C.L. Brown, Prescott, Ont., Rear Gunner, gives a light to
F.E. McNally, NDG Quebec, Mid Upper Gunner.
(Bison) Squadron RCAF, Leeming York, July 12, 1944.
HAMILTON (407 Squadron)
from Tom Proctor, 407 Sqd. Historian. 12 Feb./05 to Ross Hamilton.
Christine Stradden, Donald John “Rusty” Haug’s girl friend, has forwarded
the enclosed documents and has requested I forward them on to Cam Taylor.
the circumstances of Cam’s heath, I feel the best way to get them to him
is through you when you visit. Please have a read at them yourself but
please leave copies with Cam. His memories of 1941/45 may be awakened.
from Christine Straddon
message known of WO Donald J. Haug on a/c HF182(T) 407 Sqd. On ASP Bay
of Biscay 9/10 November 1943.
letters from St.Eval ceased suddenly. The Squadron was due to return to
Chivenor end of November. Aircrews were with out choice sent to ‘Gib’ –
Gibraltar – hush, hush. I telephoned 407 Squadron at St. Eval, reaching
the adjutant. My request was I wished to know if Donald was safe
and well. It was met with stony silence and I repeated my request. The
adjutant replied that he could not tell me anything. I must contact relatives
and I were to attend an evening-dress function (War-time ball) at Barnstaple
on December 2nd. I arrived with a girl friend. RAF and 407 aircrews also
arrived. I was approached by an RAF A.G.’s girl friend. “Donald is
missing” but you won’t know that,” she said.
to 407 group and enquired for Donald, and was directed to an officer, F/L
Green (I think) as “the man who can tell you.” He addressed me in a direct
and solemn manner”
were on their way back. Their last message was they were ‘going to attack’.
We have heard no more from them.”
the time of the message. “Just around 4 a.m. on the 10th.” he replied He
was very definite about the message.
about search procedures. “At first light but nothing was found.” I expressed
my dismay – first light – not until 7/8 a.m. in the Bay of Biscay in November
weather! I protested.
dear girl, it costs 1000 pounds to train a pilot – everything was done
that could be done.” I doubted that but said, “well, there is always hope.”
“Yes” he replied.
he approached me and apologized – the chaps had told him, he said, he was
too harsh in manner with the bad news to Donald Haug’s girl friend. I assured
him I was especially grateful to know – from him personally, what
had happened. Such matters were top secret. He had been honest and reliable.
And that is how it remains.
like to respectfully link this note to that made on 407 notepaper by LAC
S.G. Hopkins in December 1943. That important note was discovered by F/L
(retd) John H. (Tom) Proctor, 407 demon Assn. Vice President History, in
407 Archives in 2001.
behalf of Donald and the crew: thank you, indeed, Tom.
Staddon, Devon, England.
Chivenor, North Devon, England,
founded in 1056 AD, provides a section of the ancient cemetery as a final
resting place for those who died on active service while serving with 407
“Demon” Squadron, RCAF – average age 21 years. The graves are tended by
a local ladies group. Donald Haug and crew, as they were never recovered,
have their names inscribed on the Memorial at Runnymede, Windsor.
LIVES ON (From the Squadron History)
the summer of 1943 a pretty young Devonshire girl and a Saskatchewan 407
Squadron Pilot met and fell in love. Names were Christine Staddon and Flight
Sergeant Donald Haug.
the night of 9/10 Nov. 1943 Donald’s crew flew in Wellington HF 182
on operations over the Bay of Biscay. They did not return to base. A heated
battle was fought just off the North West coast of Spain in the early hours
of 10 Nov. The action opened when a 612 Sqdn. RAF Leigh Wellington sighted
U966 and attacked.
