Scores First Victories
Ottawa, Dec. 4, 1941 - (CP) - A newly formed Royal Canadian Air Force fighter squadron, led by Squadron Leader P. B. Pitcher of Montreal, has shot down one Messerschmitt 109 and damaged two more in recent sweeps over France, R.C.A.F. Headquarters announced tonight,
The German aircraft first to be shot down by the squadron, fell before the two cannon and four machine guns of a new Mark V Spitfire flown by Pilot Officer R.W. McNair of North Battleford, Sask.
"I was on a sweep and saw a number of Messerschmitts below me," said McNair in a report. "I dived on them and saw they were circling a pilot in the sea. I picked one out and gave him a three-second burst. I overshot him and pulling away. I saw him go into the sea. This took place over Boulogne. The pilot did not bale out.
"I climbed again and turned for home. Then a Jerry dived on me from out of the sun, his fire hitting my engine. My cockpit filled with smoke and the enemy overshot me. He came around directly in front of me. It was my turn then and I gave him a burst and saw hits registering. His hood came off. Only my starboard guns were firing now and flames were coming out of the cockpit. So I put my nose down.”
"Finding my engine cutting out I baled into the sea. I got rid of my parachute immediately upon touching the water and had no trouble inflating my dinghy. I was picked up fifteen minutes later by a sea rescue motorboat."
McNair trained at Toronto, Windsor and Kingston and worked for Canadian Airways before enlisting, the Air Force said.
The squadron's first engagement was described by Squadron Leader Pitcher:
"On a day sweep over France we were jumped by a number of Messerschmitt 109's. From then on it was everybody's individual party with only sections managing to keep together. Two Huns dropped down on Flight Lieutenant Boomer's tail, but he shook them off and managed to get in a squirt at one of them."
Flight Lieutenant K. A. Boomer of Ottawa is the leader of a flight of the squadron, the air force said. He came from the University of Toronto to the R.C.A.F. three months before war broke out.
Squadron Leader Pitcher joined No. 115 Auxiliary Squadron in Montreal in 1935. He was a junior partner in the law firm of Mann, Lefleur & Brown until war started. He went overseas with one of the first fighter squadrons and shot down a Messerschmitt while with that unit.
Sergeant Pilot J. D. McFarlane, Calais, Maine, who trained at Prince Albert, Regina and Ottawa, described his part in the squadron's initial scrap:
"I felt a sudden explosion under me and I felt a hit on my leg. My cockpit filled with grey smoke. I wasn't certain whether I was being attacked by enemy aircraft or flak. Looking at my wings, I saw a number of small holes in them, and the port wing was covered with oil.
Bails Out Safely
"I headed for the English coast and about two minutes later my engine stopped. I was up about 23,000 feet when the fun started so I glided down.
"A Rhodesian squadron leader covered me all the way back. At about half a mile from the coast I slowed down and baled out. I landed between Dover and Folkestone about 200 yards inland. My leg wound was only slight and I was flying two days later."
"B" flight of the squadron is led by Flight Lieutenant R. C. Weston of De Marts Street West, Saint John, N.B., who saw action with a Royal Air Force squadron earlier in the war. He bagged a Heinkel and a Dornier while with his first squadron. The new Spitfires are popular with the Canadian fighter pilots. "There's nothing like them," said Pilot Officer J. R. Coleman, Waterloo Street, Saint John, one of the newest members of the unit.
Sergeant Pilot F. E. Green is from Toronto.
|Born in Petersburg, Virginia, 1 March 1916
( British parents )
Educated in Canada;
Home in Toronto.
Enlisted in Toronto, 23 July 1940.
No.1 ITS (23 October to 28 November 1940),
No.13 EFTS (28 November 1940 to 28 January 1941
No.2 SFTS (28 Januray to 30 April 1941,
Graduating as a Sergeant Pilot).
Commissioned 25 November 1941;
Promoted A F/O, 13 April 1942;
Promoted A F/L 1 October 1942,
although he had been Acting F/L since 12 April 1942
Confirmed as Flight Lieutenant, 14 November 1942 &
Promoted Acting Squadron Leader;
Confirmed as Squadron Leader, 6 June 1944.
