No. 19 E.F.T.S. Virden, Manitoba – 15 July 1941 – A day in the life of 61 Americans

The research for Jack Owens’ service with the RCAF started here with one entry in the daily diaries of No. 19 E.F.T.S. Virden, Manitoba…

No. 19 E.F.T.S. Virden, Manitoba

 


No. 19 E.F.T.S. Virden, Manitoba Daily Diaries

First entry

15-7-41

Normal Routine.

Course 33 arrived from No. 2. I.T.S., Regina.

61 of the 70 are Americans.


Jack Owens was one of the 61 Americans part of Course 33.

Graduating Banquet 26 August 1941


This is the last entry where Course 33 is mentioned.

30-8-41

Normal routine – course 33 on 48 hour pass prior to reporting to new unit.


58 out of 70 LACs graduated, and their names appeared on the last page.

Graduating Banquet 26 August 1941 graduating class

LAC AASNESS, L.E.

LAC ALDRICH, D.

LAC BENNETT, J.J.P.

LAC BISHOP, J.

LAC BOUGHTON, E.S.R.

LAC BROWN, H.E.

LAC BUNTE, A.F.

LAC BURTON, J.R.

LAC BUZETA, B.H.T.

LAC DE LA PAULLE, J.A.H.

LAC DOSIER, E.E.E.

LAC DOYLE, M.W.

LAC FORSYTHE, P.J.

LAC FRUDD, H.H.

LAC GIRARD, L.

LAC GOFF, A.B.

LAC HAYNES, J.S.

LAC HOBERT, R.D.

LAC HOLT, C.R.

LAC HOWELL, A.B.

LAC JOHNSON, G.C.

LAC KENISTON, R.L.

LAC KERNS, T.D.

LAC KING, B.F.J.

LAC KRESS, M.

LAC LAUFER, D.

LAC LENK, M.

LAC LEPPERT, C.R.

LAC LINN, M.C.

LAC LITTLEJOHN, B.J.

LAC MADDEN, J.E.

LAC MASON, C.L.

LAC McELWEE, W.

LAC McCLELLAN, F.A.

LAC MORGAN, A.T.

LAC MOUNTS, D.C.

LAC NICHOLSON, T.W.

LAC OWENS, J.R.

LAC ROBSON, G.E.

LAC ROGERS, S.

LAC RUSSELL, A.H.

LAC RUSSELL, H.F.

LAC RYAN, G.J.

LAC SENGER, W.J.

LAC SEXTON, M.K.

LAC STAGEMAN, R.E.

LAC STANAGE, H.G.

LAC ST.EVENS, R.B.

LAC STEWART, R.W.

LAC TAYLOR, R.E.

LAC TETERS, C.D.

LAC TURNBULL, J.J.H.

LAC WALBER, R.E.

LAC WALLACE, I.

LAC WILSON, J.

LAC WOOD, F.M.

LAC WOOD, L.A.

LAC WOOFORD, J.


Searching for who had died in WWII to get access to their record of service files, I found that LAC H.E. Brown had not survive the warThe next documents are taken from Harold Earl Brown’s record of service file which was downloaded from Archives Canada.

Harold Earl Brown

Harold Earl Brown was born on April 26, 1915 in Idaho and was an American citizen.

record of service airmen Harold Earl Brown

record of service airmen Harold Earl Brown

record of service airmen Harold Earl Brown

These documents show that after graduating from No. 19 E.F.T.S. Virden Harold Earl Brown went to No. 12 S.F.T.S. Brandon, Manitoba. 

No.12 S.F.T.S. Brandon, Manitoba

First entry

September 1/41

Clear and Warm.

57 students of Class 37 report and spent the day seeing the M.O., drawing equipment, etc.

Harold Earl Brown as well as 56 other LACs spent the day seeing the Medical Officer, drawing equipment, etc….

J.R. Owens was then part of Class 37 at No. 12 Brandon, Manitoba which trained students on twin-engine Cessna Crane.

But what about one student who did not show up since 58 LACs had graduated?

To be continued…

Gananoque’s “Mysterious” Canso

Intermission – The Mysterious Canso – Larry is preserving the past…

CANAV Books Blog

For decades, many a keen member of “the aviation circle” has dropped in to the former British Commonwealth Air Training Plan aerodrome north of Gananoque, Ontario. The place had been built in the early 1940s as a relief, or, secondary field to serve No.31 service Flying Training School at Kingston (see “RCAF Station Kingston” on wiki). “Back in the day” No.31 SFTS was doing advance training mainly for RAF student pilots on the Battle, initially, then, on the Harvard, once they were available.

