Bill Hillman Presents
Compiled by Bill Hillman
Wherein we share an eclectic assortment of items gleaned from the
Internet, media and contributing readers.
Please send your ideas and contributions to the
As You Were Editor & Webmaster: Bill Hillman
CATP Museum in the News
Brandon Sun ~ Friday, September 13, 2007
BRANDON, Manitoba - Ross Robinson of B.A. Robinson Lighting, Winnipeg has kindly lent his Harvard MK IV for display in our museum hangar.  This beautiful period aircraft has been painted in Royal Air Force camouflage colours. It will be on display for over a week until September 22.

Note: Many of the following letters were forwarded to the main offices of CATP Museum
where Director Stephen Hayter and the museum volunteers have sought out answers to the queries.

Subject: Old Wartime Photo
I was really pleased to see that you have commemorated James Gordon Hillman's life with a website. I see you've created loads of other websites - I am very impressed.
Anyway, my reason for writing: my wife, Jean Hazledine is Bud Emerson's niece - her mother, Betty was Bud's sister. It was amazing to see those pictures of Bud that we'd never seen before. I've enclosed some photos that you may be interested in. Feel free to use them on your website: the first is a portrait of Bud in his uniform; the second shows Bud's grave that we took in 1998 in a cemetery south of Munich; the third is a group photo taken in 1943. Bud is seventh from the right in the top row. I have a feeling that James may be at bottom, third from right. Can you confirm?
I too am a guitarist, owning two Strats, a Les Paul and a couple of acoustics. Although Jean and I lived for seven years in western Canada (1999-2006), we now live back in the U.K. in East Anglia.
Kinds regards, 
Martin Page

Subject: P/O Albert Dorey
I have just come across the museum site and have taken the virtual tour.  What a fantastic job.  My sincere thanks for the work you have done in not only commemorating those who gave their lives for us, but also for the work in the museum and the web site.
My Dad, P/O Albert Dorey, was at #2 Manning Depot from February-April 1943, and again from May-June 1943.  In his personal effects was a class photo from March 29, 1943.  He fortuitously wrote the names and home city for most of the fellows on the back.  Unfortunately, my Dad was one of those who never came back.

Marg Liessens

Monday, March 29, 1943 at No-2 M. Depot Brandon, Manitoba

Back Row from left: 1 Gibson, Winnipeg; 2 Downs, London; 3 Leroux, Windsor; 4 Abar, Flin Flon; 5 Bremmer, Brussels; 6 Logan, Kenora; 7 Mackie, Kenora; 8 Burroughs, Brantford; 9 Dube, Fort Francis; 10 Ball

3rd Row from left: 1 Balsham; 2 Vine; 3 Gould, Winnipeg; 4 Cory; 5 Sgt. Maday, PEI; 6 Macmillan, Winnipeg; 7 MacQueen; 8 Chalk, Woodstock; 9 Boon; 10 Taylor

2nd Row from left: 1 Malioux; 2 Seaman; 3 McCoy, Fort Francis; 4 Dix, Fergus; 5 Lawrence, Chatham; 6 Hyatt, Devlin; 7 Hoar, Kenora; 8 McIntyre; 9 Ponting; 10 Dorey, London; 11 Crow; 12 Wildgoose

1st Row from left: 1 Corrigan, Rainy River; 2 Brown; 3 Domas; 4 Burgess; 5 Adair; 6 Cassan, Flin Flon; 7 Worram; 8 Alexander, Winnipeg


Subject: Sgt. Bernard H. White
My name is Bob White and I am emailing you in the hopes that you might be able to help me in my quest to find some information on my late father Sgt Bernard H White who was a wireless operator/air gunner with the RAF during the war from 1940 right to the end of the war. I know that he was in 78 squadron for some time and that he did his training at Jarvis no 1 bombing and gunnery school in 1941. I know that a gentleman by the name of Robert Schweyer wrote a book on the Jarvis school called SIGHTS ON JARVIS. I am hoping that this book might have some photos or some info on my father. By any chance do you know the author of this book and how I might reach him?

Also if you would know of any other search areas I might try to find more info on my dad, it would be much appreciated. I am trying to find out who was on his crew, are any of them still alive and are there crew photos out there possibly with the planes they flew in.

Below are 2 photos. The 1st is my dad in uniform and the 2nd is my dad with a group of men underneath a Halifax mark 1 or 2.

Any info you might be able to send my way would be great. This is so important to me I can't tell you. I was too young to really talk to my father about any of this when he was still alive back in 1983. He unfortunately died of cancer. I miss him so much and this is why I need to know more about his war years.

