Aysha and Callum Nesbitt place a rose on the
Grave site of Gordon Frost, Imperial Sask.
Veteran’s cemetery, New Delhi, India.
We live in New Delhi India and we attended the Remembrance
Day Service at the New Delhi War Cemetery this past weekend.
It was a beautiful day. There were a number of Canadians (living
and working in New Delhi) that attended the service with us.
We were surprised to learn that 17 Canadians are buried there - 15 of them
having served with the RCAF. The kids were each given roses
to place on the graves of the fallen Canadians.
It took us a couple of days but we finally got around
to doing a Google search on Gordon Frost. I can't tell you how surprised
we were to come across the April 2005 issue of Short Bursts to see a picture
of Mr. Frost and to learn that a lake had been named after him.
We know nothing about Mr. Frost but were moved by the
moment and thought you might like to see this picture.
I'm also attaching another picture with four other Canadian
graves. John, you will be pleased to know that it's a beautiful and
very well kept cemetery.
If you have time, would you be able to tell us something
about your friend, Mr. Frost? It would be very interesting for us
to know something about him. For example, why were they flying over
New Delhi? Where were they going and who shot him down?
What was he doing in Ceylon (Sri Lanka). This would be
a tremendous learning experience for all of us.
Did Mr. Frost have brothers and sisters? What was
he like? I would be happy to return to take more pictures of the
cemetery if they wish.
New Delhi, India
Ed. Gordon Frost and I were together during Manning
Depot, guard duty, wireless school, and bombing and gunnery. We received
our WAG brevets just prior to Pearl Harbour. Gordon was posted to Ferry
Command and was still with that Command when his Hudson aircraft crashed
in Gurgeon, India Nov. 27, 1943. I told the Nesbitts about Gordon and our
Please note that the Nesbitts would like to contact
any of Gordon’s family. If any reader has this information, please advise.
It is interesting that, as they knew nothing of this
RCAF Officer, an internet search lead them to Short Bursts, April
Another interesting note about the power of our Newsletter.
I received a phone call in December, and a chap said, “John, this is Tommy
Abbot.” I nearly dropped the phone. Tommy was our Flight Engineer. The
last time I saw Tommy was June 1945. How did he track me down? A friend
told him of the Short Bursts Page.
This picture was taken in front of the old Toronto City
Hall in the spring of 1941. The parade was from Manning Depot.
If my memory is right, it was taken by an American. Possibly
for a bond drive. I am in the row closest to the camera, fourth in from
There were also some chaps from the West. Honey Dew Bowles
Lunch is gone.
Interesting notes: The Police crowd control chaps are
all facing the crowd. Although the men in the parade were destined to be
aircrew, only one chap, in front, is wearing the white flash. Note the
variance of headgear. Some with wedge caps, others with Winter hats, affectionately
referred to as “piss pots”, airmen for the use of”. Not a bad ‘eyes right’
for a group of new recruits.
We thank John Ellis for his generous contribution to
the CATP Museum.
CATP Museum Newsletter CONTACT
Vol 21 Issue 4.
the realization that the Museum was about to receive a vintage World War
II International fire truck earlier this year, an enterprising member found,
and purchased on Ebay on line auctions, an equally authentic magazine ad
of the same model of truck.
The truck, acquired in a trade agreement with one of our
Manitoba Special Theme museum sisters, is a veteran of another Commonwealth
Air Training Plan Base in Manitoba.
After the war, it lived out its service life with a local
Municipal fire department and then was donated to the Manitoba Agricultural
Museum of Austin for which we traded one of our extra BCAPT Crash Tenders
President, John McNarry, came up with the idea of re-creating the picture.
The opportunity presented itself after the canteen ceremonies were completed.
It was a beautiful August day and, once a suitable telephone pole for the
background was found, our Harvard, the truck, and our Cornel, sitting in
for the ad’s background Harvard, were lined up.
Six volunteers were pressed into service as firemen. “On
the alert at Airfields – Coast to Coast!” – the 2006 version. Although
not likely to be pressed into service again any time soon, our 60+ year
old fire truck is remarkably intact – notice from the picture our truck
still has the original siren (left front fender) and spotlight (right hood
near passengers seat).
August 26, 2006 – CATPM personnel (from driver left) Angus
Sneesby, Jim Tuffs, Phil Innes, Alan McNarry, George Scott, Stephen Hayter,
recreate the 1942 International ad.
Please note the request for wartime Station Newsletters.
From: Stuart & Diane Thickson
Hi, I found your email through short bursts and
was hoping you would be able to point me in the right direction to gather
info on my dad who was in the RCAF from 1940-45.
