A Canadian not found on
CBC’s “Greatest Canadian” List
They shall not grow old, as
We that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them,
nor years condemn.
At the going down of the
sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Ross Hamilton – Ex-407
UNFINISHED TRAINING FLIGHT
The graduating class of Wags at #4 Wireless School, 49th
Entry, Guelph University in May 1943, soon dispersed to fulfill their individual
destinies in WW11 RCAF. The writer and numerous colleagues received postings
to #31 Out RAF Debert, NS. for the one month course and crew-up of two
WAGs, Pilot, and Navigator. We were to fly the old clapped out Hudsons
sent from the UK after they wore out over there.
This story concerns the fate of just two individuals, both
fresh from Guelph Wireless School and classmates there of the writer, namely
newly commissioned P/Os Clifford Ursel of Fort William Ontario, and John
Summerwill of Sprucedale, Ontario, both of whom arrived at Debert a day
or two later due to being fitted with their new officer’s uniforms. Prior
to getting crewed up, and shortly after arriving on the station, these
two chaps met up with an old airman friend (who was already on a training
course) and were invited to have their first flip in a Hudson that night
on an OFE to Sable Island far out in the Atlantic. They accepted the offer,
were duly airborne at 01:00, set course for their Navigational target and
wireless exercises, and were never heard of again. There was no Wireless
message from the aircraft, and speculation was that perhaps both engines
of the worn out Hudson failed, and they came down or crashed in the Atlantic.
We will never know for sure what happened on that fateful night.
Fast forward some sixty years to September 23, 200, Kelowna,
BC. The Members of our local wartime Aircrew Club have an author as a member,
one F/O Les Perkins, who put together a book from stories of “Their War”
by the members. It is a fine book indeed. One of the stories submitted
by the writer included the above item on Debert, the tragic loss of our
colleagues. A copy of the book, “Flight Into Yesterday” was presented to
the Kelowna Military Museum where it was read by Nick Rusinick, an Army
Veteran of D-Day. Nick had immediately taken note of the Debert story and
phoned me to verify that I was the author of the article, that I had known
Cliff Ursel and John Summerwill, and clearly recalled the events of 61
years ago. This I was able to do.
As it turned out, Nick Rusinick had married Cliff Ursel’s
sister after the war, and having no prior information of this loss, found
that my narration in the book had filled in some gaps. Until then, all
his parents had was official notification that he was “Missing. Nothing
else. I was also able to provide a laser copy of probably the one and only
class photo of our lot taken at Debert, which included the pictures of
the two chaps who went missing.
Another of those "Small World" stories
Cockpit of Hudson
Apt. 117 - 2487 Countess St.,
Abbotsford, BC. V2T 5L9
Ph. (604) 504-1768
In the April 2003 Newsletter we reviewed
George Olson’s book, No Place to Hide
a collection of wartime poems
George wrote during his tour of operations
from 1943 to 1945.
No Place to Hide 123 pages –
5 ½ x 8 ¼ Soft cover. Six illustrations
ISBN 0-9687220-0-8 ~ Price - $10.00 Can.
LORAL FAMILY GROUP
P.O. Box 4810
Edmonton, AB T6E 5G6
George is still writing poetry and sent us this
by George Olson
The veterans fought to give us the liberty
In which Canadian citizens live today
Their young years given to keep us free
While serving their country in the fray
In years of conflict, many lives were lost
To preserve our freedom they fought well
Winning final victory had a mortal cost
The sacrificed lives of comrades who fell
Then there are veterans who have returned
Because of them, freedom does survive
Those who survived the carnage alive
They have certainly our gratitude earned
Some physical wounds, surgeons can heal
As they fought valiantly to freedom defend
But emotional wounds are hard to mend
Wounds inflicted during their combat ordeal
We honour the fallen and remember them
In Remembrance Day ceremonies every year
For they died in the conflict to tyranny stem
Now only in memory will they again appear
Those who fought and returned to civilian life
Veterans of combat, governments now classify
They survived the carnage of worldwide strife
Now to live an ordinary lifestyle they would try
Some found this difficult, as they couldn’t repress
Memories of trauma that they went through
Time heals visible wounds, but not mental stress
We should accept their claims as being true
The veterans deserve all the aid we can give
They served their country in time of need
We must help them in their autumn years to live
For assistance they should never have to plead
Every passing year their numbers fewer grow
These surviving veterans of the carnage of war
Each Remembrance Day, less veteran faces show
At some future time, the veterans will be no more
November 10, 2001
The picture of the Beech brings back fond memories
to your Editor and now I will bore you with a couple,
For a 14 year-old farm lad it was an exciting adventure
and yes, my teacher made me write a paper on it for the school. Little
did I realize at the time that in a few years I would spend close to 1200
hours in the air and, although there were scary moments, there would never
be an airborne moment as exciting as that trip from Regina to Moose Jaw.
