Many of Raiding Planes Packed With Eight Tons Of High Explosive Bombs
Thirty Aircraft Fail To Return
Large Fires Set In Both Regions
Canadian Flyers Take Part In Big Attack
London, Aug. 29, 1942 - (CP) - Nuremberg, a great war industries centre and the rally ground of Hitler's Nazi party, and the Saar steel centre of Saarbruecken were attacked heavily by a strong force of British and Canadian bombers which left large fires burning in both cities last night. The heaviest assault was on Nuremberg, the air ministry said. Thirty bombers were lost from the "large force" of perhaps several hundred, many of which packed eight tons of explosives each. Objectives in northern France were raided by the smaller and swifter fighters during the night.
The heavy bombers used the "saturation" technique of attack by which great numbers of bombers crowd into the air space over their targets.
The extent of losses was ascribed by observers to the brilliant moonlight and cloudless skies, highly favorable to anti-aircraft and night fighter defence.
While the strength of the raiders was not officially disclosed, it was understood to have run well into three figures but not to have been near 1,000-bomber proportions.
The bombers flew nearly 500 miles to reach Nuremberg, deep in southern Germany, once a peaceful old city and now a centre of Nazi war production. Saarbruecken, on the French border and only about 35 miles from Metz, is a rich coal and iron-producing centre.
An air ministry communique said 30 bombers failed to return from the mission. On the basis of average five-per-cent losses on similar large-scale raids in the past, this would put the number of participating planes at 600.
The attacking force was understood to have included one and possibly more Canadian bombing squadrons.
The assault was the third this week against German industrial centers. On Thursday night a force of approximately the same strength smashed at the former Polish port of Gdynia, only a few miles west of Danzig on the Baltic Sea, and at Kassel, a locomotive-building centre. Monday night Wiesbaden and Frankfurt were the targets.
Home of Tank Industry
Nuremberg is the home of the Nan tank factory and has a large aluminum works manufacturing piston rods and castings. The Siemen-Schuckert factory there makes heavy electrical equipment.
The quaint old German city is also an important railway centre and has large repair shops for locomotives and rolling stock. It is on the Ludwig canal, connecting the Main and Danube rivers.
In striking at Nuremberg, Britain was attacking one of the best-known German garrison towns. In recent years, it had acquired considerable notice as the parade ground and sounding board for the annual Nazi party conventions, but these have been suspended for the duration of the war.
Saarbruecken, in the rich Saar valley, is in the centre of some 70 square miles of coal mines. It has gigantic iron works and steel mills.
RCAF men on the raid reported conditions so nearly perfect that every detail of the streets and buildings of Saarbruecken stood out in relief.
"We took three runs over the target before dropping our stuff, and we just couldn't miss," said Pilot Ronald Bell, of Victoria, B.C., who flew with Sgt. John Bell, of New Glasgow, N.S., and Sgt. Arthur Dorey, of Tantallon, N.S.
F/S Daniel Allen, of Lennoxville, Que. hopping from his plane in the early-morning darkness, said "it was a marvelous trip as far as flying and bombing conditions were concerned."
“The place was afire in a number of spots when he arrived and there was no mistaking the target," Allen added.
The Quebec flyer had his usual crew along —P/O Alan Hill, Vancouver; Sgt. Tom Reeves, New Westminster, B.C., and Sgt. Glen Scott, Fredericton, N.B.
Hamilton Flyer Present
"Twenty-one is my lucky number and this is my 21st birthday, so I was hardly surprised it went so well, said Sgt. Robert Berry, of Hamilton, Ont.
Other Canadians pounding Saarbruecken included F/S Jack Price, Indian Head, Sask.; Sgt. John K. Knight, Calgary, and Sgt. William Rowland, of Brussels, Ont.
In addition to the massive night assault, the Germans have suffered under daylight precision raids in occupied territories by Flying Fortresses of the United States air forces and extensive sweeps by British and Canadian fighter squadrons.
Apparently roused by this round-the-clock schedule, the Germans struck back last night, dropping explosive and incendiary bombs in northeast and eastern England, mostly in coastal areas. The Germans said Sunderland was one target.
Eight persons were killed in one town in northeastern England when a bomb destroyed four homes. Workers dug in the debris throughout the night and rescued a baby boy alive. He was the only survivor.
Bombs were dropped during daylight today on a West England town. Two Nazi bombers were destroyed.
The German attacks, however, bore no comparison to the massive RAF attacks against the Continent. Last night's smash was the third of the week.