His name was James Bruce Thickson. Service
number R-59023, His rank was flight sergeant. He was an engineer
on Sunderland flying boats. His brother C.T. Thickson was ground
crew with 422 squadron.
I am wanting to know which squadron(s) he was with
and where they went and what they did. If you can shed any light
on this, it would be appreciated.
Trying to Trace : Anyone
Service/Unit : #4 (C) OTU
Rank : Any
Year/s Of Service : WWII
Location of Service : Scotland
Other Information : Any information about the crash of
Sunderland DD851 on 26 Nov. 1944. Any details about the crew members, cause
of the crash or any other relevant information. Also would like to contact
any members of #4 OTU during this period.
Name of Enquirer : Rhonda Gerber
Do you have any information which may assist, please
Direct at : firstname.lastname@example.org
Lost Comrades at email@example.com.
Dear Ms. Gerber,
I’m not sure when you posted the note above, but my father;
WO1 Clare Kinton, was the rear gunner on this Sunderland when it crashed.
11 RCAF airmen were killed two miles northeast of the Invergordon railway
station. The plane crashed with a full load of fuel and depth charges when
a connecting rod on one of the engines broke, vibration tore the engine
off the plane and it was unable to get back to Cromarty Firth to land on
the water. There was a large explosion when it crashed and burned on the
railway tracks. The crew is buried in the air force section of Stonefall
Cemetery in Harrogate.
Basic details of the crash are in the RCAF Memorial book
to the 18,000 Canadians who were killed in service during World War 2.
It also provides the names, ranks and home towns of all the airmen. I have
this information at home and will forward it to you if you are still interested.
I have been in e-mail correspondence with the brother of one of the crew
and have additional information from the Heritage Society in Alness, including
the story of a crew switch between two Sunderlands. Initially RAF Alness
believed a different crew was killed however they had been stranded in
the Hebrides due to bad weather. They were greeted as ghosts when they
I am only aware of one person who trained at Alness around
that time, Mr. John Moyles, who manages the “Short Bursts” section (which
is dedicated to air gunners) of the website www.hillmanweb.com/rcaf/mag
created, maintained and financed by volunteer Webmaster: Bill Hillman from
My wife and I visited Alness and Invergordon in May 2006.
The people at the Heritage Society (http://www.ww2inthehighlands.co.uk/folders/localhistory/rafinvergord.htm
and www.alness.com ) were extremely
helpful in providing information and two rooms are dedicated to RAF Alness.
In addition, the BBC collected stories and one of the base COs provided
a three section history at the following link:
The gentleman who provided the information has his own website at: http://www.sandy90.com/war-memories.pdf.
I would of course be interested in any information that
you may have and would be happy to provide whatever information that I
have gathered. Obviously, you have some direct connection with this crash
if your query is any indication.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Hi John (and Stuart),
Attached is a copy of an article from the May 2006 issue
of The Alness & District Times that may be of some interest to your
readers, provided there are no copyright issues involved. Tim Baker of
Wellington, New Zealand supplied the information which had been dictated
by his grandfather, F/O Mervyn D. Cox, RNZAF. Unfortunately I do not have
an address of Mr. Tim Baker and Mrs. Joan Ross with the Alness Heritage
Center has not replied to two e-mails requesting this information. (One
more attempt by copy e-mail to the editor and Joan.) The people at the
Heritage Center, notably Joan and Wallace Ross, were incredibly hospital
during our visit to Alness. A number of volunteers work very hard there
with limited funds and facilities.
Stuart Johnson from Winnipeg is the brother of F/O Garth
B. Johnson who was killed with my father when DD851 crashed on November
26, 1944. He and his wife visited Stonefall Cemetery in Harrogate during
May 2006, probably earlier in the month than my wife and I, who were there
during the last week of the month.
Mr. Baker recognized his father in the photograph of the
procession (in the May issue) for the Sunderland crew that were killed
in August 1944 and buried in the Roskeen Cemetery between Invergordon and
Alness. The Heritage Center made me a larger copy of another photograph
of the funeral procession and the airman marching in the front rank beside
the truck carrying some of the coffins appears to be my father. He was
6’ 1” or 6’ 2” so it was possible he was “right marker” if I remember my
marching drill correctly. The rank carrying the wreaths in which F/O Cox
appears somewhat further back in the column.
I recently found my father’s log book among a number of
boxes of my mother’s, which we received when she moved into a nursing home
earlier this year. He had many hours in Stranraers and Cansos before switching
to Sunderlands at RAF Alness. There are no entries for the month of November
Thank you for the plug in the October 2006 issue of Short
I'm developing a website dedicated to RCAF Station Centralia
(wartime and NATO years) along with RAF/RCAF Americans.
