Joseph Wendell "Wendy" Reid

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Youthful City Flier To Get ‘Wings’ Nov. 11
Wendell Reid Among 43 Graduates Of Advance Training Squadron

Among the 43 members of the Advance Training Squadron to graduate on November 11, from RCAF training camp Trenton, Ontario, will be Wendell (Windy) Reid, popularly known young Sydney man.

He has been at Trenton for the past couple of months.
Upon graduation, they will be ready for any type of active service after spending one week with the unit to which they are attached.

Young Reid, began his flying with the C. B. Air Club, and was one of the best students turned out by that organization.

He won the Maritime air meet in 1933, and qualified for the Canadian show for the Webster Memorial trophy the same year at Toronto.

He is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Wiliam R. Reid, 55 Hospital street, this city, and a nephew of Vice-Principal of Sydney Academy (last word ineligible).


Joseph Wendell "Windy" or "Wendy" Reid.
Born 18 June 1918 in Sydney, Nova Scotia.
Home at 24 Toronto Street, Kingston.
Learned how to fly at the Cape Breton Air Club (1934-35).
Won the Maritime Air Meet in 1938.
Tried to join the RCAF in 1938 but failed due to being too skinny.
His mom "fattened him up" and he passed his second try.
Logbook says "AB Initio Flying Training Course Commenced
Jan, 3 / 1939" & shows his 1st flight on the 9th in a Moth).
Graduated 11 November 1939 at RCAF, Trenton.
Married Freda Amy Markland in Kingston later in November 1939.
Promoted to Flight Lieutenant, 1 November 1940.
Transferred to Ferry Command, March 1942 (at this time his
logbook showed 1641 hours & 35 minutes).
Promoted to Squadron Leader, 1 June 1942.
(Posted to Transport Command ?)
Flew General Wavell to the Moscow Conference in Aug. 1942.
Flew captured General Wilhelm Ritter von Thoma to England
from Africa in November 1942.
With Transport Command as Churchill's back-up pilot.
Flew part of Churchill's "crew" to Adana, Turkey 30 January 1943,
for the secret talks with Turkey's president.
Flew Churchill out when his regular Liberator "Commando"
(piloted by American pilot Bill Vanderkloot) got stuck in the mud.
Posted to command 409 Squadron in February 1943.
(promoted to Wing Commander, 1 November 1943).
Repatriated 12 August 1944.
Loaned to TCA, 12 October 1944.
To No.2 Air Command, 6 August 1945.
Released 22 September 1945.
Claimed to have flown 53 types of aircraft during the war
including gliders, autogyros, fighters and bombers.
Postwar he was with the RCAF Auxiliary (service # 120182),
being posted to 442 Squadron, Vancouver, 15 July 1947 &
401 Squadron, Montreal, 1 January 1948.
Promoted W/C, 24 August 1948 & CO of 401 Squadron.
Awarded Queen's Coronation Medal 23 October 1953
(No.1 Group, rank of Group Captain).
After leaving the RCAF he became a pilot for TCA.
Became TCA (later Air Canada) Director of Flight Standards.
He started a company called RANCO with ace pilot
Jeff Northcott and Ralph Allen.
"During the years of the Concorde development,through his old
overseas buddy network, he got involved with that too, training
and test flying. Started on a Fleet Finch and ended with the
Concorde. Not bad for a depression kid from Sidney Nova Scotia."
Died in Vancouver, 9 August 1985.


Whitey Dahl & Wendy Reid
The famed H.E. "Whitey" Dahl (left) getting last-minute instructions from Flying Officer J.W. Reid, in charge of "B" Flight

18 Veteran U.S. Fliers Trained to Train R.C.A.F.

(By Bill ROCHE, Staff Writer, The Globe and Mail) Camp Borden, September 16, 1940 — Eighteen experienced pilots from the United States, including the well-known H.E. (Whitey) Dahl of Spanish Civil War fame, today started a refresher course on handling military aircraft with the intermediate Training Squadron of No. 1 Service Flying Training School, Royal Canadian Air Force. Three Canadian pilots are also taking the course.
After seven weeks of learning how and why the R.C.A.F. does things in certain ways, these experienced commercial pilots, who don't need to be taught how to fly, will proceed to the Central Flying School at Trenton to take instructors' courses. After that they will be sent as instructors to camps of the Commonwealth Air Training Plan across Canada.
All of these valuable young men now are sergeant-pilots in the R.C.A.F. And none is more enthusiastic about the whole thing than "Whitey" Dahl, who, after cloud climbing in several countries, has over 15,000 officially logged hours in the air.