I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks so much.
Bob White

Subject: Old wartime Photo 
I was going through a collection of family photos recently after my mother passed away, one photo shows what I guess is a newly married couple standing on the steps of either a church or a registry office in Croydon ( England)

The name "Leslie Carter - Croydon" is written below the photo, the groom is wearing a RCAF uniform (ww2) the only insignia is a shoulder flash which says Canada, with the eagle underneath, this is a one piece shoulder flash. 

I have no idea who the guy is or the bride, do you have the facility to post pictures like this on your website to see if anybody recognises the people in the photo.  I guess in an area like Croydon ( south London) there were a lot of RCAF guys stationed. 

Thanks for any help or suggestions. 
Mike Yockney
Swindon, England. 

Subject: Founders List
I have recently admired the CATPM website and the amount of work it has involved.  However, I am curious. I am sure I am a founding member of the Museum in that I paid a membership and received a card and a pin before the museum was actually opened. I'm just wondering if the original list of members and founders is on a list somewhere on the web that I might peruse it.  I am sure John McNarry remembers me as would many other members.
Jim Prentice,
Brandon, MB
Subject: Bolingbroke
We have an essentially complete Bolingbroke Mk IVT, formerly assembled at the Langley BC museum, but brought to Quebec some years ago where it was brutally treated and substained considerable damages.   We now have it under cover and the major parts mounted on wheeled trolleys.  We have begun restoration work on the rear fuselage.  We have two Mercury XX engines with mounts and some cowlings.  We are missing wheels and propellers and the entry/exit hatches.  Does anyone have a part list?
You can see us on
Jean-Francois Mongeau for:
Patrick Campbell
Director of Manufacturing ~ CAHC

Subject: Short Burst's Demise
My name is Craig Mackenzie. I am a volunteer with  the Manitoba Military Aviation Museum located at 17 Wing in Winnipeg. My current task is to build a website for the museum. I have been working on this for the last three months. Although a website will constantly be under development we will soon publish what we have for online access. On of the goals of the  museum is to feature the stories of Manitoba Aviators. One of the ways that I have been doing this is by creating links to intersting stories that have already been published and are currently online. I have currently been going through articles and stories published by the Vancouver Island Aircrew Association, extracting PDF's that are somewhat relevant to Manitoba and making these available through our site (with permission). I would like to look through your back issues of Short Bursts and create links to the issues that are relevant (in a very broad sense to the mission of our museum). Do you expect these archives to be online at the current address for the foreseeable future. It would be ashame to loose all of the hard work that I have been doing. I have also done some of my own research and writing with respect to the experiences of my father and his brother who were both with bomber command during WWII. I am in the process of creating a display featuring both of them. My uncle was KIA piloting a Halifax over Holland, enroute to Hamburg in Feb 1943. I have a draft of our site running or my personal website at
The link to Manitoba Military Aviatiors contains these stories. Your feedback would be very appreciated. I look forward to hearing from you
... Craig Mackenzie
Editor's Response
As you know the future of the regular monthly release of the RCAF ex-Air Gunners' SHORT BURSTS is in doubt. . .
the compilation and publishing of this zine on such a regular basis is very time-consuming and it is all done on a volunteer basis by John Moyles and myself.
All previous issues. . . all the way back to March 1991 will remain in archive at:

So you should be quite safe in using links relevant to your project. A perusal of our main site contents:
as well as in our AS YOU WERE . . . Webzine which continues on in monthly publication
will probably turn up additional material of interest to you. There are a number of very large features on aviators. Some of which include:
Mike Spack
Lloyd Snell
Bill Graham
Archie Londry
James Grant
as well as features I've done on some of my uncles  who were WWII bomber pilots including:
William Campbell
I have more Military Tributes at:

Wishing you the best of luck in your project,

Bill Hillman

Subject: Wanted: Class List for: (81A) of No. 1 Air Observers' School at Malton
My name is James Wielgosz and I'm writing on behalf of a friend of mine who lives in Poland. Both he and I are descendents of Polish airmen who flew in the RAF during the Second World War and we're both quite keen on researching our relative's air force careers.

I'm attempting to help my friend locate a 'class list' for a specific course (81A) of No. 1 Air Observers' School at Malton. His uncle, F/Sgt. Mikolajczak, was a trainee there under the BCATP between July and December 1943. He has a group photo of his uncle's course with a number of signatures on the back - unfortunately, most of the names are illegible. A list would really help him to identify the airmen in the photo.

Could you advise where I might find personnel lists, photos, etc. for BCATP training units? I've searched the online catalogue of the National Archives of Canada but haven't found any direct reference to aircrews. Is there an equivalent of the RAF's Squadron Operations Record Books that might contain a listing of course participants? Thank you for your help and I look forward to hearing back.

