MAY 2006

George (Ole) Olson
This photograph of a B25 gun turret was sent to me by Dave Poissant (son of Cy Poissant the last pilot I crewed up with and with whom I flew on several Ops). I flew on 48 Ops in a B25 turret so it brings back many memories, some of them not too pleasant. We carried approximately four hundred and fifty rounds for each of the Browning .50s and their rate of fire as I recall was just under a thousand rounds per minute which gave us about half a minute of continuous fire, so we fired in Short Bursts to conserve ammunition. A poem titled 'Ammunition Supply' is contained in my book 'No Place To Hide' .
          George (Ole) 
George Olson

NO PLACE TO HIDE by George Olson
ISBN 0-9687220-0-8
Loral Family Group
PO Box 4810
Edmonton, AB  T6E 5G6

CONTACT ~ Vol 21 Issue 2 ~ Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum Inc. 
An interesting piece of history of which many are not aware.
Ceremony Brings Air Training Plan to End of Task.
Ottawa March 31, 1945. Air Minister Gibson speaking at a unique ceremony marking the end of the Commonwealth Air Training Plan, said Thursday that the “Great Force” with which the Allied airmen are striking at the Germans has brought the complete destruction of the enemy in Europe immediately before us. 

Col. Gibson was speaking at the wings parade of the last 50 graduates of the big Plan. The last of a stream of 150,000 graduates, they received their wings at nearby Uplands Air Station Thursday afternoon in ceremonies attended by the Governor General, representatives of the Cabinet, the armed forces and the Diplomatic Corps.

The ceremonies were marred by the fact that a number of high ranking British Air Officials scheduled to have taken part were reported Wednesday to be missing after their plane, the famed Liberator Commando, crashed en route to Canada.
They included Cmdr. Rupert Brabner, Under Secretary of State for Air, Sir John Abraham, Deputy Under Secretary of State for Air, and Air Marshal Sir Peter Drummond, Air Council Member for Training.

Winston Churchill inspecting The Plan. The other gentleman might be Powers, Minister in charge of CATP. It is reasonable to speculate that, when Winston was around, fire extinguishers were at the “ready”.

At the time the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan was signed in December 1939 by representatives from Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, the Royal Canadian Air Force consisted of 4,000 airmen and women. By the end of 1943, enlistment reached 250,000.

Aircrew from the above mentioned countries and many other Commonwealth countries received training under The Plan. Canada was chosen as the training country because of its favourable climate and isolation from the dangers of enemy activity.

The Plan was referred to by Sir Winston Churchill as Canada’s greatest contribution to the allied victory, and referred to by President Roosevelt as the “Aerodrome of Democracy”.


This 1940 Spotter’s Log contains many pages of information and diagrams on methods of identification, visual and sound spotting, including sky charting and cloud formations, with space for recording the Spotter’s Log, and blanks for new aircraft types.
With Pencil, One Shilling and Sixpence          Published by Charles Petts & Co
                                                                        Diary House, London, S.E.1
Autograph on the flyleaf reads Bill Waterworth.
The book illustrates aircraft, friendly and enemy, complete with silhouettes, that occupied English skies in the 1940s.

It goes into great detail on how to identify, speed, and direction of aircraft, both by VISUAL contact and BY SOUND. It is the latter which is interesting.

Sound from aircraft is produced by (1) the air-screw, (2) passage of the machine through the air, (3) the engine. The manoeuvre of the machine will vary each and all of these. The resulting sound is therefore not constant. Experience will help distinguish (1) the heavy bet of the loaded bomber, (2) the constant drone of the fighter, (3) the “popping” of a light trainer, but not between hostile and friendly aircraft. All twin-engine aircraft, hostile or friendly, produce an intermittent drone. Note also, two single engine aircraft flying together produce the same effect. 

At ground level sound travels at approximately 750 m.p.h., or one mile in 5 seconds. 
360 m.p.h. – 1 mile in 12 seconds. 300 m.p.h. – 1 mile in 12 seconds.
260 m.p.h. – 1 mile in 14 seconds.

