This page is from the first four-page newsletter,
THE TURRET, of the RAF Air Gunners Association published in May 1949. Following
are some interesting extracts from this tentative beginning.
The first addition of the "Turret" may be a poor thing,
but it is indeed our own, and the organizing committee of the Air Gunners
Association cannot regard its production but with a sense of relief – we
can feel that we are now really airborne.
It might not be out of place to start at the very birth
of the Association. It was conceived in the mind of one Jack O’Hara who
hails from Wigan, but is now a Londoner. He was lonely and thought
the people of the South unsociable by Northern standards. He went to the
RAFR Branch and found nice folk there, but not really speaking his language.
He sought in vain for a fellow AG. Thus he started thinking in terms of
some sort of club where ex-AG’s might foregather, and went so far as to
place an advertisement in :Air Mail: asking those of us interested in such
an idea to communicate with him. About one hundred of us were interested
and did write… .
At the moment we are concentrating on the social side
– we want to bring AGs together again. In the war years we were thought
by others to be rather different from other aircrew, a quaint breed unto
ourselves. But that as it may, we certainly clung together. We had much
in common, we enjoyed each other's company, and generally speaking were
a hay band of brothers. Your committee has already brought together a bunch
of the types – a dummy run, as it were. The experiment was a success. We
are still a happy band of brothers. We remembered others – we reminisced
– we became nostalgic – we sang those songs – we even shot the odd
very small line…
The first decision reached was concerning the potentialities
of membership. Eligibility was granted for all those entitled to the AG,
or WAG brevet – or the old Flying Bullet! Obviously the Association would
have to exist on an Empire wide basis or not exist at all …
Sex Rears its Ugly Head
Shall wives and/or popsies be admitted to the monthly
jags? At the moment it is the view of y0our committee that these affairs
should be strictly stag. However, it is realized that it is only by courtesy
of our better halves that we are allowed to get together at all. Also many
of these wives are ex-WAAFS, which is an excellent thing, and therefore
very interested in our Association. So we real cannot leave them out in
the cold entirely. It might be an idea for branches to put on the odd dance
fairly soon in their programme, and thus bring the ladies into the picture…
The Odd Bomb
An amazing number o gunners liked to throw something
on their own account when over the target area. Beer bottles, bricks and
so on. You may have heard of the type who some how or other always managed
to tip the Elsan contents down the flare shoot? Always in hope that some
Nazi would be looking up at the right time. We heard a quaint story the
other day of a crew who brought a live donkey back from somewhere
or other in a Wimpy. Over France, at a very great height (in a Wimpy?),
the donkey lacked oxygen and died the death. A dead donkey being a bit
too much in the aircraft, they lugged the asinine carcass with much effort
to the bomb by – donkey gone! One cannot help trying to assess the effect
on the French populace when a dead donk. Came hurtling from the skies!
Can you think of odd things which you, or types known
to you, threw overboard? And we don’t mean the Skipper’s pants! We shall
be glad to print all printable tales of Odd Bombs.
As membership was open to "the Empire" many Canadians
in the RCAF subscribed to the Turret, especially those who flew on RAF
In March 2007 the FINAL ISSUE OF THE TURRET was mailed
out to the Membership. This 8" X 11.5", 48-page publication, with
many colour photos, Branch reports, and interesting articles,
is truly a work of art. Ron Bramley is to be congratulated for this
effort and his many years as Editor. Ron must have emptied his filing cabinet
on this edition.
Ron Bramley (left)
and Bill Bailey
Ron also served in Burma and
attended The Burma Bomber's Reunion,
Niagara Falls, Ont.
Sept. 29, 2003
EDITOR’S LAST TURRET REPORT (in part)
The above cartoon, in a way, sums up the reasons why we
have been late with the last two issues, coupled with growing older and
consequently less efficient. However, on the plus side, the last ten years
have given me great pleasure, and filled a gap that I honestly wish I could
carry on for another 10 years! As I have reported to the Turret Committee
I am quite prepared to continue with the Newsletter, if that is what members
of the Self Financing Turret desire… even if only to perpetuate the original
The main reason for lateness with the "Winter" Turret
2007 is the will to make this issue, as with the first Turret an issue
to remember. Colour and more pages have been introduced (hope we have enough
cash!!) together with a tidy up of contributions and "fill ins". As I sit
here and compose this report, I must pay my sincere thanks to all members
of the Turret Committee for their continued record of support.…
Ron Bramley (Bram)
35 Morley Road,
Nottingham, NG3 6LL UK
Tel. 0115 956 9266
Mobile: 07977 320167
Short Bursts Ed.: One article that took me back 65
years was the item on page 38,
It’s sayonara ‘Tokyo Rose.’
