Hugh F. Morse

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Dominion Flyers Played Part in Making Foe Evacuate Kiska

An Advanced R.C.A.F. Unit in the Aleutians, 7 Oct. 1943 — (CP) — R.C.A.F. fighter pilots stand by their planes within a few dozen miles of fallen Kiska and wonder what they're going to do next — they've run out of Japs to shoot. Part of the credit for forcing the Japanese to evacuate Kiska, where they were well established, goes to the Canadian airmen who came to the Aleutians some six months ago and hammered at the enemy every time they could get their planes through a fog.

Members of 14 & 111 Squadrons in Alaska - from the left: Hal Gooding, Ed Merkley, Jim Gohl, Bill Pigden, John Clarke, Frank Skelly, Dave Ramsay, Morse, Bob Morrow, "Mitch" Mitchell, George Millar, Stan Garside, Bill Campbell, Bill Weeks, Brian Clacken, Bill Peacock, Frank Crowley & "Frosty" Young. (Photo courtesy of Bill from the 111 Sq. site)
Fine Pasting
The flyers didn't go over in big bombers but in fighters loaded with as much ammunition as they could carry plus a 500-pound bomb and a few light fragmentation bombs. Combat reports, said P/O D. F. Griffin, in an R.C.A.F. press release, show the Canadians gave the Japanese a fine pasting.
On July 26, the fog lifted for a whole day and the R.C.A.F. pilots went on three missions to Kiska, scoring seven direct hits on the Japanese fighter strip. F/O Louis Cochand, of St. Marguerite, Que., scored a direct hit on a heavy battery at North Head. Life for the Canadian and American flyers here now resolves itself into "getting through" every day. Their planes sit out on the runways and there is the occasional security patrol. The men take it in turns when weather permits. The Canadians and their American comrades have learned that the Japanese are not supermen, and that they can be made to run.
W/C Bob Morrow, D.F.C., of Montreal, who won his decoration in the Battle of Britain, leads the Canucks here.
Once he came down in the Bering Sea and was fished out by a United States Navy rescue boat. A man lasts half an hour in the Bering Sea, they figure, and a few minutes put Morrow in the hospital for some time.

P/O W. L. Pigden
His second-in-command is S/L Bradley (Brad) Walker, D.F.C., of London, Ont., also a veteran of the Battle of Britain. Two of the Canadian detachment's stand-bys are F/L A. W. Roseland, of Vancouver, and F/L R. S. Cox, of Winnipeg.
F/O's A. C. Fanning, Dominion City, Man., and F/O W. M. MacLean, Campbellton, N.B., have taken part in many missions together with F/O Cochand and F/O R. M. Galbrath, of Shelburne, Ont.
F/O Ken Caldwell, of Vancouver, and F/O Dave McDuff, Toronto, were school teachers before the war.
New arrivals here are P/O's W. L. Pigden, Hamilton; W. D. Peacock, Noranda, Que.; H. F. Morse, Vancouver; F/O's S. V. Harside, Edmonton, and B. E. Middleton, Toronto. The day after they reached the advanced base, Middleton and Morse were lucky at the card cut and went on a Kiska mission.
It was their first experience in actual combat and they liked it, but they've run out of Japanese because the Japanese ran out on them.


Hugh Fitch Morse J/27017
Born 1 March 1919 in Haney, B.C.
Home there
Enlisted in Montreal, 6 June 1941
Trained at
No.3 ITS (graduated 25 September 1941)
No.4 EFTS (graduated 23 November 1941) &
No.9 SFTS (graduated 10 April 1942)
Promoted to P/O 12 December 1942
To No.161 (F) Squadron, 31 June 1943
To No.14 (F) Squadron, 14 July 1943
(Aleutians from 1 June to 12 Dec. 1943)
Married his high school sweetheart in 1943
To "Y" Depot, 12 January 1944
To No.3 PRC, Bournemouth, 20 January 1944
Posted overseas 20 Jan. '44 to 22 Dec. 1944
Repatriated 31 December 1944
Retired 25 February 1945
He was a member of the Caterpillar Club
Medal presented 29 January 1947
Attended UBC and University of Toronto
Becoming a Dental Surgeon in 1953
Practicing in Haney / Maple Ridge
Until his retirement in early 1999
Had custom licence plates "SPIT 9B"

Died January 2008 at his home in Maple Ridge


Squadron photo
Members of 111 & 14 Squadrons together in Alaska. (from the left) Frank Richard Fisher Skelly, Francis Joseph "Frank" Crowley, S.R.J. "Red" McLeod, Edwin Alexander "Ed" Merkley, Harold Orville Gooding, Clifford Waldron Hicks, unknown ? (standing on the ground), James Garfield "Jim" Gohl, Harry Thorne "Mitch" Mitchell (crouching), unknown ? (standing behind Mitchell), Courtenay O'Brien Robertson "Brian" Clacken (on cowling), David L. Ramsay (standing), A.E.L. Cannon ? (standing with sunglasses), Stanley Vincent Garside (sitting), Robert Ellis Evan "Bob" Morrow (standing on the ground), unknown ? (sitting), unknown ? (crouching behind - no wings on chest, George Glenn Millar (sitting), E.C. Williams ? (crouching behind), William Dempsey "Bill" Peacock (crouching behind), John H. Clarke (sitting), William L. "Bill" Pigden, Bill Weeks, Hugh Morse & Bill Campbell


Hugh and Belle
In 1943 Hugh went home & married his High School Sweetheart, Belle

Stories from Dad:

"1. While flying low-level sorties in his clipped wing spitfire, he was chased by 2 or 3 German planes into a long valley and, when he turned a sharp corner, was faced with a pretty sheer wall of mountain, he pulled the “stick through the gate” and missed the mountain but the 3 planes behind him did not.

