German Chemical Works At Leverkusen
Are Hit During Night Offensives
Düsseldorf Is Attacked — Five Bombers Lost in Widespread Raids
London, 23 Aug. 1943 — (CP) — R.A.F. and Canadian bombers returned to their crushing attacks on Germany last night after an interval of two nights and the Air Ministry announced that the chemical works at Leverkusen, six miles north of Cologne, were the special target.
The German radio said that Düsseldorf, in the Rhineland, also was attacked and that 11 British fighters and a "number" of bombers were shot down in "random" attacks on other objectives in the western Reich. The Air Ministry described these as intruder patrols over railway targets and airfields.
The Air Ministry said five bombers were lost in the night's activities.
Canadian Plane Missing
R.C.A.F. headquarters announced that one of the missing bombers was Canadian. It said several squadrons of the R.C.A.F. bomber group were out with the R.A.F. and that at the same time R.C.A.F. Mosquitos on intruder patrol attacked railways and airfields in france and Belgium.
Over Leverkusen and other targets, heavy clouds made it difficult to see results, the air communique said.
Leverkusen was bombed twice in 1940 but has not been a specific target since.
Hardly had the night raiders returned than light bombers and fighter sped out by daylight today to resume the assaults.
The night attack ended a lull that had lasted since Thursday night when Mosquitos struck at Berlin.
Spitfires were out in force during the day and RAF medium bombers attacked the St. Omer freight yards. The Air Ministry said the planes were not challenged.
A Canadian Spitfire wing encountered more than 15 Messerschmitt 109s over the Gosnay area in northern France. The English leader, W/C J. E. Johnson, shot down an enemy aircraft to become the second highest scoring pilot still serving with the fighter command, with 23 victims.
The Vichy radio said American planes raided a place in Normandy.
F/O R. S. Middlemiss of Montreal, a member of the R.C.A.F. Wolf Squadron, damaged a Messerschmitt in the Canadian-Nazi scrap over the Gosnay area.
During these night operations, it was learned today, S/L G. W. Northcott, of Minnedosa, Man., was credited with shooting down an enemy aircraft over France.
Enemy raiders scattered bombs in East Anglia and also rumbled over southeast England last night. At least two were shot down. An alarm sounded in London soon after midnight but no incidents were reported.
Late yesterday marauder medium bombers of the United States 8th Air Force attacked an enemy airfield at Beaumont Le Roger in occupied France. Escorting R.A.F. and R.C.A.F. Spitfires and the bombers knocked down nine enemy fighters. One bomber and eight Allied fighters were listed as missing, but all the Canadian aircraft returned safely.
During the operation an unidentified Canadian squadron leader shot down a Focke-Wulf in one of the "great many" combats fought by the R.C.A.F. fighter wing, an R.C.A.F. communique said.
During Sunday, British and Canadian intruders attacked enemy shipping, airfields, transport and communications, continuing the Saturday night train-busting expedition that saw R.C.A.F. pilots smash up a number of engines and enemy aircraft.
|Much of what follows, including quotations, are from a biography he prepared when appointed Honorary Colonel of No.427 Squadron (-H.Halliday)
Born in Montreal, 30 July 1920, home there.
Educated at Commercial High School of Montreal.
Early in 1940 he approached the RCAF but was told that he would be called when an opening came.
On 12 July 1940 he joined 3rd Canadian Motorcycle Regiment, Canadian Active Service Force.
Called for RCAF service, enlisted in Montreal, 14 September 1940.
Reported to No.1 Manning Depot, Toronto, 17 September 1940
("outfitted with uniforms, drill and route marches, medicals and inoculations")
Guard duty at No.5 (BR) Squadron, North Sydney, 8 Oct. to 13 Nov. 1940
("guarded the hangar, fuel and ammunition dumps. My first flight was in a Stranraer aircraft")
No.1 ITS, Toronto, 14 November 1940. Subjects were navigation, mathematics, Morse code, Air Force regulations, physical training, drill and Link Trainer; graduated 21 December 1940 and posted next day to
No.13 EFTS, St. Eugene, Ontario where he flew Fleet Finch aircraft (27.45 hours dual, 25.05 solo. Graduated 10 February 1941 and posted to
No.9 SFTS, Summerside; Harvard aircraft, flying 47.30 dual and 40.35 solo. Graduated 3 May 1941.
