Aysha and Callum Nesbitt place a rose on the
Grave site of Gordon Frost, Imperial Sask.
Veteran’s cemetery, New Delhi, India.
We live in New Delhi India and we attended the Remembrance Day Service
at the New Delhi War Cemetery this past weekend. It was a beautiful
day. There were a number of Canadians (living and working in New
Delhi) that attended the service with us. We were surprised
to learn that 17 Canadians are buried there - 15 of them having served
with the RCAF. The kids were each given roses to place on the
graves of the fallen Canadians.
It took us a couple of days but we finally got around to doing a Google
search on Gordon Frost. I can't tell you how surprised we were to come
across the April 2005 issue of Short Bursts to see a picture of Mr. Frost
and to learn that a lake had been named after him.
We know nothing about Mr. Frost but were moved by the moment and thought
you might like to see this picture.
I'm also attaching another picture with four other Canadian graves.
John, you will be pleased to know that it's a beautiful and very well kept
If you have time, would you be able to tell us something about your
friend, Mr. Frost? It would be very interesting for us to know something
about him. For example, why were they flying over New Delhi?
Where were they going and who shot him down? What was he doing in
Ceylon (Sri Lanka). This would be a tremendous learning
experience for all of us.
Did Mr. Frost have brothers and sisters? What was he like?
I would be happy to return to take more pictures of the cemetery if they
New Delhi, India
Ed. Gordon Frost and I were together during Manning Depot, guard
duty, wireless school, and bombing and gunnery. We received our WAG brevets
just prior to Pearl Harbour. Gordon was posted to Ferry Command and was
still with that Command when his Hudson aircraft crashed in Gurgeon, India
Nov. 27, 1943. I told the Nesbitts about Gordon and our training experiences.
Please note that the Nesbitts would like to contact any of Gordon’s
family. If any reader has this information, please advise.
It is interesting that, as they knew nothing of this RCAF Officer,
an internet search lead them to Short Bursts, April 2005 http://www.airmuseum.ca/mag/0504.html
Another interesting note about the power of our Newsletter. I received
a phone call in December, and a chap said, “John, this is Tommy Abbot.”
I nearly dropped the phone. Tommy was our Flight Engineer. The last time
I saw Tommy was June 1945. How did he track me down? A friend told him
of the Short Bursts Page.
This picture was taken in front of the old Toronto City Hall in the
spring of 1941. The parade was from Manning Depot.
If my memory is right, it was taken by an American. Possibly for a bond
drive. I am in the row closest to the camera, fourth in from the left.
There were also some chaps from the West. Honey Dew Bowles Lunch is
Interesting notes: The Police crowd control chaps are all facing
the crowd. Although the men in the parade were destined to be aircrew,
only one chap, in front, is wearing the white flash. Note the variance
of headgear. Some with wedge caps, others with Winter hats, affectionately
referred to as “piss pots”, airmen for the use of”. Not a bad ‘eyes right’
for a group of new recruits.
We thank John Ellis for his generous contribution to the CATP Museum.
CATP Museum Newsletter CONTACT Vol 21 Issue
the realization that the Museum was about to receive a vintage World War
II International fire truck earlier this year, an enterprising member found,
and purchased on Ebay on line auctions, an equally authentic magazine ad
of the same model of truck.
The truck, acquired in a trade agreement with one of our Manitoba Special
Theme museum sisters, is a veteran of another Commonwealth Air Training
Plan Base in Manitoba. After the war, it lived out its service life with
a local Municipal fire department and then was donated to the Manitoba
Agricultural Museum of Austin for which we traded one of our extra BCAPT
Crash Tenders for it.
John McNarry, came up with the idea of re-creating the picture. The opportunity
presented itself after the canteen ceremonies were completed. It
was a beautiful August day and, once a suitable telephone pole for the
background was found, our Harvard, the truck, and our Cornel, sitting in
for the ad’s background Harvard, were lined up. Six volunteers were pressed
into service as firemen. “On the alert at Airfields – Coast to Coast!”
– the 2006 version. Although not likely to be pressed into service
again any time soon, our 60+ year old fire truck is remarkably intact –
notice from the picture our truck still has the original siren (left front
fender) and spotlight (right hood near passengers seat).
August 26, 2006 – CATPM personnel (from driver left) Angus Sneesby,
Jim Tuffs, Phil Innes, Alan McNarry, George Scott, Stephen Hayter, recreate
the 1942 International ad.
Please note the request for wartime Station Newsletters.
From: Stuart & Diane Thickson email@example.com
Hi, I found your email through short bursts and was hoping you
would be able to point me in the right direction to gather info on my dad
who was in the RCAF from 1940-45.
