… Buck McNair's engine had cut out twice more over
enemy territory. The first time he was again able to glide back and make
a safe landing; but the second, his engine caught fire halfway across
the Channel, and he had to bail out. He was burnt around the eyes, and
by the time he got close to the water they were so swollen that he could
hardly see. Thinking that he was just about to go in the water, he jettisoned
his 'chute and fell from about three hundred feet into the sea. He was
picked up by the Air-Sea Rescue boys. As soon as Buck's eyes were opened
wide enough, he insisted on returning to lead his Wing.
With the Sicilian campaign over, the high-ranking triumvirate of this
Campaign were recalled to England in preparation for the Invasion. From
the Army came Generals Montgomery and Patton. From the Air Force came
Air Marshals Tedder and Coningham and Air Vice Marshal Broadhurst. Tedder
put Coningham in charge of the Tactical Air Force, and Air Vice-Marshal
Broadhurst replaced Air Vice-Marshal Dixon, who had guided the 2nd TAF
through the teething stage. All were under the Supreme Allied Commander
General Eisenhower. The Field Commanders brought their personal caravans
and set up Mobile Command Posts around them. Eisenhower provided each
one with a personal staff car marked with the appropriate number of stars
of the equivalent American rank. Each had their Staff Officer's pennant
fluttering from the front fenders. Broadhurst loved driving his Cadillac
convertible. It was a common sight to see him at the wheel, his personal
assistant Burgess beside him, with the driver in the back seat. One day
he found himself held up by a large slow-moving convoy of American trucks.
The last vehicle was filled with bored American GI's who began shying
refuse at the Air Vice-Marshal. The enraged Broadhurst got in front of
the truck at the first opportunity, stopped, and told Burgess to get out
and take their names. Not only did the GI's refuse to cooperate, but they
pulled his cap down over his eyes and roughed him up. Broadhurst had no
choice but to complain to Eisenhower. GI's didn't take orders from anyone
As soon as his Field Headquarters was established, Broadhurst started
weekly conferences for all the Wing Leaders under his command. Broady,
as he was referred to, had led a Wing in the Battle of Britain and subsequently
made a name for himself as an efficient Staff Officer and a hard-nosed
Field Commander. He openly admitted at first that he had little use for
Canadians and Buck McNair in particular. Buck had flown under him at Hornchurch
before he had left for Malta. As far as Buck was concerned, the feeling
was mutual. I distinctly remember the first Wing Commanders' conference
that Broady called in his Headquarters. In desert tradition, the meeting
was held in a long rectangular field-tent furnished with a mobile conference
table, field maps and collapsible chairs. Broady chaired the meeting from
one end of the table, and by chance Buck McNair occupied the chair at
the other end. Through the meeting Buck sat with his chair pushed back,
his arms folded, with a disgruntled frown on his face. The meeting had
no particular purpose, except to give the Air Vice-Marshal an opportunity
to tell us exactly what he expected of us. His remarks required no comment,
and instead of asking if there were any questions, the Air Vice-Marshal
hunched forward in his chair and, glaring at Buck, said:
"McNair, I'm disappointed in you. This is the first time I have seen
you sit there without opening your big mouth. Are you ill?"
There was a long silence as Buck measured his gaze without blinking an
eye. Finally he said with a smile:
"These meetings of yours are interfering with my social life, Sir."
For a second Broady's jaw stiffened, and he glowered down the table at
Buck. Just when the tension was getting unbearable, Broady suddenly threw
his head back and laughed uncontrollably. Nervously the Company followed
his example. ...
from "Lucky 13" by Hugh Godefroy
|Born in Springfield,
Nova Scotia, May 1919
Home in Battleford, Saskatchewan.
Enlisted in 1940.
Trained at No.1 ITS, No.7 EFTS and
No.31 SFTS (graduated 24 March 1941).
Awarded Queen's Coronation Medal, 23 October 1953
- while Air Attache in Tokyo
Received Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct,
August 1954, for heroism following crash of a North Star at Vancouver,
30 December 1953
(see postwar awards data base for details)
CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER VISITS AIR-FIGHTER DEPOT
Group Captain Campbell, Hamilton Officer, in Attendance
COUNTRY IS PROUD
Somewhere in England, Sept. 6, 1941 - (CP Cable) - Prime
Minister Mackenzie King, visiting the first all-Canadian fighter station
in Great Britain, told airmen today that "there is nobody in the
world more in the hearts of all of us than you."
Obviously enjoying his visit to the great station, the Prime Minister
chatted with young flyers standing beside their Spitfires, Hurricanes
Scores of the Royal Canadian Air Force men snapped pictures of Mr. King
as he stood on the wing of an aeroplane and later sat in the cockpit of
a Hurricane wearing a helmet and talking to the station control room over
"Nothing could inspire me more than meeting you airmen," he
said in the longest informal speech he has made since coming to Britain.
The speech was made to a Spitfire squadron.
"I suppose there is nobody in the world more in the hearts of all
of us than you. I can't begin to tell you how proud we are of our air
"The people of Canada follow with pride and thankfulness your gallant
exploits. Your bravery and courage are known to them."
Mr. King recalled that he had paid tribute to the R.C.A.F. flyers in his
speech this week at the Lord Mayor's luncheon in London and said that
no words he had ever uttered gave him more pleasure.
He added that "no act of the government ever pleased my colleagues
and myself more than the working out of this plan with British representatives,"
referring to the initial conversations with Lord Riverdale and a British
mission which led to the Commonwealth air training plan.
"From my heart I trust the all-seeing and living Providence will
watch over you." Mr. King concluded: "God bless you all, boys."
Wearing a grey suit, a black Homburg and carrying a cane, Mr. King was
in a jovial mood as he talked with the airmen. He climbed up on the wing
of one of the new model Spitfires to shake hands with P/O Win Ash, of
As photographers took pictures, the Prime Minister quipped: "Don't
start this plane while I'm here. These press men would like nothing better
than to have me taken up 60 feet and dropped."
Meet "The Boys"
"I wonder if I may shake hands with these men?" he said when
he greeted F/L Kit Bushell, of Qu'Appelle, Sask., in charge of a group
of Spitfire pilots who were lined up in front of their dispersal hut.
Those he met included Pilot Officers Boyd Gartshore of Toronto; Ken Boomer
of Ottawa; R. W. McNair of Prince Albert, Sask. and Sgt.-Pilots Dick Ellis,
of Montreal; Bill Hagyard of Perth, Ont. and Aubrey Ferguson of Glace
Two of their mates — Ash and P/O Donald Blakeslee of Cleveland,
Ohio — staged a practical scramble into their planes and Mr. King's
hat was blown off by the slipstream caused by the propellers.
A squadron, led by Squadron Leader Paul Pitcher of Montreal, told Mr.
King there was a scarcity of magazines and newspapers from home.
The Prime Minister was cheered as he headed towards Beaufighter squadrons,
where he was greeted by F/L Bruce Hanbury of Vancouver. While Mr. King
was inspecting the airmen, L.A.C. Stuart Lee, of Almonte, Ont., photographed
him. Later Mr. King took pictures of the lads with Lee's camera and visited
the squadron's operations room.