Time and place; 1937, a quarter section farm on the Saskatchewan
prairies directly on the flight path of the Trans Canada Airlines approach
When walking home from the one room country school at
4:00 o’clock, I would wait at the bottom of our pasture for the TCA aircraft,
which either was a Beech or resembled one, from the East to go over around
4:15 p.m. You could set your watches by the trains and planes in the 1930’s.
On cloudless days the planes flew so low they cast a shadow
on the prairie grass. I would see the shadow approaching, grip my toes
around the toe-jam in my runners, crouch down and, when the shadow got
close, race with it down the pasture. As it swept over me I swear I could
feel a cool thrill. I would raise my arms in the air and shout to make
a connection with the great machine. I often wondered if the crew ever
noticed the action below.
In 1937 CKCK Radio station, Regina, hosted a Western music
program every Saturday night. The program was sponsored by a Regina clothing
store, Wares Wares Wear Well. They ran a contest. Listeners were asked
to write in and one letter was drawn from a hat each Saturday evening.
The prize was a TCA round trip Regina to Moose Jaw Sask. I wrote many letters
signed Johnny Moyles. One night my letter was drawn!
My Mother and Dad drove me into Regina to stay with a
friend for the morning flight. The lady I was staying with packed me a
lunch and a taxi, arranged by the store, picked me up and drove me to the
airport. Pretty exciting for a farm boy. The taxi driver gave me an envelope
from the sponsor but I didn’t open it until I was on the plane. In the
envelope was a Five-dollar bill! (My allowance was ten cents every Saturday
The plane was a Beech aircraft, or something very similar.
There was only one other passenger, a very stout man who must have eaten
something that didn’t agree as he got sick shortly after we took off. For
those readers who are not familiar with Saskatchewan, it is about 45 miles
from Regina to Moose Jaw. Not a long flight but my first, and extremely
On landing at Moose Jaw a taxi met me and asked where
I would like to go. I didn’t have a clue. He told me there was an animal
park so I decided to go there to put in the time until the plane would
take me back to Regina that evening. The taxi driver said he would pick
me up in time to catch the plane. So I spent my day in the zoo sharing
my lunch with my four footed friends. On returning home I proudly presented
the unbroken five-dollar bill to my parents.
REACH FOR THE
Brandon Man Chosen for the BCATP Film Project
Three great uncles passed through the BCATP and died
in Europe during WWII.
Our son Robin will re-enact their story in a 4-hour
For the full story go to:
I: Overview | Part
II: Brandon Sun | Part
III: News Story | Part
V: Episode 1 Video and Screen Captures
Back Row L to R: Don West W/Op.; Leonard Saffron Navigator:
Jim MacLean Pilot;
Ken Brown, Pilot; Doug Brooks Captain; John Moyles
Front Row L to R: Tommy Abbott, Flight engineer; Frank
Whithy AG; D.K. (Paddy) Jones,
Flight engineer; John Caton W/Op; BILL MACLEAN W/Op;
Owen Kennedy AG.
The picture was signed during dinner party, Kings
Arms, Pembroke, Wales.
Leonard Saffron and John Moyles are trying to contact
Bill MacLean who was a WAG on Doug Brook’s crew, 422 Squadron.
Bill lived at 162 Walnut St., Winnipeg when he enlisted,
and post war Bill worked for a time as a shoe salesman at Eaton’s Department
store in Winnipeg.
If Bill is no longer with us we would like to contact
Contact: John Moyles,
#233 – 1060 Dorothy St.,
Regina Sk. S4X 3C5
Ph: (306) 949-6112.