U Boat fought a very spirited AA action, and sustained damage which limited
their submerged time. The 612 Squadron. Wellington reported seeing another
Wellington in the area, but was unable to raise radio contact. Two 407
Wellingtons flying on operations that night over the Bay of Biscay returned
safely to base with no U-boat sightings. Two USN Liberaors finished off
has contacted surviving crew members (AA Gunners) of U-boat 966 and is
convinced there is a possibility that Donald’s crew were involved in this
has been an excellent ambassador for the 407 Squadron aircrews lost on
operations from RAF Chivenor, and regularly attends ceremonies held
at the Coastal Command Memorial in Plymouth. The love and devotion
of Christine for her airman sweetheart lives on till this day. (Christine
never married). Such devotion inspires the Squadron Editor to continue
the quest to try and find out what happened to Wellington HF 182 and her
crew in the early morning of 10 Nov. 1943.
late Bill Hooper seated among his Prune mannequins
months before the Battle of Britain began, Bill Hooper, a young “lapsed
medical student” like many of his English countrymen, then to old to be
conscripted, had volunteered to serve in the RAF. It was only matter of
weeks after Great Britain had declared war on Germany.
elected to fly with the RAF in much the same mood as so many cavalrymen
who had formed the nucleus of the Royal Flying Corps in WW 1. He was a
keen horseman in his County Yeomanry and fox hunt, and shuddered at the
idea of taking a horse into war; and anyway, most cavalry now had tanks.
to his dismay, he was told that, with all the 18 to 19 year olds called
up, and those weekend flyers, he was to old at 23 to go through for a Pilot.
At that time the RAF needed Gunners for the “heavies” and the fighter-bomber
Bristol and Blenheim aircraft. He accepted the gratuitous statement made
to him by an interviewing Wing Commander who didn’t wear either the wings
of a Pilot or the half wing of a Gunner, “If you serve a while as an Air
Gunner, you may be permitted to re muster later for Pilot training.
Bill completed Gunnery training June 1940, an RAF Personnel Officer, defying
all reason, sent him to 54 Fighter Squadron at Hornchurch, Essex. Since
54 Squadron flew Spitfires, a trained Gunner was the last thing they needed
in their single-seat fighters. When the misfit suggested to the Adjutant,
“couldn’t I sit in someone’s lap?” that gentleman said gently, “you
are dismissed for intelligence duties.”
Prune which was
in the Officer’s
the time Bill volunteered for duty he kept what he called his “Doodle Diary”
which included drawings of a Prune-like figure. This led to the creation
of a nameless, egg headed, mushroom nosed Pilot type in cartoon form, drawn
to highlight Pilot mistakes Bill heard about. These drawings amused the
fighter Pilots as they viewed them in the crew room or sitting on the grass
beside their aircraft awaiting the next alert to “scramble” and take off
to meet the enemy. Bill made enough drawings to fill an illustrated book
of hints and tips for fighter pilots from lessons learned before and during
the Battle of Britain. The book, “Forget-Me-Nots” was published as a ‘Restricted’
forget to adjust parachute harness.
enemy pilot was so fascinated he flew
the Channel. Prune claimed a ‘kill’!
this time a WW 1 retired Army Captain, Anthony Armstrong Willis, was commissioned
Pilot Officer in the RAF. Since he was known as an “AA” of Punch magazine,
they asked him to edit and rewrite training material written by service
specialists for a proposed, ‘light hearted’ training memorandum, with the
acronym “TEE EMM”. Armstrong asked Bill Hooper to illustrate the document
using the character, P/O Prune, from his notebook. TEE EMM with the first
Prune drawings was published on April 1, 1941.
used April 1st. a Prune’s birthday and picked 1922 as his year of birth.
Nobody, least of all Bill, knew at the time, that first issue of TEE EMM
which introduced Prune and his antics to the entire Air Force, was the
first step in creating a legend that would forever be part of the RAF history.
Ground crews loved Prune.
Pilots would never admit making any of the major blunders Prune committed
in the cockpit; many of them remembered instances when they would have
said, “there but for the grace of God, go I.”
entered the Air Ministry, Kingsway, Telephone Directory.