2. He was called up on the carpet for refusing to eject and abandon his plane – twice – once landing with significant damage and once with a bomb still attached.

3. He was flying out of Boundary Bay and is remembered well for flying down the main highway in Haney – 90 degrees (witnessed by many) and for “dive-bombing” the school where Mom taught and the farm where they lived to let her know he was home.

4. He recounted low-level strafing where bullets were flying and some came through the belly of his aircraft barely missing his legs on their way through.

5. He once tried to save the gun camera film from his aircraft (his mechanic was in on it) -unfortunately he was made to hand it over to his superior officer – right on the field. (He did manage to save one small film and we sent it to Ottawa for processing – it turned out to be only about 30 seconds long and very poor quality)"


Fliers Win DFC's

Ottawa, Jan. 1, 1945 - (CP) - Air Force Headquarters tonight announced the award of three bars to the Distinguished Flying Cross and of 30 DFC's to RCAF personnel serving overseas.
Two of the DFC's went to F/L Douglas Warren and F/L Bruce Warren, twin brothers from Ponoka, Alta., who are serving with the same squadron overseas. The recipients:

S/L W.A. Olmsted, Hamilton
F/O D.W. Goodwin, Maynooth
F/O D.R.C. Jamieson, 148 Gilbert Ave., Toronto

S/L W.M. Foster, Guelph
S/L E.H. Lapp, Redcliffe, Alta.
S/L A.E. Monson, North Hollywood, California
S/L A.H. Sager, Vancouver
S/L E.P. Wood, Renfrew
F/L W.D. Burton, Brantford
F/L J.M. Ballachey, High River, Alta.
F/L W.C. Fox, Dunnville
F/L R.E. Evans, Cleveland, Ohio
F/L P.L. Gibbs, Harlan, Sask.
F/L D.W.A. Harling, Westmount, Que.
F/L J.E. McLurg, Westmount, Que.
F/L H.J. Nixon, Hamilton
F/L J.D. Orr of Victoria
F/L W.B. Peglar, 144 Glengarry Ave., Toronto
F/L D.B. Rodd, Concord, Mass.
F/L N.G. Russell, New Westminster
F/L B. Warren, Ponoka, Alta.
F/L D. Warren, Ponoka, Alta.
F/L G.M. Smith, Nelson, B.C.
F/O W.K. Carr, Grand Bank, Nfld.
F/O W.F. Cook, Clinton
F/O D.H. Kimball, Oromocto, N.B.
F/O J.P. Lumsden, Hamilton
F/O H.F. Morse, Haney, B.C.
F/O G.F. Ockenden, Edmonton
F/O P. Slayden, Houston, Texas
F/O A.M. Sauve, Hull, Que.
F/O W.R. Weeks, Loggieville, N.B.
P/O J.A. Kerr, Alexander, Man.

Hugh gets his DFC
Hugh Morse receives his DFC.
Note the Caterpillar Club wings next to it.


MORSE, F/O Hugh Fitch (J27017) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.442 Squadron
Award effective 18 December 1944 as per London Gazette dated 29 December 1944 &
AFRO 379/45 dated 2 March 1945.

Flying Officer Morse has now completed his first tour of operations. He has at all times displayed a fine fighting spirit and great determination to engage the enemy. In August 1944 this officer destroyed or damaged thirty-seven enemy vehicles bringing his total of enemy vehicles destroyed or damaged since the invasion of the continent to sixty-eight. In addition to this fine achievement he has damaged one enemy aircraft. The cool precision and effectiveness of Flying Officer Morse's low level attacks have set an exceptionally fine example to other pilots.

NOTE: DHist file 181.009 D.2833 (RG.24 Volume 20632) has recommendation dated 9 September 1944 which bears comparison. As of that date he had flown 158 sorties (196 hours):

Flying Officer Morse has completed a tour of operations and has at all times displayed a fine fighting spirit and great determination to engage the enemy both in the air and on the ground. On August 18th and 19th, 1944, this officer destroyed or damaged 37 enemy vehicles bringing his total to 68 enemy vehicles destroyed or damaged since the invasion of the continent. In addition to this he has damaged one enemy aircraft. The cool precision and effectiveness of this pilot's low level attacks in most heavily defended areas has set an exceptionally fine example for the squadron and his work is worthy of the highest praise.


In Jeep
Strict left to right: John Clarke, Ed Merkley, Frank Crowley, Red McLeod, Bill Campbell, Bill Weeks, unknown, unknown, David Ramsey, Hal Gooding, Frank Skelly, Hugh Morse, Brian Clacken, George Millar & Jim Gohl


Members of No.14 Squadron, summer 1943 - Standing - George Millar, Bill Pigden, Morse, Stan Garside, Bill Weeks (111 sqn), Bill Peacock & Bill Campbell. Kneeling in front are Brian Clacken & John Clarke. For more info on Canadians in the Aleutians click here


Victories Include :

?? one u/i e/a damaged

0 / 0 / 1

plus 68 vehicles destroyed or damaged



Hugh, Remembrance Day 2007

Nov 2007




Thanks to progeny Colleen, Kathy and Garnet for the photos & infos
and Bill from the 111 Squadron RCAF web site !

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