With Hamilton Officer
Mr. King was accompanied throughout his tour by Air Commodore Leigh Forbes
Stevenson, air officer commanding the R.C.A.F. in the United Kingdom,
and Group Capt. A. P. Campbell, of Hamilton, Ont., the first Canadian
named to command an air station in Britain.
There was a touch of sadness when he asked of one group, "Who trained
these men to their present fine efficiency?" He was told they were
trained by an officer who was killed a few days ago — Wing Cmdr.
N. R. Peterson, of Winnipeg.
Mr. King concluded the visit by chatting with members of a Hurricane squadron
led by Squadron Ldr. Norm Johnson, of Winnipeg. Among the men were P/O
Don Ball of Edmonton and F/L "Bev" Christmas
The Prime Minister climbed into the cockpit of a Hurricane and P/O Bud
Connell of Nipawin, Sask., showed him how to work the radio telephone.
Mr. King sent greetings to the control room.
Scores First Victories
Ottawa, Dec. 4, 1941- (CP) - A newly formed Royal Canadian
Air Force fighter squadron, led by Squadron Leader P.B. Pitcher of Montreal,
has shot down one Messerschmitt 109 and damaged two more in recent sweeps
over France, R.C.A.F. Headquarters announced tonight,
The German aircraft first to be shot down by the squadron, fell before
the two cannon and four machine guns of a new Mark V Spitfire flown by
Pilot Officer R.W. McNair of North Battleford, Sask.
"I was on a sweep and saw a number of Messerschmitts below me,"
said McNair in a report. "I dived on them and saw they were circling
a pilot in the sea. I picked one out and gave him a three-second burst.
I overshot him and pulling away, I saw him go into the sea. This took
place over Boulogne. The pilot did not bale out.
"I climbed again and turned for home. Then a Jerry dived on me from
out of the sun, his fire hitting my engine. My cockpit filled with smoke
and the enemy overshot me. He came around directly in front of me. It
was my turn then and I gave him a burst and saw hits registering. His
hood came off. Only my starboard guns were firing now and flames were
coming out of the cockpit. So I put my nose down.”
"Finding my engine cutting out I baled into the sea. I got rid of
any parachute immediately upon touching the water and had no trouble inflating
my dinghy. I was picked up fifteen minutes later by a sea rescue motorboat."
McNair trained at Toronto, Windsor and Kingston and worked for Canadian
Airways before enlisting, the Air Force said
The squadron's first engagement was described by Squadron Leader Pitcher:
"On a day sweep over France we were jumped by a number of Messerschmitt
109's. From then on it was everybody's individual party, with only sections
managing to keep together. Two Huns dropped down on Flight Lieutenant
Boomer's tail, but he shook them off and managed
to get in a squirt at one of them."
Flight Lieutenant K.A. Boomer of Ottawa is the leader of a flight of the
squadron, the air force said. He came from the University of Toronto to
the R.C.A.F. three months before war broke out.
Squadron Leader Pitcher joined No. 115 Auxiliary Squadron in Montreal
in 1935. He was a junior partner in the law firm of Mann, Lefleur &
Brown until war started. He went overseas with one of the first fighter
squadrons and shot down a Messerschmitt while with that unit.
Sergeant Pilot J.D. McFarlane, Calais, Maine, who trained at Prince Albert,
Regina and Ottawa, described his part in the squadron's initial scrap:
"I felt a sudden explosion under me, and I felt a hit on my leg.
My cockpit filled with grey smoke. I wasn't certain whether I was being
attacked by enemy aircraft or flak. Looking at my wings, I saw a number
of small holes in them, and the port wing was covered with oil.
Bails Out Safely
"I headed for the English coast, and about two minutes later my engine
stopped. I was up about 23,000 feet when the fun started so I glided down.
"A Rhodesian squadron leader covered me all the way back. At about
half a mile from the coast I slowed down and baled out. I landed between
Dover and Folkestone about 200 yards inland. My leg wound was only slight
and I was flying two days later."
"B" flight of the squadron is led by Flight Lieutenant R.C.
Weston of De Marts Street West, Saint John, N.B., who saw action with
a Royal Air Force squadron earlier in the war. He bagged a Heinkel and
a Dornier while with his first squadron. The new Spitfires are popular
with the Canadian fighter pilots. "There's nothing like them,"
said Pilot Officer J.R. Coleman, Waterloo Street, Saint John, one of the
newest members of the unit.
Sergeant Pilot F.E. Green is from Toronto.
Robert Wendell (J4745) - Distinguished Flying Cross -
Award effective 21 May 1942 as per London Gazette dated 22 May 1942 and
AFRO 880-881/42 dated 12 June 1942.
is a skilful and courageous pilot. he invariably presses home his attacks
with the greatest determination irrespective of odds. He has destroyed
at least five and damaged seven enemy aircraft. Four of these he damaged
in one combat.
Canadian Flyers Revel in Aerial Fight at Dieppe
Tales of Stirring Action and Great Heroism Follow Epic Feats
(By Alan Randal, Canadian Press Staff writer)
London, Aug. 20, 1942 — (CP Cable) — Canadian airmen protecting
their own troops from enemy air assault for the first time gave the Dominion's
attack force in the battle of Dieppe the greatest aerial cover ever provided,
it was indicated today.
Flying with the R.A.F., Spitfire and Army Co-operation Squadrons of the
R.C.A.F. formed a big proportion of the trans-channel shuttle service
during the operations yesterday.
Some made two and three trips, pausing only long enough at their home
base to refuel and reload with ammunition.
While Canadian losses were not announced—it is known allied losses
were 98 planes and the Nazis 91— the Canadian victory score stood
at nine German aircraft destroyed and many probably damaged.
But these were just early figures on the Canadians' part in this amazing
triumph over the German air force in French skies — amazing from
the Canadian and allied point of view because the losses were so nearly
equal, whereas the Germans lost four and five to one in the Battle of
It is expected that the Canadians' tally will rise as all reports are
checked and double-checked. It is likely that planes probably destroyed
or damaged will run well beyond a score.
One quarter said, "The early figures probably will not do full justice
to the Canadians' accomplishments."
Eager to Attack
At one station, while awaiting their dispersals for the take-off on the
third sweep of the day, Canadian pilots only then learned via radio that
Canadian troops were taking part in this assault.
Already at fever pitch, they were more than ever eager to sally out again.
In addition to providing an actual umbrella for the assault troops, the
Canadian Spitfire squadrons took part in escort work, accompanying United
States army air force Flying Fortresses on the raid on Abbeville, which
was closely related to the Dieppe attack.
A Canadian army co-operation squadron, in its first big operation, was
considered one of the most important units in the attack and kept in the
air from the outset of the assault until the troops departed from French
soil late in the day.
Action and Heroism
From all squadrons as the weary aerial soldiers forsook their planes for
much-needed rest came stories of action and heroism in this, the greatest
day of the war for Dominion servicemen.
One Canadian squadron, commanded by Sqdn.-Ldr. Syd L. Ford,
of Liverpool, N.S., reported five German aircraft destroyed and three
Ford himself set the pace. He downed a Focke-Wulf 190 and a Messerschmitt
109 with Spitfire cannon.
