Bill Hillman Presents
Forces: Land ~ Air ~ Sea ~ Home
April 2000 Edition
Compiled by Bill Hillman
Wherein we share an eclectic assortment of items gleaned from the
Internet, media and contributing readers.
Please send your ideas and contributions to the
FLASH. . . Editor and Webmaster: Bill Hillman:


The Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum 
Has Been Honoured by Attractions Canada
See the story at in Motes & Quotes March 2000
1. Quotable Quotes
2. You might be a little TOO Hooah if...
THROUGH THE VIEW FINDER: Websites of Interest to CATPM members
3. The Stirling Project
4. The Halifax Project
5.  Belgian Lancaster Recovery Projects
6. Mail from the RAF Lichfield Association, England
7. A Note from Brandon, Florida

"Never, in the field of human conquest, has so much been owed by so many to so few"

Winston Churchill on the Battle of Britain
"The charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava is eclipsed in brightness by these almost daily deeds of fame"
Winston Churchill August 1941
"The Navy can lose us the war, but only the Air Force can win it. The fighters are our salvation, but the bombers alone provide the means of victory"
Winston Churchill
"Dominating all our power to carry on the war, or even keep ourselves alive, lay our mastery of the ocean routes and the free approach and entry to our ports"
Winston Churchill on the Battle of the Atlantic
"The ground crews were past all praise.  If we had long hours, they had longer ones by far.  They were always laughing and ragging round the place and betting cigarettes or drinks as to whether "A" Flight would be better than "B" Flight or whether such and such pilot would get one or two today.

How Tubby, the Squadron Engineer Officer, continued to render at least fifteen out of twenty Hurricanes serviceable at every readiness period is a secret that will die with him.  A lot of publicity and glamour comes the way of the fighter pilot but not all the praise in the world would do justice to these 'back room boys'."

Squadron Leader Michael Crossley Commander of No. 32 Squadron
"Gradually I gained experience in formation flying, operational scrambles etc.  My biggest worry was falling away from the fight and being called a coward"
Sergeant Harry Newton ~ Hurricane pilot
"I didn't really like the idea of shooting down people, or trying to.  But it was a question of them or us.  I had joined the RAF and trained as a fighter pilot.  When the war came along I thought 'This is it.  I've got to earn my money now.'  I knew what I had to do, and I did the best I could.  Some of the youngsters on the squadron would really upset me when they glorified in the killing.  I couldn't adopt that sort of attitude."
Sergeant John Etherington
"The ordinary air fighter is an extraordinary man and the extraordinary air fighter stands as one in a million among his fellows"
Theodore Roosevelt
"It was a sight of such devastation I shall never forget.  A horrible sight, as though God himself had withdrawn his hand from that evil place"
A Navigator overflying Nazi Germany 1941
You might be a little TOO Hooah if...

Your kids call the sandbox "NTC".
Your wife has mermites in the China Cabinet.
Your older kids call the youngest one "Cherry".
When your wife left you, you had a Change of Command.
Your wife carries a buttpack instead of a Gucci purse.
Your kids would rather get SIMNET than Nintendo 64.
When your family gets together, you call them "Slice Elements".
You butter your toast with a bayonet.
If your kids get a wrong answer in school they immediately drop and knock out 20.
Your personal license plate says "At Ease".
All of your kids' names begin with "AR".
Your grandmother won the Week of the Eagles.
Your POV has your name stenciled on the windshield.
Anyone using the TV remote control must dispatch it first.
Your kids are hand receipt holders.
Your kids practice Drill and Ceremony at recess.
Your dog's name is "Ranger".
Your kids pull night guard shifts by the mailbox.
Your wife has a better high and tight than your commander.
Your kids sound off with "Airborne" or "Air Assault" every time their left foot hits the ground.
Your wife won't buy anything unless it has a National Stock Number.
Your kids have to wax and buff the floor before going to school.
When your dog died, he got a 21-gun salute at Arlington.
Your kids call their teachers "REMFs" and the other kids at school "legs."
Your daughter's dolls wear starched uniforms.
Your daughter complained that her new Barbie's hair wasn't within regulation and then cut it.
If your kids fail a test, they get a Letter of Reprimand and an Article 15.
Your kids salute their grandparents.
Your kids get an LES with their allowance.
All your meals at home are MREs.
Your kids painted their Big Wheels camouflage and stuck bumper numbers on them.
All your household possessions were issued by CIF.
Your kids get sent to the "big house" at Leavenworth if they're disrespectful.
Your kids complain if they can't have gym class five days a week.
Everyone does six pullups before sitting down at the dinner table.

 Websites of Interest to Our Readers:
Pay them a visit and
check out the photos and stories.