Reported to No.3 PRC, Bornemouth, 31 May 1941;
Further trained at No.53 OTU;
No.411 Squadron, 26 July 1941 to 13 April 1942;
No.412 Squadron, 13 April to 14 November 1942;
No.421 Squadron, 14 November 1942 to 2 June 1943
Back in Canada, 6 June to 26 August 1943 and
Returned to Britain;
No.421 Squadron, 28 September to 30 October 1943
No.416 Squadron, 20 October 1943 to 29 June 1944
(shot down by flak and hospitalized several weeks);
Repatriated to Canada, 27 November 1944;
Released from RCAF on 1 May 1946.
INDICATE R.C.A.F. FLYERS HELPED DEFEND SINGAPORE
Waterdown Man Took Part in Action Fought Over France
BEAT HUN FIGHTERS
With the R.C.A.F. Somewhere in England, June 1, 1942 — (CP) — Messroom chatter: First indication that R.C.A.F. flyers took part in the defence of Singapore comes with the news that Pilot Officer J. M. Barnes, of Toronto, has become attached to the Royal Australian Air Force.
Barnes escaped from Singapore and was taken to Australia, where the R.C.A.F. permitted him to remain to fly with the R.A.A.F. as a navigator.
Many Australian airmen fly with the R.C.A.F. fighter and bomber squadrons in Britain but this is the first time it has been announced that an R.C.A.F. flyer is to fly officially with the Australians.
Details of Barnes' escape were not available in London.
Germany's vaunted Focke-Wolf 190 fighter had its measure taken recently by Canadian Spitfire pilots, who drove off an attack on Boston bombers they were escorting near Abbeville, France.
Wing-Cmdr. Herb Blatchford, D.F.C., of Edmonton, shot down one FW190 in flames and Flight-Lieut. Frederick E. Green, of Toronto, damaged another. Blatchford's aircraft was damaged and he was obliged to make a forced landing when he returned to base. He suffered minor cuts and bruises.
Blatchford gave his victim such a blasting that he feared flying fragments would damage his own airscrew and wings.
"I fired two bursts into him at 250 yards," the wing-commander related afterwards, "and saw flashes in his fuselage, followed by smoke. I continued following and firing and he took practically no evasive action. The wreckage finally fell in flames.
"His No. 2 man, I knew, was not far off, but the last I had seen of him he apparently was being engaged by two Spitfires. At this stage my attention was distracted by what I thought was firing from two flak ships below, and while 1 was looking down I got a rude shock. From behind, cannon shells hit my left aileron, right wing and tire and missed my radiator by a narrow margin. The result was that my lateral control was unstable, my right flag was out of commission, the tire was burst and my landing gear was damaged."
Waterdown Flyer Mentioned
Green, recently appointed flight commander, also saw fragments fly off the aircraft he attacked but lost sight of it later and could only claim it as "damaged."
Other Canadians from the squadron who helped repel the Nazi attackers included Flight-Lieut. John P. McColl, Waterdown, Ont.; Pilot-Officers R.I. Alpine Smith, Regina; Jack Brookhouse, Montreal; Lloyd Stewart, Fair Hills, Sask.; Harold Charlesworth, Chemainis, Vancouver Island; Richard A. Ellis, Montreal; Warrant Officer J.D. Stevenson, Winnipeg; Flight-Sgt. Stewart Pearce, Toronto, and Sgt. W.F. Aldcorn, Gouverneur, Sask.
Warrant Officers Francis MacRae, Montreal navigator, and Sgt. Pilot Albert Attwell, of Toronto, both agree "you're safer in the air than on the ground."
MacRae came back from a hazardous bombing trip to a French arms center. After reporting to the intelligence officer, he went to the officers’ mess for a hot drink before retiring. The mess floor had been freshly polished and as he walked in the door he slipped and fell and fractured his left knee.
Attwell also came through the perils of a bombing attack across the channel. Returning from St. Nazaire, his aircraft crashed into a hill in England and he suffered a fracture of the left leg.
The two Canadians share neighboring beds in the same hospital.
Nazis' New Focke-Wulf Drubbed by Spitfires
Canadian Fighters Down 1, Damage 4
London, July 26, 1942 - (CP) - Two Canadian Spitfire squadrons helped the R.A.F. account for its big bag of nine new Focke-Wulf 190s during today's sweep over France.
It was a hard-hitting assault in which R.C.A.F. squadrons, commanded by Squadron-Leader R. C. Weston of Saint John, N.B., and Squadron-Leader K. L. B. Hodson of London, Ont., followed their bomber brethren's excursion Saturday night over Duisburg and it brought the Canadians credit for one enemy destroyed, one probably destroyed and at least three damaged.