P.O. H.J. Murphy, of St. Claire, Me., bagged another. Flt-Lieut. George Hill, of Digby, N.S., shared in the destruction
of an F-W 190 with Sgt. M.K. Fletcher, of Terrace, Ill. Each damaged an
The action was so fast and so furious there were times without number
when the Canadians were unable to see the full effect of the damage caused
to the enemy.
From All Provinces
A unit headed by Sqdn--Ldr. Keith Hodson, of London, Ont., accompanied
the Fortresses and met stiff opposition en route home. Then it went out
into a still more desperate fight on the day's second excursion, when
it added five probables or damaged.
Canadian from every province shared in the action
Flt.-Lt. R.W. McNair, D.F.C., of North Battleford, Sask., who recently
distinguished himself over Malta, was another Canadian scoring a probable
— an FW190. He took part in the early-morning "umbrella"
"When we went over with other squadrons of Spits, we met just as
many Jerries as over the channel, so we waded right in." said McNair.
"From occasional looks at the ground we could see a helluva lot of
smoke and plenty of flak coming up."
The Spitfires came back with plenty of battle scars and flak and bullet
holes in the wings.
The squadron's second sweep provided the first action of the day for young
Sgt Gordon Bray, of Toronto, who later served with a convoy escort to
troop-carrying vessels returning over the channel.
"They must have gone home for tea," said Bray commenting on
the absence of Nazi airmen during the final phase of the great operation.
RUSSIAN AIRMEN REPORTED GOOD
Canadian Flyers Discover That They Are All Individualistic
With the R.C.A.F. Somewhere in England, Sept. 28, 1942 — (CP)
— Russian flyers are "individualists — but good,"
says Flight-Lieut. "Dave Ramsay, of Calgary, who spent part of
last winter flying Hurricanes on the Russian front. Flight-Lieut, Jimmy
Walker D.F.C., of Edmonton, was also in
Russia with him. Ramsay now is a flight commander in an R.C.A.F. fighter
squadron commanded by .Squadron-Ldr. Bob Newton, an Englishman. He left
University of Alberta classrooms to join up.
Ramsay made four tips over Dieppe, providing cover for the attack. He
called it "a fine show."
His opposite number, commanding the other flight, is Flight-Lieut.
Buck McNair, DFC, of North Battleford, Sask., who ran up a
string of planes destroyed over Malta.
The station from which this fighter squadron operates is commanded by
Group Capt. Patrick Campbell, of Hamilton, Ont., who has been eight
years in the R.A.F.
Medical officers on the station are Squadron-Ldr. Lloyd Hession, of
London, Ont. and Squadron-Ldr, J.W. Hiltz, of Toronto. FO. Rutherford
(Max) Hickey, of Grand Falls, N.B., and Saint John, is an intelligence
officer attached to the squadron.
Dieppe Picnic After Malta Show -
Italians Are Poor Air Fighters
Ottawa, Oct. 20, 1942 - (CP) - After five months in Malta,
the air side of the Battle of Dieppe was a picnic to Flight Lieutenant
R.W. (Buck) McNair of North Battleford, Sask.
"I got along fine at Dieppe," the 23-year-old veteran of some
of the toughest air fighting of the present war said today when he talked
to Ottawa newspapermen at a press conference. "I enjoyed it very
Flight Lieutenant McNair flew a Spitfire with one of the squadrons which
provided air support for Canadian troops who landed and fought on French
soil for nine hours last Aug. 19. At Malta he won the Distinguished Flying
Cross and now he is back in Canada on a holiday.
He hopes to visit his family in North Battleford next week and get back
to the war in a month or so. After tasting fighting from Malta and Britain,
he wants to try the Middle East the next time.
Before he gets home to North Battleford for his leave he will probably
be drafted to visit his native Nova Scotia to help with the Victory Loan
drive. He said today he hopes the loan goes over the objective because
he knows from experience that it gives men overseas a lift to hear that
Canadians men at home have made another loan a success.
"It shows the folks at home still have faith in us and are willing
to put their money on us," he said.
Two emergency airdromes were marked out at Dieppe for the use of Canadian
and British pilots who might get into trouble during the battle, Flight-Lieutenant
McNair said. One was the race track back of the town and the other a level
piece of ground to the left of the town, near Puys where the Royal Regiment
of Canada took terrific losses in attempting to force a landing.
The airmen were ordered to make a forced landing if necessary, at one
of these points, blow up their aircraft and join the troops. At least
one airman that he knew of made such a landing and got back to England
with the Canadian ground forces. He said he believes Pilot Officer Paris
Eakins of Winnipeg, former Winnipeg Free Press sports writer who recently
was reported missing, attempted to land at the Puys landing spot after
the radiator of his plane was shot away by a German cannon shell.
As the Canadian troops never obtained control of that area, Flight-Lieutenant
McNair added, he thinks Eakins was either killed or taken prisoner on
"The Germans are great fighters but the Italians are not so hot,"
was the way McNair sized up the two air forces which attacked Malta. Actually,
most of the bombing of Malta had been done by the Germans, although the
Italians came over at one stage and bombed from 23,000 feet whereas "the
old Hun used to come down and brush the treetops."
"The Italians are good fliers but they are not good fighters,"
he said, "but the Huns are absolute wizard fighters. They sure are
The Italians were more gallant than the Germans. They seemed to look on
the war as a game and tried to play it according to the rules and like
gentlemen. The Germans would do anything to win.
"The Huns will shoot a man after he bails out of his plane but the
Italians never do that," he remarked.
At one stage during three “hot" months at Malta — March,
April and May — the defenders were reduced to two serviceable aircraft.
Squadron Leader Bud Connell of Nipawin, Sask., took one off during a raid
and McNair tried to take the other off but ran into a bomb hole and was
put out of action.
The bombing of the airdromes caused the defenders comparatively little
trouble, although they had to watch out for bomb holes all the time.
"The Army co-operated with us 100 per cent," McNair said. "They
had their trucks loaded with stones and gravel right on the airdromes
and as soon as a raid was over they were right out to fill in the holes.
As for the aircraft themselves, the safest place was in the air, and when
a raid started every plane that would fly went up whether it had ammunition
The three main target areas in Malta, the harbor and two airdromes, were
within six or seven miles of one another. The targets and the area between
got the most intense bombing. All the villages round about were pretty
Because of its land defences, McNair said, he believes Malta will never
be taken unless the Allies are driven out of North Africa and the Mediterranean.
The island was "teeming" with troops and could not be taken
by forced landing. The stone walls which surround all the small land plots
on the island made it easy to defend.
Centuries ago, the land in Malta had been in large estates. As the owner
of an estate died he willed part of it to each of his heirs and each land-owner
built a stone wall around his land.
This process of dividing and subdividing went on until the island was
broken up into small plots all separated by walls behind any one of which
troops could take cover and resist invaders.
The Germans always gave Malta a going over about a day before they started
to move a convoy of supplies to General Rommel in Africa. At the height
of their bombing attacks last spring, all British offensive operations
from Malta were stopped since all the bombers there were destroyed.
More recently, with the island reinforced and the enemy busy elsewhere,
British bombers had been going out from Malta to harass enemy convoys.
Because of such operations, Malta played an important role in United Nations
Mediterranean operations. Should the Germans be driven out of North Africa
and an attack from Africa be launched at Italy, planes could be massed
at Malta to provide cover for the landings.