Further trained at
No.57 OTU, Hawarden, Cheshire, 2 July to 10 August 1941 (Master aircraft, 2.35 dual and 5.10 solo; Spitfire aircraft, 35.55 hours).
No.145 Squadron, Catterick, Yorkshire, 11 August to 19 September 1941 ("Flew Mark II Spitfires and gained operational experience. Carried out operational flights protecting convoys in the North Sea and Air Defence patrols in the area.”)
No.41 Squadron, Merston and Satellite West Hampnett, 20 September 1941 to 1 April 1942 ("Flew Spitfire Mk. Vs. Operations consisted of convoy patrols in the English Channel, Fighter Sweeps, Rhubarbs, Bomber escorts. Air Defence patrols in 11 Group Sector including defence against low flying fighter-bomber attacks.”)
No.403 Squadron, 28 April to 11 May 1942, North Weald and South End, Essex ("Squadron required a number of operational experienced pilots to help rebuild the squadron after recent losses.”)
No.249 Squadron, Takali, Malta, 3 June to 1 August 1942, arriving after fly-off from HMS Eagle. Flew there with George Beurling.
Shot down and wounded.
At No.52 OTU, Aston Down, 9-23 Sept. 1942 following recuperation in hospital.
With No.53 OTU, Llandow, Wales, 23 September 1942 to 19 April 1943 ("We trained recently graduated pilots on Master and Spitfire aircraft; this consisted of checking pilots out on Spitfire aircraft, formation flying, gunnery, tactics and aircraft recognition.”)
With No.130 Squadron, Drem, Scotland and Ballyhalbert, Ireland, 19 April to 9 May 1943 ("Flew Spitfire Mk. IX aircraft. The aim was to sharpen our operational skills before returning to an operational squadron in the South.”).
With No.403 Squadron, 9 May 1943 to 1 March 1944, at Kenley, No.127 Airfield and Headcorn, Kent. ("Flew Spitfire Mk.IV aircraft").
Promoted to Flight Lieutenant and given command of 'B’ Flight.
Operations consisted mainly of Fighter Sweeps, Rhubarbs, escorting B-17 Fortresses and B-24 Liberators.
Damaged two more enemy aircraft during this tour.
127 Airfield at Headcorn ("We lived in tents, operated and worked in the field under canvas in preparation for 'D’ Day”.)
With No.144 Airfield, Digby, 1 March to 3 April 1944 ("Flew Mk.IX aircraft").
Having completed two tours of operations was repatriated to Canada.
At No.1 OTU, Bagotville, 1 June to 28 October 1944 ("Flew harvard and Hurricane aircraft and posted to the Air Firing Squadron. Pilots going through basic and intermediate flying then came to Air Firing Squadron for air-to-air and air-to-ground firing, bombing and rocket firing. As training was slowing I was to move once more.”)
At No.7 OTU, Debert, Nova Scotia, 28 October 1944 to 30 June 1945 ("Flew Oxford and Mosquito aircraft. While there attended 1 Composite Training School, Officer Administration Course, Toronto.”)
Attended RCAF Staff College, Toronto, 1 July to 17 December 1945 ("I was one of four Flight Lieutenants to be accepted for this first post-war course. Graduated and awarded 'psca’.”)
From 7 January to 10 April 1946 he was with Radio and Communications School, Clinton, Ontario, as Station Adjutant. ("Shortly after, AFHQ decided that all Staff College graduates should be posted in AFHQ.”)
At AFHQ, 1 May 1946 to 1 June 1948 ("AMSO/DOE spent one year preparing amending Kings Rules and Regulations and preparing submissions for the Governor-General in Council. The second year was with AMOT/DADO as Fighter Operations Officer. During my stay I ferried four Mustang aircraft to Gimli; these were acquired from the USAF and I prepared a full report on their condition on my return.”)
At RAF Central Fighter Establishment, West Raynham, Norfolk, 2 June 1948 to 13 June 1950 ("I was the first RCAF Exchange Officer posted to this unit. CFE was the home of the Day Fighter Leaders Course, Night Fighter Leaders Course and Air Fighting Development Squadron. AFDS developed and tested operational procedures for fighter squadrons of the RAF. Flew Vampire and Meteor aircraft”.)
