How Clarence’s research all started

Clarence Simonsen wrote me a message.

This is very personal but he wishes to convey this message and and he allowed me to publish it.

Hello Pierre,

I found in cleaning up my 50 years of research many [new] unpublished stories remained.

Thanks to you, I can now pass on and share with the Internet, the most powerful tool, when used properly.

My story [history] of the RAF in Alberta began in 1984, and continued until I retired in July 2010. This research was conducted by meeting the real people, plus sharing letters, and phone calls. In 1985, I purchased an Epson computer, and learned to use it from the manual, self-taught. [A huge step forward] The photos were copied with my 35 mm camera, and the images were developed [by me] in a darkroom, I rented, and it was pure fun and enjoyment, to learn and save this important past history of the Royal Air Force in Canada. Over the past years, I have walked the RAF graveyards many times and realized these young British lads had been forgotten, but they were in fact the first heroes of WWII.

When Mr. George Frost told me of the RAF burial pits across Canada, I was over come with the realization the very records of these lads was still in the ground in Canada. I was allowed four trips to the Correction site at Bowden, then when I found the WWII burial site, my Government [Conservative] said – “No.” I then took the time and trouble to contact, [phone, email and letter] with the two M.P.’s and give them a copy of this same research material, you have published. Nothing but silence. These are the very same MPs who wear a poppy on 11 November and pretend to care.

My research on the RAF school at Bowden contains five photos of the head-on crash of two PT-27 Stearman training aircraft. In 2010, I learned that one of these RAF aircraft serial FJ875 had been purchased by Mr. Mike Potter who formed “Vintage Wings of Canada”. I donated by complete RAF research collection to Vintage Wings of Canada in the spring of 2011, in hopes that they would assist me to save the burial site at Bowden.  My thinking was, the WWII burial site at Bowden contains all the records of the very aircraft they owned, thus they would care. “Wrong.” In letters to owner, Mr Mike Potter, and a May 2013 meeting with the Chairman of the Board of Vintage Wings, – “Total Silence!” Mr. Potter is a very wealthy person, was born in England, flies the very aircraft that flew at Bowden, yet, he has no interest in the records in the ground in Bowden. I don’t want and never ask for his money, just his political pull. This is out of control, caused by my government.

My last attempt was directed at the large oil companies situated in Northern Alberta tar sands, who make hundreds of millions each year, and pass huge donations on to a “political party” in Alberta. Again, “Silence.”

The fact is I am a “Gomer” person, I do really care. My last effort is the power of the Internet and telling truth.

The RAF bomb tower in my research, still remains forgotten on an Alberta farm. I have tried, but museums in Alberta have no interest, why?  Catherine, “Duchess of Cambridge” the wife of Prince William [RAF] has a connection, as her Grandfather was an RAF instructor at Calgary in WWII and his students trained at this very bomb range in Airdrie, Alberta. The pilot “Briggs” who flew the Mosquito F for Freddie and crashed at Calgary, in fact took all his pilot training in Alberta, and learned to drop bombs at the range in Airdrie. The ex-drill hall in Calgary is today the Aero Space Museum of Calgary but they can’t even paint their Mosquito to honor the RAF who received their wings in that same building [including Briggs], or honor the most famous aicraft in WWII – F for Freddie. This very organization is destroying the WWII RAF history and can care less about the bomb tower in Airdrie. The fact is the Calgary museum has no understanding of their own WWII history. They must first learn, before they can teach the true history. Their selection of displays and painting of vintage aircraft should reflect on the true history of Calgary and not on the wish of the CEO or Director.

My research is the true history and I hope they read it.

Cheers

Clarence

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