Before joining the air force, McNair, born at Springfield, N.S., the son
of a railway conductor, worked for Canadian Airways and flew as a radio
operator in planes operating from Prince Edward Island and Edmonton.
HERO OF MALTA NOW IN OTTAWA
Canadian Ace Has Shot Down at Least Nine Enemy Planes
Ottawa, Oct. 20, 1942 - (CP) - Flight-Lieut. Robert Wendell
(Buck) McNair, D.F.C., one of the defenders of Malta and a veteran of
14 months operational flying, reached Ottawa yesterday on his way to a
well-earned rest at his North Battleford, Sask., home.
The 23-year-old son of a railway engineer, he has won distinction on two
fronts; shot down nine and probably destroyed or damaged many more enemy
aircraft; been shot down himself once, been awarded the Distinguished
Flying Cross and become flight-commander in a Royal Canadian Air Force
squadron in England. With that squadron he took a prominent part in the
combined operations Dieppe raid.
Some of his experiences were described in a statement from R.C.A.F. headquarters.
From July until February of 1942 he served with an R.C.A.F. squadron in
Britain, and then was chosen to go to hard-pressed Malta with an R.A.F.
squadron. He was already a seasoned veteran, having taken part in many
sweeps and having been forced to bail out into the channel after being
shot down by an ME-109.
It was typical of McNair that, when his own disabled Spitfire was fast
losing altitude, he managed to catch the circling Hun on his sights and
spattered him with accurate fire. When McNair was picked up by the Royal
Navy rescue launch, its crew reported that he had probably destroyed his
He arrived in Malta at a time when the enemy was playing havoc with the
island's air defences, and when R.A.F. fighters almost invariably had
to contend with odds of from three to one up to 10 to one. Then, when
Spitfires were brought in to replace the ageing Hurricanes, the first
batch was shot up by the enemy while still on the ground. Later, however,
McNair was one of a small number of senior pilots chosen to go to Gibraltar
and guide back another force of Spitfires which had been carried part
of the way on the carrier Eagle. This time, the Spitfires got into the
air over Malta and from that time onward Britain held control above the
On his best day, McNair destroyed or probably destroyed four Huns. "But
the incident which he recalls most clearly and which helped to earn him
his "gong" was the destruction of a JU88 reconnaissance plane
scooting home with newly taken pictures.
"I was just about to land when I saw the JU88 buzzing off homewards,"
he recalls. "I didn't have any too much fuel, but anyhow I took after
the Hun and chased him all the way to Sicily before I managed to overhaul
him and shoot him down. When I got home I had barely a quiver left in
my petrol gauge, but I had had a lot of satisfaction."
R.C.A.F. PILOTS DOWN 3 NAZIS
Poles Bag Five Others in Sweeps Over France
London, July 6, 1943 (CP) — Canadian pilots flying
with R.A.F. Spitfire squadrons over Northern France and along the French
coast from Dieppe to Dunkirk today shot down three of eight Nazi planes
destroyed, a Polish wing of the R.A.F. accounting for the other five.
Sqdn. Ldr. R. W. McNair of North Battleford, Sask., destroyed one Messerschmitt
109 inland from Boulogne before the engine of his plane coughed out. He
glided the 30 miles to his home base in England.
The other two Canadian bags were destroyed by Flt-Lt. H. D. MacDonald
of Toronto, who raised his personal score of destroyed Nazi craft to seven
in today's action, and Flt-Lt. Walter Conrad,
Flt-Lt. Art Sager of Vancouver damaged another
enemy aircraft, but was unable to observe results. Late tonight the British
Air Ministry announced that two enemy fighter planes had flown for a short
time this evening over a district in East Anglia, at one point wounding
a small number of persons by machine-gun fire.
R.C.A.F. headquarters said in a communiqué that Canadian Spitfires
destroyed three enemy craft over Northern France and that no Canadian
fighter was missing from the action.
The Berlin broadcast recorded by the Associated Press said enemy planes
carried out "nuisance raids" over Western and Northern Germany
during the night, but there were no immediate announcements by the British
concerning any night activities …(last few words
Robert Wendell (J4745) - Bar to DFC - No.421 Squadron
Award effective 30 July 1943 as per London Gazette of that date and
AFRO 2507/43 dated 2 December 1943.
is a skilful and determined fighter whose record achievement and personal
example are worthy of high praise. Squadron Leader McNair has destroyed
ten hostile aircraft, five of them whilst serving in the Middle East,
and damaged a number of others.
France Attacked Today
Report 22 Bombers Lost, All R.C.A.F. Planes Safe;
Fleet Swooped Down on Nazi Capital Out of Clear Sky
— Assault "Highly Concentrated"
London, Sept. 4, 1943 —(BUP)— Heavy explosions
in extreme northern France shook towns on the southeast coast of England
today a few minutes after a strong formation of Allied planes flew against
London, Sept. 4, 1943 —(AP)— A great bombardment
fleet of R.A.F. and Canadian Lancasters smashed Berlin last night from
a clear sky, casting down 1,000 tons of fire bombs and howling steel in
20 minutes of attack officially described by the Air Ministry as "highly
concentrated." From a night of far-ranging operations - other British
and Canadian airmen rode the skies above the Rhineland and beat at enemy
flying fields in France and sowed mines in enemy waters - the British
lost 22 bombers.
All Canadian Planes Safe
All Canadian planes returned safely to their bases, it was announced today,
a record for a Berlin attack. The previous raid against the Nazi capital
cost the Canadian bomber group seven big planes.
D.N.B., German news agency, reported in a radio broadcast from Berlin
that a preliminary count showed that 15 four-engined bombers had been
The Berlin raid was the third within 11 days, but was not on the terrible
scale of destructiveness of the two that went immediately before it.
But it struck the city already scarred and smoking from attacks that have
already thrown upon it more tons of bombs than fell on London in all the
long months of Hermann Goering's attacks, and thus had a cumulative effect
far beyond the weight of explosives let loose.
The loss of British planes announced by the Air Ministry is less than
half those of the two previous raids — 58 and 47 respectively.
The bulletin reported that the Berlin raiders encountered "thick
clouds along the route," but said that over the target "the
sky was clear."
This time, as in the previous Berlin attacks, squadrons from the Canadian
bomber group flew with their R.A.F. comrades, it was learned authoritatively.
Described As Terror Raid
The German radio as usual described the attack on Berlin as a "terror
raid" but acknowledged that some damage and fires resulted. "A
considerable number" of British planes were brought down by anti-aircraft
batteries and fighters, the broadcast claimed.
"Bombers dropped bombs over the city and the suburbs," said
D. N.B., German news agency. "Once again it was beyond doubt a terror
attack, as residential quarters, hospitals, churches and other cultural
monuments were hit and destroyed.
"While combating the fires the Berlin population showed themselves
capable of effective and exemplary behavior."
The Germans also reported that British planes had attacked shipping during
the night in the Ijessel-meer in Holland, sinking one ship and machine-gunning
Pass Over Sweden
Associated Press dispatches from Stockholm, meanwhile, said that large
numbers of foreign war planes — presumably R.A.F. bombers returning
from the attack on Berlin — had passed over the southern tip of
Sweden during the night, drawing the heaviest barrage of the war from
Swedish anti-aircraft batteries.