Following Pearl Harbour, we were patrolling off the
North West coast of Canada flying pontoon equipped Blackburn Sharks. There
was no control tower so the aircrew fashioned their own tower on the side
of the mountain overlooking the channel where the aircraft took off and
tower consisted of four pine poles with a small box on the top. It was
manned by the WAGs.
I enjoyed the night shift. At that time security was
at fever pitch, blackout orders were strictly adhered to.
At night, in this location, 54 degrees North, radio
signals skipped great distances. One could tune in Japanese radio and listen
to Tokyo Rose.
Her voice was pleasant, alluring, at times quite sensuous,
and always convincing, as she talked to the Gis in the Pacific. Like the
girl next door. Many enjoyable hours were spent in the dark, broken only
by the faint glow from the radio tubes, high above the bay, listening
to Japanese music and visualizing Tokyo Rose.
Iva Toguri d’Aquino, alias, Tokyo Rose, Was convicted
of treason in 1949 and served six years in jail. But doubts about her possible
role as Tokyo Rose surfaced and she was pardoned by President Gerald Ford
in 1977. She was born in Los Angeles in 1916 and passed away in Chicago
in 2006, at age 90.
Bram, true to his sense of humour,
writes on page 11
Received (following) from my son, thought worth reporting
in the last Turret! Ed.
I think the life cycle is all backwards
You should start out dead and get it out of the way.
Then, you wake up in an old age home feeling better
You get kicked out for being too healthy; go collect
your pension, then when you start work, you get a gold watch on your first
You work 40 years until you are young enough to enjoy
You drink alcohol, you party, you’re generally promiscuous
and you get ready for High School.
You go to Primary school, you become a kid, you play,
you have no responsibilities, you become a baby and then …
You spend your last 9 months floating peacefully in luxury,
in spa-like conditions; central heating, room service on tap, larger quarters
every day, and then, you finish off as an orgasm.
Ed: another bit of history is lost. Drop Bram a line
(see address above) and let him know how much we have appreciated his 10
years at the helm of The Turret, and how much it will be missed.
My neighbour (Jack Galway) was talking last night about
the tail gunner in his Lancaster bomber crew from WW II and wondering whatever
became of him. His name was Clarence Redwood, nicknamed "Junior", because
he was only 17. It is believed that his last known residence was in Georgetown,
Would you know of any group that keeps track of former
Thanks for any assistance you can lend.
I am writing to you on behalf of my late grandfather,
Robert Henry Larson. He served in the 408 "Goose" squadron with the
RCAF in WWII as a tail-gunner in a Lancaster. As I understand
it, the 408 held a reunion every 4 years after the war, alternating
locations around the country. For one of these meetings (I
believe it may have been in the 80's and held in the prairies somewhere)
there was a call for squadron photos and log books to put on display.
My grandfather was not going to be able to attend, but he sent his logbook
and squadron photo, etc. with his friend Doug Boynton. Unfortunately,
he never received these items back. He was under the impression that
they may have been used in a museum, but was never informed what became
of them. He made attempts to locate his stuff and have it returned,
but was unsuccessful.
I would like to find his memorabilia and return it to
his widow (my grandmother). I came across your web page and thought
it was a good place to start. If you have any idea who I should try
to contact about this it would be appreciated.
Thank you in advance for your time.
Ted Hacket picked up the ball on this one. If anyone
else can help contact Ted.
Good Morning. I got the phone number of a Warrant
Officer with 408 Squadron from my son so I phoned him this morning with
your request. He happens to be working on the Museum at the moment
trying to get things straightened out. I gather they didn't keep too many
records, he says there is no record of what was loaned to the Museum in
Edmonton. He is hoping to get into the archives and start sorting
things out but it could take some time. I gave him the information
on your Grandfather and he wanted to know when he served with the Squadron.