Simultaneously with the announcement of the fighters' success it was made known that three R.C.A.F. bomber squadrons participated in this third attack on Duisburg in a week.
They were led by Wing Commanders Johnny Fauquier of Ottawa, D. A. R. Bradshaw of London, Ont., and John (Moose) Fulton of Kamloops, B.C.
The Canadian bomber squadrons who helped carry two-ton "block bombs" to dump on Duisburg suffered no casualties.
Weston, describing the fierce afternoon engagements with the highly touted Focke-Wulfs, said: "It was definitely our turn. We jumped them and had the best of them, though there were plenty of Huns in the sky."
Top scorer in Weston's squadron was Flight Lieutenant F. E. Green of Toronto, who destroyed one Nazi fighter and damaged a second. Pilot Officer G. G. Davidson of Brantford, Ont., got one probable and Pilot Officer K. I. Robb of Duchesnay, Que., claimed two damaged.
"The Nazis were flying at about 200 feet — in fact, lots of the fights took place that low." Weston said.
"Flight Lieutenant Green got a Focke-Wulf right in his sights and gave him a good burst. He had the satisfaction of seeing him crash into the trees. There can be no doubt about that one."
Davidson saw his bullets entering a twisting enemy fighter, but the engagement moved so rapidly he was unable to follow the damaged Nazi.
Robb took on two Germans, one after the other, and once he got them in his sights he succeeded in pouring bullets into both of them. However, he was unable to observe the results.
Four R.C.A.F. Squadrons Are Included
in Forces Raiding Submarine Yards
Twenty-Nine Aircraft Fail to Return —
Germans Strike at England Early Today Bombing 23 Districts
July 27, 1942 - (CP) - The big port of Hamburg, Germany’s second largest city and greatest submarine building centre, was hit hard last night by the RAF and RCAF in the heaviest assault on the Reich since the 1,000-plane bombing of Bremen late last month. Four Canadian bomber squadrons formed part of the force that battered Hamburg. They flew Halifaxes, Wellingtons and Hampden. Without disclosing the number of bombers participating in the attack – the 6th on Hamburg this year and the 91st since the war began – a communique announced that 29 of the raiders failed to return.
Six Hundred Took part
(On the basis of losses of slightly under five per cent, which British authorities have reported as the cost of similar recent heavy raids, this would suggest a striking force of at least 600 planes.)
The communique said a "very strong force" attacked the city of 1,700,000 population, whose Blohm & Voss shipyards alone are to have a capacity to build 25 U-boats at a time, and whose war industries, working day and night, include oil refineries, explosives works and a big seaplane factory. German raiders, striking at England out of the low clouds of the early morning, bombed 23 areas, including one within 50 miles of London.
Two brief daylight alerts were sounded in the capital, and for the first time in many months work-bound residents of inland communities saw bombers marked with the black cross sweep low to the attack, then dodge back into the clouds with aircraft fire around them and British fighters roaring in pursuit.
The German bombers, for the most part operating singly, machine-gunned streets and dropped bombs on western England, the south, the Midlands, the east coast, and towns and villages of East Anglia.
Casualties (their number not disclosed) mounted with late reports of persons trapped in the wreckage of their homes or dug out by sweating rescue crews.
It was the R.A.F.’s most powerful blow against a German city since the assault by more than 1,000 planes on Bremen late last month, but informed sources indicated last night's raiders totaled well short of four figures.
It was the fourth attack on Germany in six nights and followed a series of raids on Duisburg.
Experience Good Weather
The raiders were favored by good weather and first reports indicated the assault was highly successful.
The German radio, acknowledging the attack, said it caused some damage to residences and some civilian casualties, and reported 18 British planes were shot down.
Later the Germans raised this figure to 33.
In addition to raiding Hamburg, British planes bombed aerodromes in the Low Countries and attacked Nazi shipping off the Frisian islands, the air ministry reported.
Last night's raid carried to climax a weekend of intense aerial activity, marked by the first appearance of United States army fighter pilots in action over the European continent.