One plane was said to have crashed in flames to the summer residence of
the crown prince just across the strait from Denmark.
The assault culminated a day of Allied aerial activity which included
a full-scale raid by American heavy bombers upon the Caudron-Renault aircraft
plant on the outskirts of Paris and attacks by other American units escorted
by R.C.A.F. fighters upon five Nazi air fields in France, including Romilly-sur-Seine.
A Vichy broadcast recorded by the Associated Press said that many fires
still were burning in the Paris suburbs this morning following the raid
and that casualties included 98 persons killed and 352 injured.
Canadian Spitfire squadrons provided escort for the attacks on Lille Nord,
Beaumont le Roger and other targets. One Canadian fighter was lost, an
R.C.A.F. communiqué reported.
However, two enemy aircraft fell to the Red Indian squadron of the R.C.A.F.,
Sqdn. Ldr. R. W. (Buck) McNair, of North Battleford,
Sask., and F/O M. C. Love, of Wynnewood, Pa., an American in the R.C.A.F.,
being awarded the kills.
This marked McNair's second victory in three days and his 14th enemy plane
Another section of the Canadian fighter wing, led by Wing-Cmdr. B. D.
Russel, of Montreal, also patrolled over France
during the day, but without incident.
Buildings Are Hit
Stockholm, Sept. 4, 1943 — (AP) — Government buildings in
the heart of Berlin were hit in last night's heavy R.A.F. and Canadian
bombing, dispatches from neutral correspondents in the Nazi capital said
The dispatches said the Germans described the raid as "obviously
one of the largest ever undertaken against Berlin."
A "large number" of multi-engined bombers were claimed to have
been shot down by antiaircraft fire and in terrific aerial combats high
over the German capital and throughout northern Germany.
RCAF FIGHTERS DESTROY 24 ENEMY PLANES
London, October 3, 1943 - (CP) - Hitting hard at Hitler's
Western European aerial defenses, Fighter Command aircraft shot down 24
enemy fighters over occupied territory today, with Canadian aces bagging
nine of the total.
Flt. Sgt. H. W. Bowker of Granby, Que., and FO.
Art Coles of Vancouver led the Canadians by blasting two Germans each.
Others fell to Sqdn. Leader R. W. McNair of North Battleford,
who got his 16th victim in leading the Canadian Red Indian Squadron, Wing
Cmdr. L. V. Chadburn of Aurora, FO. W. G. Dodd
of Winnipeg, FO. Frank Packard of Montreal, and PO. John Hicks of Ottawa.
The Canadians, providing a strong escort for day-long bombing raids, met
and bested the Nazis in a series of heavy dogfights in which, as Sqdn.
Leader G. E. W. Northcott of Minnedosa, Man.,
commented, "The Jerries were in a scrapping mood for once."
Two Canadian planes were lost.
Scattered 28 ME-109's
The biggest fight involved the City of Winnipeg and City of Oshawa Squadrons
which ran into
30 Messerschmitt 109's and scattered them after 20 minutes when Chadburn
and Dodd sent two German planes down to earth spiraling smoke.
Coles, former Dominion downhill ski champion, destroyed two Focke-Wulf
190's in separate engagements, blowing the wing off one. Packard's victory,
his first, was scored by riddling his foe at the top of two barrel rolls
the German made before Packard's Spitfire. Bowkers'
pair came in a scrap between his squadron and 15 Focke-Wulf 190's near
the French coast.
Besides McNair's victim the Red Indian squadron shot down two other planes—making
a total of three of the seven Nazis destroyed by fighters escorting bombers
on the Holland airfields attack. McNair's engine gave out as the enemy
went down, and as McNair attempted to glide over the Channel he dropped
9,000 feet before the engine started again. This was the third time he
experienced trouble. Once he glided home all the way from France after
the engine failed, and another time he was forced to bail out over the
TERRIFIC PACE IN AIR WAR SET FOR OCTOBER
London, Oct. 3, 1943 (AP) — R.A.F. and Canadian
heavy bombers, clamping a nutcracker squeeze on the Nazi Party's birthplace,
dumped heavy explosives on Munich last night less than 48 hours after
Africa-based American bombers shook the city in a daylight raid Friday.
Five hundred tons of bombs were rained on Munich in a 25-minute attack
the Air Ministry news service said, with 10 two-ton bombs dropped every
Munich, rail bottleneck, through which Germany pushes reinforcements and
supplies into Italy, already had gained the doubtful distinction of being
the first German city to be placed under two-directional aerial pounding
by the British-American double-punch method by reason of the Sept. 6 R.A.F.
night attack and Friday's United States raid.
Through the official news agency D.N.B., the Germans acknowledged "major
damage in several quarters of the town" as a result of the British
raid. Nine bombers were lost from this and other night operations, including
attacks on the German Ruhr and Rhineland and mine laying in enemy waters.
The tempo of the new month's aerial onslaught, which in the first three
days has embraced a heavy R.A.F. raid on the Nazi industrial city of Hagen,
and a new American daylight blow at the German North Sea port of Emden,
continued through this morning with aerial dashes over Holland.
Formations of American medium bombers, escorted by Allied Spitfires, winged
eastward in great waves after daylight to hit Nazi fighter-plane bases
at Woensdrecht, Haamstede and Amsterdam-Schipol.
Twenty-four German fighters were shot out of the air by R.A.F., R.C.A.F.
and Allied fighters during a series of daylight sweeps. An Air Ministry
official said this was the greatest number destroyed by the R.A.F. in
any one day's offensive operations over enemy territory. Allied losses
were four R.A.F. Medium bombers and 11 fighters.
Three of the seven enemy planes fell to the Canadian "Indian"
squadron led by Sqdn. Ldr. R. W. McNair of North Battleford,
Sask. McNair himself bagged a Focke-Wulf 190 — one of 12 which sought
to intercept the Allied raiders.
American Flying Fortresses, escorted by Thunderbolts, gave the Nazis'
prime North Sea merchant shipping port of Emden it's third battering of
the week Saturday afternoon. The industrial city of Magen in the Reich
was hit Friday night by the R.A.F. and R.C.A.F.
Big Blows Delivered Against Kassel and Frankfurt By Allies
R.A.F. and Canadians Lose 28 Bombers in Assault Made During Night
London, Oct. 4, 1943 — (CP) — R.A.F. and
Canadian heavy bombers hit Kassel, 91 miles northeast of Frankfurt, last
night in the fourth big blow in six months against that manufacturing
center for Nazi fighter planes, locomotives and other important war machines,
it was announced today.
Aircraft from the Canadian bomber group were out in considerable numbers.
The assault was officially described as heavy. It cost 24 bombers.
Four of the missing bombers were Canadian. The R.C.A.F. participation
in the raid was by Halifax bombers and their crews reported the bombing
was well concentrated with many large fires started. At the same time
Canadian Mosquitoes made intruder patrols over northern France and the
Low Countries, without loss.
Today in daylight, American heavy bombers supported by long-range fighters
swept into Germany and attacked targets in Frankfurt, which is 91 miles
southwest of Kassel.
Today's raid by the American bombers and their escorts was the first daylight
attack of the war on Frankfurt.