Frank Douglas Topper
Dan Timon is looking for information on his Grandfather
Frank Douglas Topper:
I am looking for any info, pictures or documentations
(even charge reports) you might have on my Grandfather. He was with
the 401 Squadron in Ayr and Tangmere from January 1942 until Jan 1943,
when he was released on a medical.
He was a Sgt. Air Gunner who got his gunner's badge on
Feb 19 1941. He was in 1 wing 401 squadron 3045 echelon. Thanks for
any help you can give.
|Frank Douglas Topper
Service Number R-69646
Enlisted July 1, 1940
Awarded Gunner's Badge
and presented Sargeant on Feb
Embarked overseas April 8, 1941
Initial Training Toronto, July 22, 1940
Wireless September 16, 1940
Bombing and Gunnery School Fingal, ON Jan 17, 1941
No. 1. Wing May 10 1941
401 Sqn. January 26, 1942
3045 Echelon April 15, 1942
R.A.F. Station Ayr August 12, 1942
R.A.F. Tangmere August 30, 1942
Repatriated January 31 1943
Honorably Dishcharged April 30, 1943
|Awarded Defence Medal
Volunteer Service Medal
War Medal 1939-1945
Any info you can dredge up would be great,
even drunken brawls he got into,
most especially interested in possible news
of a war child he fathered in England
28 Broad Rd.
(Just outside Base Gagetown,
where I am posted as a WFE Tech with 4ESR)
HOT OFF THE PRESS
Hal was an armourer who served at Annett Island Alaska
with #135 Hurricane Fighter Squadron and then with
422 Sunderland Flying Boat Squadron in Northern
and Pembroke Dock South Wales.
Hal kept the guns and turrets operating.
Post war Hal was a lawyer in Peace Country, Alberta.
Well, Hal has just published YOU SHOULD LIVE
SO LONG. This work is the third of a trilogy featuring two old curmudgeons,
Phil Figgwiggin, and Mike Fowler, a couple of old f—ts that get themselves
into predicaments, sometimes dangerous, trying to solve the problems of
WATCH AND WARN
What these aging amateur detectives lack in physical prowess,
they more than make up for with cheeky wit and gumption. Backed by a crew
of extraordinary allies, Figgwiggin and Fowler take on wacky politicians
and trigger-happy commandos to prevent the attempted murder of Mother Earth
In the first of the three books, A FAT LOT OF GOOD, their
investigations bring them upon some underworld wealth. What do they do
with it? In the second book MAQUILADORA MAYHEM they find themselves
opposing Corporate America.
There is a ‘belly laugh” in every chapter. The wit creeps
up on you, catching the reader off guard, you find yourself laughing out
loud. Warning, if you are still sleeping with your good lady, don’t read
Hal Sisson’s work in bed!
Hal’s last book YOU SHOULD LIVE SO LONG contains the most
deliberately serious content of the trilogy. “Writing this novel was my
way of doing something about recent world events that cheesed me off,”
These books would make wonderful Christmas gifts. We can
identify with these characters.
Contact: SALAL PRESS (New address)
#3 – 3543 West 1st. Ave.,
Vancouver, B.C. V6R 1G9
Telephone: (604) 730-8076
Fax: (604) 730-8079
Ask your local library to order the book the ISBN 1-894012-09-7.
a wartime story of Canada’s Homefront Aircraft Detection
Let me be clear, I am only mentioning this just
published work by Allan E. Coggon in this Newsletter. I recently received
a copy from Allan and, although I have scanned it, I realize that I cannot
do justice to a book review until I have taken time to digest it thoroughly.
A full review will appear in the December 2004 Issue.
This is a history of the Canadian Air Detection Corps
made up of 2,692 observer posts manned by volunteers from the Atlantic
to the Pacific. This is their story.
Allan Coggon spent 38 years as an active pilot, obtaining his wings
with the RCAF in 1940, serving in Eastern Canada until 1943, and then doing
a tour with the RAF against the Japanese forces in South East Asia. Post
war Allan found a career flying for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. In 1993 Allan
founded the International Aircrew Association of Nova Scotia, and has been
Editor of their Newsletter TAILWIND. In 1995 he helped form the Silver
Dart Chapter of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society in Halifax of
which he is now President.