A special communique issued by Major-Gen. Carl Spaatz, commander of U.S. army air forces in the European theatre, disclosed that seven American flyers accompanied R.A.F. fighter squadrons in a series of daylight sweeps over northern France yesterday, during which nine of Germany's vaunted new Focke-Wulfe 190 fighters were shot out of the skies, one by F/L F. E. Green, of Toronto.
Green was among the two squadrons of Canadian fighters commanded by Squadron-Ldrs. R. C. Weston, of Saint John, N.B., and K. L. B. Hodson, of London, Ont., who helped smash the vaunted Focke-Wulfes. P/O G. G. Davidson of Brantford, Ont., got credit for one Nazi probably destroyed, and P/O K. I. Robb of Duchesnay, Que., for two damaged.
Dogfights at 200 Feet
Weston said the R.A.F. squadrons, with Canadians, Americans and Poles, as well as Britons, pounced on the Nazis at 200 feet. Many of the dogfights took place at that altitude.
The allies lost three planes, including one of three piloted by the Americans. Five of the German planes were shot down by a crack Polish squadron.
While the allied fighters were busy over occupied territory, single British bombers made daylight attacks on industries in the Ruhr yesterday and reported that great fires which R.A.F. and R.C.A.F. raiders had started in Duisburg the night before still were raging.
More than 50 two-ton bombs, each capable of wiping out a whole block, were unloaded on Duisburg in the Saturday night attack — the third in five nights directed against that important shipping and rail centre at the junction of the Rhine and Ruhr rivers. Many smaller bombs and incendiaries also were loosed over the city.
"A great force of Lancasters, Stirlings and Halifaxes, as well as many two-engined bombers, participated," said the air ministry.
Fourteen bombers and one fighter were lost in the Saturday night operations
GREEN, F/L Frederick Ernest (J15071) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.412 Sq.
Award effective 24 August 1942 as per London Gazette dated 11 September 1943 and
AFRO 1535/42 dated 25 September 1942
This officer has participated in sorties over enemy territory and has destroyed at least three enemy aircraft. During the combined operations at Dieppe he completed three sorties, two of which were low level escort duties. Flight Lieutenant Green has invariably displayed high skill and great determination
FOUR CANADIANS RECEIVE AWARDS FOR GREAT WORK
Toronto Pilot Gets D.F.C. For Attacks Deep Into Germany
DEEDS OF HEROISM
London, September 11, 1942 - (CP Cable) - The air ministry today announced the award of Distinguished Flying Crosses to six members of the Royal Canadian Air Force who have been carrying the air war deep into German-occupied territory.
The flyers are: F/O James Elmslee Walker, of Edmonton; F/O John Lefroy McCaul, of Toronto; P/O John William Williams, Chilliwack, B.C.; Acting F/L P.L.I. Archer, native of Bridgetown, Barbados, B.W.I.; F/L Frederick Ernest Green, of Toronto, and S/L John Fee, Calgary, Alta.
The citation said Walker destroyed a Nazi plane while serving with the R.A.F. wing in Russia last year and has "shown a keen desire to engage the enemy at all times." Since March he has led his flight continuously on all operations.
McCaul was the navigator of a bomber which attacked a German aerodrome last July, the citation said. He got his bombs on the target despite intense searchlight activity and anti-aircraft fire and his "accurate navigation in the face of great difficulties was of the highest orders."
Williams "fought the enemy with great determination," his citation said. "Within a short period he has destroyed at least four enemy aircraft, two of which he shot down in one day. Later his aircraft was damaged by enemy fire but he flew it safely to its base."
Walker and P/O David L. Ramsay, of Calgary, were the only Canadians in the R.A.F. wing which fought in Russia. On his return from Russia early this year Walker described flying in the Murmansk area much the same as winter flying in Canada except that they saw action.
AIR FORCE, NAVY HAD BIG SHARE IN OPERATIONS
Nine Flyers Have Been Rewarded For Their Work So Far
MAY CITE SAILORS
Ottawa, Oct. 2, 1942 — (CP) — While Canadian army men were in action in the battle of Dieppe last August, Canadian flyers and Canadian naval personnel also played a part in the big combined operations attack.
National defence headquarters today announced 178 decorations to army men who were in the hard-fought battle.
So far nine Canadian airmen have been decorated, though their awards were not directly related to the battle of Dieppe and some of the citations referred to service in other operations as well.
Some 100 officers and men of the Canadian navy, serving with the Royal Navy, were aboard ships engaged in the operation and although no naval decorations for Canadians have yet been announced, there is a possibility there will be some.