Split Enemy Defences
The twin blows followed the now-familiar Allied strategy of splitting
the German defences, as the cities lie less than 100 miles apart, one
east of the Ruhr and the other southeast.
While the R.A.F. and R.C.A.F. heavy bombers were delivering last night's
major raid, light Mosquitoes dropped explosives on Hanover, 160 miles
west of Berlin, in the second blow at that industrial city in six days.
It was raided in force by the R.A.F. and R.C.A.F. on September 27.
Three enemy patrol boats in the Bordeaux area were damaged, mines were
scattered through enemy shipping lanes and a Junkers-88 was shot down
by still other Mosquitoes ranging the French Channel coast.
Five hundred tons of bombs were dropped Saturday night on Munich, the
Nazi party's birthplace and a main supply outlet from southern Germany
into Italy. The industrial city of Hagen was attacked Friday night.
The British-Canadian smash at Munich highlighted the obvious Allied intention
to subject all of Germany to a two-directional air offensive from Britain
and eventually from Italy—for it followed by less than 48 hours
the first American heavy bomber raid on the same city from northwest African
The American attack on Munich was carried out in daylight Friday simultaneously
with, a similar raid on a Messerschmitt factory at Wiener-Neustadt, near
Vienna. A communiqué announced significantly that both formations
had been transferred recently to the Northwest African Air Command from
Britain and the Middle East.
Heavy bombers, escorted by fighters, smashed at northwestern Germany by
daylight Saturday and attacked port installations at Emden. Then, rounding
out the week-end offensive, R.A.F. and Allied medium bombers swept out
in daylight yesterday and attacked enemy airfields and other installations
in France and Holland.
Besides battering airfields, these armadas bit another chunk from Hitler's
western European aerial defences as escorting fighters knocked down 24
enemy planes, of which nine fell to Canadians. An Air Ministry official
said this was the greatest number ever destroyed by the R.A.F. and R.C.A.F.
in one day's offensive over enemy territory.
Top scorers in the weekend scrambles were Flt. Sgt. H.W. Bowker,
of Granby, Que., and F/O Art Coles, of Vancouver, who got two Germans
each. Others were credited to Sqdn. Ldr. R.W. (Buck) McNair,
of North Battleford, Sask., who hung up his 16th victory; Wing-Cmdr. L.V.
Chadburn, of Aurora, Ont.; F/O W.G. Dodd,
of Winnipeg; F/O Frank Packard, of Montreal, and P/O John Hicks of Ottawa.
German fighters were out in force to combat the heavy weekend blows and
put up some heavy dogfights. Summing it up, Sqdn. Ldr. G.E.W. Northcott,
of Minnedosa, Man., said, "The Jerries were in a scrapping mood for
Two Canadian planes were lost of a total Allied loss of 11.
Robert Wendell, DFC (J4745) - Second Bar to DFC - No.421
Award effective 7 October 1943 as per London Gazette dated 26 October
AFRO 358/44 dated 18 February 1944.
McNair is a tenacious and confident fighter whose outstanding ability
has proved an inspiration to the squadron he commands. He has completed
a large number of sorties and has destroyed fifteen and damaged many other
enemy aircraft. His keenness has been outstanding.
Canadian Heroes Honored By King
London, Dec. 20, 1943 — Leaders of two Canadian
fighter wings grounded their Spitfires long enough to visit London and
receive bars to their DFCs from the King at Buckingham Palace.
They were Wing Cmdrs. R. W. McNair, of North Battleford, Sask., who now
holds the equivalent of three D.F.Cs and has destroyed 16 enemy aircraft,
and Hugh Godefroy, of Toronto. Also present
to have the D.F.C. pinned on his chest and a chat with His Majesty was
Sqdn. Ldr. Robert Buckham, of Vancouver, leader
of the Canadian Wolf squadron which flies with Godefroy's wing.
RCAF WHITTLES DOWN GERMAN AIR STRENGTH
Ottawa, Jan. 14, 1944 — (CP) — R.C.A.F. fighter
squadrons continued to whittle down Germany's air strength during the
last week, although bad weather kept the bomber squadrons at their home
bases preparing for the next phase of the air assault on Europe, the R.C.A.F.
reported today in its weekly summary of operations.
The weather also had a curtailing effect on fighter activities, but fighter
squadrons flew several sweeps over France and on three days escorted United
States and R.A.F. medium and light bombers which continued the daylight
offensive against targets in Northern France.
Two German planes credited to Canadian Spitfires were destroyed by Toronto
pilots during a sweep over France led by Wing Cmdr. Buck McNair.
D.F.C., and two bars, of North Battleford, Sask. F/L R. W. Orr came down
at nearly 600 miles an hour from 18,000 feet to get an FW-190. He poured
fire in the cockpit and saw the Nazi crash in flames into a wood. F/O
H. K. Hamilton also went down low to get his FW-190 which was seen burning
on the ground later.
The week also brought confirmation of a "kill" by Flt. Lt. Karl
L. Linton of Plaster Rock, N.B., during a recent
dogfight over France, raising the score of the Red Indian Squadron on
that day to six destroyed and three damaged, enough to establish the squadron,
led by Sqdn. Ldr. Jimmy Lambert of Winnipeg, as one of the highest scoring
in Britain during the last six months.
The "heavies" of the RCAF bomber group were out only once during
the week when Halifaxes laid mines in enemy waters.
Post-Mortems Promote Teamwork in Air Force
By FO. IVERS KELLY Somewhere in Britain, Feb. 23, 1944
(Special) - It’s the same with any group of men operating together,
whether as a football or hockey team, or as fighter pilots working in
unison 30,000 feet above the earth. A "get-together" after a
match, or an operation, in the more deadly game of war, at which mistakes,
ideas and tactics are discussed, makes for a better showing the next time
the team takes to the field or the skies.
And so it is with the fighter pilots of the R.C.A.F. fighter wing, in
England commanded by Wing Cmdr. Robert Wendell (Buck) McNair,
D.F.C., and two Bars, of North Battleford, Sask., native of Nova Scotia,
and destroyer of 17 enemy aircraft.
"The Chief," as the men call Winco McNair, is successor in command
of the wing to another great Canadian flier of this war — Wing Cmdr.
B. Dal Russel, D.F.C, and Bar, of Montreal, who
boasts the splendid, record of not having lost a single bomber to enemy
fighters during six months of close escort over enemy territory.
Immediately after every operation, a sortie accompanying bombers into
enemy territory, or merely a practice flight over England, "The Chief"
holds a "bull session" with his fellow pilots. Its' a custom
he instituted earlier in his career as flight lieutenant in charge of
a section of pilots, and kept going later as squadron leader of the "Red
Indian" squadron. He continued these sessions because he found them
definitely beneficial to himself and to all the men flying under him.
The pilots go straight to the "bull session" after landing from
an operation or a practice flight. A few minutes are taken up with the
natural small talk of fighter, pilots back from a mission, and some of
them avail themselves of the tea which always awaits their return. Then
"The Chief" takes over.
Frank and outspoken are these informal sessions, and, although discipline
is observed, every pilot, be they squadron leader, or sergeant, is free
to say what's on his mind about the operation. And he does, even to criticizing
the Winco himself if he feels justified in doing so. There's nothing acrimonious
about the discussions criticism being offered only where the critic feels
that it is constructive.