(You will see that Allan is a man who cannot say No! When
I visited with Allan in his Mahone Bay, NS, home, I was impressed
by his library and research. During the 50’s I had owned a Staggerwing
Beech, CF-DTF, and had the misfortune of having to hit the silk and let
the beautiful machine roll into a ball in a farmer’s field at Northfield
Minnesota. When I told Allan about this he was suspect, and had to reached
for a book on the Beech to confirmed my story.)
WATCH AND WARN by Allan Coggon
c/o Allan Coggon
Mahone Bay, N.S. BOJ 2EO CANADA
Following prices include tax and shipping
Good Lord willin’ and if the creek don’t rise, I will
have a detailed review of WATCH AND WARN in the December /04 Newsletter.
In the mean time it would make a great Christmas gift, just make out your
cheque to Allan Coggon.
~ John Moyles
BOB HENDERSON, proprietor of HOME FRONT ARCHIVES &
MUSEUM, generously provided us with the following articles on “Sweetheart
Pins” and “Japanese Balloon Attacks”.
I’m told that the old army slogan “Candy is dandy but
liquor is quicker” did not apply to those gentlemen in blue, members of
the Royal Canadian Air Force. It seems they gallantly impressed their girl
friends by being well mannered, well spoken, willing to meet the parents,
and most of all, by presenting them with tokens of endearment in the form
of “Sweetheart Pins”.
The samples shown below are made of pot metal, plastic
and wood, and are simply a fraction of the variations showered on girl
friends, sisters, mothers and “kissing cousins”.
It was part of the patriotic war effort which caused the
development of such trinkets, and they were available in the local training
Base Canteen or in most five cent to a dollar stores across Canada, England,
and the United States.
The V for Victory symbol is probably the
most common theme used, and they were worn with pride by the recipient
during the entire years of the war.
If you are old enough to remember the war years, you may
well recall seeing, or having a “Sweetheart” pin similar to these. Who
knows – you may still have a sample tucked away, and with it, special memories.
A PORTION OF
JAPAN’S WORLD WAR 11 BALLOON BOMB ATTACK ON NORTH
See Short Bursts page October 2002 and follow-up Nov.
2002 on this subject
During the year 1945, eight Japanese military balloons
released from the Island of Japan and loaded with incendiary and anti personnel
bombs were found in Saskatchewan!
Here are the details:
|1. Stony Rapids
||1 Jan 45
||Fragments of balloon envelope found
||12 Jan 45
||Balloon descended 6 miles north of U.S. border, released
15 kg bomb and two flares of incendiaries. Balloon then
rose and disappeared.
|3. Moose Jaw
||9 Feb 45
||Paper balloon including envelope, rigging and apparatus
|4. Porcupine Plains
||22 Feb 45
||Balloon with ballast – dropping equipment found.
|5. Camsell Portage
|| 21 Mar 45
||30 Mar 45
||Ballast dropping apparatus and bomb fragments found.
||31 Mar 45
||Envelope, shroud lines, and demolition charge found
||15 May 45
||Valve and ballast dropping device found.
This group of a then “Secret Weapon” form part
of the 285 “finds” reported across North America, from a series of over
9,000 such weapons released from Japan. This form of attack was undertaken
in retaliation for the famed “Doolittle” air raid by American Army bombers
against Japan on 18 April 42. Sixteen Mitchell bombers took off from the
flight deck of an aircraft carrier USS Hornet and attacked Tokyo, Kobe,
Nagoya and Yokohama after flying a distance of 800 miles. Eleven air crew
were killed or captured.
Japanese General Kusaba was placed in charge of scientist
who worked in secrecy to develop this “secret weapon”, with the concept
being that balloons loaded with incendiary devices, or, if successful,
the introduction of germ warfare against North America. Each balloon carried
approximately 6 pound sand bags with these designed to be released by a
tripping device activated by a barometer when the balloon dropped below
30,000 feet. A separate automatic control activated a release valve to
allow hydrogen to escape if the balloon rose above 35,000 feet.
