The Duty to Remember

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/memorial-germany-lancaster-goose-squadron-1.4195080

Excerpt

Audrey Somers has done her best over the last 73 years to put the death of her 23-year-old brother Harold behind her, but it’s caught up with her yet again.

At 87, she vividly recalls the moment the telegram arrived at her family’s Hamilton, Ont., home, informing her parents the brother she describes as “loving but quiet” was missing in action over Germany.

“I was upstairs in my bedroom, and my mother came running up and told me. She kneeled at the side of the bed and said the Lord’s Prayer.”

“The next day my father’s hair turned grey.”

26 April 2017 – Searching for Jock Muir

Jock is on the left according to a caption. Gerard Pelletier had written the name Muir in his photo album.

Jock Muir was in fact Jock Mair.

Honest mistake.

This is what I found on the Internet thanks to a friend who led me to Jock.


RAAF FATALITIES IN SECOND WORLD WAR AMONG RAAF PERSONNEL SERVING ON ATTACHMENT IN ROYAL AIR FORCE SQUADRONS AND SUPPORT UNITS

404565 Flight Sergeant LEWIS, Wallace George

Source:

AWM 237 (65) NAA : A705, 163/137/144 Commonwealth War Graves records

Aircraft Type: Defiant

Serial number: AA 377

Radio call sign:

Unit: ATTD 264 SQN RAF

Summary:

On 26th April 1942, Defiant AA377 crashed at Sheerness, UK, and the crew were killed.

Crew:

RAAF 404565 Flt Sgt W G Lewis, (Pilot)†

RAF Flt Sgt W Mair, (Gunner)†

Flt Sgt’s Lewis and Mair are buried in the Leysdown (St Clement) Churchyards, UK. Leysdown is a coastal parish and village in the north eastern side of Sheppey, six miles NNE of Faversham.

Flt Sgt Corserr a witness to a Court of Inquiry into the accident stated :

“ On 26th April WO Lauder, Flt Sgt Lewis and self were detailed for air to sea firing at the Leysdown range. Lauder was firing and Lewis and I were orbiting the range at approx 2000 feet. Sgt Lewis was approx 500 feet above me and half a mile in front when I observed that his port wing dropped, and he went into a vertical dive travelling in the opposite direction to his original course. It appeared that Lewis tried to pull out of this dive but only partially succeeded in doing so, when the machine turned to starboard and then hit the ground.”

Flt Sgt Rose, Flt Sgt Corser’s Gunner stated : 

“ We were at approx 2000 feet awaiting our turn to do our air firing practice. I saw a Defiant diving past us at a very steep angle about 50 feet away on our port side, this dive continued until 500 feet from the ground. The aircraft then went into a flat spin to starboard doing 3 or 4 slow turns before hitting the ground and bursting into flames 

The opinion of the Court was that : 

“ the accident was due to loss of control by the Pilot, but we cannot determine what caused the loss of control.

Wg Cdr CO RAF West Malling stated,:

“ I concur with the findings. There is no evidence to show whether the loss of control was due to some structural failure or to some temporary physical failure on the part of the Pilot.”

In Memory of Flight Sergeant Wallace George Lewis

404565, Royal Australian Air Force who died on 26 April 1942 Age 22

Son of Thomas Henry and Alice Lewis, of Bardon, Queensland, Australia.

Remembered with Honour Leysdown (St. Clement) Churchyard

In Memory of Flight Sergeant Air Gnr. William Mair

971422, 264 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who died on 26 April 1942 Age 27 Son of David and Marion Mair, of Swinhill, Lanarkshire.

Remembered with Honour Leysdown (St. Clement) Churchyard

Flight Sergeant William “Jock” Mair

Collection Flight Sergeant Gerard Pelletier – RAF Drem

Collection Flight Sergeant Gerard Pelletier – RAF Drem

 

Sergeant Frank Ernest Haines on the left

Sergeant Frank Ernest Haines

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Flight Sergeant Gerard Pelletier with the dog 

Flight Sergeant Gerard Pelletier

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Flight Sergeant Gerard Pelletier

Flight Sergeant Gerard Pelletier

Flight Sergeant Gerard Pelletier

His pilot Sergeant Frank Ernest Haines

Flight Sergeant Gerard Pelletier

Sergeant Frank Ernest Haines

Flight Sergeant Gerard Pelletier

Flight Sergeant Gerard Pelletier

Snowstorm in March 1942 at RAF Drem

Sergeant Frank Ernest Haines

Sergeant Frank Ernest Haines (middle) and Flight Sergeant Gerard Pelletier (right)

Sergeant Frank Ernest Haines(left)

Sergeant Frank Ernest Haines (left) and Flight Sergeant Gerard Pelletier (middle), unknown on the right

Flight Sergeant Gerard Pelletier (middle)

 

?

