Uncle Bob

Ongoing research done by Stephen King whose great-uncle trained in Canada most probably at No.4 EFTS Windsor Mills.

Fleet Finch colour

 


Uncle Bob

I’ve been doing some research into my great-uncle Robert King. From what the family story is, he left Toledo, Ohio in February 1941 to go to Canada to join the RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) and flew for the RAF in Europe early in the war. From what I have been able to determine, he was moved to the Army Air Corp and formed up with the 65th squadron (Fighting Cocks) of the 57th Fighter Group. It looks like they deployed to North Africa in July, 1942.

I’ve been unable to find any RCAF history as of yet. This is not too unusual as I have discovered through my research. It was illegal for US citizens to join foreign services in this manner. They faced a fine of $20,000 and loss of US citizenship if caught. All were forgiven in 1944. While the most famous of these men were the Flying Tigers and the Eagle Squadrons, there were many more that didn’t receive the same recognition. This is the start of my great-uncle’s story. I’ll add to this album as I find more pictures and interesting facts.


The album

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Unknown RCAF photographer

Hello Pierre,

I have attached the photos of the fellow who I believe took the rest of the pictures that I have. The one picture shows him as an AC at #1 AOS Malton.

I have one post card type photo that says the photographer is Claude Hannan but no association to the rest of the photos. I’m not sure if that’s who I’m looking for.

I have no other information beyond that.

Cheers,

Chris

 

 

 

 

Update- Summer 1942 – No. 9 Bombing and Gunnery School, Mont-Joli, Quebec

I know you must remember this photo shared by Mark Cote whose father was Leonard E. J. Cote. His father was an air gunner during World War Two.

On this photo, this is what information David Young had shared…

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)

Now there is more in store for you…

Click here!

 

19 May, 1942 – No.9 B&G School, Mont-Joli, Quebec – Update of the crash scene

Chris Charland on Facebook added a few 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 Installions of Canada’ Volume 2 – Quebec. 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.

 

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

 

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

 

19 May, 1942 – No.9 B&G School, Mont-Joli, Quebec

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

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

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)

Clarence Rooke was a teacher before he enlisted.

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