S.K. F/L Y107
D.G. of E.
Marshal MT 118 MT34*
spreads. Crew members, other than Pilots requested representation in Bill
Hooper’s drawings. Bill responded.
– Freddy Fix RCAF.; Bomb aimer – Sergeant Straddle RNZAF;
Operator - Sergeant Back Tune (Scotchman) RAF;
- Sergeant Willy Winde RAAF;. Mechanic – AC Plonk RAF;
– Ernie the Erk, RAF.
persistent pleas by the fliers of the Free French Air Squadrons in England,
Bill created Aspirant Pierre Preline, as a relative of Prune and just as
inept. He was seen in the Free French Bulletin.
Gunderson, an American who flew with the RCAF for two years before transferring
to the US 8th Air Force, met Bill Hooper and Bill’s wife Noelle, in a restaurant.
Brian, realizing he may never cross paths with Bill again, asked him for
his autograph. No one had any paper so Brian tore open an empty Player’s
cigarette package to which Bill put his signature and the following Prune
Bill met his wife-to-be, Noelle, she was a WAAF. Noelle became WAAF Winsum
in TEE EMM. Bill and Noelle had a son so, it followed, that Prune and his
wife, WAAF Winsum also begat a son.
WAAF Winsum and son. (note finger)
was love at first sight,” said Prune
“Orders” created for Prune became worldwide. The MHDOIF (the Most Highly
Derogatory Order of the Irremovable Finger), in other words, the recipient
of this Order had his finger where it shouldn’t have been and was not following
correct procedure. Bill was in a Blenheim aircraft with a Polish pilot.
They sat at the end of the runway waiting for the flare path to come on.
Finally the exasperated pilot announced over the R/T, ’ello Saloon, Red
Two calling. FINGER!” immediately the airfield lit up like pre-war Piccadilly
Burma the Enemy used to locate prisoner’s of war close to military locations
to deter allied bombers. On one raid a Squadron of RAF Hawker Typhoons
spotted, written on a roof, “POWs JAPS GONE. The Typhoons returned to base
but their commanding officer considered it was just an enemy ploy and sent
the pilots back to attack. During the second strike a message on the roof
of a building in large letters read “FINGER” The action was broken off.
No Japanese would think that one up!
and Blind Hope
TEE EMM publication was classified it was inevitable that a copy or two
should have found their way into German hands. Bill Hooper received a citation
from the German Captured Documents Department in Berlin for the Iron Cross
to be given to P/O Prune for destroying so many allied aircraft!
Armstrong had a contact in ‘Captured Documents’ in Berlin
was able to obtain an authentic certificate for the award of an
Cross Second Class. This was filled in with Prune’s name.
story was then circulated that the Luftwaaffe had made the award.
P/O Prune, WAAF Winsum, and the rest of their colleagues , created by Bill
Hooper, will never die. They live in the memories of thousands of men and
women who have flown in the RAF, and Commonwealth Air Forces, and those
Air Forces of Britain’s Allies during the war. They think back with nostalgia
and emotion to those days in the 1940’s when a nondescript, dimwitted,
cartoon character created so much laughter and helped ease the tension
for fliers when it was most needed.
of Bill Hooper’s letters (21 January 1991) to your Editor, reads in part,
On my last birthday my son, a namesake of yours, John Hooper, phoned me
as he has done wherever in the world he happens to be as a Foreign Correspondence
of the London Guardian – from a spot on the Kuwait border where he had
been sent by his Editor. At the same time I learned that my 1940 C.O.’s
son was out east as advisor to one of the Arab States and that (on phoning
my /40 Flight Leader,) my old Squadron, 54, was in Saudi so all seemed
to be coming together in an unpleasant way. A Pilot from 54 was one of
the first fatal casualties here. Even so, I was able to spend Christmas
with John and his wife in Madrid – he is still on tap to return………….”
interesting point: in 1944 Bill Hooper’s posting to a bomber squadron came
through – the Burma Theatre. Of course Bill at this time was indispensable,
the posting was quickly rescinded. If, in 1940, that inept Personnel Officer
had not erred in sending Air Gunner Bill Hooper to a Fighter Squadron,
P/O Prune would never have drawn breath!