On Monday night, Wiesbaden and Frankfurt were the targets. On Thursday night, the powerful bombers, escorted by Canadian Spitfire squadrons, flew hundreds of bombs to the former Polish port of Gdynia a few miles west of Danzig while other planes blasted the German locomotive-building centre of Kassel.
United States Flying Fortresses filed in between the raids with a daylight attack on Meaulte, an important aeroplane centre in northern France yesterday.
RCAF Spitfire squadrons escorting the Fortresses scored one probable down and also damaged several Nazi planes in heavy fighting. Other British and American Spitfire squadrons and fast Boston attack-bombers swept the invasion coast from Calais to the Seine.
One RCAF fighter was lost out of the two escorting squadrons led by Squadron-Ldrs. Norman Bretz, of Toronto, and Keith Hodson, of London, Ont.
Returning Canadians said opposition for a few minutes was almost equal to that encountered over Dieppe.
P/O B. (Scotty) Murray, of Halifax, who scored a probable, said he saw a Focke-Wolf 190 attacking another aircraft in his squadron. He climbed to get above it and opened fire at 50 yards. "I saw my cannon fire entering his fuselage and wing," he said. "He rolled over twice and went into a spin, pouring black smoke from his engine.”
|Born in Winnipeg, 2 December 1920
Home in Halifax where he was a student
Enlisted there 14 August 1940
To No.2 ITS, 30 September 1940
To No.16 EFTS, 28 January 1941
To No.2 Manning Depot, 28 March 1941
To No.11 SFTS, 10 April 1941
Graduated and promoted Sergeant, 4 July 1941
To Embarkation Depot that date
To RAF overseas, 25 July 1941
Trained overseas at No.53 OTU, Llandow
Posted to 401 Squadron
Commissioned 15 May 1942
Promoted Flying Officer, 21 September 1942
Medal presented at Buckingham Palace 8 December 1942
Promoted Flight Lieutenant, 24 September 1943
Forced down, 27 June 1944, evaded
Joined up with American troops on 13 August
Repatriated to Canada 16 October 1944 *
To No.1 BGS, 20 November 1944
To No.1 SFTS, 18 December 1944
To No.124 Squadron, 27 February 1945
To "Y" Depot, 24 January 1946
To United Kingdom, 15 March 1946
Repatriated 31 March 1946
Released 23 October 1946
Returned to RCAF service
PL-56970 shows him as W/C, (Staff College, 22 May '53)
* It was customary that pilots who had evaded using the
underground were no longer allowed to fly over the
continent for fear that if shot down again and captured,
they would be tortured and reveal names and details
of the underground to the Germans.
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., (Bar to DFC)
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.
MURRAY, P/O George Bremner (J15476) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.401 Squadron
Award effective 10 September 1942 as per London Gazette dated 29 September 1942 and
AFRO 1653/42 dated 16 October 1942.
Pilot Officer Murray has carried out numerous sorties. He is an excellent leader whose resource and skill in action have proved inspiring. He has set a praiseworthy example to others.
ONLY FOUR BIG U.S. BOMBERS LOST IN GREAT DAY ASSAULT
Tremendous Bomb Loads Fall on Hitler's Important War Industries
SEVEN HUNS LOST
London, Oct. 10, 1942 — (CP) — More than 100 American Flying Fortresses and Liberator bombers with an escort of 500 allied fighter planes including two Canadian squadrons, home from the greatest allied daylight attack yet launched against Hitler's war foundry, again have amazed British air experts, who know from grim experience the hazards of daylight operations.
All Doubts Erased
Return of all but four of the United States bombers which stormed over occupied France yesterday and unloaded tons of bombs on factories and railroad yards, apparently erased any doubts experts may have had concerning the Fortresses. All of the fighters returned safely.
British air correspondents said the weight of the attack far exceeded the daylight efforts of the Germans during the "blitz" of September, 1940. Fifty German bombers and 200 fighters over Britain in daylight then constituted a "big raid."
On the last day of the Battle of Britain, September 15, 1940, the Germans sent over 500 planes in two groups of 250 each and lost at least 185 of them.
The allied fighters reported shooting down at least five German fighters yesterday and the score of the bombers has not been tallied officially.
Carry Great Loads
Two R.C.A.F. fighter pilots — F/L George Murray, D.F.C., of Halifax, and Sgt/P E. L. Gimbel, Chicago — shared in destruction of one German Focke-Wulf 190. Murray and Gimbel are members of the Spitfire squadron commanded by S/L Keith Hodson, D.F.C., of London, Ont.
None of the German planes used against Britain could carry the loads which the four-motored bombers transported to Lille yesterday. The Fortresses can carry three tons of bombs, the Liberators four.