James Wielgosz

Subject: Memories
What wonderful memories your site brings to mind.  I worked as a civilian airframe mechanic (apprenticed at first) and started at $80. per month at #1 AOS at Malton (now Pearson Intentional airport) and thought I was a millionaire (1940 to 1944) when I joined the RCNVR.  The airforce then needed no ground personnel.

Those were the greatest and most glorious years of my entire life and will NEVER be forgotten.

Congratulations on your site.
Marshall Pomroy

Subject: Permission to use material
I wish to seek the museums permission to use some material from  the web site about the Commonwealth Air Training Plan. I am researching material for an article I am about to write detailing the training of RAF Bomber gunners as experienced by an Australian [turret gunner]who joined 195 Squadron in 1943. It will be a combination of material from the Nanton Lancaster Society, the South African Military History Society, personal papers of the Australian mentioned and hopefully, from the CATP Museum. If you were kind enough to grant permission I would of course, reference the museum and send a finished copy of the article to the museum for your records.

I am not a professional writer but have had success with some articles of late. I hope to submit this article to Fly Past, Britain's largest aviation magazine. IF ------------the editor accepts the article, I don't anticipate being published until at least June next year. I only mention this to let you know where the material is being submitted if it helps in your decision.

I apologise for any inconvenience and look forward to any repy.
 Kindest regards,
Ken Wright

Subject:  Winnipeg Free Press - Gunnery class 60 photo - C.V. Soderstrom from Manitoba
I read an article online today about the Barber and his list, incredible! Also have a photo of Gunnery Class #60, here is a list of names from the class however some I could not make out spelling.  Looks like your email box is going to overflow as I found link to article on barber posted on rafcommands today. Ultimately I would like the correct spelling for all names.
 Regards, Alan
Gunnery Class #60
 C.V. Soderstrom            1/4 Don Mckenzie
2/3 Douglas Lurrie?             4/2         Hareling
2/9 W.L. Gibson                   2/2 Bob Leitch
1/1  Anderson               5/5 Gordon Kirkpatrick
                                           3/7 R.J.Tyler
4/7 Jack Barker                    4/6 Chubby Gallant
4/1 F?J??an Maine              1/2 D.C. Quary
1/7 ?.V. Lindlelan                  3/4 H.Q. Savelle
1/10 Percy Fawcett               3/6 Bob England
2/9? Donald McDougall        1/5 Fred Gosnell
??  Adrian Lirant?                  2/2 Gerald Cralman?
3/10 Bruno Jecke?                1/3 Ralph Preon?
3/8 George Hardy                  5/1 J.B. ?iosk?
4/4 C.S. Davies                     2/9 ???????
4/9 Roy W. Moffat                  1/8 Ron Gallipe
2/2 Doug Penny                     1/6 Nick Jacowishen
5/4 Allan Knoke?                    4/8 J.G. ??uk?
2/1 R.E. White                        5/3 Ganaw
2/5 Kozan                               4/3 Dash
3/1 Morrison                            3/5 Anderson
2/8 ? Brekon                            8/3 Richardson?

F/Sgt. Harold Alvin Sandy Sanderson Remembered
It with sadness, that we announce the passing of RCAF F/Sgt. Harold Alvin Sandy Sanderson, Vancouver Police Department.

He served with the RCAF and on 9 Feb 45 his Halifax LW 394 was shot down.
Crew of Halifax LW394

  • F/O William McIntyre MARK – Pilot
  • P/O Ray F. DANIELS – Navigator
  • F/Sgt. William H. KETCHAM – Wireless Operator/Air Gunner
  • F/O E. J. WOTHERSPOON –Bomb Aimer
  • P/O A. C. MCLEAN – Mid-upper Gunner
  • Sgt. J. J. “Paddy” WHYTE – Flight Engineer (RAF)
  • F/Sgt. Howard Alvin “Sandy” SANDERSON – Mid-under Gunner
  • F/Sgt. A. A. ALGER – Rear Gunner
  • Howard Sanderson’s account of the crash
    As I recall, it was about 6:00 a.m. Feb. 9th. 1945. We were at 20,000 feet, bombed the target and were turning to starboard and increasing speed. We were struck by heavy flak, which we then knew was ‘predicted flak’, which was radar controlled flak. It registered our height, speed, direction, then fired several batteries at once at a predicted spot. It started a fire in the starboard engine. We used all our fire fighting equipment and almost put out the fire but then it spread to both engines and the starboard wing. The flames were strung out behind. The pilot ordered everybody out. The kite was about to explode.

    "I left the mid-under bubble (with .50 Browning machine gun on a swivel) and went to the rear hatch. The other gunners were there. As the other gunners exited I suddenly remembered my air force cap, which had the badge of the Leed City Police on it. I once wrote a short story called "The Badge" about how I got that badge and wore it on my 36 trips. I couldn’t leave my cap so I hurried forward to the rest position bench up front.