57 Rescue (Canada) April 1, 2005
Report (Number 6)
KARL KJARSGAARD (Project Manager)
the Allied nations celebrate Victory and remember the sacrifices of our
veterans in World War 2 during the 60th anniversary of VE and VJ Day we
will remember those bomber crews and personnel of the RCAF and our Allies
who were the first of our forces to take the offensive to the enemies of
Freedom. When no other forces could touch the enemy or get near him the
bomber crews, taking horrendous casualties (only 1 out of 4 bomber crews
finished their combat tours) were able to attack and weaken the Axis powers.
During the dark days of the war these bomber crews, against all odds, went
to the attack and saved the day. Whether you are Canadian, Brit , or American
we owe our freedom to these young warriors.
sure that in all of the celebrations pending you will see and hear of who
did what and where for Allied victory. Canadians will be there in the back
somewhere, quietly nodding as the accolades of other Allied nations are
mentioned in descriptions of Victory. Remember that Canada had one of the
highest percentages of their population in the military of any Allied nation
in World War 2 and that the RCAF was the fourth largest Air Force in the
free world during this time. And by the way, 1 out of every 4 aircrew in
the British RAF was a Canadian.
mention must be made of the 7000 Americans who served in the RCAF who will
be known as our "American Patriots - Canadian Warriors". They flew and
fought with their Canadian comrades in the RCAF with over 700 killed-in-action.
After much research Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada) has found all their names
and hometowns of those Americans who paid the ultimate price for Freedom.
All 48 states of the USA are represented on this RCAF Roll of Honour with
at least one son killed-in-action from every state. THE MAJORITY OF THESE
700 + ARE NOT LISTED ON THEIR STATE MEMORIALS. During this project
we will give special tribute to these unknown Americans and heroes who
flew and died for Canada in the RCAF. It is the least we can do for
our best friends and neighbours.
going down. Help Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada) raise her
are the HALI-FACTS
57 Rescue (Canada) has been able to gain more support for the Halifax Project
in special spheres of influence in Canada.
Royal Canadian Legion was approached to endorse the project and pass on
news of our special project to all their members and Legion branches across
Canada. In early March I received an official letter from the Dominion
President of the Legion, Mary Ann Burdett, formerly from the RCAF, endorsing
our project. Further to this, "Legion Magazine" editors have advised me
that an official announcement about the Halifax Project will be included
in their May/2005 issue. Considering the national scope of their organization
and Branches, not to mention the thousands of members, this is a very positive
step for Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada). As Project Manager I have offered
to speak to any Legion Branch across the country about the Halifax Project
to raise financial support to locate and recover Halifax LW170.
January this year I spoke to the Air Cadet Squadron at Milton, Ontario
about the RCAF, the Halifax, and the Project. The officers and cadets were
most supportive and even made a contribution to our project fund. They
suggested I approach the Air Cadet League of Canada headquarters in Ottawa
to gain support for the Project. After positive communication with the
Executive Director it was agreed that the Air Cadet League would endorse
the project. All the squadrons and their cadets will be invited to support
the Halifax Project as a fully bilingual invitation from Halifax 57 Rescue
(Canada) will be included on their official website. This is good news
for our aims to include and educate the youth of today of the great heritage
of the Halifax in the history of Canada and her Allies.