The majority of balloons were equipped with two or three
32 pound anti personnel fragmentation bombs, and one or more large incendiary
bombs. The intent of the design was that by the time the last sandbag was
released, the balloon and it’s cargo would be over North America – carried
there by prevailing winds. When the final sand bag dropped, the bombs would
follow, and a separate detonation would destroy the balloon and remaining
The only deaths attributed to the balloons occurred near
Bly, Washington, on May 5th, 1945. Rev. Archie Mitchell, a missionary Alliance
minister, his wife, and a group of children, were having a picnic in the
mountains. Rev. Mitchell was parking the car while his wife and the children
went to the picnic site. When the balloon remains were discovered and disturbed
by the children, the bomb exploded, killing Mrs. Mitchell, Sherman Shoemaker
(12), jay Gifford (12), Eddie Engen (13), John Patzke (11), and Dick Patzke.
The irony is that Japanese school children were used to construct the paper
Up until this point there was a cloak of secrecy over
the balloons. The secrecy was so successful that in April 45 the Japanese
had knowledge of only one balloon reaching North America and they disbanded
the project considering it a failure.
The R.C.M.P. were normally the force which received reported
sightings from Manitoba West and across the Territories. They were required
to secure the area for safety, make contact with the military, and remain
on the site until the military arrived and processed the weapon. The Police
also enforced the strict censorship regulations. The furthest East
penetration was Farmington, Michigan, close to Lake St. Clair and the Canadian
Portions of Japanese Fire Balloon on a suspended display
At the top left, above a drawing of a balloon in flight,
is portion of the paper balloon envelope. Suspended from above is
the control column control system of the balloon. Time burning fuses encircled
the aneroid-containing box which supported a battery box. This in turn
armed the dropping switches, allowing fire bombs to be released at random
and triggered the final demolition charge intended to destroy the balloon.
13,450 cu. ft.
Diameter of envelope
Length of foot ropes
50(? Ft. (?)
Gas Valve diameter
Weight without equipment
Gas volume for flight
8000 cu. Ft.
Computed alti (pic tude (approximately)
Close up look at the fire balloon electrical system.
HOMEFRONT ARCHIVES & MUSEUM
6015-5th ave. Regina, Sk. Canada. S4T6V4
Ph: (306) 543-5822
Many thanks once again John,
I'm sure my dad will be delighted to receive the book
- very kind of you.
I started this recent search for dad's wartime comrades
as part of a school project for my 9 year old son, Jamie. His school has
asked grandparents or great grandparents to come in to the school and talk
to the children about their experiences to teach them about the war, how
people lived during that time, of the incredible sacrifices of service
men and women and why we enjoy the freedoms we have today - and so often
take for granted.
Dad lives too far away from us to pop into school, so
Jamie and I started researching the war in Indo China and in particular
dad's squadron and the kind of missions it was involved in.
Perhaps dad may lend Jamie the book to show at school.
When Jamie has finished the project I will email you a copy of it in Acrobat
Reader (PDF) format for your interest and possible inclusion on your web
My father's Squadron was 159. He joined the RAF in 1941
and trained in various bases in Canada as a rear gunner. He stayed on as
an instructor himself. In 1943 he was posted to Indo China and served
in until 1946 and his home-coming was delayed by a very bad episode of
(Niel’s Dad who lives in Wales trained at 5 OTU on
Liberators and served in Indo China on 159 Squadron. He wants to make contact
with others who served in this theatre. I sent Percy a copy of our COMMEMORATIVE
ISSUE 1983 – 1993 Selections from SHORT BURSTS, which he enjoyed. Following
is an excerpt from Percy’s letter.
…. Many thanks for Short Bursts …………….. amazed at the
Ex-Air Gunner’s Association. To start such an organization 38 years after
the war and keep it going till now is an astonishing feat. I read Chapter
111 with particular interest.
What happened was that my grandson, Jamie was given a
project by his school, the subject was his Granddad’s experience in the
war. So I found some old pictures in the attic and sent them to him with
a short explanation. Then my son got on the internet to find out more about
Squadron 159. There is quite a bit, and that is how he got in touch with
I had almost forgotten my time in the RAF and the years
in India and Burma, but your articles brought back many memories, also
of Canada – Toronto, Winnipeg, Rimouski and, finally Boundary Bay, Vancouver.
The railway journey from Rimouski, Quebec, to Vancouver, British Columbia,
is an outstanding memory……………………..
If you went through 5 OTU or served in the Eastern
Theatre, drop Percy a line.