    I got my cap, put it inside my flying suit and headed back to the rear hatch. When I was almost at the escape hatch, the kite suddenly turned over to starboard. I was thrown to the wall of the kite, which now became the floor. The hatch was now on the port wall, which was now the ceiling.

    Meanwhile the pilot bailed out of the front hatch and I was alone. Flying solo in a burning Halifax was not my cup of tea, so I began to struggle to get to the ‘upper’ hatch. I was feeling very weak and drowsy. I had been off oxygen too long but didn’t know why I was so weak. I got partway out of the hatch. The kite was heading straight down at 350 m.p.h. I was pressed against the fuselage, while my legs were still inside the kite, caught on something. I quit struggling and went unconscious  When I came to I was hanging limp in a parachute at about 8000 feet. I saw both my flight boots spiraling down below me.  I saw the kite, a ball of flame, heading down far below. There was a very strong wind blowing. There was no sound up there…."

    Sandy Sanderson hit the ground at a high speed and was dragged by his chute across a farmer’s field until he hit a fence. Apart from a sprained ankle, sore back and a few scratches, he was not injured.

    The farm was near Zillebeke and the family made coffee for him. He had a bar of chocolate which he broke into squares and put on a table in front of some young children. They never moved until their mother gave the O.K. to help themselves. The farm where Sandy received help was that of Isidoor and Elza Lierman-Vanzandwege at Molenbos 2 in Zillebeke. The two young children are most likely Jozef and Godelieve Lierman.

    In 1977 Sandy Sanderson returned to the site of the crash.
    Sandy is shown here with  Jozef and Godelieve (immediate to his right)
    the two Lierman children to whom he gave his chocolate on the day of the crash.

    We, of the Ex-Air Gunners of Canada, thank Dirk and Mieke, Wim and Inge, and all those who participated in this effort of  PRESERVING THE PAST FOR THE FUTURE

    Sandy was a retired S/Sgt Vancouver Police and enthusiastic car club member.

    Rembrance services were held at the Boal Chapel, North Vancouver ~ 22 Jan at 14:00 hours.

    John Moyles Remembers

    Sorry to hear of Sandy's passing. I was talking to him on the phone in December. He had just come in from a run in his 1928 Model A Ford, The Eager Beaver, and was telling me that he just hit the 40,000 mile mark.
    He made two trips, Vancouver to Montreal, in his Eager Beaver. The last trip he stayed with Doreene and I at Kenosee Lake for a weekend. Sandy was go, go, go, to the end. When he was at our place, June 14-16, 1996, he had just recovered from heart surgery so, as he put it, 'the doctor had told him to take it easy.'
    Sandy wrote up his trip, "Down the Road Apiece", an expression he picked up in rural Saskatchewan. Below are three pictures from his book you might find interesting.
    We wrote up Sandy's wartime experiences in Short Bursts April 2002
    My favourite story of Sandy's was when he stole a Bobby's hat badge and wore it on operation for good luck. Years later, an Englishman appeared at Sandy's office in Vancouver, where Sandy was a Staff Sergeant in the Vancouver Police Force, and said, "You have my helmet badge, you may as well have the helmet ."
    ~ John Moyles
    Getting ready to leave Kenosee. 
    Sandy had just added lead to his gasoline

    The Eager Beaver
    in Southern Saskatchewan.

    Southern Saskatchewan, 
    inspiration for name of his book

    To John Moyles from John Chalmers
    Congratulations on all your great work in doing the Short Bursts newsletter. I wish you well upon your retirement from that job, and know you will be missed. But there always comes a time when our work is done. The newsletter has made a fine contribution to the written record, and I hope that even if no one picks up your editor's pen (or computer!) that the back issues will remain archived on the internet. I've gone to back issues many times myself for reference and to look for information.
    I hope Bill Hillman will continue to do his fine work if a new editor is found. If not, I hope Bill will maintain archived issues on the 'net.
    Again, some great stories in your last issue as editor. Also, I noted with interest the obituary about Bud Ward. Bud was a member of the RCAF ex-PoW/Escapee/Evader group that I have been joining several times a year for their monthly meeting over the past four years. I had met Bud only once or twice, including about two or three months ago when he joined us for lunch. I had heard since then that he was in rapidly failing health. His obituary appeared in the Edmonton Journal about Nov. 28 or 29.
    Then a day or two later, a story about Bud appeared in the Journal. It was written by Jim Farrell, who has given some excellent publicity to the Aviation Museum of Alberta in Journal stories, and who has done a great deal to write about our armed forces. I think Jim has been to Afghanistan at least twice to write about the Canadian Forces there. I scanned the story about Bud and have attached it for you.
    (See the full-size article here)

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