A relief field served several roles. Instructors could take students there from the busy Kingston circuit to practice “touch-and-goes” and other procedures; advanced solo students could do the same. If a runway incident closed a runway at Kingston, Gananoque would save the day, the same if local weather conditions closed Kingston, while Gananoque still was open. Such fields were bare bones. They had the standard BCATP runway…

View original post 989 more words

No. 19 E.F.T.S. Virden, Manitoba – 26 August, 1941

How this research began?

Hello,
I am trying to collate details of my father, Jack R Owens (senior) who graduated from Course 33, No. 19 E.F.T.S. RCAF Virden Manitoba in August 1941.
Can you provide any details please or perhaps suggest further points of contact?
He was an American citizen and went on to transfer to the US Army Air Force in 1942 I believe.

Any info you might have would be greatly appreciated. I am resident in the UK.

Thank you
Jack Owens Jr

A quick reply and then…

Hello Pierre,

Thank you for your very prompt response which I was not expecting!

Yes, I would be happy for you to post something on the Facebook pages you mention.  I myself am not on Facebook but can be reached on this e mail address.

Perhaps I should provide a little more background.   My father was killed on active service in a USAF plane crash in Wiesbaden Germany in 1957 when I was 9  and in later years I  made various attempts to collate details of his war time service without too much success.  Recently I received some letters and other memorabilia from a cousin in the US and so I thought I would try again starting with the 26th August 1941 Graduation Banquet Programme for Course 33 number 19 EFTS.  R.C.A.F. Virden Manitoba.

My father was one of the US volunteers in WW2 and travelled up from his home in Texas (or Louisiana?) to join the RCAF.   I believe after graduation from Virden he would have joined an active RCAF squadron as I also have a wings patch but no detail of a squadron.  My belief is that he would have served on bombers in the UK and was required to transfer to the US Army Air force upon entry of the US in to the war sometime after 1942.   A search I originally made of US squadrons of that era threw up the name Lt Jack R Owens and listed various sorties over Germany but it seems there was another pilot with the same name and middle initial  so I cannot confirm that the information related to my father,.  To compound difficulties, there was a fire back in the 1950’s or 60’s in the main records depository in the US and it seems some of his information may have been destroyed. Tracking his movements from the RCAF may make things clearer if I can collate things with dates and squadrons that way.

There was a suggestion that he won the DFC from the RAF but I cannot find confirmation of this.  A letter sent to my Grandmother in Texas from London during the war by a friend serving in the American army mentioned that he had bumped in to my father in London whilst on leave and made mention of an award and this may have been a source of confusion.   He certainly won a US Air Force DFC during active service in the Korean War and I have the citation and medal which confirms this.

I have left it rather late to resume enquiries after the false trails but would like to try and clarify things now and perhaps the RCAF trail will help establish a clearer picture on which to go on.

Any information of your contacts can provide would be gratefully received.

I attach a scan of the above mentioned Banquet Programme which lists names of graduates on the course which may be of interest.

Thank you for your help

Kind regards,

Jack Owens Jr

 

Graduating Banquet 26 August 1941

Graduating Banquet 26 August 1941 programme

Graduating Banquet 26 August 1941 menu

 

Graduating Banquet 26 August 1941 graduating class

58 names…

How to search for one who had graduated on August 26, 1941?

To be continued…

The kid I met – In Memoriam

 

Just a kid

Allan Douglas Todd

1922 – 2020

Original post written 5 years ago


The kid I met is now 92.

I met him twice.

One time in a hit a run visit, and the second time with all the time in the world.

The first time I had a sick cat to attend to so I had to leave earlier than I wanted. Allan Todd wanted to show me more family pictures, but I had to go.

When his son wrote me later he was leaving to get back home, I jumped on the occasion to pay his father another visit.

Glad I did because I scanned with his son all of his father’s pictures during his training days with the BCATP.

Not many, but never been published on the Internet.

Allan Todd was trained  at No. 1 A.O.S. Malton.

It’s all in there in his logbook!

 To be continued…

the kid

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