The Liberator crews claimed the destruction of seven Nazi fighters for the loss of one of their own planes.
Fighter pilots called the American bombers the "best bait" ever put up for the German air force because the Germans send up all available planes to stop them. They then get a chance at the German fighters.
Refuse to Battle
In recent months the R.A.F. has tried everything in sweeps to entice the German fighters into combat, but the only serious challenge was during the Dieppe raid.
The German radio broadcast a threat of "reprisals" for the raid last night, but there was no elaboration. The German high command earlier had issued a communique claiming the destruction of 16 allied aircraft, "some" of them Fortresses.
It was the first time the Nazis mentioned Flying Fortresses, although this was their 14th raid over western Europe. It appeared that the Germans have been withholding from their people news that American air forces are participating in European activities.
Don Morrison Missing, Slight Hope for Safety
By ALLAN NICKLESON
London, Dec. 22, 1942 - (CP) – F/L Don Morrison, youthful collegian from Toronto, whose air exploits brought him recognition as one of Canada’s best pilots, is reported missing after a sweep over Northern France.
(The fact Morrison is missing was announced last Friday in an R.C.A.F. casualty list issued at Ottawa. His parents are Mr. and Mrs. Robert Morrison.) It was a few weeks ago that Don climbed into his Spitfire as he had many times before, and led his flight across the Channel. But this time the 21-year-old ace who rose from the rank of sergeant pilot to F/L in less than a year did not come back. He and his Canadian flying mates ran into a group of Nazi fighters and Morrison's plane was shot down a few seconds after he destroyed a Focke-Wulf 190 by riddling it with machine-gun and cannon fire. The boys around the squadron still cling to a slight hope he may have landed safely in enemy-held territory, but if he had to "go out" that's the way he would have wanted it.
An Intrepid Leader
A shy, handsome fellow who blushed at praise, Don was not talkative, but his exploits as his Spitfire roared and dived in a full year of action spoke volumes. His personality and fearless fighting ability singled him out as a leader.
Don was credited unofficially with five enemy aircraft destroyed, seven probably destroyed and five damaged. One of those destroyed craft went down before his blazing guns a few days after Don promised to "get one" for a school chum who is missing.
I visited Don's squadron last May and in course of a conversation in the dispersal hut told him my brother, F/S Jack Nickelson, a bomber pilot since presumed dead, was missing.
"Jackie was in my class at North Toronto Collegiate just before we both joined up," Don said quietly. "I'll get one for him."
He was not boasting. A few days later he penned another swastika in his log book. Don always did that when he landed after sending down another enemy with his cannon and gunfire.
Don shared a Nazi plane with F/S Eugene Neal, D.F.M., of Quebec on his first operational trip, but they claimed it only as "probably destroyed." A few days later Morrison got his first confirmed victim.
Saved Life of Friend
Neal and Morrison often flew together in those days and the Quebec pilot, now back in Canada, once told me how Don saved his life.
"He dived on a Jerry who was just getting ready to give me the business," he said. Neal recounted that Morrison's trigger finger was so sure he was transferred for a time to an air-gunnery school as an instructor, but he did not like that and on his first 48-hour leave he raced by motorbike back to his squadron, and took part in a couple of sweeps.
"I wanted to get back into action," Don told his squadron mates. "There is not much doing around a gunnery school."
He got his wish and was re-posted to his old squadron. Promotion from Flight Sergeant to Pilot Officer, award of a Distinguished Flying Medal — this on his 21st birthday — came at the same time last June, and Don was so excited he clambered into his Spitfire and shot dawn a Nazi fighter by way of celebration. In all his air fights Don gave as much as he took.
On the day of the Dieppe raid he was forced to bail out over the Channel but it was the wreckage of a FW-190 he had destroyed and not German bullets that smashed up his Spitfire.
When he was posted as missing Morrison was flying as Flight Commander in a squadron commanded by S/L Keith Hodson, D.F.C., of London, Ont. He had skipped the rank of Flying Officer in his promotion to Flight Lieutenant after Dieppe.
Hodson had the greatest confidence in him and ranked him and the squadron's other flight commander, F/L George Murray (J15476), D.F.C., of Halifax as "the hottest pair of kids in the fighter command."
Bombing Trains, Buildings, Battling Foe in Dogfight Day’s Work For Canadians
Four German Fighters Shot Down, Others Damaged in Sunday Operations—
Boys in Great Spirits On Return
With the R.C.A.F. Somewhere in England, Jan. I8, 1943 - (CP Cable) - Adding to the fury of Britain's renewed aerial assault on the enemy, Canadian Spitfire pilots Sunday destroyed four German fighters, damaged a number of others and successfully attacked several locomotives inside France in their biggest day's operations of recent months.
