The man I never met

I never met that man.

Gagnon gets his wings - April 1942

Eugene Gagnon receiving his wings
Collection Jacques Gagnon

But I met his nephew.

I never met this man also.

GH Legion Poppies - LeVerne Haley

LeVerne Haley

Collection LeVerne Haley’s family
Use only with permission

Writing about Eugene Gagnon in 2010 led me in 2014 to LeVerne Haley’s grandson whom I never met except on the Internet. Trusting someone with personal pictures of your grandfather tells a lot about someone. Writing about a French-Canadian Mosquito pilot who died in a plane crash on October 21, 1947, tells a lot about someone also.

plane crash 21 October 1947 Windsor Mills, Quebec

Collection Jacques Gagnon

Using pictures without permission by an university student for a term paper in a history course tells a lot about someone also.

This is what happened to me two months ago. I won’t go into this story. This is why I am asking you to please contact me if you want to use pictures on this blog. I will gladly give permission if you ask and tell me why.

This blog is all about paying homage to the young men who gave so much.

If you think likewise then you are more than welcome to share these pictures unless you add a “Please donate button” on your Website.

please donate

Restoring an Avro Anson

For addicted Avro Anson lovers…

Avro Anson

Aces Flying High

After I wrote my blog on the 2012 Nhill Fly In I was invited by John Deckert a member of the Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre to visit the workshops in Nhill (in country Victoria, Australia) where the various projects associated with their restoration of a World War Two era British designed Avro Anson Mk.I twin-engined maritime patrol, air crew training and liaison aircraft are taking place. This particular Avro Anson was built in 1941 and recovered as a virtual wreck from a Wimmera farm in 2009.

RAAF Avro Anson 1938 RAAF Avro Anson’s in 1938

Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre Avro Anson Restoration The Nhill Avro Anson under restoration

BACKGROUND & HISTORY

The Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre will build a new museum to house the Avro Anson along with the associated memorabilia they have collected at the Nhill Aerodrome, a former Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) training air base in World War Two. The base operated from 1941-1946 predominately flying the Anson to conduct air navigation and armaments training including bombing training…

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Nhill Fly In 2012

For Avro Anson lovers…

Avro Anson 2

Aces Flying High

Nhill Aero Club Victoria Australia Welcome to Nhill

On October 20th, 2012 the town of Nhill in the Wimmera district of Victoria held a Fly In event to help raise money for the restoration of a World War Two era Avro Anson (a twin-engine trainer and liaison aircraft. This particular one was recovered from a farm in the region where it had sat for many years following disposal by the RAAF) and also to establish a new Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre museum at the aerodrome. During the war Nhill was a major RAAF training base between 1941 to 1946, principally operating the Avro Anson for air navigation training (for both day and night flying – the navigators had to find their way by using the stars).

Avro Anson Nhill World War Two RAAF An RAAF Avro Anson over Nhill during World War Two (source: Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre)

Avro Anson restoration project Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre Australia Avro Anson restoration project (source: Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre photo)

As the war progressed on both the European, Middle…

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Just pictures? Dwain Earl Lybbert

70 years ago…

On June 2, 1944, just before D-Day…

No. 7 S.F.T.S. Fort Macleod - LACs form Course No. 93 Red Group G Flight

In memory of 
Pilot Officer 
Dwain Earl Lybbert 
June 2, 1944

Military Service:

Service Number: J/43461
Age: 20
Force: Air Force
Unit: Royal Canadian Air Force

Additional Information:

Son of Charles Lester Lybbert and Delvia Lybbert, of Glenwoodville; husband of Claudia E. Lybbert, of Glenwoodville.

Cemetery: GLENWOOD CEMETERY; Alberta, Canada
Grave Reference: Plot 7. Lot 32. Block B.

Commemorated on Page 369 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance.

Source: CVWM

 

LeVerne Haley remembered!

Course 93 No. 7 S.F.T.S. Fort Macleod G Flight

LAC Lybbert, D. E. killed at Trenton FH761 Cornell

Images used with permission.
Images may not be re-published or re-used
without prior written consent of the family of LeVerne Haley

Please contact me if you want to use these pictures.

No. 2 S.F.T.S. Uplands – Course 63 – September 1 to December 18, 1942 Redux

Uplands2.jpeg

Uplands2B.jpeg

These names were found on this Website, and they have to be on this group picture. Four are identified.

(J/22036) Sidney Platt Seid – 418 Sqn.,

Frank E. Adams, Whitby;

Frank Alton, Lindsay;

Clarence F. Armstrong, Parry Sound;

Bruce A. Christie, Toronto;

William A. Gray, Toronto;

Donald B. McLaughlin, Toronto;

Bruce F. Beare, Port Perry;

David W. Burke, Hamilton;

Morris E. Gulliver, Leamington;

Oke Olson, Woodroffe;

Wilson N. Rivers, Ottawa;

William E. Smillie, London

29 young men.

I could only find information on Sid Seid.

David Norman McIntosh DFC – Sid Seid’s navigator

Source of this text…

David Norman McIntosh DFC was born in Sherbrooke, Quebec (QC) and was raised at Stanstead QC, which is located about 40 miles south of Sherbrooke close to the border with Vermont, USA. In March 1942, he enlisted in the RCAF in Toronto, Ontario (ON).

McIntoshDN

After receiving air crew instruction, he graduated, on February 19, 1943, as a navigator from No. 1 Air Observer School at Toronto (Malton) ON. Soon afterwards he was overseas in the UK and after receiving additional training at an Operational Training Unit was posted to No. 418 Squadron, based at Holmsley South, flying Mosquito aircraft. This was Canada’s only night intruder squadron.

These night missions involved risky and dangerous ventures that included day and night strafing attacks on airfields, transports, trains, shipping and rocket sites. These assignments included occasional bomb raids that ranged across Germany, Czechoslovakia, Denmark and Norway.

In July 1944, McIntosh and his pilot joined the circuit over Argelsried airfield in Germany. On the way home they ended up in the middle of flak and searchlights over Wiebaden, which was the RAF Bomber Command target for the night. One engine caught fire, which McIntosh succeeded in extinguishing. However it was completely burned out and his pilot had to make the rest of the flight home with only one engine.

Over 9,900 Canadians in RAF and RCAF air crew, sacrificed their lives fighting for freedom and democracy. Some crashed into the sea or crashed in England. Some airmen survived the crashes, others were rescued at sea. A great many of those who died never had a chance to bail out. They perished when their aircraft loaded with 11 tons of explosives and high octane gas, either exploded in the air or on impact with the ground. Several others were killed when they plummeted 6 to 8 kilometers to the ground after their parachutes caught fire from their burning aircraft.

On June 13, 1944, the first V-1 flying bombs fell on England and McIntosh’s squadron was assigned patrols to prevent these V-1s from reaching London. McIntosh and his pilot, Sid Seid, destroyed six of them flying so close to them that one explosion blackened their aircraft.

After a series of moves at the end of July and the beginning of August 1944, the squadron settled in at Hundson, thirty miles north of London. McIntosh and his pilot’s major achievement occurred in October 1944 when they destroyed eight enemy aircraft on the ground.

After 41 missions, McIntosh completed his tour and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) for his skill and valour.

Postwar, McIntosh retired from the RCAF and joined Canadian Press and became a foreign, defense and political correspondent for 30 years. In 1972, he began writing and producing films for federal agencies. He authored two popular books: Terror In The Starboard Seat and High Blue Battle.