy territory, faking complete combat reports including targets visited, burning bombers, fires, weather, the whole thing. It was one way to cope with the terror of facing the enemy.

Canadian aircrews flew operations, or “ops.” The American “missions” sounded too much like a crusade. On one occasion, on night ops over Holland, McIntosh and his driver suddenly heard a English voice in their earphones, “Waggle your wings . . . or you’ll burn.” The driver waggled. Wildly. “OK, son” the voice added. A British night fighter had found them in the dark; had they been caught by a German plane, they wouldn’t have heard the bullets hit.

No wonder McIntosh was scared. But, as he told an army friend just back from the D-Day landings, “At least when I’m shot at I can run away at 400 miles an hour.” His friend replied, “Hell, that’s nothing, you should see me.” Yet, for more than 41 ops — if they were chasing Buzz Bombs, or only went a short distance over Europe, it was only half an op — they went back again and again.

Any veteran will sympathize. Non veterans can only wonder how they did it.

McIntosh, who became a Canadian Press reporter after the war, presents a vivid story of the deadly realities of war. It’s too good of a story ever to be made into a movie; but then, life is generally far better than any movie. So is this book.

By Ken Scheffler

This book ranks among the best–Farley Mowat’s “And No Birds Sang”, included–about a Canadian’s experiences during the Second World War. It is, however, not always a light-hearted account, and by no means a glorification of war. As is readily clear, McIntosh–like many of his peers–was not an overly enthusiastic participant, yet undertook his duty with much courage. Terror in the starboard Seat is a fine testament to this courage as well as the sacrifice that so many made in order to rid the world of Naziism.

By A Customer

This book kept me up until 4 in the morning, laughing, crying. It’s got it all. RCAF navigator McIntosh wrote with pathos and honesty. He puts you right inside the Mosquito with his Jewish/American pilot, with whom he had a kind of Butch & Sundance relationship, all that same kind of loyalty and snappy reparte. This is one of the best WWII books I’ve ever read. Just like with a great suspense novel, you’ll find yourself really whipping those pages over. And yet, I was sorry it had to end.