April 21 I will be speaking to the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA)
chapter in Montreal about the Halifax Project. In addition the Airforce
Association membership (Western Canada) is having their AGM on April 29/30
in Kelowna, B.C. and the executive have invited me to be their guest speaker
at their dinner. I will do my best to gain support for our special project.
the U.S. front Reverend Bob Bluford of Richmond, Virginia (a B-24 Liberator
pilot with the USAAF) whose friend Mel Compton flew LW170 in combat is
110% behind this project and wants to make sure those 700+ Americans killed-in-action
in the RCAF are not forgotten. We are going to have a meeting later this
month with influential people in Richmond and Washington, D.C. to rally
support for the Halifax Project in the U.S. I am hopeful to meet
with the new Canadian ambassador, Frank McKenna, this month to gain his
support in promoting the Halifax Project as a possible joint historic project
to celebrate the victory and remember the sacrifice of our RCAF warriors
of Canada and the U.S.A.
the members and supporters of Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada) we have received
good support in the form of membership fees and donations for our Project
and activities. The receiving of status as a Registered Charity in Canada
has been an essential development for our fund raising campaign. (Charity
Reg. No. 84586 5470 RR0001). We have and will be submitting proposals to
several corporations and foundations for the critical funding needed for
the sonar survey to locate Halifax LW170. This is in the order of $150,000
to $175,000, subject to currency fluctuations which are a main concern
like to explain about the memberships and renewals for people who wish
to support our project. As our group is fairly new and this is our first
full year together I think it would be best if we make our renewal date
be April 1 of each year, which is also the birthday of the RCAF and before
tax forms are due. If this will be ok for our members and supporters I
would like to ask that for the year 2005 that all of you who read this
report would consider renewing your membership now by sending in the fees
and any donations you feel is in order to help our project. To our member
Richard K. we issue special thanks for your timely and generous donation
to keep Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada) going when progress was slow and bills
legal bill for getting the Charitable status is mostly paid, thanks to
the patience of our lawyers Binavince Associates, but we still owe over
$500 to finalize the bill. The smaller costs of postage, phone calls, and
raising support for the project by my appearances, as I travel about, we
can cover from your donations and with some funds from my pocket. Your
renewals and donations will revitalize our project progress.
for the overall slow progress to go after RCAF Halifax LW170 but I hope
you will remain determined with me. There are several proposals from our
group with foundations, corporations, and powerful philanthropic people
at this time. We will continue to apply and lobby for one of these special
groups or people to find the funds we need to go after Halifax LW170. She
is a true international aviation treasure and the focus of our honorable
close with a quote from Tom Withers, American air gunner of an RCAF Halifax,
in a letter to his parents in Roseland, Virginia on January 10,1941:
to say goodbye to you was not an easy thing for me to do. However, I believe
you both will understand that I could not well do anything else since everything
that I, as well as both of you, believe in is now in a very precarious
position. My training, inclinations, and whatever abilities I may have,
seem best suited for the choice that I have made. And there is no question
of serving Canada to the neglect of my mother country. He who serves Great
Britain or any of its Dominions also serves the U.S. and vice versa. Our
differences are in arbitrary boundary lines only."... Love Tom
July 27,1942 Tom's Halifax W1230 of 405 Squadron, RCAF, was shot down over
Germany. He rests now with his Canadian crew in the Allied War Cemetery
in Kiel, Germany.
Austin Withers name is NOT on the Virginia State Memorial.
WILL REMEMBER THEM
KJARSGAARD Project Manager
212 - 2980 Colonial Road, Sarsfield, Ontario. K0A 3E0
613 835 1748
A DULL MOMENT by Lucien Thomas.
Press 1663 West Grant Road, Tucson, AZ 85745 U.S.A.
½” X 11” Soft Cover – 296 pages with illustrations.
- $24.95 US plus $4.95 S&H
Thomas was a Member of The Ex-Air Gunner’s Association of Canada. He has
written four books. Two, PINTAIL THREE and R for ROBERT, were reviewed
in earlier Short Burst Newsletters.
an American, came to Canada in 1940 and joined the Black Watch Regiment.