The text sets out in great detail, how to determine wind strength. 
10 m.p.h. Light breeze, Light flag extended, leaves and twigs in motion.
20 m.p.h. Mod. Breeze Dust raised, loose papers blown about. It continues to high wind at 30 m.p.h.

The direction from which sounds emanate can be best judges by “balancing” the sound evenly upon both ears. The range of sound is affected by the wind. A favourable wind has the affect of throwing the sound waves downwards, thus increasing its range. An adverse wind throws the sound waves upwards, decreasing its range. On a night of hard frost, it has been known for highflying aircraft to be heard 20 miles away. Clouds can both reduce range and alter direction by refraction of sound waves. Ground noises must also be allowed for.

These are instructions Air Raid Wardens and volunteers had to become familiar with in their day-to-day duties, The book covers many more wartime subjects such as, first aid to air raid casualties; how to set up a roof observation post; enemy parachutists uniforms and weapons.

We thank Robert Henderson, proprietor of HOMEFRONT ARCHIVES & MUSEUM
For the loan of this note book         Ph. (306) 543-5822 

David Scott Fraser - A WAG with a very interesting and unusual story.

David Fraser was born in Glasgow, Scotland on September 14, 1919.  He emigrated to Canada in 1921 with his Mother and two sisters.  He enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air force in  Calgary, Alberta in 1940  and had high hopes of becoming a pilot. His hopes were to be dashed however.  He began his career at No.2 Manning Depot in Brandon, Manitoba where he was selected for training as a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner.  The next part of the journey is one followed by many a young aircrew trainee, No.2 Wireless School in Calgary, Alberta, No 2 Bombing and Gunnery School at Mossbank, Saskatchewan and then overseas to Bournemouth in the UK. 

Like all aircrew he was anxious for a posting to a flying unit but in January, 1942 he found himself on board the passenger liner Louis Pasteur which had been converted to carry 7000 troops.  Dave, and approximately 300 aircrew, were bound for Egypt to serve as Wireless Operators on aircraft being ferried from Europe to Singapore.  The Mediterranean Sea was a dangerous body of water thanks to the Kreigsmarine and the Luftwaffe so they were forced to travel the long way around the southern tip of Africa.   They sailed in a 22 ship convoy and the trip took two months.  On March 06, 1942 the Pasteur off loaded her passengers at an Egyptian port on the Red Sea. 

Dave and his companions were transported to Kasfareet  a Royal Air Force transit camp 120 kilometres south of Cairo where they spent the next 3 1/2  months in a dusty tent city .  The Japanese had by this time captured Singapore so the job of ferrying aircraft to that locale was cancelled.  There was now the problem of what to do with 300 surplus WAGs.  "We volunteered to do anything , drive trucks, handle supplies, anything" says Dave.  One by one the WAGs were transferred to operational units until only 24, including  Dave, remained.  They were awakened early one morning and told that they were being sent to a Canadian squadron, good news indeed.  They loaded their gear in a truck, climbed on board, and were driven north along a road that paralleled the Suez Canal. .When they arrived at the Canadian squadron disappointment overtook them.  The squadron was equipped with Hawker Hurricanes and had no need for WAGs, so they turned around and headed back towards Kasfareet. 

On the return trip they passed an airstrip lined with USAAF (United States Army Air Corps) B- 25 Mitchell medium bombers. .  The RAF driver was reluctant to stop so they threw him out and took over the truck.  The airstrip was home to 434 Squadron of the USAAF  and the Commanding Officer, Major George Gutru, was curious about his unexpected visitors.  They explained to him that they were RCAF Wireless Operators and unemployed at the moment.  The Major was excited at this bit of news and invited them to lunch, pork and beans, Spam, white bread and coffee, much better fare than they had been used to these past few months.  They told the Major of their posting problems and of their desire to be employed at their trade, he in turn told them of his problem.   The radio Operators on his squadron didn't know British wireless procedures and couldn't identify themselves to the troops on the ground. Whenever they flew over British positions they were fired on, a very dangerous situation.  It would appear that aircraft identification was not a high priority with the 8th. Army.  Dave Fraser and his companions knew the proper procedures of course and they suggested that they fly with the B-25 crews on their operational sorties.  The CO was more than happy to accept this offer and the Canadians moved in to the USAAF camp.  The camp was a paradise apparently, good food, folding cots, pillows and even mosquito netting, something unknown at Kasfareet.  There was some question regarding pay, however, they had their Pay Books and a visit to the nearest British Paymaster would result in them being paid in cash.  This, of course, is what they did.