Sergeant Frank Ernest Haines(center)

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Flight Sergeant Gerard Pelletier

Sergeant Frank Ernest Haines on the right 

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Sergeant Frank Ernest Haines

 

Flight Sergeant Gerard Pelletier

Sergeant Frank Ernest Haines

Flight Sergeant Gerard Pelletier and

Sergeant Frank Ernest Haines on the right 

 

Flight Sergeant Gerard Pelletier (left)

Sergeant Frank Ernest Haines on the right 

 


Boulton Paul Defiant RA-O

Alexander “Patrick” Beaumont Anderson, Mosquito XXX, Air Navigator/Radar Operator No. 410 [Cougar] Squadron WWII

Research by Clarence Simonsen

Alexander “Patrick” Beaumont Anderson, Mosquito XXX, Air Navigator/Radar Operator No. 410 [Cougar] Squadron WWII

Patrick A. B. Anderson was born in our Canadian Capital City of Ottawa, Ontario, on 31 March 1923. His father was a wealthy prominent senior official for the Bank of Nova Scotia, Hugh B. Anderson, whose family roots formed one of the most distinguished military families in all of Canada. Patrick was named after his uncle Lt. General William Alexander Beaumont Anderson OBE, CD. His second uncle Major General Thomas Victor Anderson, DSO, CD, was Chief of Staff of the Canadian Army 1938-1940, and led Canada into war. The third uncle Colonel A. A. Anderson, DSO, was second in command of the Royal Canadian Signals Training, Kingston, Ontario, during WWII. His grandfather was Colonel W.P. Anderson who had commanded the old 43rd Army Regiment, [Ottawa] Duke of Cornwall’s Own. Educated at Lisgar Collegiate Institute, his family influence led to his first job, working for the Canadian Government in New York City, N.Y.

When Patrick arrived in New York City, late 1941, [Canada was at war], while the American people remained a determinedly isolationist nation. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Patrick witnessed how the American Governments state of war denial was crushed and almost overnight a huge propaganda effort was launched to move the public in support of WWII. This massive propaganda drive involved every branch of the American media, including the animation cartoons of Walt Disney and the music of Glenn Miller. Patrick attended one of these public events and recorded a photo of the Glenn Miller concert held in support of Americans buying War Defense Bonds. His amazing photo records the very beginning of the wartime Glenn Miller era.

Twenty year old Patrick returned to Ottawa and joined the RCAF in the spring of 1943, becoming LAC Patrick Anderson #R188871. He was selected for Air Navigator and began training at No. 1 Air Observer School, Malton, Ontario, 26 July 1943. He graduated on 10 December 1943 with an average of 72%. Next stop was overseas, No. 62 O.T.U. [Operational Training Unit] RAF Ouston, Radio Course, [used to train radar operators, which was top secret] 4 April 1944 until 9 May 1944. He then attended #46 Course at No. 54 O.T.U. Charterhall, near Greenlaw, Berwickshire, Scotland, Operational Training Unit for Mosquito Night Fighters, 27 June to 20 September 1944. No. 51 O.T.U. at RAF Cranfield, [Night-fighter training] 25 Sept. to 28 Sept. 44 and then back to No. 54 O.T.U. at Charterhall for Mosquito night fighter conversion course, 6 Oct. to 12 Oct. 1944. On 27 October 1944, he was posted to No. 410 Cougar squadron of the RCAF at Amiens/Glisy, France, [22 September to 2 November 44.] The squadron then moved to Lille/Vendeville, France, 3 November 1944 to 6 January 1945, where he began flying night operations. On 1 August 1944, No. 410 Cougar Sqn. began to fly the new Mosquito [night-fighter ] Mk. XXX aircraft, which had a very distinctive up-turned plywood nose. The Mosquito Mk. XXX was equipped with the most modern [secret] American built AI [Airborne Interception] radar system. The complete nose of the Mosquito had to be rebuilt to allow the new parabolic rotating radar, power unit and cable to fit. It soon became a Canadian night killing machine, feared by the Germans.