When his transfer came through to the RCAF, his Black Watch Sergeant Major
told him that the Black Watch did not release members but only gave them
on loan for other military duties, therefore, when he went to the RCAF
recruiting depot he must wear his Black Watch kilt – which Lucien did.
moves quickly through the time he came to Canada, joined the Black watch,
transferred to the RCAF, trained as an Air Gunner, completed his training
in UK, and started his tour on 405 Squadron. The writer goes into detail
concerning his tour on 405 Squadron lacing his memories with “Gallows Humour”.
Did you know that Canadian flyers introduced the black, tailless, Manx
cats, to Northern Germany? Then there is the story of the escaping airman
who was secreted in a Paris Bordello while awaiting escort into Spain,
Gibraltar, and back to the UK. On the more serious side, Lucien describes
how he came to terms with the ever present uncertainty of survival.
a toast to the dead and the dying,
hold your glasses high,
a toast to the land of freedom,
hurrah for the next man to die.”
completion of his first RCAF tour, Lucien turns down a safe instructor’s
posting to transfer to the Yanks; the 9th Air Force, Bomber Command, flying
Martin Marauders. There is an interesting chapter on his visit, in American
uniform, to Buckingham Palace where he received the British Distinguished
three combat tours, Lucien was rotated State side. He explains his reaction
to civilian life:
cessation of hostilities brought a let down that made many combat veterans
a breed apart – alcoholic, cynical, and fey. The peacetime ripped away
the special bond that men in combat share with one another, a bond so strong
that one has more in common with
those who have experienced it, than with a member of his own family. Wasn’t
it Napoleon who warned, that one should be careful of war because he might
end up enjoying it.”
sums up Lucien’s post war attitude and explains why he re enlisted in the
7th. USAF Bomber Group, Carswell AFB, Fort Worth Texas. This led to a stint
of duty in Guam where he reiterates many service personnel shenanigans
aimed at embarrassing the Top Brass. More macabre humour. Back State side
there is an account of survival training in designated enemy held territory,
much similar to evasive training experienced by Air Crew in England during
a spell at Okinawa, Lucien, through dogged determination, managed to get
into another “shooting” war – Korea. It was there Lucien flew as one of
the last combat gunners (excepting the modern helicopter gunners). Posted
to 13th. Bomber Squadron in Korea, hunkered down on a bicycle sear in the
bowels of a B-26, operating upper and lower gun turrets by automatic control,
not for defensive purposes, as in the Halifax, but offensively.
bashing in Mig Alley makes very interesting reading. Lucien’s graphic description
of action in Korea and exposure of Brass bungling, gives a vivid insight
to human sacrifice in that “Forgotten War”.
followed a brief connection with the Viet Nam conflict and then service
in Italy. Lucien retired from the Service in May 1968.
roll of the winged Air Gunner faded into history a scant fifty years after
Corporal Quenault of the French Air Service, flying aboard a Voisin bomber
in 1914 shot down a German Aviatik. Lucien Thomas is part of that History.
A DULL MOMENT, written by an American N.C.O. from first hand observation,
no holds barred, is a gripping read. The bold type and well-spaced lines
make the book easy to read. The cover should contain a warning – “Once
you pick up this book, it is very difficult to put it down.”
by John Moyles
HEROES OF THE ROYAL CANADIAN AIR FORCE
Cynthia J. Faryon
Publishing Company of Canada
cover 5 ½” x 8 ½” – 123 pgs. 5 illustrations.
work is true to its title. The author has recorded twelve Operational situations
where actions taken by aircrew determine the heroic, self - sacrificing,
acts of Canadian Airmen. In most cases very little or no recognition has
been paid to these circumstances and they would be lost to history if not
recounted here by the author.