I noticed that his service number is a bit larger than mine so he was probably
at Linton-on-Ouse at the same time I was with 426 Squadron. He said
he would look for the log book as soon as he can but he asked us to be
patient, looking after the museum is a secondary job with him. He
has my e-mail address so he will let me know when he finds something.
Have a nice day.
Hi, I’m trying to trace anyone who might have served with
my grandfather in WWII. His name was Thomas Harold Hebb (but everyone called
him Hallie) and he was from Halifax, Nova Scotia. He trained at No.3 B&G
School, Macdonald, Manitoba 3/May/43 to 23/July/43 as a Rear Gunner and
was subsequently transferred to Training Wing 17 O.T.U, R.A.F, Silverstone
on December 13, 1943 and was attached to 106 Squadron in England flying
Lancaster III’s in June 1944. He held the rank of Flt. Sgt.
Unfortunately he passed away in 1985 and when I was only
10, and I’m trying to put together a memoir for his great granddaughter
who has been named Hallie in his memory.
Thank you for your time.
Please could you help me, I am trying to find out information
about a bomber crew shot down on a raid over Berlin on 24/25 March 1944.
My relative Sgt. CHARLES ARTHUR SALT was killed along with the rest of
the crew apart from F/S R.B.McALLISTER RCAF who survived and was
I'm interested to know what became of him and if anyone
Thank you ~ kind regards
Report from B.C. Branch
Thanks John and we have a wee message for you too.
Rod MacDougal asks me to let you know that he has sent
the sum of $100.00 directly to the Webmaster of "Short Bursts" at the museum.
Our funds have all but gone and at our last meeting it was agreed that
we take $100.00 out of it and sent it to keep "Short Bursts" alive. We
all appreciate this 'Glue' that keeps us all together and talking. Kindest
Dave Sutherland, BC Branch.
Full ahead to the 2010 Olympics
One of our Members sent us the following:
NO NAMES – NO PACKDRILL
THE OTTAWA MILITARY MUSEUM PLAQUE
DEBATE WILL NOT REST
Preserving Hard Won Freedoms
Leader Post, Regina, March 6, 2007.
Commentary – by Don Martin
From his cockpit window, RCAF Pilot Arthur Smith watched
a lot of hell-fire engulf German cities 19,000 feet below the emptied bomb
bay of his bomber. He crossed the English Channel 34 times during the Second
World War to take out targets in Germany or Holland – and every post mission
debriefing had fewer and fewer faces around the table.
By any statistical measure, Smith should’ve been killed
several times over before the war ended, with 10,000 of his fellow Canadian
flyers underground. Now in his late 80s, Smith is fighting to recover from
cancer surgery in a Calgary hospital. He just received "very bad news"
from the doctor and is heading home this week. He won’t talk about the
But what Smith does want to talk about what could be his
last public battle. His target is a poster-sized exhibit hanging in the
Canadian War Museum in Ottawa that debates the military value of the bombing
effort when stacked against the cost of civilian lives. Smith’s voice rises
in trembling outrage at what he sees as an affront to the memory of bomber
crews who died in appalling numbers. The museum is now under boycott by
the Royal Canadian Legion.
"I'll never accept the view that what we did was
wrong. I don’t deny the right for somebody to have their opinions, but
this exhibit puts us in a terrible light," he laments. "Why, all of a sudden
people have to rewrite history, I don’t understand."
I have known Art Smith for 25 years. He has served with
distinction as an elected representative at all three political levels,
fought to diversify Calgary’s economy when it was a shambles and became
the father-figure member to a rookie mayor named Ralph Klein. He’s arguably
one of the greatest living Canadians.
But with utmost respect, Art Smith is wrong.
I toured the bomber Command section in the War Museum
this week and came away convinced the veterans lack a legitimate grievance
and seem to be attacking the very freedom their comrades sacrificed themselves
The exhibit is mostly a goose-bump raising testimonial
to bomber Command. It is filled with stories of heroes and heroic deeds.
Pieces of destroyed aircraft, films showing the destructive force of the
airborne armadas and stories of great sacrifice are here in graphic detail
with the fuselage of a replicated bomber for a ceiling. Pictures of the
street level carnage the bombers left behind complete a story more alive
than even the nearby Afghanistan war exhibition.