Flew for Loyalists
Dahl put in four and one-half years with the United States Army Air Corps from 1931 to 1935. He flew in Mexico on special duty for the Spanish embassy in 1936, and later that year went to Spain to join the Loyalists' air force. On July 12, 1937, he was captured by General Franco's troops, and, after a long stretch of prison, did not get back to the United States until March 17 of this year. He was released when his comely show girl wife sent her picture to Franco with a plea for his freedom.
Whitey holidayed for only two months. In May he put in his application to join the R.C.A.F., and was accepted on Sept. 6. Since then he has been keeping in practice at London, Ont.
One might have thought that a refresher course would be a rather drab thing for Dahl. But, when The Globe and Mail found him today toiling with other Americans in "B" squadron under command of Flying Officer J.W. Reid, the veteran of shell-swept Spanish skies was the most enthusiastic one the class.
"They're going to a lot of trouble to give us all this training. And it's certainly great of them," remarked Dahl as spokesman for his compatriots, "Everybody is fine to us up here, and we hope to prove our worth to the R.C.A.F."

Get Special Training
One of Dahl's tasks today was to take a Yale training ship up over 15,000 feet on a solo altitude test. Heavy clouds were drifting over the camp as he prepared to take off. A youngster in the ground crew remarked about that.
Then Dahl gave definite indication of the value he will be to other youngsters later on by reassuring this one with: "There are two ways to do things and get places, son. I'm not going to dig my way up through those clouds. I'm just going to find myself a nice hole." And he did.
With Dahl in "B" squadron are Sergeant-Pilots F.D. Pierce of Van Nuys, Cal.; J.R. Thomason of Kansas City, Mo.; C.E. Shannon of Palisades Park, N.J.; and J.O. Holder of Beverly Hills, Cal. They and all others on this course will get fifty-two hours special training - fifty of them in the air - on aerobatics, forced landings, instrument flying, navigation, formation flying and night flying.




Sydney Youth Pilots Bomber To England
F/L Wendell (Windy) Reid, 23, Brings Big Fighter Craft To Old Country From Canada

Windy Reid  

Sydney, April, 1942 - A graduate of the Cape Breton Flying Club was in charge of a bomber which travelled the ocean from Canada to England yesterday to join other Empire air fighting craft marshalled against the Nazi enemy.

He was Wendell (Windy) Reid, 23-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. William Reid. Hospital Street, this city, and believed to be the first Sydney boy to fly a bomber across the Atlantic.

His safe arrival in England was received in a cablegram by his parents early last evening.
Now attached to the Ferry Command, and promoted to the rank of Flight Lieutenant a year ago, the youthful aviator has been travelling the skyways of the Maritimes and Central Canada for the last six years.
He was in the R.C.A.F. a year before the war broke out and his training in flying was received at the Reserve airport of the old Cape Breton Flying Club.

A natural filer, Reid carried off honors at the air competition in Halifax a couple of years ago before the war when he won the R. J. Logue trophy, emblematic of provincial aerial championship.

He was one of six volunteers who offered their services to go to England with the R.A.F., when war was declared, but his services were required in Canada and he was retained as an instructor at Trenton and Camp Borden.

He was recently transferred to the Ferry Command and assigned to his important job of piloting a bomber to the Old Country in recent weeks.
News of success of his achievement was learned with justifiable pride, not only by his parents, but by a host of friends, acquaintances, and flying club associates in the Maritimes.
Born in Sydney, and educated at St. Joseph's School and Sydney Academy, Young Reid was employed at the General Office prior to joining the R.C.A.F. in 1938. He is a nephew of Dr. Seward Brean, Mayor of Mulgrave, N.S. and of ** Brean, of the Steel Company investigation staff.


Steaks Flown Across Ocean

WITH THE R.C.A.F. SOMEWHERE IN SCOTLAND. May 6, 1942 (CP) - It isn't everyone who would carry as his personal baggage on a trans-Atlantic hop such things as tender, juicy steaks - and T-bone steaks, at that - for his pals away from home. But that's just what F/L J. W. Reid of Sydney, N.S. did.
S/L Maurice Lipton of Sydney, N.S. and Belleville, Ont., and a friend of Reid's, smacked his lips as he related the story of a "feed" almost unprecedented in this land of rationed food where steak is as rare as it’s tough
"What a feed," said Lipton, commander of a Canadian Beaufighter squadron. "He brought so much that it lasted for a day and a half."

REID had the steaks - 12 of them - frozen in Montreal before he took off in a Hudson bomber on the 3000-mile Atlantic hop. He packed the trimmings with them.
"The steaks were so big," Lipton explained, "that there was almost enough in each portion for two persons. What a banquet, what a banquet. And, oh yes, there were onions too."
Onions are as scarce now in this country as cabbage and Brussel sprouts are plentiful.
Lipton and his fellow pilots also shared a Reid "consignment" of oranges, "big red apples," bananas, lemons, pears and chocolates.
"We offered some of the lemons to the station commander's wife but she wouldn't believe they were real," Lipton said. "She refused to accept them. It was like handing her gold bricks."