From 14 June to 14 December 1950 he was with No.421 Squadron, Chatham, New Brunswick ("I was posted in as 'B’ Flight Commander. Flew Harvard and Vampire aircraft. In December the squadron was to move to Odiham, England, and having just spent two years overseas I was moved to a Unit on base.”)
From 14 December 1950 to 18 March 1951 he was with No.1 (Fighter) OTU, Chatham ("Posted as a Flight Commander to train newly graduated pilots from Service Flying School to jet aircraft. This course on graduation was to form 441 Squadron at St. Hubert. Flew Harvard and Vampire aircraft.”)
On strength of No.441 Squadron, St. Hubert, 18 March to 29 November 1951 ("Flew T-33 and Sabre aircraft. I was posted in as a Flight Commander. While with the squadron I was sent to Central Experimental and Proving Establishment, Ottawa to check out in the new all-Canadian CF-100 All Weather Fighter, then to take it across Canada and demonstrate it to RCAF bases and public air shows. On my second flight a cracked main spar was discovered, grounding the aircraft and delaying the aircraft entering Service for six months. On November 14th I was promoted to Squadron Leader.”)
From 29 November 1951 to 26 September 1953 he was with No.421 Squadron, initially at St. Hubert ("Took command of the newly formed squadron. Flew T-33 and Sabre aircraft. September led the squadron across the Atlantic on Leapfrog II to 2 Wing, Gros Tenquin, France.”)
From 26 September 1953 to 19 August 1956 he was with No.1 Overseas Ferry Unit, St. Hubert ("Formed unit, was the first Commanding Officer. During this tour the Unit delivered 650 Sabre aircraft to the squadrons on the Continent. I completed 18 Random Operations during the tour.”)
From 20 August 1956 to 4 December 1961 he was on strength of AFHQ ("VCAS/COR/SADR as Operational Project Officer for the replacement of the Sabre aircraft. I headed a team of officers and evaluated aircraft in Canada, USA, UK, France and Sweden to determine the aircraft that would best meet the RCAF requirements as a Strike/Attack aircraft. The two aircraft that came closest to meeting these requirements were the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter and the Grumman Super Tiger F-11F-1F. In June 1959 I flew and evaluated the aircraft at bases in California. The Canadian government final selection was the F-104. On August 14th was promoted to Wing Commander and selected to be the first 104 Squadron Commander.”)
From 4 December 1961 to 3 February 1962 at No.2 Advanced Flying School, Gimli, Manitoba ("advanced flying on T-33 aircraft”).
Next, 3 February to 22 June 1962, at No.1 Sabre Transition Unit, Chatham, New Brunswick ("The course was made up of 25 pilots. Flying was carried out on Sabre aircraft and designed to teach low level flying and low level navigation procedures.”)
From 22 June to 7 December 1962 at No.3 Strike/Reconnaissance Operational Training Unit, Cold Lake, Alberta ("Flew T-33 and CF-104 Starfighter aircraft. The 25 pilots completed the course but on December 8th, AFHQ divided the group into two Squadrons - 13 pilots to form 427 Strike/Attack Squadron and the other twelve plus an instructor to follow several months later as 434 Squadron.”)
From 8 December 1962 to 19 June 1964 he was overseas again; ("427 Strike/Attack Squadron, 3 Wing, Zweibrucken, Germany. Flying progressed smoothly along with the necessary training required by all sections on the Base. It was necessary for us to become fully operational and ready to pass the Tactical Evaluation Requirements for the Wing to be considered fully operational.
On returning from Christmas leave in England to 1 Wing, Marville, France, in a Bristol Freighter aircraft, on the approach in bad weather, crashed short of the runway. All aircrew and passengers, including my wife, were killed with the exception of a crew member, my daughter and myself. After recuperating in hospital I was repatriated to Canada.”)
From 20 June 1964 to 7 July 1965 at AFHQ ("VCAS/COPS/DADO and placed in charge of Fighter Operations.”)
From 29 July 1965 to 27 April 1967 he was Commanding Officer, No.6 Strike/Reconnaissance OTU ("On a trip back from vacationing on the west coast and in Calgary, Alberta I suffered a mild heart attack and was hospitalized, and consequently relieved of my Command.”)
From 6 August 1967 to 12 November 1968 at NORAD Headquarters, Colorado Springs with the Fighter/Bomber Exercise Branch.
