There is another footnote to this story…
R54605, Payer, Philippe Cpl. enlisted: October 10,1939.
With information on the back.
Corporal Payer is the man on the right. According to the caption we are in 1941.
St-Hubert P. Que
Moi et mes hommes ce que l’on appelle un Crew
L’avion est un Tiger Shark
I am sure we are at the St-Hubert airbase in 1941, but this is not a Spitfire on this photo. It’s an American P-40 Kittyhawk bearing the code VW.
There were few P-40 Kittyhawk in Canada.
Very rare photos on the Internet. These are from the personal collection of Leonard Weston who would have served in Alaska!
His son had shared them so everyone could see them on the Internet.
What golden opportunity then to share this incredible photo taken in June 1941 at St-Hubert.
R54605, Payer, Philippe Cpl. enlisted: October 10,1939
No. 13 SFTS St. Hubert
Comment left by a knowledgeable reader
They are indeed Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawks. The VW indicates 118 Squadron. The photo with the Kitty in the glassed hanger was probably taken in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia where 118 was stationed before it went to Western Air Command in June, 1942. (Although it could be Rockcliffe where they formed). It is unusual to see the shark teeth nose on a 118 aircraft, a design they discontinued out west (14 Squadron was also using that design out west when they got there in March, 1942.
The other photos, also Kittyhawks (all Mark 1s), were taken, most likely on Annette Island, Alaska where 118 was stationed until they went overseas to become 438 Squadron flying Typhoons. The photographs were all taken before October 31, 1942 when the order went out to remove the squadron identification letters on all RCAF aircraft.
There must be hundreds of shots like these slumbering in shoeboxes in attics all over Canada. I wish there was a way to get them out.
Now this is the other footnote…
Yeah… what about those teeth?
Maybe one of your readers will come up with an interesting theory or fact.
An interesting sidebar: the USAAF Flying Tigers unit in Burma was run by Gen Clare Lee Chennault. It was his son, Maj. Jack Chennault that commanded USAAF 11th Squadron in the Aleutians and incorporated the Canadian units into the effort. In Burma they used the shark teeth design but in the Aleutians, 11 Squadron used a Tiger mouth (it wasn’t nearly as dramatic) But it was the RCAF 14 Squadron that used the sharks teeth in Alaska and the Aleutians.
They were all P-40 Es (Mk1) although in 111 Squadron ’s diary they were frequently, in 1941, called P40 Ds. I don’t know why.
AL 785 flown into St. Hubert and I think across the country. (Quite a thing, that!) by F/O Grant
AK 857 P/O Johnstone
AK 803 P/O Handley
AL 226 Sgt O’Brien
AL 220 W/O2 Dickson Dickson en route crash-landed near Sudbury
AK 779 P/O Banting I think Banting crash-landed near Sudbury at the same time. These seem to have been the only accidents. Neither pilot was hurt; both were flying in their regular shifts at Annette in the coming days. But I don’t see either a/c on strength again.
AK 845 P/O Studholme
AL 152 Sgt Manzer
AK 797 P/O Baxter
AL 210 P/O Wilson
AK 815 P/O Ivans
AL 224 Sgt Brooker
The others went on to Montreal.
Here is the cross country route flown by these tight little one-man a/c:
Dartmouth to Penfield Ridge (June 6)
Penfield Ridge to Montreal “
Also Penfield Ridge to St. Hubert June 6
St. Hubert to North Bay June 7
North Bay to Purquois June 8
Purquois to Armstrong “
Armstrong to Winnipeg “
Winnipeg to Regina June 8 or 9
Regina to Lethbridge June 9
Lethbridge to Edmonton June 10 They hung out in Edmonton A&E tests etc. They did no flying in Edmonton from June 13 -20
Edmonton to Prince George June 21
Prince George to Annette Island “
Very impressive achievement!