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 Squadron.
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
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 timely poem:
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 to Regina.
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 night)
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 exciting.
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.
FOR THE SKY
Brandon Man Chosen for the BCATP Film Project
Three great uncles passed through the BCATP and died in Europe during
Robin will re-enact their story in a 4-hour film documentary.
For the full story go to:
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,
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
If Bill is no longer with us we would like to contact his family.
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
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
|Frank Douglas Topper
Service Number R-69646
Enlisted July 1, 1940
Awarded Gunner's Badge
and presented Sargeant on Feb 17, 1941
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 the
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
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,” says Sisson.
These books would make wonderful Christmas gifts. We can identify with
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.
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
Canada Can$ 29.99
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
~ John Moyles
BOB HENDERSON, proprietor of HOME FRONT ARCHIVES & MUSEUM, generously
provided us with the following articles on “Sweetheart Pins” and “Japanese
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
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
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.
SASKATCHEWAN ENCOUNTERED A PORTION OF
JAPAN’S WORLD WAR 11 BALLOON BOMB ATTACK ON NORTH AMERICA
See Short Bursts page October 2002 and follow-up Nov. 2002 on this
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 recovered
|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
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 attachment.
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 border.
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
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 site.
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 dysentery.
(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
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 you.
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
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 this.
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
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 years.
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
“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 OF:
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 in existence!
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
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
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.airmuseum.ca/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 with Grandson)
John & Doreene.