Airmen whose citations mentioned service at Dieppe were: Acting Squadron-Ldr. L. Chadburn, of Aurora and Oshawa, Out.; Acting Squadron-Ldr. Norman H. Bretz, of Toronto; Flying Officer T.A. Casey, of Listowel, Ont.; Flying Officer Donald T. Smith, Oakville, Ont.; Acting Squadron-Ldr. Leslie S. Ford, of Liverpool, N.S.; Pilot Officer J.W. Reynolds, Pembroke, Ont.; Acting Squadron-Ldr. John C. Fee, of Calgary and Acting Flight-Lieut. Frederick E. Green, of Toronto, all of whom received the Distinguished Flying Cross; and Sgt. Clarence G. Scott, of Tisdale, Sask., who received the Distinguished Flying medal.
Other decorations for Canadian airmen as a result of their Dieppe services may yet be announced. Both the Canadian airmen and naval personnel who were at Dieppe were under British command although several all-Canadian air force squadrons took part.
Oct. 8, 1942 - While the Canadian Army fought gloriously on the beaches of Dieppe, hundreds of their brothers of the Royal Canadian Air Force in both R.C.A.F. and R.A.F. squadrons helped provide an "umbrella" for their operations "upstairs." And they, too, share in the honors awarded for the shining page written into the history of Canada at war. Among them were
Top, left to right -
Squadron Leader Leslie S. Ford of Liverpool, N.S., who won a Bar for his D.F.C.
Flight Lieutenant Frederick E. Green, Toronto, D.F.C.
Squadron Leader Norman H. Bretz, Toronto, D.F.C.
Squadron Leader Lloyd V. Chadburn, Aurora, D.F.C.
Bottom, left to right -
Squadron Leader John Clark Fee, Calgary, D.F.C.
Flight Lieutenant James Whitham, Edmonton, D.F.C.
Sergeant Clarence G. Scott, Tisdale, Sask., D.F.M.
Pilot Officer B. (Scotty) Murray, Halifax, D.F.M
R.C.A.F.'S BAG DURING WEEK INCLUDES SUB
Ottawa, Dec. 17, 1943 (CP) — Mosquito pilots of the R.C.A.F. overseas destroyed one Heinkel 111 and damaged another during the last week, while the two-man crew of another Mosquito shot down three of four bombers destroyed over England last Friday and a Coastal Command Flying Fortress, whose second pilot was a Canadian, sank a U-boat after two depth-charge attacks.
In addition, the R.C.A.F. said in a summary of overseas operations tonight, Spitfire squadrons of the RCAF were active last Monday carrying out sweeps in support of United States Flying Fortresses and Liberators hammering targets in Northwest Germany. Two squadrons later escorted Marauders of the United States Army Air Force in an attack on Schipol airfield in Amsterdam.
Last Tuesday P/O C. B. Witt of Morden, Man., shared in the victory of a Coastal Command Beaufighter squadron off the coast of Norway. Two Beaufighters were patrolling when they saw a Dornier three-engined, long-range flying boat ahead. They immediately attacked it and set it on fire.
Crew of the Fighter Command Mosquito which destroyed three bombers last Friday was F/O R. D. Schultz of Bashaw, Alta., and F/O Vernon Williams of Hamilton, the plane's pilot and navigator respectively.
They took off to intercept enemy bombers attacking England and shot down a Dornier 217, blowing it up in mid-air. They then encountered and destroyed another Do217, accounting for their third victim after their own aircraft had been damaged and was flying on only one engine.
New Base Effective
The Coastal Command plane which sank the U-boat was captained by an Englishman. The submarine was the first victim to fall to a squadron operating from newly acquired bases in the Azores.
F/O D. Thompson of Westmount, Que., second pilot, described the second attack against the U-boat as "a beautiful straddle."
The Heinkel 111 shot down Sunday was destroyed by F/L Robert Kipp of Kamloops, B.C. The second Heinkel was severely damaged by F/O J. Johnson of Omemee. Kipp's navigator was F/O Pete Huletsky of Montreal and Johnson's was F/O J. Gibbons of Vancouver. The combat occurred in daylight over France. (actually, Johnson and Kipp shared them both –jf)
Squadrons commanded by S/L E. L. (Jeep) Neal, D.F.C., of Quebec; S/L I. G. Ormston, D.F.C., of Montreal; S/L George C. Keefer, D.F.C., of Charlottetown; S/L R. A. Buckham, D.F.C. (United States), and S/L G. M. Magwood, D.F.C., of Toronto carried out sweeps on Monday.