Pat Anderson first flew as navigator and radar operator with pilot F/L James Watt Fullerton J18771, in Mosquito Mk. XXX, serial MM744. This night-fighter carried door art of the “Pugnacious Pup” first appeared in an issue of December 1944 Saturday Evening Post.

The Mosquito Mk. XXX up-turned radar nose

C.A. Simonsen creation donated to Richard de Boer [President] of the Calgary Mosquito Society in 2010, to help raise funds for saving the Calgary Mosquito. Painted on Original WWII Avro Anson wood from Nanton Museum restoration.

F/L Jim Fullerton and his Mosquito Mk. XXX door art. Pat Anderson collection

F/L Jim Fullerton Mosquito door art was painted by LAC Don Jarvis of Vancouver, B.C. The idea originated from the December 1944 issue of “The Saturday Evening Post”, created for the American 355th Fighter Squadron, who were flying from Rosieres-en-Haye, France in December 1944. The insignia was used during WWII and never approved. [Unofficial]

The official 355th F. Sqn. insignia was not approved until 25 June 1957.

The Pat Anderson photo album also records the pilot he flew most operations with, F/L Stan King from Markdale, Ontario.

F/L Stan King and ground crew at Glisy, France, 1945 Mosquito  Mk. XXX code “W”. Pat stated this was normally flown by F/L Bob Bayliss. The impressive Black Cougar Mosquito door art was painted by Don Jarvis from Vancouver.

The RCAF Black Cougar Mosquito ‘door art’ idea came from another Saturday Evening Post magazine ad for an American Army tank destroyer unit.

Pat also flew with Stan King in Mosquito Mk. XXX, serial NT275, with door art from a Canadian car tire ad, named “The Lil Bear Behind.”

Pat Anderson photo

F/L Stan King and the port side nose art name “LiL Bear Behind” on Mosquito Mk.XXX, code RA-K, serial NT275. [Pat Anderson]

The collection of Pat also contained a most detailed complete history [104 pages] of wartime No. 410 squadron with drawings, possibly done by Don Jarvis squadron artist. When Pat arrived with Cougar squadron [28 October 1944] the top scoring Mosquito-Night-Fighter team consisted of an American pilot and his Canadian navigator, Pilot [left] F/L C.E. Edinger J10272, DFC, and his navigator F/O C.L. Vaesson, DFC.

The team of F/L Edinger and F/O Vaessen flew most of the squadron Mosquito Mk. XXX, aircraft [serial MM456, MM743, MM760, MV527, and MM744] and many of these combat reports are also in the Anderson collection. Beginning 1 August 1944, the Mosquito XXX, was flown by the Cougars on 1,181 sorties, 29 enemy aircraft were shot out of the night sky and 6 were downed by American pilot Edinger and his radar navigator. On 16/17 September they flew Mosquito Mk. XXX, serial MM743, the sister to MM774 which contained the door art of the American “Bulldog’ from Saturday Evening Post magazine. On this night they claimed one unidentified German aircraft destroyed, without a shot being fired. Just the fear of the new RCAF Mosquito XXX night-fighter caused the German night-fighter pilot to lose control and crash into the sea. This is the original combat report from Pat Anderson collection, one of six.

This came from the Anderson collection and Pat stated LAC Don Jarvis was the squadron mural and nose art artist. Don Jarvis was born in Vancouver, B.C. in 1923, and during his teenage years studied drawing and became an aspiring cartoon artist. He joined the RCAF, [1942?] and this issue of RCAF Wings Abroad shows he did a number of Air Force wall mural paintings during WWII. In the postwar years he returned to Vancouver and enrolled in the Vancouver School of Art and Design, graduating in 1948. His WWII art is probably lost and forgotten, however thanks to Pat Anderson three of his nose art images survive. I believe he drew the art work in the 1945 soft-cover No. 410 Cougar History book, and possibly even typed the complete history. He died in Sechelt, British Columbia in 2001.