Go to: www.fydenchuk.ca
Wally Fydenchuk firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi, my name is Jennifer Lee, l'm from just outside Ottawa,
On. my father graduated as a Air gun fighter back in 1943 and as a gift
his father gave him an actual gold ring with an "wing" sort of plated on
the top. he has lost it! and I'm trying to find another one for him possibly
for Christmas.... I realize they likely don't make them anymore but who
knows in this day and age?! Any help would be appreciated. Your web
page is wonderful! keep up the great work!
Thank you for your time,
Jennifer Lee email@example.com
Charley Yule firstname.lastname@example.org
I wonder if you would agree with me that it would be nice
if we (SHORT BURSTS) could show our support by spreading the word of "Halifax
57 Rescue (Canada)" in our Newsletter and, perhaps, publishing his Progress
Reports (which now number 15, November 7/06) which includes #13A - rather
than just #13 - unlucky, you know.) This could be In Whole or In
Part and give you some 'filler',
In my small way I am trying to support him. I have
purchased one of the Limited Edition prints of LW170 'Invincible Item'
(#180 or 500 prints), had it framed and now arranging to have someone help
me hang it in my dining room. It looks quite impressive and those
who have seen it ask, "what it this all about" - and I am not too shy to
You can access the Web page at: www.57rescuecanada.com
and if you follow the links shown in the document it will take you to many
interesting sites. I am just waiting for the availability of the
Digital Encyclopedia of the Handley Page Halifax - 'HALIFAX B. Mk.III EXPLORED'
being product by Flyingzone Publication (Great Britain). It is a
tad 'pricey' - but I want it anyway! I don't have a bottomless
wallet, but I feel I must do what I can to help Karl - and the Halley was
Even my eldest daughter is now, after seeing the one at
Trenton, has become a Halifax supporter. When her friends learn that
her father flew in a bomber during WWII, they ask her, "In a Lancaster?"
to which she replies, "Bite your tongue!! It was a HALIFAX!"
So, little by little, and in my own way, I am gradually spreading the word
about the Halifax. Even if Karl is successful in bring LW170 to Nanton,
I probably won't be around to see it!! But then I thought the same
thing about NA337 which is now on display in Trenton!!!
Just today I came across your November 2004 magazine articles.
They are great. I hope this finds you both well. I have a story to tell
and I hope that you or your readers can fill in some of the blanks.
My wife Susan and I had the pleasure of travelling to
Newfoundland this past summer. While there I happened upon an antique shop
where I found an air force graduation photo of 38 gentlemen all smartly
attired in their uniforms. My Dad, a WW2 military policeman identified
the photo as being air force. On the reverse of the picture are 33 signatures.
I decided then and there to purchase the photograph and bring it home to
find out what happened to these men. The men were not neatly identified
as shown in your photo in the November 2004 issue so I don't know where
the signatories stand. I am also short on the five "unknowns".
I have begun the search and have found, unfortunately,
several of the men that I have found have since passed on. One man, Robert
Hilliard Chisnell, SGT. was an air gunner in a Wellington that went down
during a night training exercise in England. He was only nineteen.
The contacts I have made have come slowly but I am pressing
on in the hopes of completing this project by spring. I could use your
I believe that the photograph was taken at #2 Manning
in Brandon in late fall of 1942. Sgt. Chisnell's records supplied that
information. By the obituaries that I have found some of the men ended
up as Pilot officers and Captains which tends to make me think that after
#2 the group split and went their separate ways. If your readers can poke
holes in that theory I would love to hear from their experiences.
include a copy of both the front and back of the picture as well as my
alphabetical listing of the spelling as I see the signatures. You will
also note that some 25 hometowns were listed as well.
My immediate goal is to see each man identified. At some
point I would also like to have a conversation with one or more of the
men, to say hello and to thank them for their efforts.
Names on Air Force picture
Hometown ~ Status ~ Military ID ~ Legion Branch
~ Death date ~ Age ~ Last rank
38 names 25 hometowns
Amey, Doug W.
Babaiau, G. A.
Fort William ON
Chisnell, Bob Z
Winnipeg St. Vital, MB KIA R186823 Aug18
1943 19 Sergeant, air gunner
Cole, Delbert *
Deceased R188210 Dr WC Little July13 '96 74 Unkn
Costley, L.J. Sgt.
Fawcett, W. J. *
Winnipeg Deceased Belleville
Feb13 '98 75 Captain
Hillock, Chas. A.
Law, Ernie Toronto
Lawrence, Jim *
Niagara Falls ON Deceased R264700 Niagara Falls
Jun 1, 92 67 LAC
Prociw, Morris *
Vila Mon Deceased Steinbach, MB Oct. 26, 04 Unkn
White, Frank Bala
* Denotes found in Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Z Denotes find in Legion.ca
I should have asked this question
earlier but not every thing clicks when it should. You mentioned in your
reply that you went through the Brandon Manning Depot in March of 1941.