This band of Canadians had arrived at a pivotal time in the Desert war. The Battle of El Alamein began on October 23, 1942 and Dave had a front row seat.  His position in the aircraft,  just behind the bomb bay, came complete with a window.  It was like looking down at a table top with toy tanks and vehicles scattered about is how Dave described it.  Throughout the campaign the B-25s operated between 5000 feet and 8000 feet and that made them easy targets for German flak and the Canadians began to take casualties.  Three aircraft were shot down and one Canadian was killed and two became POWs. 

Dave's aircraft didn't escape unscathed, on one operation an 88mm shell tore a hole in the fuselage, the dinghy flew out of its storage and wrapped itself around the fin and rudder.  They flew back to Base with the dinghy flapping in the slipstream. On April 06, 1943 they suffered severe damage from flak, the instruments and radio ceased to function and one engine began to fail.  The hydraulic system was damaged with the result that the bomb bay doors remained open.  Hearing a cry for help Dave went forward through the open bomb bay and found two injured crewmen.  The Co-pilot came back with the first aid kit and he and Dave attended to the two injured crewmen.  The Co-pilot then returned to the cockpit to assist in flying the aircraft.  With no hydraulics Dave and the Gunner had to crank the undercarriage down by hand.  On reaching Base the Pilot, Captain Carl Killian, had to make the initial landing on two wheels because one tire had been blown out by shrapnel. The two wounded crewmen survived their injuries and were repatriated to the U.S.A. 

The squadron moved to Sicily where Montgomery's 8th. Army was moving north from Catania toward Messina.  Things were getting better for the Canadians, on days when they were not flying, they would borrow a Jeep, pick up some Canadian nurses from No.5 General Hospital near Catania and spend a pleasant day in the country. They had informed the authorities where they were and what they were doing and they were advised to report to the nearest RAF Base when the USAAF was finished with them. 

During this time Dave had acquired a small white puppy which he Christened "Muggs".  The pup accompanied Dave on seven operations lying on his personal towel on the floor near the ROs seat.  On one trip, when the flak began to shake the aircraft, Muggs got up off his towel and, with tail wagging, walked over to Dave.  At that moment a shell fragment came through the floor of the aircraft and tore through the towel.  The pup licked Dave's hand then went back to the torn towel to lie down. Do dogs have a 6th. sense?  We wonder. 

In September, 1943 Dave had completed the required tour of 50 operations for B25 crews.  He packed his bags and headed for Egypt where he was booked on a troopship to Canada.  He was discharged from the RCAF on October 23, 1945 and married the love of his life, Dorothy on December 08, 1945.   He worked in finance throughout his career on civy street and became National Credit Manager for Western Supplies limited until his retirement in 1984.  He and Dorothy spent 12 years on Vancouver Island fishing, gardening, and enjoying the company of friends. In 1999 they returned to Edmonton, Alberta to be close to family.  Dave joined the local Ex-Air Gunners Association in 2002 after getting an invitation from Svend Jensen.  He was a regular at the monthly luncheons and other functions and quickly made many new friends. 

On February 04, 2006 Dave and Dorothy flew down to Mexico for a vacation with Dave's sister and her husband.  This was the second such holiday in two years and was to celebrate their 60 years of happy marriage.  On the morning of February 11, Dave suffered a massive heart attack and passed away at the age of 86.  The local Air gunners were well represented at a reception in his honour at his home on February 25, 2006.  We shall miss him at the table and his big smile as he, once again, won the 50-50 draw. 

Westlawn Memorial Garden in West Edmonton is constructing a Veterans Memorial Wall, their Year of the Veteran project, and the name David Scott Fraser will be on it alongside many other young men who volunteered to serve their country in time of need. 

The information in this article was supplied by Dorothy Fraser and we are most grateful to her for sharing it with us. 