His name was James Bruce Thickson. Service number R-59023,
His rank was flight sergeant. He was an engineer on Sunderland flying
boats. His brother C.T. Thickson was ground crew with 422 squadron.
I am wanting to know which squadron(s) he was with and where they
went and what they did. If you can shed any light on this, it would
Trying to Trace : Anyone
Service/Unit : #4 (C) OTU
Rank : Any
Year/s Of Service : WWII
Location of Service : Scotland
Other Information : Any information about the crash of Sunderland DD851
on 26 Nov. 1944. Any details about the crew members, cause of the crash
or any other relevant information. Also would like to contact any members
of #4 OTU during this period.
Name of Enquirer : Rhonda Gerber
Do you have any information which may assist, please contact :-
Direct at : firstname.lastname@example.org
Lost Comrades at email@example.com.
Dear Ms. Gerber,
I’m not sure when you posted the note above, but my father; WO1 Clare
Kinton, was the rear gunner on this Sunderland when it crashed. 11 RCAF
airmen were killed two miles northeast of the Invergordon railway station.
The plane crashed with a full load of fuel and depth charges when a connecting
rod on one of the engines broke, vibration tore the engine off the plane
and it was unable to get back to Cromarty Firth to land on the water. There
was a large explosion when it crashed and burned on the railway tracks.
The crew is buried in the air force section of Stonefall Cemetery in Harrogate.
Basic details of the crash are in the RCAF Memorial book to the 18,000
Canadians who were killed in service during World War 2. It also provides
the names, ranks and home towns of all the airmen. I have this information
at home and will forward it to you if you are still interested. I have
been in e-mail correspondence with the brother of one of the crew and have
additional information from the Heritage Society in Alness, including the
story of a crew switch between two Sunderlands. Initially RAF Alness believed
a different crew was killed however they had been stranded in the Hebrides
due to bad weather. They were greeted as ghosts when they finally returned.
I am only aware of one person who trained at Alness around that time,
Mr. John Moyles, who manages the “Short Bursts” section (which is dedicated
to air gunners) of the website (http://www.airmuseum.ca/mag)
at the Air Museum at Brandon, Manitoba.
My wife and I visited Alness and Invergordon in May 2006. The people
at the Heritage Society (http://www.ww2inthehighlands.co.uk/folders/localhistory/rafinvergord.htm
and www.alness.com ) were extremely
helpful in providing information and two rooms are dedicated to RAF Alness.
In addition, the BBC collected stories and one of the base COs provided
a three section history at the following link:
The gentleman who provided the information has his own website at: http://www.sandy90.com/war-memories.pdf.
I would of course be interested in any information that you may have
and would be happy to provide whatever information that I have gathered.
Obviously, you have some direct connection with this crash if your query
is any indication.
David Kinton firstname.lastname@example.org
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Hi John (and Stuart),
Attached is a copy of an article from the May 2006 issue of The Alness
& District Times that may be of some interest to your readers, provided
there are no copyright issues involved. Tim Baker of Wellington, New Zealand
supplied the information which had been dictated by his grandfather, F/O
Mervyn D. Cox, RNZAF. Unfortunately I do not have an address of Mr. Tim
Baker and Mrs. Joan Ross with the Alness Heritage Center has not replied
to two e-mails requesting this information. (One more attempt by copy e-mail
to the editor and Joan.) The people at the Heritage Center, notably Joan
and Wallace Ross, were incredibly hospital during our visit to Alness.
A number of volunteers work very hard there with limited funds and facilities.
Stuart Johnson from Winnipeg is the brother of F/O Garth B. Johnson
who was killed with my father when DD851 crashed on November 26, 1944.
He and his wife visited Stonefall Cemetery in Harrogate during May 2006,
probably earlier in the month than my wife and I, who were there during
the last week of the month.
Mr. Baker recognized his father in the photograph of the procession
(in the May issue) for the Sunderland crew that were killed in August 1944
and buried in the Roskeen Cemetery between Invergordon and Alness. The
Heritage Center made me a larger copy of another photograph of the funeral
procession and the airman marching in the front rank beside the truck carrying
some of the coffins appears to be my father. He was 6’ 1” or 6’ 2” so it
was possible he was “right marker” if I remember my marching drill correctly.
The rank carrying the wreaths in which F/O Cox appears somewhat further
back in the column.
I recently found my father’s log book among a number of boxes of my
mother’s, which we received when she moved into a nursing home earlier
this year. He had many hours in Stranraers and Cansos before switching
to Sunderlands at RAF Alness. There are no entries for the month of November
Thank you for the plug in the October 2006 issue of Short Bursts.
I'm developing a website dedicated to RCAF Station Centralia (wartime
and NATO years) along with RAF/RCAF Americans.