Reply to Ted Hackett’s suggestion that the Ex-Air
Gunners provide out door benches for the proposed Nanton Museum Memorial:
Your suggestion of benches provided by the ex-air gunners
and incorporated into our Memorial was well received by our Board of Directors.
Funding for the Memorial project has been successful enough
that the decision has been made to proceed with the final planning and
construction. We will keep your ideas and contribution in mind as we do
Please thank all those who are involved with your initiative
for their interest and enthusiasm. We look forward to hearing from you
as you proceed with this.
Dave Birrell, Director
Nanton Lancaster Air Museum
Submitted by Otto Sulek AG 429 Squadron
RCAF MEMORIAL MUSEUM AT TRENTON, ONT.
PUTS UP STEEL AND TAKES DONATIONS
The community Press Western Edition September 3, 2004
By Kate Everson.
Quinte West – A significant milestone in the
construction of the addition to the RCAF Museum was marked on August 31
with the structural steel being put in place.
The 64,000 square foot addition will house the reconstructed
Halifax bomber retrieved from a lake in Norway where it had been shot down
in 1945. Volunteers have been painstakingly piecing it together for eight
Ken Kee, chairman of the fund-raising campaign says new
donations are helping make the expansion possible. A $10,000 donation from
Scotiabank in Trenton on August 31 was part of the support receive recently.
“Coupled with the generous donation 2002, it brings the total Scotiabank
donation to date to $20,000,” Kee said. “While we have enough money to
complete phase one of the expansion, $2.2 million is still required to
put us over the top. A donation by John Williams of $25,000 on September
2 was another welcome addition to the fund raising campaign.
The total cost of the project is $4.8 million. Kee said
that it will take 3.8 million to complete phase one which will see the
shell of the expansion constructed and the Halifax in place. Phase 2 will
complete the interior and phase 3 the renovation of the existing museum.
The Museum’s capital building fund has raised $2.3 million and borrowed
2 million from the Canadian Forces. The Province’s initial $76,000 has
never been followed up by matching federal funds, which has been a sore
point with Museum fund raisers.
“They say they are out of money,” Kee says grimly. However,
a promise from Northumberland-Quinte West MP Paul Maklin to finally secure
some funds from the Federal government will not be forgotten. We are asking
them for $1.6 million,” Kee said.
The Halifax aircraft is expected to be moved into the
new facility some time in October.
From Charley Yule
John - Yesterday I mailed to you Otto's newspaper clipping
regarding the Halifax at Trenton.
By coincidence I also received a clipping from my Scottish
Flight Engineer from "The Sunday Post" (Scotland), Sept. 5/04, which refers
to the salvage of a wreck dubbed, "The Flying Henhouse", and which states,
in part: 'The Halifax played an enormous role in destroying German
industrial targets during the war. But, although 6178 were built,
the only known remaining Halifax was one recovered from a Norwegian Lake
and on display at the RAF Museum in Hendon.'
I saw that Halifax during my visit to Britain in 1980,
but did not take note of where it had been obtained, but that was long
before the 'Flying Henhouse' came on the scene and, of course, also before
the Trenton Hallie was recovered from the Norwegian Lake - so I am pretty
sure the Hendon Halifax is not one of those.
As you and I and many others are aware, this is in error
- and the Halifax mentioned above has been located at Trenton, Ontario
and is the one referred to in the clipping from Otto Sulek.
The fellows in Trenton take great pride in saying that
the Halifax they have restored is an EXACT restoration of the aircraft
as it appeared at the time it was shot down, while the one at the Yorkshire
Museum would more likely be the 'Flying Henhouse' which is described in
the article from Scotland, and states that the Halifax was reconstructed
using 'borrowed wings from a Handley Page Hastings - similar to the Halifax'.
Therefore the Trenton fellows say that their project is an ' historically
accurate' restoration, whereas the other is not! So There!!
When Otto Sulek and I were at Trenton last fall to view
the 'Norwegian' Hallie, Otto (who served as a Mid-Upper Gunner on Hallies)
was quite strong in voicing to the Project Manager that he (Otto) felt
the aircraft should include a Mid-Upper turret. The Project Manager
was just as firm in stating that the aircraft did not have a Mid-Upper
during it's role of supplying the Resistance Forces, and therefore they
would not even consider adding one. To calm Otto, he did say that
if they could obtain such a turret, they might display it beside the aircraft
with a suitable note to explain why this turret did not appear on this
particular Halifax. Fair enough! - I felt!