Ted Hackett

Biography: Earle Stewart Rheaume RCAF 431 (Iroquois) Squadron.

Earl Rheaume
On February 20, 1914 my dad was born in Ottawa Ontario, to Lillian and Eddie Rheaume.

Dad attended Devonshire Public School, where he was awarded the Certificate of Honour, after completing his third year in 1926-27.  Dad graduated with honours, from Glebe Collegiate in 1932.

Dad met his later to be wife, at a Saturday evening church dance.  Dad asked the then, Dorothy Ristow for a dance, she agreed, and they danced together, the remainder of the evening. 

Their courtship eventual led them to elope and marrying in a civil ceremony on January 31, 1936. Their two best friends attended. The four celebrated with dinner, drinks and dancing.

Those were the depression years where rationing, unemployment and tough times touched most families, including dad and moms.

Dad would take on any employment that he could find. He was happy to do so, and worked at the Clark Dairy Limited and later the Ferris Transfer.

Their first son Graham, was born on August 10th 1936 at the Salvation Army Grace Hospital. Graham died at 4 ½ years, of End Stage Nephritis, on March 23rd 1941.

I (Earle) their second son, was born some three months later, on June 27th also at the Salvation Army Grace Hospital.

Dad’s last time with son Earl  ~  Dad’s Prayer Book 

Dad applied for enlistment in the RCAF on November 28, 1940. He met all qualifications for Aircrew duties – either as a Pilot, Observer or Wireless Operator Air Gunner. He enlisted in June 1941, receiving his training at No. 1 Wireless School at Montreal; Manning Pool, Toronto; Camp Borden and Fingal, where he received his air gunner’s wing in June 1942. He arrived overseas one month later joining up with RCAF Squadron 431 (Iroquois).

June 12 1943 at 2:45 AM – Wellington HE 392 Crashed:
While returning to home base at Burn Yorkshire, England, from a bombing raid on Dusseldorf, Earl and his four crew members aboard their Wellington HE 392 bomber, were attacked by a German Night Fighter. The Wellington was last seen in flames and diving toward the earth. It crashed on the land of Mr. Komen at Schagen Netherlands.

The remains of only one of the five-member crew was recovered and buried the same day: Dad (Grave #183, Row 10, in Petten, District Zype). The bodies of the other four-crew members were not recovered. 

Royal Netherlands Air Force Aircraft Recovery Team (ARG):
On September 10, 1991 the Royal Netherlands Air Force Aircraft Recovery Team (ARG) began carrying out excavations at the crash site, and discovered the remains of the four missing crew.

Together again after fifty years:
On June 16, 1993 a full military funeral honours, including British, Netherlands and Canadian military and officials, reunited the four-crew members with my dad, after fifty years of separation.

L C Scott Flt/Lt. CHAPLAIN:
“I knew the whole of this crew well, as it is my custom to see them off at night and very often meet them on their return in the morning.

Earl,  I knew particularly well, as he very often played the piano for me at my church services and was always very ready and willing to do so. Also his gift for playing the piano was a valuable asset to us here, both in the Concert party and also at dances”.

Members of the crew of Wellington HE 392
Squadron Leader W E Mulford  RAF  (Pilot)
Flying Officer C A MacDougal  RCAF  (Navigator)
Warrant Officer 11 J G Breen  RCAF  (Bomb Aimer)
Flight Sergeant E S Rheaume  RCAF  (Air Gunner)
Sergeant J R Bell   RAF(VR) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)

Earle Rheaume
See More of the Earle Rheaume RCAF Bio in the May 2006 edition of Bill Hillman's As You Were . . .

Through the Rear View Mirror
by Charley Yule 
Charley Yule 192 Squadron, 100 Group
During our FINAL NATIONAL REUNION held in Edmonton in the fall of 2000, when the decision was made to disband, quite a change took place in my involvement with the Association. Having served as Founding Member from it’s inception in 1983, as well as acting as Secretary/Treasurer and sometimes Editor of our Newsletter, it was a bit difficult to dis-associate myself from the Ex Air Gunner’s Association. There was also a big change in my health, but once I returned to my home and, with the aid of a good doctor, doing my best to follow his advice I have now made it to 2006 and am doing not too badly, but began to feel ‘old’!

