John Philip Wiseman "Red" Francis

RCAF   F/O   -   DFC

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442 Squadron at Volkel
442 Squadron at Volkel, October 1944
Top row — "Smitty" Smith, Neil Burns, Joe Doyle, "Rookie" Dunne, Bill Olmsted, Stu Mills, John Lumsden, Vince Schenk.
Sitting on wing — Milt Jowsey, Gordie Watkins, Norm Keene, Red Francis.
Bottom row — Stan McLarty, Simpson, John Dick, EC Ireland & the Eng. Officer

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John spent most of the war instructing in Canada, but, like some other Aces of note, when given the chance to fight, all that flying time paid off. On his first mission he downed a 190. Although flying targets at this point of the war were pretty scarce, he managed to destroy four German planes in the air and damage three as well as destroying two on the ground. 442 Squadron was heavily involved in the ground attack roll at this time and no doubt Red "beat up" plenty of ground targets as well


Born 1 August 1913 in Battleford, Sask.
Home there (tractor operator).
Enlisted in Saskatoon, 20 June 1940.
Trained at
No.2 ITS (graduated 18 August 1940)
No.6 EFTS (graduated 15 November 1940) &
No.6 SFTS (graduated 28 May 1943).
Instructed at No.6 EFTS from 2 Jan. '41 to 1 Dec. '42.
Promoted to W/O 2nd Class, 5 Jan. 1942.
Warrant Officer 1st Class, 30 January 1943.
Commissioned as a P/O, 28 May 1943.
Promoted to F/O, 28 November 1943.
Posted to No.1 OTU, Bagotville, 5 June 1943.
To Eastern Air Command, Halifax, 18 Aug. 1943.
With 130 Squadron, 19 Aug. 1943 to 15 March 1944.
Embarked from Halifax, 25 May 1944.
Arrived in Britain on 2 June 1944.
Attended No.57 OTU, 8 Aug. to 13 Oct. 1944.
To 442 Squadron, 30 October 1944.
To 401 Squadron, 18 March 1945.
Repatriated 6 August 1945.
Released on 19 October 1945.


FRANCIS, F/O John Philip Wiseman (C26866) - Distinguished Flying Cross - 401 Squadron
Award effective 7 July 1945 as per London Gazette dated 20 July 1945 &
AFRO 1453/45 dated 14 September 1945

This officer has shown great skill and courage in flying operations against the enemy. On his first operational flight he destroyed an enemy aircraft while on fighter patrol. His score is now four enemy aircraft destroyed and three damaged. Flying Officer Francis has also attacked rail and road transport, often in the face of intense anti-aircraft fire. He has at all times displayed a fine fighting spirit, skill and devotion to duty of the highest order.


Given DSO for Part in Blasting Hun Bombers

With the RCAF Overseas, Dec. 18, 1944 - (CP) - Davie Williams of Vancouver is a D.S.O. flier now, and a wing commander leading the Lynx Squadron of Mosquito night Fighters based in Britain.
He won the award in a fearless daylight operation against German bombers who were attacking a convoy of Allied destroyers southwest of Brest. Williams and his navigator, F/O C. J. Kirkpatrick of Saskatoon, who won the D.F.C. for this exploit, shot down the two attacking bombers.
When he went on the sortie, Williams was officially on leave. He hadn't left his station, however, and when the navy called, asking for air support, Williams and Kirkpatrick went up immediately.

Weather Was Thick
The weather was so thick that the day fighters could not do anything. That was why they turned to the night fighters.
Williams flew in solid cloud until just southwest of Brest, he and Kirkpatrick sighted five Allied destroyers and, five miles away, two German bombers starting their bombing run. He sped in behind them at low level, about 100 feet above the sea and got caught in the bombers' crossfire, which knocked the Mosquito's starboard engine out.
But with one engine left, he pressed on and knocked clown one Dornier, and just as the second was about to bomb, he scored hits which sent it diving into the sea.
Lt. A. A. Harrington of Ottawa recently shot down his fourth enemy aircraft in night fighter operations. Harrington, who flies with an English navigator in a Mosquito, is a member of the U.S. Army Air Corps, finishing his night fighting tour with the Canadian Cougar squadron before transferring to the United States Army.
F/O J. P. W. Francis of North Battleford, Sask., realized the reconnaissance fighter pilot's ambition by shooting down an FW 190 over Germany in the first combat flight of his career. On the same sortie F/L Milt Jowsey, D.F.C., of Ottawa, destroyed another FW 190, his first since starting a second operational tour, and his fifth all told.
A couple of train busters based in Holland with the RAF are F/L W. B. Peglar of Toronto and F/L J. A. Malloy of Ottawa. In two attacks on railway yards in the Wesel area, they damaged a locomotive and left it squirting steam and shot up 30 coaches.


Victories Include :

  2 Nov. 1944
23 Jan. 1945
17 April 1945
20 April 1945

  3 May 1945
one FW190
one FW190
one Me109
one Me109
one Me109
one FW190
one FW190
two Ju52s
destroyed [1]
SE of Coesfeld
near Ludwigslust
SW of Schwerin
OTG at Schonberg

4 / 0 / 3  plus

2 / 0 / 0  On The Ground

[1] This was Red's first real operational sortie having just arrived at 442 squadron on 30 October.




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