"Well, men," said Wing Cmdr. McNair one day recently, rising
from his chair among the pilots to sit on the table, "I'm, glad to
say your flying was really hot today. I'm glad to be able to say your
formations were good, very good, and I have only a couple of complaints.
So-and-so (naming an outstanding flight leader in his wing) chattered
too much over the RT (radio telephone) we can't have chattering on the
RT. It's crowded enough under the best of circumstances without some one
making aimless remarks over it. And so-and-so (naming another flight leader)
allowed his section to fly out too wide a couple of times. You should
watch that, my man, keep in closer."
His troubles off his chest "The Chief" asked his men if they
had any criticisms. None was forthcoming so he put his invitation to criticize
another way, by inquiring whether his own turns that day had at any time
been a bit too "tight" for all the members of the wing to follow
in close formation. A sergeant flying No. 4 plane of the wing immediately
answered “Yes, Sir." On one particular turn, he said, he had
difficulty keeping up. He Mentioned when and where it occurred, and the
Winco recalled the turn. He promised to try not to make such a "tight"
On occasions when the wing has tangled with enemy fighters or has been
close to them, the pilots discuss fighting tactics. They go into the merits
of one pilot's tactics and discuss something which they think another
pilot might have done differently and perhaps have brought better results.
Each pilot believes his participation helps build the wing into the outstanding
fighting aggregation it is acknowledged to be, and any suggestion likely
to add to its glory is welcome.
When Wing Cmdr. McNair was awarded the second bar to his D.F.C. last October
he was a squadron leader. The official citation accompanying the award
described him as "tenacious and confident" and "an inspiration
to the squadron he commands." When asked how his "bull sessions"
had developed, Wing Cmdr. McNair replied that he had decided to hold them
when he was promoted to flight lieutenant, although he had not been in
a section or squadron, where such sessions were held.
"I found that our sessions produced good results in our flight,"
he said. "I kept them up when I took over the Red Indian squadron
and they proved worthwhile." Now in this large wing I can keep my
eye on some youngster - pilot officer or sergeant - who shows at these
bull sessions that he wants to know the score. He listens and his comments
are good; he speaks up and his ideas are sound; such a youngster shows
qualities of leadership. I keep an eye on him, and if he keeps it up and
if his flying merits, he is soon a flight lieutenant in charge of a section.
The "bull sessions" have helped pilots of the Wing in changing
their fighter tactics, a change necessary when the wing converted to a
more modern type of Spitfire, coincident with the appointment of Wing
Cmdr, McNair to command it. The change was necessary because their new
Spit "nines" had a more powerful motor, much greater speed"
and a longer range than, their old Spit "fives" which they flew
under Wing Cmdr. Russel.
Robert Wendell, DFC (J4745) - DSO - No.126 Wing
Award effective 5 April 1944 as per London Gazette dated 14 April 1944
AFRO 1020/44 dated 12 May 1944
awarded a second Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross, Wing Commander
McNair has completed many further operational sorties and destroyed another
enemy aircraft, bringing his total victories to at least sixteen enemy
aircraft destroyed and many others damaged. As officer commanding his
wing he has been responsible for supervising intensive training in tactics.
The results achieved have been most satisfactory. The wing, under his
leadership, destroyed at least thirteen enemy aircraft. Throughout, Wing
Commander McNair has set a magnificent example by his fine fighting spirit,
courage and devotion to duty both in the air and on the ground. He has
inspired his pilots and confidence and enthusiasm.
D.S.O. AWARDED BUCK McNAIR, HUGH GODEFROY
Ottawa, April 13, 1944 (CP) — Award of the Distinguished
Service Order to two top-ranking R.C.A.F. fighter pilots, Wing Commanders
R. W. (Buck) McNair of North Battleford, Sask., and Hugh Godefroy
of Toronto —both of whom already have won multiple recognition—
was announced tonight by the R.C.A.F., with a series of lesser decorations.
McNair already has won the D.F.C. thrice, while Godefroy has won it twice.
McNair becomes the most-decorated flier who has spent his entire operational
career in the R.C.A.F. and is topped only by Flt. Lt. George Beurling
of Verdun, Que., who won most of his decorations while a member of the
Also announced was the award of the bar to the D.F.C. to Sqdn. Ldr. George
C. Keefer of Charlottetown and award of D.F.C.s
to Flt. Lt. J.A.H. De Le Paulle of New York; Flt. Lt K.R. Linton
of Plaster Rock, N.B.; FO. V.I. Gorrill of Creston, B.C.; FO. R.H. Watt
of Winnipeg, and FO. J.E. Williams of Grand Rapids, Mich.
Award of the D.S.O. to McNair and Godefroy tops the careers of two of
the R.C.A.F.'s highest-scoring fighter pilots.
McNair, who for the past few months has led a fighter wing, has bagged
16 Nazi planes himself while his wing has brought down 13 since he took
over. McNair won his first decoration after shooting down five planes
over Malta. After a six-month leave in Canada, he returned overseas and,
operating out of England, quickly shot to the top. He was awarded the
first Bar to his D.F.C. after he had boosted his score to 15 victories,
and his second Bar shortly after he took command of his fighter wing.
Godefroy also leads a fighter wing, which has shot down 28 enemy planes
while he has been in command, one of which he tagged himself. Before assuming
command of the wing, Godefroy accounted for at least eight enemy aircraft,
and three enemy locomotives picked off on sweeps over occupied territory.
Flying Spitfires, his wing has been giving fighter cover for American
Godefroy—"Since being awarded a bar to his D.F.C., this officer
has completed many further sorties despite adverse weather. The wing under
his leadership has destroyed at least 28 enemy aircraft and damaged many
others, he has himself personally destroyed at least one enemy aircraft
during that period. At all times, Wing Cmdr. Godefroy has displayed outstanding
leadership and a fine fighting spirit, setting an example of the highest
McNair—“Since being awarded a second bar to his DFC, Wing
Cmdr. McNair has completed many further operational sorties and destroyed
another enemy aircraft, bringing his total victories to at least 16 enemy
aircraft destroyed and many others damaged. . . .
Throughout, Wing Cmdr. McNair has set a magnificent example of his fine
fighting spirit, courage and devotion to duty, both in the air and on
the ground. He has inspired his pilots with confidence and enthusiasm.
Beurling Ranks Fourth Among European Aces
By FRED BACKHOUSE
London, July 15, 1945 (CP) — Group Captain J. E. (Johnny) Johnson,
English-born, former leader of a crack Canadian Spitfire wing, has been
officially recognized as "ace of aces" among Allied fighter
pilots who fought over Europe.
Final scoring records, compiled by The Canadian Press from figures supplied
by the RAF, RCAF, and United States 8th and 9th Air Forces, put this peace-time
accountant from the Leicestershire town of Loughborough at the top of
the list with 38 German planes destroyed.
Group Capt. Johnson, who so closely identified himself with his otherwise
all-Canadian squadron that he wore "Canada" on his shoulder,
has often given much of the credit for his success to the Canadians who
flew with him. "It's all a combination play" he said. Many of
his men themselves became "aces."