On 12 November 1968 his medical category was lowered.
With a loss of flying status he requested retirement and was posted back to Ottawa.
Final retirement date was 13 June 1969.
DFC presented by Governor General, 17 April 1947. With Ontario Government Training Branch 1972-1974, developing training programs for industry which was funded by the Federal government.
Project later transferred to Community College.
With George Brown College, 1974 to 1981 (Chairman of Industrial Training Branch, developing training programs for industry funded by Federal government).
Appointed Honorary Colonel, No.427 (Tactical Helicopter) Squadron, 31 October 2003 (term to run to 30 October 2006).
Four Canadians Are Decorated
Ottawa, May 20, 1944 - The effective destruction of enemy planes, locomotives and shipping is reflected in the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross to four members of the R.C.A.F. serving overseas, air force headquarters announced last night.
Those decorated are S/L C. H. Stover of Sarnia, Ont.; F/L G. W. Burroughs of Winnipeg; F/L G. A. Muir of Winnipeg and F/L R. G. Middlemiss of Montreal.
Stover has participated in operations for almost two years, having made his first sortie during the attack on Dieppe. Burroughs also has taken part in a large number of reconnaissance and ranger sorties, having participated in 28 coastal patrols.
Muir is a veteran of night intruder operations over Rhodes, Cos and Crete, and Middlemiss has completed two tours of operational duty which involved sorties from both Malta and the United Kingdom.
Bob does paperwork with his friend George Beurling - 403 Squadron
MIDDLEMISS, F/L Robert George (J15958) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.403 Squadron
Award effective 12 May 1944 as per London Gazette dated 19 May 1944 and
AFRO 1380/44 dated 30 June 1944.
This officer has completed two tours of operational duty and has completed sorties both from Malta and the United Kingdom. He has destroyed three enemy aircraft and damaged others. His standard of leadership as a section leader and flight commander has always been high and he has invariably shown outstanding courage.
Public Record Office Air 2/9626 has recommendation drafted 12 March 1944 by S/L R.A. Buckham, noting he had flown 140 sorties (215 hours ten minutes).
The above-mentioned officer has completed two tours of operations in Fighter Command. In his first tour he completed 23 sorties in England and 18 in Malta. He was wounded in Malta and returned to England. In his second tour he completed 99 sorties over enemy territory. He has destroyed three enemy aircraft and damaged five others. His leadership as a section and flight commander has been of a very high standard, and he has been an excellent example to the pilots under his command.
G/C W.R. MacBrien added his remarks the same day:
Flight Lieutenant Middlemiss has completed two tours of Fighter Operations and throughout has displayed the greatest keenness and ability as a fighter pilot. He has been wounded and has destroyed three enemy aircraft, damaging a further five. I consider that his efforts in Malta and in England merit the non-immediate award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.
This recommendation was accompanied by an exceptionally detailed listing of his sorties, as follows:
No.41 Squadron, England
24 December 1941 - Rhubarb - returned, no cloud cover (1.00)
27 December 1941 - Rhubarb - returned, no cloud cover (.45)
28 December 1941 - Channel sweep (1.30)
25 January 1942 - Channel sweep - nothing about (1.25)
12 February 1942 - Escorted Hurri-bombers, attack on Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, Prinz Eugen (1.45)
1 March 1942 - Escorting Blenheims 50 miles off St. Catherine’s Point (1.25)
3 March 1942 - Sweep - escort for bombers coming back from Paris (1.40)
13 March 1942 - Sweep - Ramrod escort, patrol from Calais to Ostend (1.25)
14 March 1942 - Sweep - Ramrod escort (1.20)
14 March 1942 - Sweep - off Le Havre (1.20)
25 March 1942 - Circus 117 - escort to nine Bostons bombing Le Trait (1.25)