Delivers Bombers and Steaks
Call Him The 'Flying Caterer'

With the R.C.A.F. Somewhere in England. Aug. 4, 1942 - (CP) - F/L J.W. "Windy" Reid of Kingston, Ont., has given up ferry command for a berth in a Canadian Beaufighter squadron just in time. Otherwise he might have become known as the "Flying Caterer."
In April he "ferried" a steak dinner across the Atlantic for members of a Beaufighter squadron commanded by Wing Commander Maurice Lipton of Sydney, N.S. He delivered a Hudson bomber at the same time for ferry command.
The other day, he did a repeat performance. A dinner planned and bought in Montreal was eaten four days later in the officers' mess of another Beaufighter squadron led by Wing Commander Paul Y. Davoud of Kingston, Ont. This time he brought a Fortress bomber as well.
The transatlantic dinner party was arranged by Mrs. Davoud, a former Trans-Canada Air Lines hostess, who knows what kind of food fliers like. She sent her husband and his fellow officers a choice selection of steaks and fresh fruit.
Reid is joining Davoud’s band of night fighters.


Flies General

From Cape Breton

MULGRAVE, Nov. 20, 1942 — News that Flight Lieutenant Wendell Reid, of Sydney, has again been honored with such an important flying assignment as that of transporting a captured German general from the battlefront to England, will be welcomed here where the young airman is well known, having been a frequent guest of his uncle, Dr. J. Brean, mayor of the town.
The flight lieutenant is a son of Mr. and Mrs. William R. Reid, 55 Hospital Street, Sydney. He began his flying career early, starting at the age of 12 with the flying club at Sydney, and receiving his pilot’s licence at 17. At 18 won the Maritime trophy in 1937, open to amateur fliers in this zone.
He joined the Royal Air Force in 1938 and, at the outbreak of war, transferred to the R.C.A.F., being stationed first at Trenton, Ontario, where he was instructor on the staffs of various schools opened for instructors there, and he was at this work until January of this year when he became attached to the Atlantic Ferry Command until July.
When stationed in England he accompanied Prime Minister Churchill as one of the pilots on the historic flight to Cairo and Moscow. His father subsequently received a letter from Air Marshal Edwards commending the flight lieutenant.
After graduating from Sydney Academy he was associated with Dosco auditing staff.




"Windy" Reid Is Now Night Fighter

SYDNEY. July, 6, 1943 — Posted to a night fighting squadron overseas after being stationed with the Royal Air Force’s ferry command for a time, Flight Lieutenant Wendell (Windy) Reid, well-known Sydney flier has arrived in England.
Word to that effect was received over the weekend by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. W. R. Reid.
He left here Friday after a brief visit. During his time with the Ferry Command, he piloted six bombers safely to Britain.


'Windy' Reid Promoted To Wing Commander

(November 1943) - A well-known young Sydney flier has been promoted to the rank of Wing Commander in the R.C.A.F, and is one of the youngest in the British Empire. He is Wendell (Windy) Reid, son of Mr. and Mrs. William Reid, Hospital St., this city.
In his 24th year, Reid has come along fast since joining the R.C.A.F. at the outbreak of war in 1939.

At Christmas time he was promoted to the rank of Squadron Leader and his latest advancement took place over the weekend.
Stationed in England, he has ferried bombers to the old country on several occasions from Canada and has seen plenty of action in the aerial theatre of war.

A couple of months ago he was entrusted with a mission of major importance, bringing to England from North Africa, Nazi General Von Thoma, chief of Rommel’s staff who was captured by the British and returned to London. He carried out the job successfully.
He was also in the plane party which flew Prime Minister Churchill to Russia for discussion with Soviet leader Joseph Stalin some months ago.

A graduate of the C. B. Flying Club, Wing Commander Reid was a prominent figure in Maritime aviation circles in peace time and was winner of several aviation awards. His many friends in Cape Breton and throughout the Maritimes will learn of his latest promotion with extreme pleasure.




Victorian Adds to Squadron's Bag

WITH THE R.C.A.F. IN BRITAIN, June 20, 1944 - (CP) - A Canadian night-fighting Mosquito squadron, in the busiest period of its history, destroyed seven Nazi planes and damaged many others since the invasion began.
The squadron, led by W/C J.W. (Wendy) Reid, of Sydney, NS, has been roaring over the Normandy beachhead from this field since "D" Day on protective patrols.
Setting the squadron pace is F/O C.J. Preece, of Hardisty, Alta., who with an English navigator destroyed two Junkers-88 bombers in one night. That same night, F/O R.L.C. Fullerton, of Toronto, bagged another.
The string of victories began when S/L R.S. Jephson, of Victoria, with F/O J.M. Roberts, of Winnipeg, knocked down a Junkers-88. Jephson received double congratulations when he returned to his base for he learned his wife had given birth to a daughter.
A few nights later, F/O A.W. Sterrenberg, of Consort, Alta., destroyed a Dornier 217 and F/O K.G. Livingstone, of Komoka, Ont., got a Junkers-88.
Reid also was credited with a "kill."
The first blow in the squadron's invasion campaign was struck the morning of "D” Day when F/O Frank Pearce, of Winnipeg, scored hits on a Junkers-88, but he was unable to confirm the "kill." Two enemy planes were damaged by F/L W. (Bill) Marr, of Fort Langley, B.C., and W/O Don MacDonald of Winnipeg.