It was with a great deal of pride and satisfaction that 17 years after the formation of our Association - we could claim that 1267 former Air Gunners and Wireless Air Gunners who had served during WWII on Squadrons in the RAF and RCAF had taken the step to become members of our group. This number included those from former Commonwealth countries, many of whom trained in Canada as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. It also included volunteers into the RCAF of citizens of the United States of America, prior to that countries entry into WWII (two years after it began). These individuals felt that standing up to the Axis powers to keep them and their ideals out of our part of the world, was a worthwhile endeavour.

Of course, at that time, many in North America felt safe in their beds with the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans standing between them and the continents of Europe and Asia - but in today’s world this has proven to be false security!!!
Having become a widower in 1994, I sold my home and property near Pine Falls, Manitoba and, in 1997, moved into the thriving metropolis of Winnipeg, Manitoba to become an Apartment dweller.

My only commitment to the Newsletter now, aside from reading it, is to act as ‘Obituary Writer’ for any former members of our Ex Air Gunner’s Association whose passing has been made known to me. 
PLEASE NOTE: I need your help in this regard! 

You can contact me using the following means: 
Surface/Air Mail: 1113 - 70 Whellams Lane, Winnipeg, MB   R2G 2G8;
by Phone - (204) 254-6264; or via Computer E-Mail at:

Through the use of the Original Membership Application Forms (which I have retained as past Secretary/Treasurer of our Association, and treat as Historic Documents), plus using any information provided by the family or informant, I attempt to produce a suitable (hopefully) Obit. Other than that I just sit back and wait for John Moyles and Bill Hillman to churn out the next Edition of our Electronic Newsletter: SHORT BURSTS.

Since disbanding in 2000 some of us (notably Doug Penny and John Moyles for starters) decided to try establishing a Website on the World Wide Web of the Computer Age Network, with the idea of trying to keep in touch with our former members as well as anyone else in any part of the world who might be interested, and who had access to a computer.

The help of the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum, Inc., in Brandon, Manitoba as well as Bill Hillman, whose expertise was key, was sought and obtained - and so began the Ex Air Gunner’s Internet Version of our Newsletter, "SHORT BURSTS" - (Air Gunner Training stressed: Conserve Ammunition: Make only ‘Short Bursts’).

on the Internet, using the following address:

I have followed Karl Kjarsgaard’s exploits in the raising of the Halifax MkVII, NA337 from a Norwegian Lake with great interest, and attended (in the company of one of my two daughter’s) the Dedication Ceremony of this re-assembled aircraft at Trenton (Ontario) CFB in November 2005.

I also attended the ‘Tribute to Air Gunners Day’ held at the Museum in Nanton, Alberta in the fall of 2004. On this occasion I was happy to be accompanied by both of my daughters who happen to be residents of that province. This turned out to be one of the largest turnouts of the Museum’s annual Fund Raising activities over the past several years. It was fun, and I was delighted reconnect with many of our former members and Airforce friends and also to learn that another Halifax Bomber (LW170) may have been located in the Irish Sea. Karl is presently following up on the possible recover of this aircraft.

If successful it is anticipated this machine will become part of the display at the Nanton (Alberta) Museum.

We are now in our SIXTH YEAR of publishing the Electronic version of SHORT BURSTS, and know that a cord has been struck with many of our former members - as well as many others in the mysterious world of the Internet, who have been seeking information about their family members who had served but had either perished in the war or had left no details of their time spent in wartime service. John does his best to try to help in this regard - sometimes with success and sometimes without.

We would encourage your support of this venture by keeping our EDITOR, JOHN MOYLES, happy by spreading the word to your friends and comrades and anyone else who might be interested in viewing the Web Page. Tell them to send articles (suitable for printing) to John!! He needs input from all of us to keep SHORT BURSTS current and interesting!! So put on the old ‘thinking cap’ and put Pen to Paper!!! Send your articles to JOHN MOYLES: (Address Shown in SHORT BURSTS).