A few questions if I may.
I will tell you why. In the above photograph there are 38
men but only 33 signatures. So I am hoping that the flight list, if it
exists, can provide me with the names of the missing five and one other
whose name I cannot decipher.
Did you receive training at the depot?
What kind of training?
Did you have your picture taken with the group you were brought
Was that picture taken at the beginning, middle or end of
your time at #2?
Do you remember any flight lists that you had to sign?
Was your flight given a letter or a number?
Was there an officer assigned to your flight and who
would have appeared in the picture?
Do you know where these flight lists might now be kept?
I know this stretches the memory back many years but if
you can help in any way it would be much appreciated.
Bob Cleaver email@example.com
1613 342 9095
1319 Cuthbertson Ave.,
Ed. The written record I recall was the civilian barber’s
exercise books where he had every airman write date, name, and hometown
after getting his initial hair cut. These stacks of books have been saved
at CATP Museum in Brandon, Man. Check with the Museum at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a researcher for Australian Broadcasting Corporation
program Can We Help? which airs on Friday night at 6.30pm
We have received a request from a lady to track down Gordon
and Donald Patterson and I note the late Gordon Patterson appears on your
website. I am hoping he may be the Gordon Patterson we are looking for.
The viewer has an identity disk belonging to Gordon and
Donald's father, Ed J Patterson a Canadian World War one serviceman. Her
father met Ed Patterson when seconded to the British army in Palestine.
They remained good friends for the duration of the war and at the end of
the war exchanged identity disks as memento of their friendship. The viewer
is hoping to find a son or grandson of Ed to return the identity tag.
The viewer remembered the names of the Ed's children (Gordon
and Donald) who both served in World War 2. One became a dentist the other
an engineer. I do not know if the Gordon Patterson mentioned on your website
is Ed's son but if you have contact with a relative or friend could you
please email them to find out if Gordon is the son of Ed J Patterson and
if Donald is still alive or Gordon's children would like to receive the
identity tag. Could they please contact me?
30 Fielder St
Perth WA 6004
Ph: (61 8) 92202951
Fax: (61 8) 92202545
Could you do us a favour and try to locate relatives of
the late Gordon Patterson. The letter from Juliet in Australia is self-explanatory.
The Short Bursts article on Gordon Patterson is
in the Summer Edition 2006 of the newsletter. http://www.hillmanweb.com/rcaf/mag/0606.html
Gordon became a graduate engineer after the war,
ended up as a professor at University of Saskatchewan
He passed away in 1994.
Cheers, John Moyles.
Bob Burnyeat lives in Saskatoon. Sk. If any reader knows
of Gordon Patterson’s family, please write to email@example.com
or Bob Bob.Burnyeat@aodbt.com
Allan Coggon 1919 - 2006
It is with great sadness that I report the passing of
Allan Coggon, December 24, 2006.
Short Bursts reviewed two books written by Allan, WATCH
AND WARN and, FROM WINGS PARADE TO MANDALAY. A more detailed account of
Allan’s service career and his contribution to the Aircrew Association,
the Canadian Aviation Historical Society, and WWII history, will be published
in the February Page.
You will note the change in form and content of Short
Bursts. Please read the questions submitted by the “younger generation”.
If you can throw any light on their queries, contact them directly.
It would be appreciated if you could advise your Editor of any action taken
so we can gage feed-back to evaluate the newsletter.
Short Bursts has been publishing for 23 years and
should have, by now, convinced the world that it was the AGs and the WAGs
who won the air war during WW II.
(Now if that doesn’t get some static, nothing will.)
Member Fred Burnyeat has a new address; 314 Trent St.,
Saskatoon, Sk. S7H 4V5
Ph: (306) 931-7859
Members who were fortunate enough to fly in the Halleys,
give Charley Yule a shout to support his passion for the successful recovery
of LW 170 from the Irish sea.
On November 11th. I phoned one of my WW II pilots. In response
to my query, ‘how are you’, he replied, “Oh, I’m just hanging around waiting
to croak.” By his voice and the rest of our conversation, he sounded really
depressed. At our age, I guess it is easy to fall into the ‘Poor John’
syndrome. However I was introduced to a program, Spiritual Cinema Circle,
that deals with the power of positive thinking. So if you ever get
the Poor John feeling, go to the site:
Become an affiliate. The videos will certainly re-charge
They will also be enjoyed by your grandchildren.
Happy and healthy 2007 to all.
John and Doreene Moyles