It is history in all its hellish horror that the Royal
Canadian Legion has no right to sugarcoat or whitewash. Bombers were
the Second World War’s weapon of mass destruction, but they were equipped
with fledgling navigational technology that could not hit military targets
at night with pin point accuracy, most of them were mere blocks from civilian
areas. Collateral damage on a mass scale was inevitable. The exhibit plaque
correctly frames the controversy: “The value and morality of the strategic
bomber offensive against Germany remains bitterly contested.” The mission
was clear enough: "To crush civilian moral and force Germany to surrender
by destroying its cities and industrial infrastructure.”
Whether the raids, "left 60,000 Germans dead and more
than five million homeless" is open to dispute. History books seem to record
those figures as maximums. And to suggest the raids only put minor dents
in the German war machine negates the impact the mayhem caused as resources
were diverted to reconstruction and defensive activity.
But after five prominent historians vetted and vindicated
the wording, the only quibble from one was to wonder if the agreed upon
facts were worthy of public presentation and, thus, presentation. Damn
right they are. This is Canada, not a place like China where history is
subject to periodic revision by the ruling class to create non-persons
or purge unpleasant events from the record.. Our history is factual, not
Distinguished Flying Cross recipient Art Smith has every
right to argue his case from an eyewitness experience few Canadians can
now claim, but his eye in the sky was hardly the perspective of those standing
in the cities being pulverized. Both views need to be taken into account
to complete the historical record.
Lest we forget, 10,000 crew members in Bomber Command
died defending our freedom. And nobody said that excluded freedom of speech.
Published: Saturday, March 17, 2007
Re: History's lesson's, Don Martin.
You have to experience total war and understand the mood
of the people to judge their actions. I grew up in southern England during
the Second World War. Our home was under the bombing flight path for the
Southampton docks. I slept in an air-raid shelter for a year, and people
on our street were killed by a direct hit on their house. In the early
part of the war there was no effective defence for night bombing and the
Luftwaffe flew unimpeded. In 1940 and 1941 during 49 air raids, 626 civilians
were killed in Southampton, (more people than Canada lost in the Korean
War) 3,472 houses were destroyed and only one German bomber was shot down.
It was a milk run for the Luftwaffe from their bases 100 kilometres away
in occupied France.
By the time the RAF and the USAF were organized and started
bombing, Germany had radar-controlled defences and losses were very heavy,
averaging 4% per sortie. I remember the sombre voice of a typical BBC news
broadcast: "Last night the RAF attacked industrial targets in the Ruhr;
42 of our bombers failed to return." A Lancaster bomber had a crew of eight.
Elizabeth (the mother of our current monarch) tours a bomb shelter during
the Blitz in London, 1940.
During the last months of the war, three crucial events
occurred. The German air defence crumbled, and Allied bomber losses decreased.
Evacuee children who had spent four years living with strangers in safe
cities began drifting back London. Then the bombardment of London started
again, this time by V1 cruise missiles and V2 ballistic missiles. Hundreds
of civilians were killed and the children were evacuated again to safe
After five long years of death and austerity in total
war, Britain had had enough. The prevailing mood was to bring it to an
end as soon as possible. No one questioned the RAF when it flew unimpeded
over Germany as the Luftwaffe had done over England in 1940 and 1941. There
would have been rioting in the streets in 1945 if the government had decided
to cut back the bombing so as not to hurt the Germans too much.
When the war started, I was seven years old and my carefree
childhood was put on hold. When it was over, six long weary years later,
I was no longer a child.
Peter White, North Vancouver.
Published: Saturday, March 17, 2007
Don Martin is not an "expert" in military history or
specifically qualified to speak on the action of the Allied Bomber Command
during the Second World War. His column represents the myopic view of someone
who has looked at one side of an event and then used his position as a
columnist to express a personal view.
While the Post may consider this as fair game in the newspaper
business, I will only consider it acceptable if an article containing opposing
views is allowed equal space.
I would have to agree with the former RCAF pilot Arthur
Smith and ask, "Why all of a sudden do people have to rewrite history?"