Of the first 16 places supplied by the air forces, fourth is held by a
Canadian — Flt. Lt. George (Buzz) Beurling, DSO, DFC, DFM and Bar,
of Verdun, Que. — and 11 by RAF pilots. For the record, only those
with more than 24 "kills" were offered by the three services
as their top men.
Official final scores are:
Group Capt. J. E. Johnson (RAF),
Group Capt. A. G. Malan (RAF) [no score given –ed]
Sqdn. Ldr. P. Finucane
Flt. Lt. G. Beurling (RCAF), 31
Wing Cmdr. Stanford Tuck (RAF), 30
Wing Cmdr. J. R. D. Braham (RAF), 29
an anonymous Polish sergeant [Czech pilot Josef Frantisek -ed] (RAF),
Wing Cmdr. F. R. Carey (RAF), 28
Lt. Col. F. G. Gabreski (U.S. 8th), 28
Maj. G. E. Preddy (U.S. 8th) [no score given –ed]
Wing Cmdr. C. Caldwell (RAF), 27½
Capt. R. Johnson (U.S. 8th) [no score given –ed]
Flt. Lt. Mungo Park (RAF) [no score given –ed]
Sqdn. Ldr. J. H. Lacey (RAF), 27
Flt. Lt. E. S. Lock (RAF), 25
Lt.-Col. J. C. Meyer (U.S. 8th), 24½
[some of these numbers have been modified since the war – ed]
RCAF fighter pilots in the European war with scores of 15 or more German
planes destroyed number six according to overseas headquarters in London.
In addition, there were two equally high-scoring Canadians in the RAF,
both of whom were killed in that service before they could transfer to
After Beurling they are:
Sqdn. Ldr. H. W. McLeod, DSO, DFC and Bar, of
Flt. Lt. J. T. Caine, DFC, and Bar, of Toronto,
Wing Cmdr. Mark H. Brown, DFC and Bar (RAF), of
Glenboro, Man., 18
FO. W. L. McKnight, DF.C. and Bar (RAF), of
Wing Cmdr. R. W. McNair, DSO, DFC & two bars, of North Battleford,
Wing Cmdr. L. V. Chadburn, DSO and Bar, DFC,
of Aurora, Ont., 15
Flt. Lt. Don C. Laubman, DFC and Bar, of Edmonton,
The late Wing-Cmdr. Brown is officially credited by the RAF with "at
least 18" aircraft destroyed. His score may well have been higher,
but uncertainty exists because the records of No. 1 Squadron, RAF, of
which he was then commanding officer, were destroyed during the retreat
at the time of the collapse of France.
Robert Wendell, DSO, DFC (21047) - Croix de Guerre avec Palm (Fr)
AFRO 485/47 dated 12 September 1947 and
Canada Gazette dated 20 September 1947
Robert Wendell, DSO, DFC (21047) - Chevalier of the Legion of Honour (Fr)
AFRO 485/47 dated 12 Sept 1947 and
Canada Gazette dated 20 Sept 1947
15 Flyers Honored Armistice Day By French Awards
Ottawa, Nov. 9, 1948 (CP) — Fifteen Canadians will
be decorated here Thursday, Remembrance Day, by the French Government,
far wartime service with the RCAF.
Francisque Gay, French ambassador, will confer the awards, which range
up to the rank of Commander of the Legion of Honor.
The commander rank will go to Air Chief Marshal L. S. Breadner of Kirk's
Ferry Ont., former chief of air staff and commander-in-chief of the RCAF
overseas, and Air Marshal Robert Leckie, Ottawa, former chief of air staff.
Air Chief Marshal Breadner also receives the Croix de Guerre with palm.
The award of officer in the Legion will go to the late Air Vice-Marshal
N. R. Anderson, wartime assistant chief of the RCAF overseas, and to Air
Vice-Marshal C. N. (Black Mike) McEwen, Montreal, who commanded No. 6
Bomber group overseas. Mrs. Anderson will receive for her late husband
this decoration and also the Croix de Guerre with palms. She lives in
Named chevalier in the Legion will be Air Vice-Marshal C. R. Slemon, now
air member for operations and training, and Sqdn.-Ldr. R. W. (Buck)
McNair of Ottawa, fighter pilot, who brought down 17 enemy planes.
Flt. Lt. E. M. Bishop, Ottawa, will receive the Croix de Guerre with Vermeil
The Croix de Guerre with silver star will go to Flt. Lt. D.A. Brownlee,
Ottawa; Sqdn.-Ldr. L. E. Logan, Ottawa; Group Capt. W.R. MacBrien, Ottawa;
Group Capt. J. B. Millard, Ottawa; Wing Cmdr. A. C. Hull, Clinton, Ont.;
Sqdn.-Ldr. C. M. Black, Ottawa, executive assistant to the air member
for air plans.
The Croix de Guerre, with bronze star will go to Sqdn.-Ldr. H. T. Patterson
and Flt. Lt. A. M. Ogilvie, both of Ottawa.
Well, wadaya think? Artist Bob Hyndman of 411 Sq. shows "The Chief"
his new piece
( National Archive photo I got from "Spitfire 2"
by Robert Bracken who gives
Steve Fochuk credit for hookin' him up with it as well as the RCAF for
it's origins )
Canadian Wing Commanders by George
Brown & Michael Lavigne
credit him with the following Victories :
September 27, 1941 1 Me 109F damaged 7m West of Abbeville,
October 13, 1941 1 Me 109F destroyed
2m off Boulogne, France
1 Me 109F
probable 5m off Boulogne, France
March 18, 1942 1
Me 109F damaged Over Malta
March 19, 1942 1
Me 109F destroyed Over Malta
1 Ju 88 destroyed South of Gozo Island, Malta
1 Ju 88 probable
Kalafrana Bay, Malta
1 Ju 88 damaged
Kalafrana Bay, Malta
April 20, 1942
1 Me 109F destroyed Off Halfar, Malta
1 Ju 88 probable
Off Halfar, Malta
1 Me 109F
probable Takali area, Malta
April 22, 1942
1 Ju 88 destroyed 10m South of Sicily, Italy
April 25, 1942
1 Ju 87 damaged Naxxur area, Malta
1 Ju 88 damaged
Naxxur area, Malta
2 Me 109F damaged Naxxur area, Malta
May 22, 1942 1
Me 109F destroyed Over Malta
1 Me 109F destroyed Over Malta
June 10, 1942
1 Me 109F destroyed Over Malta
July 20, 1942
1 Do 217Z damaged 15m East of Skogness, England
August 19, 1942 1 FW190
damaged Dieppe area, France
1 FW 190
probable 2m North of Dieppe, France
June 20, 1943
1 FW 190 destroyed Doullens Area, France
June 24, 1943
1 FW 190 destroyed South of Fecamp, France
July 6, 1943
1 Me 109G destroyed North of Amiens, France
July 9, 1943
1 Me 109G damaged Thielt area. Holland
July 10, 1943
1 Me 109G destroyed Bernay Area, France
August 25, 1943 1 FW 190
damaged Aeltre area, France
August 31, 1943 1 Me 109G
destroyed Hamm area, Germany
September 3, 1943 1 Me 109G destroyed North of
September 6, 1943 1 FW 190 destroyed 7m SE of
October 3, 1943 1 FW 190
destroyed Near St. Nicholas, Belgium
--- Canadian Aces ---