Go to: www.fydenchuk.ca
Wally Fydenchuk email@example.com
Hi, my name is Jennifer Lee, l'm from just outside Ottawa, On. my father
graduated as a Air gun fighter back in 1943 and as a gift his father gave
him an actual gold ring with an "wing" sort of plated on the top. he has
lost it! and I'm trying to find another one for him possibly for Christmas....
I realize they likely don't make them anymore but who knows in this day
and age?! Any help would be appreciated. Your web page is wonderful!
keep up the great work!
Thank you for your time,
Jennifer Lee firstname.lastname@example.org
Charley Yule email@example.com
I wonder if you would agree with me that it would be nice if we (SHORT
BURSTS) could show our support by spreading the word of "Halifax 57 Rescue
(Canada)" in our Newsletter and, perhaps, publishing his Progress Reports
(which now number 15, November 7/06) which includes #13A - rather than
just #13 - unlucky, you know.) This could be In Whole or In Part
and give you some 'filler',
In my small way I am trying to support him. I have purchased one
of the Limited Edition prints of LW170 'Invincible Item' (#180 or 500 prints),
had it framed and now arranging to have someone help me hang it in my dining
room. It looks quite impressive and those who have seen it ask, "what
it this all about" - and I am not too shy to tell them!!!
You can access the Web page at: www.57rescuecanada.com
and if you follow the links shown in the document it will take you to many
interesting sites. I am just waiting for the availability of the
Digital Encyclopedia of the Handley Page Halifax - 'HALIFAX B. Mk.III EXPLORED'
being product by Flyingzone Publication (Great Britain). It is a
tad 'pricey' - but I want it anyway! I don't have a bottomless
wallet, but I feel I must do what I can to help Karl - and the Halley was
Even my eldest daughter is now, after seeing the one at Trenton, has
become a Halifax supporter. When her friends learn that her father
flew in a bomber during WWII, they ask her, "In a Lancaster?" to which
she replies, "Bite your tongue!! It was a HALIFAX!" So, little
by little, and in my own way, I am gradually spreading the word about the
Halifax. Even if Karl is successful in bring LW170 to Nanton, I probably
won't be around to see it!! But then I thought the same thing about
NA337 which is now on display in Trenton!!!
Just today I came across your November 2004 magazine articles. They
are great. I hope this finds you both well. I have a story to tell and
I hope that you or your readers can fill in some of the blanks.
My wife Susan and I had the pleasure of travelling to Newfoundland this
past summer. While there I happened upon an antique shop where I found
an air force graduation photo of 38 gentlemen all smartly attired in their
uniforms. My Dad, a WW2 military policeman identified the photo as being
air force. On the reverse of the picture are 33 signatures. I decided then
and there to purchase the photograph and bring it home to find out what
happened to these men. The men were not neatly identified as shown in your
photo in the November 2004 issue so I don't know where the signatories
stand. I am also short on the five "unknowns".
I have begun the search and have found, unfortunately, several of the
men that I have found have since passed on. One man, Robert Hilliard Chisnell,
SGT. was an air gunner in a Wellington that went down during a night training
exercise in England. He was only nineteen.
The contacts I have made have come slowly but I am pressing on in the
hopes of completing this project by spring. I could use your help.
I believe that the photograph was taken at #2 Manning in Brandon in
late fall of 1942. Sgt. Chisnell's records supplied that information. By
the obituaries that I have found some of the men ended up as Pilot officers
and Captains which tends to make me think that after #2 the group split
and went their separate ways. If your readers can poke holes in that theory
I would love to hear from their experiences.
I include a copy
of both the front and back of the picture as well as my alphabetical listing
of the spelling as I see the signatures. You will also note that some 25
hometowns were listed as well.
My immediate goal is to see each man identified. At some point I would
also like to have a conversation with one or more of the men, to say hello
and to thank them for their efforts.
Names on Air Force picture
Hometown ~ Status ~ Military ID ~ Legion Branch
~ Death date ~ Age ~ Last rank
38 names 25 hometowns
Amey, Doug W.
Babaiau, G. A.
Fort William ON
Chisnell, Bob Z
Winnipeg St. Vital, MB KIA R186823 Aug18
1943 19 Sergeant, air gunner
Cole, Delbert *
Deceased R188210 Dr WC Little July13 '96 74 Unkn
Constantine, Jack Waseca,
Costley, L.J. Sgt.
Fawcett, W. J. *
Winnipeg Deceased Belleville
Feb13 '98 75 Captain
Gallagher, Howard Toronto ON
Hillock, Chas. A.