Just goes to show how history can be distorted even after
the passage of only 50/60 years! And goodness knows, we don't need
another war over it - but if there is one, I'm Not Going!!
Take care - be talking to ya!
Linn Spring provided us with these two great pictures
of the Nanton Lancaster.
Linn was the chap who loaned us his Father’s book on
WWII Gremlins reviewed in Short Bursts April 2003.
WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE PASSING
BARTON, Thomas, Mbr. #564, LOUGHHEED,
AB: Upon enlistment, Tom attended Manning Depot #3 in Edmonton, following
which he was posted to Trenton, ON. He received training as an Air
Gunner at #3 B&G MacDonald, MB and #6 Mountain View, ON.
Following further training at OTU #5 at Boundary Bay and Abbotsford, BC,
he was posted to #5 (BR) Yarmouth, NS. He also served as a Gunnery
Instructor at #9 B&G, Mont Joli, and was commissioned: J28285.
Doug Penny tells us what the Southern Alberta Air
Gunner’s Branch have been up to.
The Southern Alta. Ex-AG Association meet on the second
Monday excluding July and August, at 264 Kensington Legion, 1100 hours.
Attendance has been around 40 per luncheon. Dave Briggs has been President
for four years and has kept us together.
We hold annual skeet shoots at the Carstairs AB Club.
Those who don’t shoot can enjoy a pint and a BBQ, ladies are always welcome.
Every Summer Larry & Naomi, Robinson host a BBQ at their Okotoks ranch.
Larry is a founding member of the AB Group and the BBQ is over 20 years
Dan Fox, President of Nanton Lancaster Society expressed
his pleasure at the August 14th “Salute to Air Gunners”. It was the largest
function they have ever had. Total count was 400 at the banquet and many
had to be turned away. For me it was personally great to see so many old
friends coming from across Canada and from Washington State.
Good health to all of you,
Doug Penny, Calgary.
Manitoba Branch News
Hi John & Doreen.
Our Branch is experiencing concerns with signing authority
at our credit union account that requires four members. Our numbered days
are getting less as time keeps marching on.
Recently one member passed on - Vern Donnelly.
Another member - Les Sundell, is unable to do the job because on Alzheimer's.
Our current members, Glen Clearwater, Earl Hiscox, George Longbottom and
myself all have varying degrees of health problems. Of course no
one knows the future. We will have to make a decision on what to
spend our funds on and when.
Every year we have commemorated Remembrance Day with a
memorial tribute to our deceased comrades in the Winnipeg Free Press, which
appears in the Nov.10th issue. We think it is quite distinctive.
A circle with a banking aircraft with two straight lines that spell WAG
emanating from the edge of the circle (gun sight). Underneath:
AIR GUNNERS ASSOCIATION
In Memory of Comrades Who Gave Their Lives For Freedom
Ex-Air Gunner'sAssociation of Canada Inc.
Also every year we make a donation to the C.A.T.P.
Museum, In Brandon. Further, every year we make a donation to
the Air Cadet League of Canada.
This year we will be making a donation to the British
Monument for Andrew Mynarski VC. This will be made directly on behalf
of the Man. Br. rather than going through the Air Force Assoc. so we will
get the credit directly.
Hope you and Doreen are both keeping well. Vicki has a
pinched nerve in her back, and we both expect to get away to Australia
for a couple of months.
God bless, sincerely,
Many thanks to those who contributed to this Edition
of Short Bursts.
Doreene and I are looking forward to family descending
upon us this Christmas Season, which means our computer room becomes a
bedroom, so we will not be putting out a January 2005 Newsletter. But don’t
relax, we still need material for December /04 Page and for 2005.
To show you that our Web Page does help unite people,
at press time I received this Email:
“I just found your site, (October 2004,) on the http://www.hillmanweb.com/rcaf/mag/
page is an article by Clifford Campbell about Bob White.
Bob White was my grandfather. I emigrated to Michigan
from England in 2002 and I'd love to be able to contact Mr Campbell as
he knew my grandfather.”
(Bob White was Clifford’s mid upper. We will arrange contact
John & Doreene.