REID, W/C Joseph Wendell (C927) - Mention in Despatches - Overseas
Award effective 8 June 1944 as per London Gazette of that date &
AFRO 1729/44 dated 11 August 1944


Airmen With Invasion Honors Among 200 From Overseas

Ottawa, Aug. 13, 1944 - (CP) - More than 200 Canadian airmen, many of them with decorations earned in action over the Normandy bridgehead climbed today from a repatriation train here to renew acquaintance with a homeland many of them had not seen for as long as three years. Among the repatriates was F/O W.A. Bishop, son of Air Marshal W.A. (Billy) Bishop, Director of recruiting for the R.C.A.F., who was met by his father. Another was W/C G.C. Keefer, D.F.C. and Bar, of Charlottetown, back after two completed tours of operations.
Others returning included W/C J.W. Reid, Kingston, and F/L J.L. McCauly, D.F.C., Toronto; S/Ls. R.A. Buckham of Mission City, B.C., and Howard Cleveland, D.F.C., of Vancouver, who both ran up impressive scores of enemy aircraft destroyed.
Buckham has a record of six and one-half planes destroyed, two "probables" and two damaged. Cleveland claimed nine destroyed and one damaged in a single tour of operations.
The returning fliers, all happy to be back, plowed hungrily into the ice cream and soft drink offerings of Canadian Legion representatives who met them at the station.
In the group were S/L G.W. Conrad, Richmond, and F/L A.J. Van Rassell, Timmins.


REID, W/C Joseph Wendell (C927) - No.409 Squadron - Distinguished Flying Cross (US)
Award effective 15 May 1945 as per London Gazette of that date &
AFRO 1127/45 dated 6 July 1945.

DHist file 181.009 D.3053 (RG.24 Vol.20634) has text of citation taken from USAF General Order 92 dated 14 November 1944.

For extraordinary achievement while participating in many patrols over the Normandy beachhead area. As a result of his outstanding leadership, Wing Commander Reid's squadron has destroyed at least twenty enemy airplanes since D Day. His courage and devotion to duty reflect highest credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.

Additional info on the US DFC provided by John Reid -
"It seems that while patrolling the English Channel he overheard a conversation between a wounded American fighter pilot and his home base. He dove down and intercepted the wounded flier who was now slipping in and out of consciousness from loss of blood. Dad flew up along side and was encouraging the pilot to fight to remain conscious singing dirty air force songs with him and even bumping his wingtip. He stayed with him until he finally crashed into the sea and was KIA.
The whole episode was heard on the radio back at fighter command and I guess they wanted to formally recognize the event. The one problem was that breaking formation especially by the leader was against British air force regulations, no matter what the reason and he could have been called to account for it. Luckily for dad they officially ignored the whole thing as they couldn't be seen as rewarding him for breaking regulations. So that is where the Americans stepped in and said it was for helping them set up their own night fighter squadron or something to that effect.
This account was later verified to me by the sister of the American pilot."


Victories Include :

14 June 1944 1:45 am
20 June 1944 2:35 am
26 July 1944 12:01 am
one He177
one Ju88
one Ju88
Mossie MM560 KP-F
Mossie MM587
Mossie MM587

2 / 0 / 1

All with John W.F. Peacock MiD**, as Navigator.

* He was on the usual night operations and came up behind the "Jerry" on its way to do some damage to Canadian troops. "When we were near enough and it had been identified as an enemy ship, I pressed the old button and down she went."

** At the end of July 1944 when Windy became tour expired, Massey Beveridge DFC, took command of 409 squadron & Peacock became Beveridge's Navigator. On 6 August, less than two weeks after his last kill with Reid, Peacock died when he & Beveridge were shot down by a Ju88 & a FW190 that were night hunting together. As they were attempting to bale out, Beveridge got stuck in the pilot's hatch & Peacock found the Nav's hatch to be jammed. At the last second, just before they crashed, Peacock turned and pushed Beveridge out his hatch. The W/C's 'chute barely had time to open but he landed unhurt, Peacock went in with the ship.




Thanks go out to son John for the photos & infos !

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