father, Larry Cramer, was the tail gunner on a Halifax bomber, 77 Squadron
where he was awarded the DFC on his baptismal Operation. In this account,
as in the following eleven short accounts, Cynthia takes the reader into
the cockpit, turret, and other aircrew stations, to experience noise, vibrations,
fumes, fear, pain, and death, which in time, became routine. The Mid upper
Gunner, Jimmy Coles, reacts to his tail gunner’s evasive action instructions
to the Skipper, “ For God’s sake Larry, I can’t get him in my sights. Shoot
accounts cover heroism during situations on bombing runs, ditching, submarine
attacks, PoW, capture and escape, involving Halifax, Lancaster, Liberator,
and Spitfire, aircraft. Every chapter is laced with gripping action as
related to the author by survivors and documented through research. There
is an account of a petit 22 year old French heroine, a member of the Resistance,
who defies the penalty of being shot, to escort Canadian escapees through
the heavily German patrolled Pyrenees, to Spain, and returns to her home
in France to do it again.
HEROES OF THE ROYAL CANADIAN AIR FORCE is a book that should be in School
libraries so students can realize the sacrifices made by young men and
women, not much older than themselves.
a personal note, our daughter Elizabeth saw this book in Super Store and
bought it for me. I was amazed to open it and see Jimmy Coles, Larry’s
Mid Upper, in the first crew picture. Your reviewer meets Jim Coles and
his life partner of 60 years, Marj, in church each Sunday.
work would be a valued addition to your home library, not to mention educational
for your children and grandchildren.
of three, Cynthia J. Faryon, is an internationally published author and
freelance writer residing in Manitoba. Canadian born, she focuses her writing
on Canadian content, covering topics such as travel, family issues, biography
Reviewed by John Moyles
TO CANADA by Eric Woodnutt
January 20th. 1997, my wife of fifty years passed away. I was devastated
and thought that I would never stop crying. But I decided, when I had her
ashes placed in Oceanview Cemetery, I would return to the land of my birth
had moved to the U.S. after the death of my four year old son due to medical
malpractice and we were pretty bitter about it. In 1996 I took out U.S.
citizenship in order to get a better job. I didn’t get the job and, unfortunately,
“Dual” Citizenship wasn’t offered.
imagine my surprise when I was told I had to become a landed immigrant!
In any event, I obtained the right papers and on March 17th. 2002, I entered
Canada at Osoyoos complete with a van full of furniture. Ed Facey, a WAG
from 407 Squadron put me up while I cleared customs, so he was one of the
friends who helped me get into the Country. Ross Hamilton was another good
friend who encouraged me to make the move and gave me endless moral support.
Finally, Vern Flatekval, an AG from 514 Squadron, helped me get settled
in Armstrong where I bought a small but very adequate condo with wonderful
I am waiting to resume my Canadian citizenship. I applied shortly after
getting to Canada in 2002 and found that my military proof of birth was
not sufficient and had to wait ten months for a birth certificate from
Ontario. Now I am still waiting, but at least I am back in Canada and so
very glad to be here.
Ross Hamilton put it, “we’re a band of brothers” and I sure do appreciate
all the help my fellow RCAF Vets have given me.
Woodnutt – 81 and holding
a program from a “Ladies Day” luncheon held at the Kelowna Yatch Club by
the Wartime Aircrew Club of Kelowna.
contains something from P/O Prunes offerings – a thing about “Q” Code.
I’ve completely forgotten any “Q” Code I might have memorized during the
war, so I’m wondering if anyone can interpret the following. I wait with
PRUNE CATCHES A CODE
Prune went into town;
beer he had his fill;
when they asked him “QBA?”
answered sadly “NIL”,
comrades sat him at the bar;
“QAH?” They said,
ere he got a QFE,
climbed a bit instead.
stood and shouted “QVG
QFO’d upon the floor,
language mixed and various.
QFR,” Prune said. I guess
QGH’d too fast
– I’m in a ruddy mess!
QGX please! Blast!
then turned to the Bar Maid
“QDR my dear?”
answered rather snappily
QFT’s right here!”
QTR is “time” at last,
QAA at mess?
seem to me, Prune, almost tight:
wish to QAL in jug
be a most peculiar mug.
get your QDM for home;
for drift and do not roam.”