Why is a person like Don Martin trying to apologize for events he was not
Published: Saturday, March 17, 2007
The Canadian War Museum clearly implies that bombing
Germany in the Second World War was immoral and ineffective. And while
Don Martin says that some historians suggest "that raids only put minor
dents in the German war machine," we know that after the war, Germany's
production minister, Albert Speer, and Karl Doenitz, commander-in-chief
of the German navy, both said bombing had been effective. Speer was amazed
and thankful that the bombing had not been more successful in hitting such
targets as fuel supplies and ball-bearing factories, adding that the Allies
were right in assuming that devastation of the area around key targets
exponentially disrupted the capacity to make repairs.
It is true that Germany was able to maintain total production
in the first years of the war, with the use of 7.5 million slave labourers.
However, Allied production in the United States, Canada, Britain and the
U.S.S.R. increased by many times, while German production essentially stood
still. What the War Museum says about this ghastly business is so incomplete
as to be intellectually dishonest.
Colin Alexander, Ottawa.
Member Robert Marshall 148/428 Squadrons
My concern with the plaque wording is with respect to
two aspects of wartime bombing activities that have apparently not been
taken into consideration. First is the notation of immorality: why single
out the RAF bomber Command in this regard? As I recall it was the way the
war was fought! The Luftwaffe led the way into Poland with its bombing
of Warsaw and other Polish localities. It was followed by the bombing of
Belgrade, and in May, 1940 a residential area of Rotterdam, followed in
turn by the bombing of Great Britain and the almost year long “Battle of
Britain”. In June 1941 the Luftwaffe was diverted to Russia and the virtual
destruction Russian cities as well as other populated centres. We could
also add the mid-1944 V1 and V2 attacks on Britain – pointless other than
to attempt to depopulate and dehouse British populated residential areas.
In essence, all war time bombing of industrial, populated areas could be
termed immoral. But if there was a moral high road it belonged to Allied
Bomber Command. Their sole motivation was the defeat of Nazi Germany and
the liberation of occupied countries.
Second, let us turn back the clock to mid-1940 and wartime
prospects at that time. After the withdrawal from Dunkirk the British army
had been temporarily taken out of the war. The Royal; Navy was fully occupied
in the desperate attempt to keep the lifeline between Britain and North
America alive. This left the RAF as the sole means of carrying on the European
war through those dark days – defensively in the Battle of Britain, offensively
with Bomber Command. With respect to the latter the only choice was to
sit back and, given the strength of the German military, eventually throw
in the towel.
The embryo RAF Bomber Command, joined in 1942 by the USAF,
carried the ball against Nazi Germany and was cheered on by all the free
world and peoples in occupied countries.. Whether o not Allied bombing
had a significant effect on German wartime capabilities is of little relevance.
The point is that Bomber Command played a crucial and undisputable role
in the progression of the war, and ultimate victory against the enemy.
For this it deserved the gratitude of all post war Europe.
Military historians have been generally in agreement that,
through the early years Allied bombing did not have a major effect on German
wartime production nor on moral of German citizens – this, however neglects
to asses what German capabilities would have been in the absence of Allied
bombing. In this they are probably correct given that the industrial capacity,
with conscripted labour, of all occupied countries made available to the
enemy war effort. And internally, the population was firmly in the grip
of Nazi propaganda and related tyranny. I recall one historian saying that
people could not surrender to bombers in the sky. Military historians also
have, in general, albeit with some expressing reservations concerning the
way in which the bombing campaign was conducted, conceded that in the latter
years of the war, did make a contribution to final victory. (A notable
exception was the British pseudo historian, David Irving, who quite recently
was jailed in Austria for his pro-Nazi denial of the existence of the holocaust.
It might be remembered that many years ago Irving came to Canada and was
shown on television meeting Ernst Zundel and other German expatriates.
To Canada’s credit he was asked to leave the country.)
In addition to the views of the historians, a significant
recognition of the achievements of Allied bombing was made at the Nurnburg
hearings by Albert Speer, German Minister of wartime production, when he
stated that, from 1944 Allied bombing provided and effective “second front”
siphoning off men and materials that could have made the difference between
victory and defeat on the Russian front.
There is no doubt that many Bomber Command activities
have now, in retrospect, come into question. Mistakes were made, knowledge
was imperfect, wartime intelligence faulty and policies ill conceived.
Un fortunately the resulted in a civilian loss of life (and also of aircrews).