Three Planes Missing
Pilots from three Canadian squadrons took part in the operations, which ended in what several described as one of the biggest dogfights they had been in.
Three Canadian planes are missing.
The Canadian squadrons were led by S/Ls Bud Malloy, of Halifax; Fred Kelly, of Beaverton, Ont., and Keith Hodson, D.F.C., of London, Ont. While some planes remained thousands of feet over France to guard against enemy fighters, designated pilots dived for attacks on trains and buildings with cannon and machine-gun fire. In some cases a lone pilot would attack a locomotive. Varying the technique for other cases; a succession of machines streaked in for one attack after another, and pilots on watch high up reported plumes of steam from damaged engines rising up at a number of points.
Kelly; F/L Dick Ellis, of Montreal; P/O M. Johnston, of Selkirk, Man., and P/O Ed Gimbel, of Chicago, shot down the fighters.
"I got in about a three-second burst at one coming almost head-on," said Ellis. "I saw him go right into the ground!”
P/O L. W. Powell, of Edmonton, a D.F.C.-decorated engine-buster with more than a score of locomotives to his credit, added another when he raked a freight train from end to end.
Sgt W. J. (Jock) Kinniard, of 12424 102nd street, Edmonton, flew No. 2 with Powell, and said: "I saw only a big cloud of smoke on the first run and could not see anything to shoot at after Powell had gone over the engine ahead of me.”
On the second run Kinniard managed to get in a burst of fire at the engine, while Powell was strafing a gun post near the tracks.
Had to Race For Home
P/O Bob Earle, of 60 East Drive, Victoria, B.C., and Sgt. A. M. B. Ketterson, of 3652 Northcliffe Avenue, Montreal, damaged an engine at the outskirts of a shunting yard. On the way out Earle fired at three Focke-Wulf 190's and later was attacked by three others when without ammunition. He had to race for home.
F/L Barry Needham, of Wynyard, Sask., shared in attacks on two locomotives with Sgt. G. L. Marshal, of 2982 West 3rd avenue, Vancouver, and P/O K. I. Robb, of Lachine, Que.
F/L J. D. Hall, of 3 Ridgeway road, Toronto, attacked three trains. Other locomotives were fired on by F/O Hugh Godefroy, of 3 Oriole Parkway, Toronto; F/L Frank Grant, of Brockville; F/O Dave McKay of Winnipeg, and Sgt. E. J. Levesque, of 71 Melrose Avenue, Ottawa.
Up top, engagements with enemy fighters were going on while the Spitfires thundered back and forth at a low altitude for their strafing activities.
"The one I got came at me from an angle," said Johnston. "I pulled away from him and saw tracers going by me. Then I got behind him and got in a long burst."
P/O E. J. Roff, of Richmond, Que., scored damage on two enemy aircraft during the fray, and Malloy and P/O D. J. McCrimmon, of Sylvan Lake, Alta., each scored a single damaged.
Godefroy notched strikes on two enemy fighters in addition to a locomotive he hit earlier. Others damaging Nazi fighters were F/L G. B. Murray, D.F.C., of Halifax, and Sgt. Frank B. Evans, of South Porcupine, Ont.
Altogether it was a great day for Canadians in the fighter command and the boys were in great spirits as their planes shuttled off for the channel crossing after news got around that the R.A.F. had been over Berlin the previous night.
BEHIND THE LINES
Naval Auxiliary Will Help Solve Social Problems
of Men in the R.C.N.V.R.
15 May 1943 - Railway men, who have been contributing dimes and quarters to a Spitfire fund, got a report at Montreal back from the battlefront on what their two planes have been doing.
They learned that Canadian Pacific I and Canadian Pacific II have accounted for seven enemy planes, have damaged nine others, chalked up two probables, and some of the pilots have won decorations.
Pilots of the two planes at various times have been: F/L G. B. Murray, D.F.C, of Halifax; S/L L. S. Ford, D.F.C. and bar, of Liverpool, N.S.; F/O Ken Marshall, of Milton, Ont; W/C E. E. Morrow, D.F.C, of Toronto; S/L Norman Bretz, D.F.C., of Toronto; S/L D. F. (Bud) Malloy, D.F.C, of Halifax, and S/L Foss Boulton, of Coleman, Alta.