EMM September 1941.
out there who can interpret this? Write your Editor.
enquiries through the individual (Steve Beaney, Financial Controller, Newsquest
[North East] Ltd, Priestgate, Darlington, County Durham, England), to whom
I mailed 200 GB Pounds on behalf of the Ex -.A/G. (Mb Branch), toward the
Andrew Mynarski Statue.
thanked me for our donation and provided the web site –
so I could obtain more information.
final mission was from the RCAF base at Middleton St. George, near Darlington.
I believe this is near the Durham Tees Valley Airport. Mynarski's
grave is at Meharicourt, France. The unveiling of the statue is June 4,
05. As of Mar. 05, donations exceeded the goal.
sure if you log on, you find the info interesting and maybe additional
info for Short Bursts.
AN 337 being restored at Trenton Air Museum
taken by Lloyd Wright of the Trenton rebuild team.
was also a Hallie Pilot on 424 squadron.
again. This was taken at Trenton, Ontario at the site of the Halifax
restoration in 2000. They were still working on the rear turret but
he asked me if I would like to sit in it anyway. He spent some time
picking my brain about some of the items in the turret. I think I answered
most of his questions
ANYONE RECOGNIZE THIS OBSERVER?
call it Canada’s secret weapon. Some aircrew, usually the Tail Gunner,
would toss out milk bottles over enemy territory. As the bottles fell they
would create a whistling sound like a descending bomb. This was to put
the wind up the Anti Aircraft Gunners. It is much doubted that they had
any effect however, some bottles filled with pee, helped relieve the situation
in the turret.
picture was up for bids on Ebay.
FOR OPERATIONAL RECORD OF HUDSON FH444
June ¾, 1942, Don Macfie, Jack Richie, Bert Russel, ferried
Hudson FH444 from Canada to Prestwick Scotland. Don has researched FH444
and found that, in August 1942, it was attached to 353 Squadron in India,
and struck off strength February 1945.
wants to know what duties this aircraft performed while attached to 353
you served on 353 Squadron, check your logbook, or if you have knowledge
of the duties this aircraft performed, please advise Don at,
- (705) 389-2479
the News Letter was a printed mailed out document (March 1983 – September
2000) we knew who our readers would be and from whom we would get feed
back. Now, on the world wide web, readers are divers and feed back unpredictable.
We find ourselves in various problem solving positions. E.g. having a small
roll in helping a Welsh Lady find her Canadian birth father; assisting
in uniting veterans with fellow crew members; and providing WW II information
to historians and the younger generation. There was the video games designer
in the USA working on a WW II Air Force game, who wanted information on
how the mid-upper gunner avoided shooting into the tail of his aircraft.
lawyer from Manchester, now living in Spain, is researching the crash of
Sunderland W4026, 25 August 1942, in which the Duke of Kent was killed.
This gentleman happened upon Short Bursts and read the article by Don Macfie
where Don mentioned meeting the sole survivor of that crash. This
led to correspondence between Don and this gentleman, resulting in more
pieces of the story falling into place.
any reader has information concerning the circumstances surrounding this
crash, or the crew and passengers, would they please contact Glyn M. Gowans
at the following address.
d’ en Pau
d’es Clot de’s Pou 6163
S’Horta, Mallorca, Baleares
+971 16 20 49 Fax +971 83 90 05
the June Issue we are working on an article concerning “Short Snorter
was prompted by a WAG sending me a photocopy of a Short Snorter bill from
of Ferry Command and Transport Command, with staging posts in various countries,
collected foreign currency. When they met other aircrew in bars around
the world, they had the bills autographed, taped together, and rolled into
a ball. Hence, “Short Snorter Rolls.” The larger the roll, the bigger the
any member collected Short Snorter Rolls, drop us a line for the June Page.
want to thank all those who contributed to this Page. Without your support
we could not publish.
June/05, keep well.
& Doreene Moyles - Editors