26 March 1942 - Ramrod - escorting Bostons to Le Havre (1.15)
28 March 1942 - Sweep - over Le Havre, nothing about (1.10)
10 April 1942 - Sweep - one FW.190 damaged by FS Middlemiss (1.30)
13 April 1942 - Rodeo - round trip Dannes-Desvres-Sangette, some flak encountered (1.20)
15 April 1942 - Sweep - Calais-Le Touquet area (1.20)
16 April 1942 - Sweep - Jerries about but no luck (1.25)
16 April 1942 - Sweep (1.25)
17 April 1942 - Sweep - took Hurri-bombers to Marquise, flak very close (1.35)
17 April 1942 - Circus - escort to twelve Bostons to Rouen (1.50)
19 April 1942 - Sweep - failed to meet Hurri-bombers, went as far as Dieppe (1.15)
26 April 1942 - Sweep - escorted Hurri-bombers to Calais (1.10)
27 April 1942 - Sweep - rear escort to Blankenberche, W/C Hugo baled out, stayed around until he was picked up. (1.50)
No.249 Squadron, Malta
3 June 1942 - Flew off aircraft carrier HMS Eagle to Malta, attacked by 109s (3.30)
5 June 1942 - Scramble - defence of Malta; chased a Ju.88, no luck, too fast (1.00)
6 June 1942 - Scramble - defence of Malta, chased RE.1002s, no luck (1.10)
6 June 1942 - Scramble - defence of Malta, chased RE.1002s, lost them on the water (.50)
8 June 1942 - Scramble - defence of Malta, chased four 109s (.50)
10 June 1942 - Scramble - lots of 109s but no luck (.45)
15 June 1942 - Swordfish patrol - our convoy from west (1.05)
15 June 1942 - Swordfish patrol - escort to convoy (.55)
15 June 1942 - Scramble - defence of Malta; nearly had it broken gas line between Gozo and Sicily (.35)
17 June 1942 - Scramble - defence of Malta, didn’t see the 109s (.30)
27 June 1942 - Scramble - defence of Malta, jumped eight Macchia 202s; WO1 Middlemiss destroyed one and damaged another.
29 June 1942 - Scramble - defence of Malta; didn’t see anything (1.05)
29 June 1942 - Scramble - defence of Malta, nothing seen (.25)
2 July 1942 - Scramble - left alone; saw five Macchis which immediately half-rolled seeing me (1.10)
2 July 1942 - Scramble - defence of Malta, went to attack 88s but had to go after 109, claimed as destroyed (.40)
2 July 1942 - Scramble - defence of Malta; patrolled minesweepers and then cover for returning aircraft (1.10)
4 July 1942 - Scramble - defence of Malta; one CANT 1007 destroyed by WO Middlemiss (1.00)
7 July 1942 - Scramble - defence of Malta; tried to get the 88s but got an ME.109 damaged, then got hit myself in the right arm and shoulder; baled out 10-15 miles from land; paddled around for two hours (1.05)
No.403 Squadron, England
19 May 1943 - Sweep - swept around Boulogne area; saw several 190s, no engagement (1.35)
21 May 1943 - Circus 301 - going to bomb Abbeville but turned back due to weather (1.05)
22 May 1943 - Ramrod - escort to bombers to Zeebrugge (1.45)
1 June 1943 - Sweep - no luck today; 10/10 cloud; came home again (1.05)
12 June 1943 - Ramrod 91 - squadron engaged 109s southeast of Yvetot; claimed one damaged (1.35)
15 June 1943 - Ramrod 95 - squadrons engaged by 30+ in vicinity of Rouen (1.20)
28 June 1943 - Ramrod 113 - escorted 50 Fortresses to Beaumont-Le Roger (1.40)
29 June 1943 - Ramrod 114 - (1.35)
15 July 1943 - Rodeo 245 - squadron engaged, Poix area (1.25)
16 July 1943 - Rodeo - engaged again, no claims though; swept Abbeville, Grandvilliers and out at Dieppe (1.30)
26 July 1943 - Rodeo 250 - into Armentiers, enemy aircraft around but no engagements (1.40)
27 July 1943 - Ramrod - up around Zeebrugge, down to Courtrai, no excitement (1.30)
28 July 1943 - Ramrod 164 - went up to Rotterdam, brought home a lone Fortress (1.30)
28 July 1943 - Ramrod 168 - down to Le Havre, then swept up to Abbeville, no luck (1.35)
29 July 1943 - Sweep - over to Amsterdam, wing got three destroyed and two damaged (1.40)
30 July 1943 - Sweep - to Schiphol aerodrome; squadron got two, down to 4,000 feet over aerodrome (1.40)
31 July 1943 - Sweep, Ramrod 179 - to Merville escorting Marauders in (1.40)
8 August 1943 - Sweep - down to Poix, no engagements (1.25)
9 August 1943 - Ramrod 191 - escorting 26 Marauders to St.Omer. Some Huns up but no contacts (1.25)