Possibly the work of Don Jarvis – 1945?

This is why the Aero Space Museum of Calgary Mosquito was so important to Pat Anderson. Thirty-nine members of No. 410 [Cougar] Squadron were killed flying in the Mosquito during WWII.

After WWII, Pat Anderson graduated from Queens University with a degree in chemical engineering, and for the next twenty-three years worked for Shell Canada. A second career began in Winnipeg, as a representative for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. Pat and wife Elizabeth retired in 1994 and settled in their new home at Valley Ridge Hts., Calgary, Alberta. Pat became a member of the Calgary Aero Space Museum and that is where I met him, which later led to six visits to his home for RCAF research. Pat was a soft spoken man, who liked to discuss his WWII days and processed a very strong opinion, which included strong feelings on the attempted [under-the-table] sale of the Calgary Mosquito to a millionaire in England. Patrick was very proud of his most distinguished Canadian military family background, and it upset him to accept the unbelievable fact that two senior postwar Air Force officers, who had worn the same uniform he did, master-minded the plan to get rid of the Calgary Mosquito. That upset him until the day he died, and if possible you would totally avoid these two ex-Air Force officers names.

As a veteran Mosquito crew member, he attended the meetings where shameful Calgary politicians, pilots, including these same two ex-Air Force officers, attempted to defend their unspeakable actions. Pat joined the fight, [and that’s what it was] becoming an active member the Calgary Mosquito Society, formed by Richard de Boer and did everything he could to save this vintage Mosquito aircraft, the likes of which he flew in during WWII. Pat passed away on 25 March 2013, and ask that donations be made in his memory to the Calgary Mosquito Society. A true RCAF veteran to the very end.

As I turned pages in his photo album [2009], another surprise group of photos jumped out of this book.

Who is this pilot standing with James Cagney? Pat replied – “Oh, that’s my deceased brother P/O Thomas Anderson, he was an instructor at RCAF Uplands and became the pilot double for Cagney in the filming of “Captains of the Clouds.” “James Cagney was in fact afraid to fly.”

Brother Thomas C. Anderson was also educated at Lisgar Collegiate Institute in Downtown Ottawa. He was on staff on the Bank of Nova Scotia in East Ottawa when Canada entered WWII. He joined the RCAF in 1940, and graduated from course #18 at Dunnville, Ontario, [No. 6 Service Flying Training School] on 21 March 1941, Sgt/Pilot Anderson was next posted to Trenton, Ontario. After he completed Flying Instructor School , he was promoted to Pilot/Officer #J4925 and posted to RCAF Uplands, No. 2 Service Flying Training School, near Ottawa.

This photo of P/O Thomas Anderson was taken in February 1942, in front of Harvard Mk. II, serial 2664. This aircraft was involved in a Category “C” accident on 5 May 1941, repaired, it received a new paint job and possibly appeared as the aircraft flown by Brian McLean [James Cagney].

These promo shots were possibly taken in Harvard #2664 at RCAF Uplands.

P/O Thomas C. Anderson, the man who flew for James Cagney in the film “Captains of the Clouds”, and his Harvard #2664.

When I ask Patrick, if his distinguished Ottawa military family background had any connection to his brother being posted to RCAF Station Uplands and flying in the classic Warner Brothers film, he simply stated “possibly”? I’m positive Air Marshal W.A. Bishop, VC,CB,DSO,MC, DFC,ED, had connections with the Anderson family. This Harvard was placed into storage on 25 March 1943, sold by War Assets on 26 June 1947.

 

P/O Thomas Anderson was also a member of the RCAF baseball team that lost to the Warner Brothers team at the completion of the filming. The Ball game was played at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa.


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I was also intrigued and wanted to know more…

Each image from Flight Sergeant Gerard Pelletier’s collection has it own story.

This one is from a negative that Gerard Pelletier’s niece scanned.

 

I was intrigued…

It didn’t look right.

Then I found what was wrong.

The call sign should be… RA●J.

 

Other images were also reversed.

The pitot tube was on the left side of a  Boulton Paul Defiant.

Right! It’s on the left side…

What about this one?

And this one…?

I hope their heads aren’t spinning…