Ralston Leads Cheers After Award of 'Wings'
(By ANDREW W. HAMILTON Staff Writer, The Globe and Mail) Camp Borden, 30 Sept. 1940 - First products of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan received wings of the Royal Canadian Air Force at a ceremony here this afternoon, while a much impressed Minister of National Defense, Hon. J. L. Ralston, admitting that he was violating stiff military formality, momentarily took command and called for three cheers from the entire air force establishment.
Censorship prohibits publication of the exact number to achieve the coveted goal, but the substantial total represented all parts of the Dominion, other sections of the Empire, and there was, even one from the United States.
As their inspiration, members of the wings parade were under command of Flight Lieut. Wallace Barton, native of Lindsay, who won the Distinguished Flying Cross for valor over Dunkirk. Colonel Ralston referred to the graduates as all being candidates for that distinguished award.
Not a single member of the Empire class bears the rank of a commissioned officer. They rate as leading aircraftmen and must prove their worth in stiffer trials before being awarded commissions. There were three pilot officers in today’s group, but they represented the last of another training class.
Command Handed Over
Today’s ceremony was a double-barreled affair, in that no sooner had the wings presentation been concluded and Colonel Ralston had departed by air for Ottawa, than Group Captain A. T. N. Cowley handed over command of the Station to Group Captain R. S. Grandy, O.B.E. who had much to do with putting the finishing touches to the No.1 Fighter Squadron now giving such a noble account of itself in defense of London, under Squadron Leader Ernest McNab. Group Captain Grandy, referred to by Group Captain Cowley as “one of the most famous pilots in Canada,” comes from the post of officer commanding at Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, while Group Captain Cowley will proceed to Regina as officer commanding No. 4 Training Command.
In a few words, Group Captain Cowley said farewell to his men and then marched off the airdrome. His successor gave the command and already was under way the task of bringing off the mass production line the second batch of Commonwealth pilots.
While the lads who received their wings were commended for their courage and were accorded the glory which goes with a ceremony of this nature, they received at the same time from Air Commodore G. O. Johnson, member of the Air Council, a stern and fatherly talk as to what Canada and the Empire will expect of them.
Good Conduct Counselled
It was Commodore Johnson who pinned the wings on the airmen’s chests, but first he reminded them that they are a sample by which others who follow them will be judged.
"You have reasonable prospects of giving good accounts of yourselves,” he counselled. “But the fact that you are getting wings does not make you experienced pilots. You have a lot to learn yet.”
He warned that above all they must resist the youthful urge to show those dear to them that they are masters of an aircraft.
“No matter how bright your future may seem now, in a few minutes of folly you can wreck that future," he warned.
“You are the custodians of your trained bodies,” continued Commodore Johnson, forcibly reminding the pilots that each represents a considerable investment on the part of the Canadian people. He told them that the Air Council has ordered drastic action against any man guilty of infringement of flying regulations, provision being made for trial by court martial, imprisonment and “invariably dismissal from the service with disgrace.”
“So I implore you to think twice before you try to kid the public,” he went on. “Also remember alcohol and gasoline don't mix very well. For your own good and the good of the service, lay off stimulants. No matter how good a pilot you are, the public judges you by your conduct on the ground."
Says Milestone Marked
Colonel Ralston, who had just concluded a tour of the army establishment here, told the men that the simple ceremony represented an important milestone in the history of the Empire.
"This marks just the beginning of the output that is going to take place from the sixteen flying schools across Canada,” he commented. "If money and materials come as fast and as enthusiastically as men have come, there is no doubt of the success of the Canadian war effort.
In saying farewell, Group Captain Cowley told the graduating class that Commodore Johnson's warnings were “sensible” and had his full endorsement.
Presentation of the wings concluded, Colonel Ralston took the salute as the full establishment marched past on the airdrome, and in a few minutes was aloft in a twin-engined bomber Ottawa-bound.
Among those who received their wings were: D. E. T. Wood, Ottawa; J. T. Reed, Ottawa; A. L. Prendergast, Norwood, Man.; R. F. Patterson, Richmond, Va.; J. T. Davis, Westmount, Que.; F. C. Colburne, Calgary; A. L. De la Haye, Vancouver; W. G. McElrea, Winnipeg; W. M. Douglas, Haileybury; L. M. Linnell, Morse, Sask.; T. Burke, Regina; A. W. Regimbal, Transcona, Man.; A. B. Whiteford, Saskatoon; D. H. Armstrong, Gananoque; H. Freeman, St. James, Man.; J. H. Thomson, Winnipeg; J. W. McIntosh, Winnipeg; J. D. Orr, Elm Creek, Man.; J. K. Dawson, Chicoutimi, Que.; R. H. Cousins, New Westminster, B.C.; N. R. Farnham, Aroostook, N.B.; T. A. Barr, Edmonton; H. A. Jones, Buffalo, N.Y.; N. N. Lougheed, Calgary; T. C. Mears, Port Arthur; D. F. Raymes, Saskatoon; R. J. Mullin, Kenora; A. D. Angus, Montreal; J. E. J. Hutchinson, Toronto; J. R. C. Bishop, Fort Garry, Man.; J. D. Layden, Montreal; J. E. R. Martin, Winnipeg; R. J. DeBeaupre, Hawarden, Sask.; G. F. Ryan, Winnipeg; J. H. Simpson, Kingston; E. C. Williams, Bermuda; C. A. Rawson, Brandon.
|Born 6 October 1916 in Elm Creek, Manitoba.
Home in Vancouver.
Enlisted in Winnipeg 18 April 1940.