12 August 1943 - Ramrod 194 - escorted Forts from Germany from around Woensdrecht (2.00)
12 August 1943 - Ramrod - Bounced twenty 109s but they half-rolled away (1.35)
15 August 1943 - Ramrod - to Woensdrecht, some Huns about but not seen (1.40)
15 August 1943 - Ramrod 202 - sixty Fortresses to Poix and Amiens, bombing good; no engagements (1.45)
16 August 1943 - Ramrod 203 - 180 Fortresses to Bernay, a few Huns about but couldn't get near them (1.40)
16 August 1943 - Ramrod 205 - took Marauders to Beaumont, following 12 Huns towards Paris - no engagements (1.50)
17 August 1943 - Ramrod 206 - swept 50 miles inland, Forts went on to Italy (1.40)
17 August 1943 - Ramrod 207 - went 50 miles to escort Forts out (1.45)
18 August 1943 - Ramrod 208 - escorting 36 Marauders to Lille; weather u/s (1.15)
19 August 1943 - Ramrod 210 - escorting 60 Forts to Brussels; Huns about but no engagements (1.35)
22 August 1943 - Sweep - inland around Rouen, enemy aircraft seen but would not engage (1.35)
23 August 1943 - Ramrod 214 - escorting bombers; Wing engaged; claimed 190 damaged by F/O Middlemiss (1.10)
24 August 1943 - Ramrod 215 - swept the Conche-Evreux area, lots of cloud but no enemy aircraft (1.30)
27 August 1943 - Ramrod S.6 - High cover to Bostons; they came back, we went in but could not locate any enemy aircraft.
27 August 1943 - Ramrod S.8 - 240 Forts bombed Forest (ammunition dump) north of St. Omer; three Forts seen to go down after being hit by flak (1.10)
30 August 1943 - Sweep - Marauders bombed same as above, some flak quite close (1.30)
31 August 1943 - Ramrod - Forts to Brussels; Wing was engaged but our squadron was high cover (1.50)
2 September 1943 - Ramrod S.24 - 72 Marauders bombing Hesdin Wood; far too much accurate flak; could not shake it for about 30 miles - German ATS girls, I guess (1.35)
4 September 1943 - Ramrod S.31 - high cover to Marauders bombing Lille marshalling yards (1.25)
5 September 1943 - Ramrod - escorting Marauders to Ghent; a few engagements but no claims made (1.45)
6 September 1943 - Sweep - free-lanced around Amiens, lots of flak outlining Boulogne, brought a Mitchell back which crashed and burnt up near Lydd.
6 September 1943 - Sweep - 140 Forts raided Stuttgart; we went in quite a way and brought one Fort out. Ten Forts landed at our base after this do (2.05)
7 September 1943 - Sweep - Took two lots of Forts in around St. Omer district. Some flak; bombing was pretty good (1.40)
8 September 1943 - Sweep - free-lanced around Amiens district, were vectored on to some Huns but could not locate them (1.30)
9 September 1943 - Sweep - The big day - kept up a standing patrol between Cap Griz Nez and Le Touquet and inland but no Huns about (1.25)
9 September 1943 - Sweep - same as above (1.15)
21 September 1943 - Ramrod - Marauders to Beaumont le Roger; some flak about; weather was not good (1.45)
22 September 1943 - Ramrod - 72 Marauders bombed aerodrome at Evreux. No enemy aircraft seen (1.35)
23 September 1943 - Ramrod - 72 Marauders bombed aerodrome at Beauvais; enemy aircraft about but did not engage (1.45)
2 October 1943 - Ramrod 255 - 21 Liberators to Woensdrect, some flak. No engagements (1.50)
3 October 1943 - Ramrod 258 - escorting twelve Bostons out (1.50)
3 October 1943 - Ramrod 259 - escorting; Roy Amy aerodrome bombed. 60+ 190s and 109s; Wing got five destroyed and one damaged (1.40)
15 October 1943 - Rodeo 260 - nothing to report (1.45)
18 October 1943 - Ramrod 273 - escorting 120 Forts to northwest Germany; lots of flak, got hit on port main plan by it (1.45)
20 October 1943 - Rodeo 263 - went in at Somme Estuary, then to Arras, to Lille, then straight out to Le Touquet (1.25)
20 October 1943 - Ramrod 277 - 120 Forts to northwest Germany, had to come back after going half-way (1.05)
24 October 1943 - Ramrod 283 - 216 Marauders bombed three Hun aerodromes; lots of Huns up (1.30)
3 November 1943 - Ramrod - 72 Marauders bombed St. Andre aerodrome; quite a few Huns about. No.421 got two (2.00)