The Short Stirling was the RAF’s first operational four-engined bomber and in it’s day was an advanced and formidable aeroplane.As far as is known, not a single example survives out of 2383 constructed and it appears that all the manufacturer’s drawing have been destroyed. The Stirling Project was constituted in 1997 under the Chairmanship of a former XV Squadron navigator with the immediate aim of preserving components and documentary evidence of this historic aircraft.The committee has set itself the long term aim of constructing a forward section of fuselage and is confident of being able to re-create the necessary drawings. A workshop has been established and conservation of a very rare FN5 nose gun turret is in hand. In 1941 the late Lady MacRobert  contributed £25,000 towards the cost of a Stirling, which was named MacRobert’s reply in her honour. If you would like to support this project, send your ‘reply’ to the treasurer at

The Stirling Project site contains features such as:
What is The Stirling Project?
The Stirling Project At Work
June 1999 Newsletter
Internal Diagrams
General Data
Publications & Museums
Questions and Queries
Stirling Images
Links To Related Sites

The Halifax Project

Halifax NA337 flew many supply dropping operations to Resistance groups in Norway and Denmark and it was on such an operation, on the night of April 23/24 1945, that it was shot down, 'ditching' in the waters of Lake Mjosa, near the town of Hamer, at about 02:00hrs on the morning of April 24th. Unfortunately, although it is believed all the crew servived the actual'ditching' by the time the Norwegians came out in their boats at firstlight, around 07:00hrs, to search for servivors, only one, the rear gunner, Flight Sergeant Weightman, was found alive, lying on top of the overturned dingy. The remainder of the crew, apparently, perishing in the freezing cold waters of the Lake. They where found floating in their 'Mae West' life jackets, with the exception of the Flight Engineer, who's body was never found.

Halifax NA337 was to lie undisturbed for 50 years, until the summer of 1995, when the Halifax Aircraft  Association recovered it, for restoration and future display in the RCAF Memorial Museum. The Handley Page Halifax is a very significant aircraft to those Canadians who fought in WWII in service with the Royal Air Force or the Royal Canadian Air Force. The Halifax is the aircraft in which Canadians flew 70% of all wartime operations. The aircraft in Trenton will, when completed, be the only completely authentic, restored Halifax in the world.

Halifax NA337 was recovered from a lake in Norway due entirely to the efforts of the Halifax Aircraft Association (HAA). This is a group of enthusiasts consisting mainly of ex-Halifax groundcrew and aircrew who raised the funds necessary to have a commercial, marine, recovery group locate and lift the aircraft from it's grave some 750 feet down in Lake Mjosa. The HAA has committed to fund the Restoration of the aircraft to static display condition, to be displayed at the RCAF Memorial Museum. The Halifax Restoration Team are all volunteers and, while many are ex-RAF, ex-RCAF,and ex-Canadian Forces personel with relevent aircraft engineering skills, many are enthusiasts who want to see a Handley Page Halifax on display. If you have the time and skills to help on this restoration work, we would be pleased to have you join us.  Donations can be made through the RCAF Memorial Museum or through the Halifax Aircraft Association.  Contact:  or E-Mail






Hello Bill
I am the Webmaster for the Site of the RAF Lichfield Association and it was not until today that I stumbled upon the new CATP Web Site which I have just enjoyed 3 hours looking at. I was also astonished to see that you had written a short piece about Lichfield in the December Motes & Quotes - Thank You. On my Links page I have been referring to your old Web Site run by Greg Sigurdson and this has now been updated so that my visitors can enjoy these new pages and the considerable amount of work that you have done.

During WW11 RAF Lichfield was home to 27 O.T.U which was mainly Australians but they came from all over the Commonwealth and this was their first posting after leaving Canada for three months of intensive training on the Wellington Bomber before going on to Operational Squadrons. My main efforts at present are concentrated on researching those Aircrew who died at Lichfield (approx 123 RAAF, 80 RAFVR, 6 RNZAF, and 2 RCAF) whilst flying Operational Missions and in Training Accidents and I am making substantial progress in getting their flying careers.

One of my problems in writing about the above is with the CATP in Canada in only having the numbers of the various Units such as " 2 AOS Edmonton and No 2 Bombing and Gunnery School Mossbank' and I would like to have more detail about these Units as to how large they were, what aircraft were based there and the type of training carried out. I have one book Aircrew Unlimited by John Golley but its very much personal reminiscences and I need something that goes into more depth and I hope you may be able to guide me in the right direction here.

My Best Wishes to you

Christopher Pointon
RAF Lichfield Association

 Very nice web site. Looking forward to many visits and hopefully an in person visit one day.
 Msgt  Hal Ammons, USAF, (Ret)  Brandon, Florida
 American Legion Post # 138, Port Tampa City, Florida

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