In close escort of United States heavy bombers were squadrons commanded by S/L G. W. Northcott, D.F.C., of Minnedosa, Man., and S/L F. E. Green, D.F.C, of Toronto.
The squadrons commanded by Buckham and Northcott escorted the American marauders in their attack on Schipol airfield.
CANADIANS MAKE DEADLY SWEEPS
With a Canadian Fighter Wing in Britain, May 22, 1944 — (CP Cable) — The R.A.F. 2nd Tactical Air Force, with a Canadian Spitfire wing under W/C Lloyd V. Chadburn, of Aurora, Ont., playing a prominent part, ranged across the Netherlands, Belgium and France yesterday in a great softening-up of the enemy's rail transport which might have to bear the brunt of troop-carrying traffic when the invasion begins.
Twenty planes were lost, four of them Canadian, but the pilot of one fighter is known to be safe.
Chadburn did not go up himself but his old City of Oshawa Squadron, led by S/L Freddie Green, D.F.C., Toronto, was in the forefront of the Canadian attack. Pilots of the squadron attacked 13 trains, six of which were shared by F/L Don Hayworth, of Regina, and F/O R. Sharun, of Toronto.
Three trains were damaged by F/O's G. A. Borland, of Guelph, Ont., and A. R. McFadden, Springdale, Alta., and four others were shared by F/L's R. B. Forrest-Roberts, Vancouver, D. R. Cuthbertson, Brantford, Ont. and W/O Ron McRae, Spencerville, Ont.
Canadian Pilots Blow Up Trains, Destroy 5 Germans in 5 Minutes
With a Canadian Fighter Wing in Britain, May 22, 1944 - (CP) - Piling the Canadian score higher all through the day in the sustained, aerial offensive, pilots of the City of Oshawa Spitfire Squadron late today added five more trains damaged to their earlier bag of five enemy planes destroyed and six enemy trains shot up in a foray over the Cherbourg Peninsula.
Their bag of 11 trains today raised to 24 the number they have attacked since yesterday morning and gave Canadian squadrons operating from this British 2nd Tactical Air Force airfield a total of 31 trains shot up in the same period.
The Canadians' total bag of planes for the day was brought to seven by F/O Bud Bowker of Granby, Que., who shot two FW190's into the English Channel while on a gun-testing flight in a Spitfire. Putting in his operational rest period between tours as a pilot with a Canadian repair and salvage unit, Bowker took off from this base today to test the guns of a Spitfire. He bumped into two Focke-Wulf 190's over the English Channel and sent them both crashing into the sea.
It was the first time this stocky flier, who had been "getting so darn sick of doing nothing," had taken off with guns loaded since he came off operations last February. The double victory brought his score to seven enemy aircraft destroyed.
Standing beside a mobile hangar around which Spitfires were being overhauled, Bowker, in battle dress and wearing flying boots, pushed his cap back on his head and told the story of his victory, achieved in a matter of seconds.
He was flying in the direction of St. Valerie and about a quarter of the way across the Channel he sighted the FW190's, flying in line abreast in a northeasterly direction.
Were Carrying Bombs, Rockets
Bowker said the enemy planes were carrying bombs or rockets.
"I crawled up behind them and went after one and they broke toward the French coast," he related. “I let one have a 20-degree shot and he blew up. The exploding aircraft swerved to one side and the other just barely bounced off it, went up 100 feet and then crashed into the sea.”
Today's Canadian successes were achieved without loss.
The third sortie of the day against enemy transport in France was led by S/L Freddie Green, D.F.C., Toronto, who took five of his pilots into attacks against four freight trains and a petrol train.
The locomotive of the petrol train was left with steam pouring from it and two oil cars blazing.
A section of the Red Indian squadron under S/L Walter Conrad, D.F.C. of Richmond, Ont., attacked two trains 20 miles west of Paris just before dusk tonight.
One was a troop train and the Red Indians gave it a double dose of cannon and machine-gun fire, flying in through heavy ack-ack to deliver their blow.
The bag of five enemy planes to pilots of the City of Oshawa squadron came in a five-minute combat in the Rouen sector of France when the Canadians were returning from a train busting foray northwest of Paris.