Voluntary monetary contributions (small and LARGE) to assist the Brandon Museum with the cost of maintaining the Website and continuing the other work they do, are always welcomed (details of how this is possible are available with each issue). Back Issues, beginning in March 2001, are also available ‘on line’.

LEST WE FORGET’ (slogan of the Royal Canadian Legion) and ‘NEVER AGAIN’ (slogan of the War Amps) may seem to be an almost impossibility when one reads the Daily News Journals and tunes into the Radio and TV!! BUT - We Must Live In Hope!! Perhaps our stories will help to bring this into reality!!! From ‘little acorns, etc, etc’.

Well done good and faithful servant. 
What can one say about the man who started it all. 
A collective handshake from All the Members of our Ex-Ags Association. 
Thanks, Charley.


THE BAND OF BROTHERS, a future book to watch for.
Dear John Moyles, as you did an excellent review on Reg's first book The One Hundreth Airman, I thought I would keep you posted regarding his next book - The Band of Brothers due out later this year. Reg now has a web-site:
Kind regards, his niece, Janet Stead

Reg & his co-author Murray Straker 
at one of their book signings 

THIS BAND OF BROTHERS should not be dismissed as just one more book on World War II. In essence it is not a war story at all but rather a moving account of the lives of four young men affected by, and set against, the events of a war not of their choosing. 

Sons of English immigrant farmers the boys grew up on the Saskatchewan prairies of western Canada yet retained strong family ties with relatives in the Mother Country. In 1940, with Britain on its knees and along against the might of the Third Reich, the eldest of the Lodington Smiths enlisted in the Canadian Air Force inspired by a moral sense of honour and duty. His brothers followed as they became of age and in all three joined the Air Force and the youngest the Royal Canadian Navy. Sadly two of the boys paid the ultimate price. 

In scope the story covers every theatre of the war from that of Europe to the Middle and Far East and finally to the Pacific, and includes an insight into the indignity of prisoner of war life and even the horrors of death marches. The book is essentially a testament to the indomitableness of the Human Spirit. 

Thoroughly researched and factually written it is a true story as gripping as any thriller novel and not a book easily put down until its end. It is a very good read and will be enjoyed by Veterans, history buffs, and all who delight in a well-told tale. 

Authored by Canadians Reg Stead and Murray Straker this is their second book on the theme of heroism based on World War II experiences. For those who have read their "The One Hundredth Airman", this is another treat equally entertaining and readable. 

The One Hundredth Airman was reviewed the January 2003 Short Bursts Page. Check archives for full coverage. It is an excellent read. 

THIS BAND OF BROTHERS is expected to be released in the Fall of 2006. Copies may be ordered through this website:



I read an interesting book on the life of a Manitoba boy who wanted to fly.
It goes down memory lane as he grew up in the 20's and 30's, including the Depression, and into the war years.  He survived #6 Bomber Command and after the war returned to peace time service.
The soft cover is titled "Nickel Trip" as told by Flt/Lt. K.C.C. Bird to his son, reporter/writer Brad Bird.  Published by Pemmican Publishers Inc. (2004).
Since it goes into great detail about places and people it is a trip down memory lane to those who served in the same areas.
C. T. (Clare) Cove
415 Squadron, Eastmoor, Yorkshire.
Ex-Air Gunners Assoc. Wpg, MB.

Good afternoon John. 
I forgot to mention to you that I knew Al Gauthier in Rockcliffe sometime in 1947. I was able to send his son and daughter-in-law a couple of photographs taken at that time.  They said they were photos that they had not seen before.   If I remember correctly Al was at Yellowknife with No.4 Detachment of 414 (Photo) Squadron.  I think he took my place one day when I was "grounded" after having a tooth extracted.  I should get in touch with them again and find out what happened to Al. 

This was in response to a family request for information on Al Gauthier;

Both Svend and I have some material on some of our members that might make a good story or article for an issue.  I'm going to meet with him this week sometime. 

Dear John

I had posted an enquiry re the blister gunner position on the Halifax. After much digging I have talked to several veterans of Halis who say that when the M/U turret was removed the redundant gunner would take up a position on a mattress on the floor of the a/c and look through a Perspex blister or Cupola and keep a watch out for night fighter attacks from below. This was purely a look out position and no weapon was fitted. Later on the MKIIIs of course some were fitted with Mid Under guns.