4 November 1943 - Rodeo - went to Lille; some Huns about but could not be engaged (1.25)
5 November 1943 - Sweep (1.55)
7 November 1943 - Circus (1.40)
8 November 1943 - Sweep (1.35)
10 November 1943 - Ramrod 307 - 72 Marauders bombed Lille-Vendreville aerodrome. Quite a bit of flak, lots of Spits, no Huns (1.50)
11 November 1943 - Ramrod 311 - 162 Marauders bombing Martinvast, Cherbourg peninsula. Acted as fighter umbrella. Quite a bit of flak from target (1.50)
23 November 1943 - Ramrod - 24 Bostons, 48 Mitchells to Audinghen (1.35)
25 November 1943 - Ramrod - 24 Bostons, 48 Mitchells to Audinghen; acted as fighter umbrella (1.45)
26 November 1943 - Ramrod - escorted 120 Forts out of France in behind Beauvais, not much excitement (2.00)
29 November 1943 - Ramrod - 10/10 cloud all the way, intense light accurate flak from Calais (1.40)
1 December 1943 - Ramrod 343 - 72 Marauders bombing Cambrai aerodrome; not much excitement (1.50)
4 December 1943 - Ramrod 349 (1.40)
5 December 1943 - Ramrod 351 - second fighter umbrella, target obscured by cloud; no enemy aircraft (1.40)
13 December 1943 - Ramrod (2.00)
13 December 1943 - Ramrod - flak on both these shows - really not much excitement (1.35)
20 December 1943 - Ramrod 375 (1.55)
20 December 1943 - Ramrod 377 - 40+ Huns around Merville area, rocket guns again (1.40)
21 December 1943 - Ramrod 382 - escorting Marauders bombing rocket guns (2.05)
24 December 1943 - Ramrod 392 - 216 Marauders bombing rocket guns on the French coast; no enemy aircraft (1.50)
31 December 1943 - Ramrod 403 - eight boxes of 36 Marauders still having a go at rocket guns. No enemy aircraft (1.45)
4 January 1944 - Ramrod 419 - escort to Marauders who bombed the rocket guns again, swept Dieppe, Beauvais, Cayeux area (1.55)
7 January 1944 - Ramrod 433 - escorted Forts back from Le Cateau (2.00)
8 January 1944 - Ramrod - seven Mosquitoes bombing rocket guns (1.45)
14 January 1944 - Ramrod 453 (1.40)
21 January 1944 - Ramrod 467 - Squadron got into 24+ new FW.190s, had a squirt at one but got a false break. Our squadron got two of them (1.50)
23 January 1944 - Ramrod 47 - escorting bombers on rocket guns again (1.50)
24 January 1944 - Ramrod 475 - more Marauders bombing rocket guns (1.45)
25 January 1944 - Ramrod - Mitchells and Bostons doing the work today (1.50)
26 January 1944 - Ramrod - Marauders were going to bomb but weather u/s; we swept in anyway, a few Huns up but could not be engaged (1.40)
30 January 1944 - Sweep - fighter sweep for Forts and Libs over Cambrai aerodrome; nothing came up at us (2.05)
3 February 1944 - Ramrod 505 (1.05)
4 February 1944 - Ramrod 552 - escorting Marauders in on rocket guns again; no enemy aircraft, no flak (1.40)
15 February 1944 - Ramrod 556 - took Marauders in around Paris and Rouen. Enemy aircraft up but would not engage. (2.05)
15 February 1944 - Ramrod 560 - cover for bombers. Enemy aircraft seen but would not be engaged (1.45)
20 February 1944 - Ramrod - took lots of Marauders into Holland. No enemy aircraft (1.40)
4 March 1944 - Ramrod - went to Lille to bring out Forts (1.25)
5 March 1944 - Ramrod - took Forts and Liberators in as far as Paris; some enemy aircraft up but no engagements (2.10)
6 March 1944 - Ramrod 5?3 - Marauders bombing aerodrome near Paris. Chased some Huns down but they disappeared in cloud (2.05)
11 March 1944 - Sweep - farthest we have been with 45-gallon tanks, in to Ardenne Forest to bring Forts out after bombing Frankfurt (2.00)
NOTE: RCAF file 821-4-55 (National Archives of Canada RG. 24 Volume 17797) deals with McKee Trophy recommendations. About April 1956 he was recommended for the McKee Trophy by W/C G.J.J. Edwards. He was then a Squadron Leader with No. 1 Overseas Ferry Unit. Although not approved, the document is interesting for his postwar career, reading thus:
Squadron Leader Middlemiss, Commanding Officer, No.1 Overseas Ferry Unit, has made an outstanding contribution to Canadian aviation in the development of fast and efficient delivery of single engined aircraft to NATO forces in Europe.