To No.1 ITS, 29 April 1940 (graduated and promoted LAC, 24 May 1940)
Had been posted 23 May 1940 to Winnipeg Flying Club (graduated 19 July 1940) &
Posted to No.1 SFTS (graduated and promoted Sergeant, 6 November 1940
although he was also noted as being posted to Trenton on 4 November 1940)
Promoted WO2, 1 December 1941.
Served with No.111 Squadron in Canada and during the Aleutian campaign,
17 December 1941 to 8 April 1943.
Commissioned 1 March 1942.
Promoted Flying Officer, 1 October 1942.
To “Y” Depot, 8 April 1943.
Posted to Britain, 8 May 1943.
With 403 Squadron.
Promoted Flight Lieutenant, 21 January 1945.
Repatriated to Canada, 23 July 1945; released 17 October 1945.
Medal presented in Vancouver, 22 October 1949.
Died in Sechelt, BC, 24 December 2000 as per Legion Magazine of March 2001.
Use Wolf Squadron Spitfires As Dive Bombers in France
London, Monday, April 9, 1944 - (CP) - Canada's Wolf Squadron used its Spitfires in a new role —as fighter-bombers— Saturday, when bombs were dropped on a military target in Northern France. Airmen said the only opposition was negligible flak, and all but one bomb landed in the target area.
"It was all over in three minutes," said F/O James Preston, St. Catharines. "Then we circled a couple of times and came home in formations, leaving a column of black smoke rising 1,000 feet.
We peeled down one after the other in a 5,000-foot dive, and each let his bombs go as he reached the bottom. I could see mine land one after the other as they exploded right in the target area."
Other Wolf Squadron members participating included F/Ls J. D. Lindsay, Arnprior; J. P. Lecoq, Montreal; John Hodgson, Calgary; F/O J. D. Orr, Vancouver; P/O W. J. Myers, Windsor.
Other Spitfires flew offensive patrols over France.
15 Hun Raiders Bagged; Ominous Aerial Lull Over Fortress Europe
London, May 15, 1944 (AP) — Unhampered by the German Air Force, small formations of American heavy and Allied medium bombers blasted Hitler's sprawling coastal defense system today, carrying the pre-invasion air offensive into the 31st consecutive day.
The daylight blows fell after R.A.F. Mosquitos hammered Cologne Sunday night and other R.A.F. bombers struck at unspecified military objectives in France and the Low Countries. R.C.A.F. heavies laid mines in enemy waters. No bombers were lost in these night operations.
A German raid on Southern England Sunday night killed a half-dozen persons. At least 15 of the attackers were reported shot down and four of them were bagged by Canadian fliers.
Approximately 250 United States heavy bombers, escorted by fighters, bombarded objectives in Northern France in daylight, while light bombers hit an airfield near the badly battered Creil railway yards in the Paris area.
The Vichy radio said the Lille and Valenciennes areas of France, much-pounded districts, were also hit.
One Fighter Missing
One escort plane was missing from the daytime raids.
Fighter-bombers dive-bombed an airfield at Gael, 25 miles west of Rennes, while another formation hit a field near Chartres and fired fuel dumps and other installations.
Medium bombers, fighters and fighter-bombers of the R.A.F. 2nd Tactical Air Force, bombing targets in both France and Belgium, included among their targets an airfield at Cambrai and rail yards at Cortrain and Gisors.
The Paris radio said the Pas de Calais area was particularly hard hit in the day's raid.
Outside that activity - with the Mediterranean air force diverted to close support of the new ground campaign in Italy - the great north-south Allied air offensive which started April 8 was almost at a standstill.
An Ominous Hiatus
It was an ominous hiatus for the Germans. The lull is similar to that which hung over Russia's armies in the last few weeks and which no one doubts is merely a period of massing forces for the next, and possibly greatest, effort of the war.
German airmen who raided Southern England last night evidently sought to smoke out invasion preparations as well as to bomb. Although the German force may have been several hundred planes, the bombing was called disproportionately small, indicating a number of them were on reconnaissance. A German High Command communique said Bristol was one target.
Of the 15 German planes shot down over Britain Sunday night, P/O William C. Muschett of Jamaica, and his navigator, F/O F. L. Hall, Edmonton, were credited with two. W/C R. C. (Moose) Fumerton of Fort Coulonge, Que., and P/O M. McConnell of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., each got one. One R.C.A.F. fighter was missing from Sunday night's operations.
Another German plane — a Heinkel 177 — was downed over France by Sqdn. Ldr. Bob Kipp of Kamloops, B.C., and his navigator, F/O P. Huletsky of Montreal, of the City of Edmonton Squadron of the R.C.A.F. This brought the squadron's total kills since it was formed to 113½.
Three members of the R.C.A.F. Wolf Fighter Squadron shared in the destruction of a German Focke-Wulf 190 on an airdrome north of Lille. The German plane had just landed and was taxiing along the runway when F/O's R. C. Williams, Herbert, Sask.; J. D. Orr, Vancouver, and A. J. Bryan of Monterrey, Mexico, swooped down in the Spitfires, opened fire and left the aircraft burning.
ORR, F/L James Douglas (J10391) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.403 Squadron
Award effective 18 December 1944 as per London Gazette dated 29 December 1944 &
AFRO 379/45 dated 2 March 1945.
This officer has completed many sorties during which he has either destroyed or damaged more than 100 enemy vehicles. In addition he has destroyed three enemy aircraft and damaged two others. He has proved himself a keen and efficient pilot whose leadership and fine fighting spirit have won the admiration of his squadron.
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:
|BAR TO DFC :
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, Ca.
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.
Victories Include :
|14 or 15 May '44
26 June 1944
30 June 1944
5 July 1944
28 Aug 1944
3 / 0 / 2
0.33 / 0 / 0 OTG