Peter W. Cunliffe, researcher UK


Saturday, April 22, 2006 5:55 AM
Progress Report No. 12

Dear Members and Supporters,

Please note that the new Progress Report No.12 is now out.
 Please check out our website to read this. 

Do not forget to look at our website feature called Forum which is where all Halibag fans go if they have any questions about Halifax and Halifax history. Many interesting topics there.

Best wishes,
Karl Kjarsgaard
Project Manager
Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada) 

Halifax 57 Rescue (Canada)
Dedicated to preserving the Halifax and its international heritage and actively raising the financial support, 
through corporate and public sponsorship, to find and recover Halifax LW170. 
Limited Edition Signed Prints of LW170 - 
"Invincible Item"

See the video of the recovery of Halifax NA337
Produced by DunrobinCastle Entertainment

LW170 Recovery Phase I 
Finding LW170  ~  Progress Reports

#12 Combat History

Halifax 57 Rescue 
Credentials ~ Membership ~ Forum ~ Contact us ~ Links

"Bless You, Brother Irvin" 


RCAF U.S. Volunteers

Memorial Day Tribute: 
American patriot - Canadian warrior

Sopwith Camel WWI
“Oh those daring young men in their flying machines”
Why this picture?
Younger readers look at WWII aircraft as though the machines preceded the Dinosaur.
The same way we viewed WWI machines.
 Picture submitted by Ted Hackett

Editor’s Report

A big thank you to those who contributed to this Page and made it possible.

We will put out a June Short Bursts Page and then take a holiday July and August. Hope to be back in September. At this stage we take it a month at a time.

Consider assisting those seeking information in our Correspondence section. Also take time to send in memories and anecdotes for future Short Bursts Pages. Without your support we cannot go to press. Don’t forget to pass the hat for our benefactor. Send contributions directly to: 

CATP Museum Inc. 
Box 3, Grp. 520, RR5, 
Brandon, MB   R7A 5Y5 
Phone: (204) 727-2444
We will see you in June. 
Keep well.
John & Doreene Moyles – Editors.


Immediately after completing highschool Dave enlisted in the RCAF as R181945 and was selected for pilot training and posted to EFTS #15 in Regina.  After some training on Tiger Moths he was re-assigned for Air Gunner Training which commenced at #3 B&G at MacDonald, MB were he earned his Gunner Brevet.

Posted overseas, he took crewed up and began flying with his crew at #16 OTU Barford St. John on Wellingtons, following which they were posted to #1654 Conversion Unit at Wigsley flying Sterlings.  They then attended LFS #5 converting to Lancasters before being posted to #49 Squadron (RAF #5 Group) at Fiskerton in Lincolnshire where he completed a tour of 28 Operational Trips as a Rear Gunner, commencing July 7th, 1944 and finishing on December 12th or the same year.

Dave became commissioned as J93094 eventually reaching the rank of Flight Lieutenant, and returned to Canada following VE Day.

As a civilian he had a varied working career before rejoining the military with the PPCLI (permanent Force) and became a Paratrooper.  Following his retirement from that endeavor he became a Finishing Carpenter and was employed by the RCMP.

His passion for painting led him to expressing his wartime experiences in the turret of a Lancaster but this, sadly, was cut short by the onset of Lou Gerhig's Disease when his arms became disabled.

Born June 15th, 1922 in Saskatoon, Charlie enlisted in the RCAF while attending Grade 12.  Selected for Air Gunner training he attended #7 ITS at Edmonton following which he completed his training at Bombing and Gunnery School before being posted overseas in 1942 where he was assigned to 158 Squadron, RAF 4 Group as a rear gunner on Halifax Bombers.

On April 16th, 1943 Charlie was on his 13th Mission when his aircraft was shot down over Germany.  That particular mission suffered heavy losses involving 55 aircraft in total.  He was captured and imprisoned by the Germans as a POW for over two years.  He was on the Long March with the German Army, fleeing the advancing Russian Army when he was liberated by a lone British Officer in 1945.