For those of us involved, this has been a major regret. But another
major regret is that we were unsuccessful in bringing an earlier end to
the war – to the suffering of civilian populations including the exposure
and closure of death camps at Auschist, Dachau and others.
Robert (Bob) Marshall RGMar@simpatico.ca
Ph. (519) 822-8138
Being that I have run out of articles to submit to Short
Busts, I will submit my account of my experience with an Italian prisoner
of war. On leave on a large estate I was staying with the games keeper
in the lowlands of Scotland. A tenant farmer stopped by and complained
about the hard time he was having getting his stooks of barley into stacks
as he only had his son and an Italian prisoner to do the work. Being one
who had learned not to volunteer for anything, it must have been the games
keeper who said I would help on the morrow.
I went up there and was soon dispatched to the field to
pitch sheaves with an Italian PoW called Ernie. We built small loads on
two wheel carts. They put a tractor on the cart and I built a load that
broke the reach. I worked hard and enjoyed it. Good big meals at
noon and supper. We got up five stacks in the afternoon. A big thunder
storm came around 7 p.m. and cut us off. They told the games keeper afterwards
that the Italian had never done such a good days work since they got him!
Remember “central heating” in the Nissan hut? There was always
a shortage of coke. At Alness, Scotland, we went down to the local railway
station and pleaded with the train engineers to toss us chunks of coal.
They seldom refused. Then there was the time the coke truck got stuck and
the driver went for help. When he returned the truck was empty. Strange,
there were no witnesses! Anyone out there have any “central heating” stories?
Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada)
Registered Charity 84586 5740 RR0001
Progress Report Number 17
February 19, 2007
As Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada) directors, members, and
supporters proceed in the specific and exciting quest to locate and recover
RCAF Halifax LW170 from the deep, we are aware of a special responsibility
to honour the effort and sacrifice of our bombers crews who gave us our
Freedom. We must be caretakers of this knowledge of their sacrifice for
Freedom and we must pass this on to our children, our families, and our
Remember that only 1 out of 4 bomber crews finished their
combat tours. The remaining 3 bomber crews were either, killed-in-action,
prisoner of war, or killed/injured in training. That is a loss rate of
75%. The more our historic group studies these men and the crews of the
RCAF and RAF the more we are in awe of their efforts for all of us in the
face of such adversity. We must remember them.
We have started to pay tribute to our RCAF Americans who
came to Canada in the thousands to join our RCAF in World War Two. This
year we will do more to give them the credit they deserve.
It has now come to light, after excellent research by
our directors, that there is another group which has just now been discovered
and must be recognized for flying and fighting for Canadian Freedom.
We have found the names of at least 11 previously unknown
Irish Nationals who flew on the Halifaxes and Lancs of the RCAF and were
killed-in-action flying with their Canadian comrades.
Most, but not all, were flying as Flight Engineers on
RCAF Halifaxes. The directors of Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada) have now highlighted
them on a special page of tribute on our website with all their names and
hometowns. We know the list will continue to grow.
In a symbolic first tribute to the “RCAF Irish” we have
decided to include a shamrock beside the RCAF flag and the Canada-USA badge
to show that we appreciate and will, from now on, include in all our memorial
efforts these young men of Ireland who flew and fought in the Royal Canadian
“Press on regardless…”
On to Business, these are the Halifacts:
As Project manager I am very pleased to let all of our
members and supporters know we are making good progress on raising support
for the Halifax Project.
As you are aware we have had several articles in the Irish
newspapers about the proposed recovery of LW170. This has not gone unnoticed
with the Irish public and on the world internet. Last month I was contacted
by David Joyce of Tyrone Productions in Dublin and invited on their variety
talk show on Feb.22. I will be traveling over on business and will be popping
over to Dublin for a television interview on RTE TV on the “Seoige and
O’Shea” show to tell all about the Halifax Project. The discovery of our
“RCAF Irish” and the development of this historic connection between Ireland
and Canada is a wonderful addition to this opportunity to raise support
on the international scene for the locating and recovery of our Halifax
Other positive things have been happening as well. As
you know I have been in contact with deep sea exploration groups to gather
technical data on the location of LW170. I have had sincere interest in
the past few weeks from certain officials of a group to help with locating
the Halifax on sonar, which could be done as an add-on survey or “piggybacked”
on a scientific survey. The timing and opportunity to do the Halifax sonar
survey during the next few months of the 2007 season will be looked at
and evaluated to maximize all possibilities. If the survey can be done
in this way we could minimize our costs to actually locate and inspect
LW170 for future recovery.