Law, Ernie Toronto
Lawrence, Jim *
Niagara Falls ON Deceased R264700 Niagara Falls
Jun 1, 92 67 LAC
Prociw, Morris *
Vila Mon Deceased Steinbach, MB Oct. 26, 04 Unkn
White, Frank Bala
* Denotes found in Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Z Denotes find in Legion.ca
I should have asked this question earlier but not
every thing clicks when it should. You mentioned in your reply that you
went through the Brandon Manning Depot in March of 1941. A few questions
if I may.
I will tell you why. In the above photograph there are 38 men but only
33 signatures. So I am hoping that the flight list, if it exists, can provide
me with the names of the missing five and one other whose name I cannot
Did you receive training at the depot?
What kind of training?
Did you have your picture taken with the group you were brought in with?
Was that picture taken at the beginning, middle or end of your time at
Do you remember any flight lists that you had to sign?
Was your flight given a letter or a number?
Was there an officer assigned to your flight and who would have appeared
in the picture?
Do you know where these flight lists might now be kept?
I know this stretches the memory back many years but if you can help
in any way it would be much appreciated.
Bob Cleaver firstname.lastname@example.org
1613 342 9095
1319 Cuthbertson Ave.,
Ed. The written record I recall was the civilian barber’s exercise
books where he had every airman write date, name, and hometown after getting
his initial hair cut. These stacks of books have been saved at CATP Museum
in Brandon, Man. Check with the Museum at email@example.com
I am a researcher for Australian Broadcasting Corporation program Can
We Help? which airs on Friday night at 6.30pm in Australia.
We have received a request from a lady to track down Gordon and Donald
Patterson and I note the late Gordon Patterson appears on your website.
I am hoping he may be the Gordon Patterson we are looking for.
The viewer has an identity disk belonging to Gordon and Donald's father,
Ed J Patterson a Canadian World War one serviceman. Her father met Ed Patterson
when seconded to the British army in Palestine. They remained good friends
for the duration of the war and at the end of the war exchanged identity
disks as memento of their friendship. The viewer is hoping to find a son
or grandson of Ed to return the identity tag.
The viewer remembered the names of the Ed's children (Gordon and Donald)
who both served in World War 2. One became a dentist the other an engineer.
I do not know if the Gordon Patterson mentioned on your website is Ed's
son but if you have contact with a relative or friend could you please
email them to find out if Gordon is the son of Ed J Patterson and if Donald
is still alive or Gordon's children would like to receive the identity
tag. Could they please contact me?
30 Fielder St
Perth WA 6004
Ph: (61 8) 92202951
Fax: (61 8) 92202545
Could you do us a favour and try to locate relatives of the late Gordon
Patterson. The letter from Juliet in Australia is self-explanatory.
The Short Bursts article on Gordon Patterson is in the Summer
Edition 2006 of
the newsletter. http://www.airmuseum.ca/mag/0606.html
Gordon became a graduate engineer after the war, ended up as a professor
at University of Saskatchewan
He passed away in 1994.
Cheers, John Moyles.
Bob Burnyeat lives in Saskatoon. Sk. If any reader knows of Gordon Patterson’s
family, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
or Bob Bob.Burnyeat@aodbt.com
Allan Coggon 1919 - 2006
It is with great sadness that I report the passing of Allan Coggon,
December 24, 2006.
Short Bursts reviewed two books written by Allan, WATCH AND WARN and,
FROM WINGS PARADE TO MANDALAY. A more detailed account of Allan’s service
career and his contribution to the Aircrew Association, the Canadian Aviation
Historical Society, and WWII history, will be published in the February
You will note the change in form and content of Short Bursts.
Please read the questions submitted by the “younger generation”. If you
can throw any light on their queries, contact them directly. It would
be appreciated if you could advise your Editor of any action taken so we
can gage feed-back to evaluate the newsletter.
Short Bursts has been publishing for 23 years and should have,
by now, convinced the world that it was the AGs and the WAGs who won the
air war during WW II.
(Now if that doesn’t get some static, nothing will.)
Member Fred Burnyeat has a new address; 314 Trent St.,
Saskatoon, Sk. S7H 4V5
Ph: (306) 931-7859
Members who were fortunate enough to fly in the Halleys, give Charley
Yule a shout to support his passion for the successful recovery of LW 170
from the Irish sea.
On November 11th. I phoned one of my WW II pilots. In response to my query,
‘how are you’, he replied, “Oh, I’m just hanging around waiting to croak.”
By his voice and the rest of our conversation, he sounded really depressed.
At our age, I guess it is easy to fall into the ‘Poor John’ syndrome. However
I was introduced to a program, Spiritual Cinema Circle, that deals with
the power of positive thinking. So if you ever get the Poor John
feeling, go to the site:
Become an affiliate. The videos will certainly re-charge your batteries.
They will also be enjoyed by your grandchildren.
Happy and healthy 2007 to all.
John and Doreene Moyles