Public Record Office WO 208/3349 has an MI.9 report of his evasion. He took off from Beny-sur-Mer at 2030 hours, 27 June 1944. The narrative was as follows:
I was one of a squadron on armed reconnaissance over the area of La Ferte Mace (Sheet 7G - 0102). We were flying at about 10,000 feet and in turning to deal with a Focke Wulf 190 which was attacking one of our Spitfires, was hit by another FW.190. I called my CO that the aircraft was hit, but that I was okay and returning to base. My engine was turning over at 4,500 revs, constant speed unit was smashed and there was a heavy oil leak. On the way home oil and smoke came from the front three stacks and the aircraft was in flames. I called up my CO again, said I was baling out and did so at about 7,000-8,000 feet.
After trouble with my parachute, which opened at about 3,000-4,000 feet, I made a good landing at approximately Sheet 7G, 0519, near Briouze (Sheet 7G, 0115). My aircraft was a burning wreck. I hid my parachute in a clump of trees, and checked my aid box etc. Whilst I was doing this a Frenchman passed; I asked him if there were any Germans in the vicinity, and on getting a negative reply went with him to where I had hidden my parachute, and asked that he bury it together with some of my other discarded kit. He took me to a barn where I met another man who gave me some food and civilian clothes.
I asked if they could assist me to contact the Resistance people. Later another man brought a couple of bikes and he and I set out for Argentan (2719). We went through Ecooche (1916) and then southeast, but by nightfall my bike had suffered punctures and the chain broke, so we spent the night in the woods. The following day another bike was brought out to me in a cart, and we continued our journey until near St. Hilaire la Gerard (0231), where I hid up for two days.
Here I was joined by an American pilot, Lieutenant Richard S. Reid, and a Canadian paratrooper, James McPherson. We contacted another man and lived in the forest seven kilometres north of St. Hilaire.
On 10 July 1944 my CO, S/L L. Cameron, and a British paratroop officer were brought to the barn. They were on their way to Spain. They had French papers, but not proper photographs. My Squadron Leader had the picture of a young boy on his card, and as I had a spare photo which was more like my CO than the boy's was, he stuck mine on the card. The English officer spoke French, and as a result of his conversations with the Frenchmen, advised us to clear out.
Whilst here I saw a dogfight during the course of which a German pilot machine-gunned a member from a Lightning aircraft who had baled out. The American pilot was badly burnt on the face, wrist and ankles. I dressed his wound and the French said they would look after him. His name was Lieutenant James Frederick, and when we quitted the forest we brought him with us.
We started for St. Lo but were dissuaded by the local chief of Resistance, who put us in houses in Montmerre (3006) and said we should stay there until he returned with an escape plan some 15 days later.
On 30 July we decided to leave our helpers and find others. We were contacted by another man who housed us in the same town, and as the radio told us of the approaching Americans, we decided to await them.
On 9 August 1944 we gathered from the radio that the American advance was not coming in our area, so Reid and I decided to hit southwest for Mayenne (8171). We walked through the night until about midday. It had taken one and a half hours to cross the Corrooges-Sees road due to the east-bound traffic, but the Preen-Paul-Mayenne road at approximately 201881 at 1030 hours on 10 August was practically deserted. After a rest we continued on our way passing south of Preen Paul through Loup Fourgeres (010745) to Hardances (969745) thence to Grazay (9089). On 13 August we got a Frenchman to guide us - he kept 400 yards in front. We went to Marille la Ville (8971).
About four kilometres east of Mayenne we ran into the Americans.
He further reported that he had been lectured several times on evasion and escape, the last occasion being 5 June 1944. He had given about 500 francs to the wounded American and paid his helpers 1,500 francs for his keep. A supplementary report stated:
Marcel Escrise of Montmerre was the man who looked after me, and later all of us. He organised where we should stay and moved us around when necessary. I cannot speak too highly of his help. In Montmerre I stayed from 11-30 July 1944 with Madame Lemoine and from 1-9 August with Madame Bru who lived about two kilometres out of Montmerre. Our final guide who led us towards the American lines was Maurice Blicquet - one of the Resistance chiefs of Mayenne.
I heard that S/L Shepherd, 412 Squadron was given away by a French informer.
Madame Poirier of Montmerre was the lady who looked after Lieutenant Frederick's burns.
Robert Frankart was the man with whom we stayed in the forest north of St. Hilaire, 29 June to 10 July 1944.
Victories Include :
|1 May 1942
17 Aug 1942
19 Aug 1942
28 Aug 1942
29 Aug 1942
9 Oct 1942
17 Jan 1943
7 Jun 1944
1.5 / 2 / 5
|[a] Shared with James Whitham
[b] Shared with Ed Gimbel
[c] Shared with Arthur Bishop
Score from "Those Other Eagles" by Chris Shores
Scotty's Spit BL628 "Marion"