I am very hopeful for these developments for our
Halifax sonar survey and will have more important information on this for
you in the next progress report after I meet with these officials in the
very near future. It is best if I keep details to a minimum until we have
reached an agreement with these certain officials who really do want to
help find our Halifax.
With regard to our website we now have on our official
promotion of the exciting new book on the RCAF written by playwright Sandra
Dempsey titled “Flying to Glory”. Sandra was so taken with the Halifax
painting “INVINCIBLE ITEM” when she was ready to publish she asked and
received permission from the artist Michael McCabe and our group to use
the image of LW170 superimposed on the RCAF roundel on the front cover
of “Flying to Glory”.
Sandra has received great reviews on “Flying to Glory”
and has been invited to do a reading from her new book at an event in New
York City in the near future. I did pass on to her that she could make
a real connection with her American audience as there as 128 American lads
killed-in-action in the RCAF who were from the state of New York (the majority
were flying the Halifax ! ).
I must point out a great new event has just been announced
by our partners at the Nanton Lancaster Society Air Museum. Nanton is very
pleased to announce that this year at their annual celebration on Aug.25,
2007 they will be honouring the “RCAF Americans” as their dedicated group.
There are literally hundreds of unknown Americans’ names on the Memorial
Wall, which has become the centre piece and national memorial to
the RCAF airmen of Bomber Command.
Please visit the Nanton Lancaster Society Air Museum website
to get all the information on this great event which you should not miss.
- under “Special Events” ) I invite all our members and supporters
to come to this special ceremony (on August 25, 2007) as THE WALL at Nanton
is truly THE Bomber Command Memorial of Canada.
This Halifax Project, from its inception some 3 years
ago, has been a wonderful journey of people joining together in a great
cause that will require much effort and determination. This is our own
battle campaign that requires, just like our heroes of the Halifax and
Bomber Command, we must not give up no matter what the odds or difficulties.
This mighty symbol of Freedom and symbol of RCAF excellence and honour,
RCAF Halifax LW170, must be recovered. Let us keep our eyes on the target
and press on to success in our mission.
Let me close with the quote of Robert Goddard, whose pioneering
spaceflight efforts helped put a man on the moon.
“…the dreams of yesterday are the hopes of today and the
realities of tomorrow .”
Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada)
Phone - Eastern Canada 613 835 1748
Western Canada 403 603 8592
The following letters say it all. This is the purpose
of our Newsletter, Short Bursts. In this case reuniting a Navigator with
his WAG 61 years later.
Dear Mr and Mrs Hillman,
I hope this email finds you well.
I came across the above edition of Short Bursts via a
Google internet search.
My father, Steve McCann, is the navigator referred to
(and pictured) in Ted Rainer's article on the Verona raid. He was very
interested to read it, and would be keen to make contact with Ted Rainer.
Would you be able to supply me with an email address, or advise me as to
how I could find out his contact details? Or alternatively, if you have
his email address, would you be able to forward my email on to him?
Thanks in advance,
I'm editor of the Short Bursts web page and our web master,
Bill Hillman, passed me your request to get in touch with Ted Rainier.
Here is Ted's address and phone number. Our directory
is 7 years out of date, so I phoned and spoke to both Ted and his good
wife. Ted has a little difficulty speaking on the phone but, if you take
it slow and easy, he can understand (we are all getting on in years). Ted's
wife helped out, she is only 81. It took Ted a few moments for his memory
to bounce back, but when it did, he was quite lucid.
They are expecting your call or letter. They do not have
Where are you located? Happy reunion. Let me know how
you make out.
Many thanks for your response. I have posted it
on to my father (he is not on email either) and I will let you know the
outcome. I am sure he will be pleased to have got a response so quickly.
He was telling me about the Verona raid - for the first
time in detail - just a few days before, and so I googled the net and found
your website and the article by Ted Rainer, which told the same story .
We are both based in Barnes, which is in South West London,
albeit at separate addresses.
Neil McCann email@example.com