He was commissioned as J96418 and returned to Canada where he completed his Grade 12 in Saskatoon.  Following that he enrolled in the College of Agriculture at the University of Saskatchewan in 1946 where he met his future wife, Irene Olson.  In the fall of 1948 he transferred to the Ontario Veterinary College to pursue his childhood dream of becoming Veterinarian.  Charlie and Irene eloped and were married in November of 1949.

He graduated in 1954 and moved to Regina (where his favorite football team was located) and opened and successfully ran the Regina Veterinary Clinic.

Regional Meetings

Southern Ontario Chapter
Royal Canadian Legion
Wilson Branch 527
948 Sheppard Avenue West
We meet the first Wednesday of each month at the Legion hall 1:00 pm. 
No meetings July, August, September.
Contact persons: 
Ken Hill  ~  President ~  905.789.1912
Bill Milne,  Secretary,
392 St. Clements Ave., 
Toronto, Ont. M5M 1M1 

Location - Royal Canadian Legion Br.#4 St. James Legion.
Date - Third Thursday of each month.
Time - Luncheon meeting (provide your own lunch).
Contact Member - Charlie Yule Ph. (204) 254-6264.

Northern Saskatchewan
Location - Lynx Wing Ave. C North, Saskatoon.
Date - Third Monday of the month.
Time - Luncheon meetings.
Contact Member - C.A. "Smokey" Robson  Ph. (306) 374-0547.

Northern Alberta Branch
Location - Norwood Branch 178, 11150 – 82 Street, Edmonton, AB
Date -  The first Thursday of each month.
Time - 12:00 hours.
Contact Members - E. H. "Ted" Hackett (780)962-2904
or Sven Jensen (780)465-7344.

Southern Alberta
Location - Royal Canadian Legion  #264 
Kensington, Calgary
Date: Second Monday of each month.
Time - 11:30 hours.
October meeting time moved to third Monday. 
Also there are no meetings in July and August, however, 
a Barbecue is usually held  at Larry Robinson's ranch in Okatoks during that time.

Contact Person and President
Larry Robinson 
Box 179
Okotoks, AB   T0L 1T0
(403) 938-4105

British Columbia Branch 
Meeting time and local: 2nd Tuesday of each month at 11:30 
Firefighters Social & Athletic Club, 
6515 Bonsor Avenue, 
Burnaby, B.C. V5H 3E8 
Super eating facilities 
Contact person - Dave Sutherland       Ph. 604-431-0085 

Members across the Country are encouraged to 
send current information regarding 
regular meeting places, dates, and Contact Members, to

John and Doreene Moyles, 
Ste. 233 - 1060 Dorothy St., 
Regina, Sask.     S4X 3C5  CANADA
Ph. (306) 949-6112


Members are requested to send their experiences, articles, anecdotes, pictures, etc., to John Moyles and I will forward them to our Web Master in Brandon. Articles and Last Post items will be deleted from the page each month after the designated Member in each region has had an opportunity to copy the material for their Members. Notices of deceased Members are to be sent to Charlie Yule who is still our 'Keeper of the Rolls'. 

This is your SHORT BURSTS with no printing or mailing costs, and no deadlines! The Brandon Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum has agreed to host our AG page. However, as it costs the Museum $35.00 per month to maintain the Web Page, it is suggested that each Ex-AG group contribute periodic donations to the Museum to help off-set this expense, and to enhance the work they are doing. 

We thank our Web Master, Bill Hillman, for his volunteer time and expertise.

Donations can be made directly to: 

CATP Museum Inc.
Box 3, Grp. 520, RR5,
Brandon, MB   R7A 5Y5
 Phone: (204) 727-2444

Read Them All The Way Back To March 2001

Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum

Visit Our WWII Nostalgia Online e-Zine 
and Past Issues Archive at:
As You Were: Contents
Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum: RCAFHMCS Prince Robert: Hillman WWII Scrapbook - RCNXII Dragoons - 26 RCA Museum

Volunteer Webmaster: William G. Hillman
41 Kensington Crescent
Brandon, MB  R7A 6M4
 © 2008 Bill Hillman and Ex-Air Gunners Association