During the past 2 years, Squadron Leader Middlemiss’s unit has ferried more than 500 single engined jet aircraft over the North Atlantic ferry route without the loss of a single life. The fine record of Operation Random reflects highly on the direction and example set by the Officer Commanding.
As a result of the experience gained on Random operations a new concept of fighter replacement supply is now evident. The latest jet fighter aircraft can now be delivered in an operational state to NATO squadrons within a matter of hours after take-off from bases on this continent. The energy and sound operational planning that Squadron Leader Middlemiss has displayed in organising and developing this overseas ferry supply route is considered an important contribution to the progress of Canadian aviation.
Victories Include :
|10 Apr 1942
27 June 1942
2 July 1942
4 July 1942
12 June 1943
23 Aug 1943
1/2 Z1007 *
2.5 / 1 / 3
* - actually an S 84bis of 4 Gruppo BT
(stats from "Those Other Eagles" by Chris Shores)
421 "Red Indian" Squadron at Chatham - October 1950 (John Greatrix Collection)
F/O C.A. "Arch" Debenham
F/L W.M. "Hap" Day
F/O Bob Vincent
F/O Bruce Sheasby
F/O A.H. "Al" Milne
F/O Bud McKay
F/O Lloyd Skaalen
F/O Ray Himmelman
F/O John Hicks
F/L John D. Rainville
S/L R.T.P. "Bob" Davidson
F/L Bob Middlemiss
F/O "Big Slim" Walker
F/O Fred Evans
F/O Mark Sauder
F/O John "Newt" Newsom
F/O John Greatrix
F/O R.M. "Bob" Wood
Sq. members Howie Tetlock, Ken Thorneycroft and Bill Paisley were absent for this photo.
"This was a typically interesting group. Fellows like Day, Evans, Hicks, Middlemiss, Rainville, Vincent and Walker were seasoned vets. Others like Debenham, Greatrix, Sauder and Skaalen were postwar types. Day, Hicks and Milne were Brits who had emigrated after the war; Vincent was a Kiwi. (I'm thinkin' the Hicks pictured looks like John Seth Hicks, from Ottawa, who had flown with 421 Squadron since at least May of 1943 -jf)
Not all these fellows would survive. Day was lost in a 1954 Sabre prang. Sheasby, a graduate test pilot, died in a 1963 CF-104 night flying accident. Milne's end came in a light club plane crash on November 8, 1959, while posted at Metz. Himmelman survived three prangs—a Vampire belly landing, a Vampire that he put into the bush at night near Chatham, and an OFU Sabre that he bellied onto a frozen lake in Labrador in February 1956. Greatrix, Paisley, Thorneycroft and Wood also went on to CF-104s. Paisley, Skaalen and Thorneycroft would rise to general rank."
(421 sqn. photo, names & quote are from the book "Canada's Air Force at War & Peace volume 3" by Larry Millberry and available at CanAv books -jf)
Bob signing the Y2-K Spitfire print in 2005 (Pat Murphy photo)
Bob is still doin' his thing as of January 2013 & can be seen in the
1st "Air Aces" episode about George Beurling on the History Channel
Check him out on YouTube or Vimeo
I'm sorry to report that Bob passed away on July 30th, at the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre in Barrie, Ontario. It was the day of his 93 birthday. Bob was a helluva guy a will be sorely missed.