Six planes of the squadron met an equal number of Germans and the Dominion filers attacked despite the fact their ammunition was dangerously low. Three of the German planes were downed in 10 seconds.
Pilots who each downed an FW190 were F/L R. D. Forbes-Roberts of Vancouver, leader of a section; F/L G. R. Patterson of Kelowna, B.C., and F/O W. H. Palmer of Kamloops and Salmon Arm, B.C.
F/Ls W. F. Mason of Smiths Falls, and A. R. McFadden of Springdale, Alta., each downed a Messerschmitt 109.
Fired Compressed Air
Mason's victory over his Messerschmitt victim came after he had expended all his ammunition, shooting up trains. He got on the German's tail, followed him close to the ground and the Jerry, apparently excited, flipped his machine over in evasive action and plunged into the ground. All Mason did, he said, was fire a couple of rounds of "compressed air" from his empty guns.
F/O Palmer had a close call. He was only 20 yards behind his German victim when the Nazi exploded and debris whistled around Palmer's cockpit but did no harm.
FO. G. A. Borland of Guelph was also in this action but went scoreless because he chose to protect the tail of F/L McFadden. Borland already has five German planes to his credit from previous, actions.
Ontario Men Fighter Wave Leaders In Invasion
By TRENT FRAYNE, June 7, 1944
When they read about it yesterday, nobody was surprised to learn that Lloyd Chadburn and Freddie Green led the first waves of fighter planes over the invasion area. Those who knew them, in fact, rather expected it.
Chad and Freddie are alike in a lot of ways. They come from the same neck of the woods, Chadburn from Aurora and Green from Toronto. Both insist there is no aircraft in the world to match the Spitfire and both have flown them for three years or more.
They were sergeants when they went overseas. Today Chad is a wing commander, wearing the D.S.O. and Bar and the D.F.C. Freddie is a squadron leader, has the D.F.C. and Bar. Both are blond-headed, easy-going, will settle for a practical joke any time.
Has Rafese on Tongue
Let's look at them a little closer, digging back to last June 16, when Freddie came home for a month's leave. He is a serious, sincere fellow when the mood strikes him. He swears no more than the average 27-year-old, but just as much, too. He talks about a pilot's leaves like the fellow next door talks about Saturday night. Like all pilots, he has Rafese on his tongue, but it’s casual and unaffected.
"Dieppe was bloody hell for the guys on the ground. I was over eight times, escorting bombers.
Other planes were upstairs knocking Jerry down and Jerry was tumbling past us all the time. I wasn't more than 500 feet up all day.” Perhaps that's what it was like yesterday ... or today ... or will be tomorrow.
Reason for Decorations
Why did he get his decorations?
"Damned if I know. Because I'd lived so long, I guess."
If he had gone overseas as a sergeant-pilot, his promotion to squadron leader was rather rapid, wasn't it?
"I wouldn't say that. A lot of guys were killed. Somebody had to be promoted.”
And then when you switch over to Chadburn you find the same type of fellow. Ask him about his decorations and he says the D.S.O. came out with the rations and opines that the D.F.C. is a prettier ribbon anyway.
Chad made the immortal remark about his service ribbon: "It came for voting for Mackenzie King." Of the ribbon's overseas clasp, he grinned: "That's my Willkie button.”
He doesn't want to talk about himself and he isn't making noises like one of those pseudo-modest types either. He just shakes you off a question about Chadburn by grinning and handing out an impossible answer.
Tribute to Chadburn
F/L Jack Rae, D.F.C., Toronto, who flew with Chadburn overseas, once volunteered the most striking tribute to 24-year-old Chadburn.
"When we were flying with the City of Oshawa Squadron, there wasn't a guy who ever asked Chad where we were going. When he told us we were off for a scramble we jumped to get going. We didn't care where. If he was leading us we just naturally tag along."
That's what those verbose citations are talking about when they refer to a man's "qualities of leadership.” That's what Freddie Green and Lloyd Chadburn and hundreds of other young Canadians are throwing at Hitler today.
Bob Hayward, Leonard Cheshire VC, Jack Charles, Freddy Green & Jack Sheppard
Victories Include :
27 Mar 1942
15 Apr 1942
26 July 1942
29 July 1942
NE of Abbeville/Drucat
S of Brighton
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