GERMAN GUNNERS SLAIN FROM AIR
Canadian Flyers Make Low Run While Returning From Sweep
London, Jan. 4, 1943 — (CP Cable) — Two members of a Canadian
Spitfire squadron shot several German gunners when they damaged a coastal
gun post in northern France during the weekend, R.C.A.F. Headquarters
announced today. The Canadians also disabled a freight engine near Dieppe.
Flt.-Lt. R. A. Buckham, of Vancouver, and F.O. R. J. Turp, of Kingston,
Ont., en route home after a sweep during which they damaged the engine,
saw the gun emplacement. The gunners ran out to take up positions. The
pilots made a low run with guns blazing and none of the Nazis reached
The pilots are members of a squadron headed by Sqdn. Ldr. Lloyd Chadburn,
of Aurora, Out.
Born in Golden, British Columbia, 5 October 1914.
Enlisted in Vancouver, 23 October 1940.
No.1 ITS (graduated 17 March 1941),
No.10 EFTS (graduated 16 May 1941), and
No.2 SFTS (graduated 7 August 1941).
Arrived in UK, 29 August 1941.
Attended No.59 OTU
No.416 Squadron (21 November 1941 to 1 July 1943).
No.421 Squadron, 1 September 1943;
No.403 Squadron as Commanding Officer, 5 Oct. 1943
DFC presented a Buckingham Palace, 9 November 1943
To No.127 Wing HQ, 13 June 1944.
Repatriated to Canada, 7 August 1944.
Remained in postwar RCAF;
Invested with Bar by Governor General, 10 Dec. 1947
The subject of a portrait by artist Edwin Holgate
(Canadian War Museum collection)
Killed in Flying Accident, Whitehorse, 15 January 1947
(passenger aboard Expeditor 1394, pilot F/L R.L. Curtin;
En route - Whitehorse to Teslin;
Accident report on National Archives microfilm T-12342;
Aircraft had run into a snowstorm
Pilot made an error in selecting fuel switches;
Five serviecmen and one civilian killed)
CANADIAN FLYERS RELENTLESSLY
SEEK OUT TRAINS, LOCOMOTIVES
"Train-Busting" Raids Get Tougher as Enemy
Now Carries Flak Guns on Cars behind Engines
(Written for The Canadian Press by PO. Bob Francis)
London, March 19, 1943 — Striking proof that air attacks on trains
and other transportation facilities in German-occupied France are playing
havoc with the enemy's movement of troops and war materials is shown in
their recent action in placing anti-aircraft or machine-gun posts on the
Fighter pilots returning from low-level attacks on trains and other objectives
inside the French coast report increasing opposition from gun posts set
up on open cars and drawn by the very locomotive they are attacking.
When "train-busting" was originated, the enemy was taken by
surprise. Few if any trains sported protective facilities.
Under those circumstances, fighter pilots often could make a second attack
on an engine if their first sweep had not put it out of action.
They found as a rule, however, that one ground-level attack on an engine,
involving several seconds of shattering fire from two cannon and four
machine-guns, was enough to do the job. Scores of railway engines were
put out of action in this manner, seriously hampering the movement facilities
throughout the area in which the operations were carried out.
Pilots of a Canadian fighter wing, flying Spitfire fighters, have a big
role in these widespread operations, striking fast and accurately and
keeping the enemy constantly on edge. The Canadians combine their sorties
against trains with quick jabs at gunposts, barges, army camps, "flak"
towers and army road transports.
Flying sometimes singly, sometimes in formation, Canadians in their Spits
go in at a selected point over the French coast, seek out railway lines,
watching for the telltale plume of white smoke which tells them where
there is a locomotive, and go down almost to ground level to attack at
From the front or side, depending on such factors as the height of the
track and the position of buildings and trees adjacent to the engine,
the pilot guides his aircraft towards the train.
Then he presses the trigger button and a stream of steel and lead, some
explosive, some armor piercing, pours from the six weapons in his wings.
The cumulative effect of a few seconds of such fire smashing into the
belly of the engine will often tear out enough machinery and piping to
put the machine out of service for several months, if not for good.
Claim Damage Only
But — as in the case of aircraft which they have attacked —
pilots are careful about their claims when they return to base and talk
over their "do" with the intelligence officer. A claim of having
damaged an engine, rather than having destroyed it, is the usual routine
after a "train-busting" foray, since a close look to determine
the exact condition of the engine is impossible.
One Canadian pilot particularly, PO. L. W. (Pipsqueak) Powell, of Edmonton,
who recently was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his exploits,
has made a name for himself as an exponent on the art of "train-busting."
In a score of low-flying sorties over France he has attacked and damaged
many railway engines, as well as numerous gun posts, army lorries and
Often he has been shot at — by coastal gun posts as he reached the
other side of the Channel, by ground defences as he sought out targets,
and by "flak" cars on the trains themselves. He’s come
back with bullets in his plane.
Many other Canadians have taken part in the raids, which have come to
require more and more skill and care. With guns placed on many trains
operating in the area where the attacks are made, pilots have had their
difficulties increased but have, nevertheless, continued to exact their
Co-operation between pilots in the single-seater fighters has been the
answer to a part of the problem, with engine and gun post attacked simultaneously.
This technique was demonstrated recently during an attack carried out
on a number of trains.
As one pilot, Flight-Lieut. R. A. Buckham, of Vancouver, went in on a
train, a "flak" post on a car some distance behind the engine
prepared to fire on him.
Buckham's squadron leader, F. H. Boulton, of
Coleman, Alta., whipped his plane into position several hundred yards
from the train and poured a long burst into the gun and its crew, wiping
it out as his flight commander took care of the engine.
That is how Canadians are dealing, with enemy transport, relentlessly
seeking it out, banging it where they find it, and going on for more.
R.C.A.F. BLASTS ESSEN PLANTS, DOWN JERRIES
Toronto Fliers Win Many Dogfights While Bombers on Way Home
London, April 4, 1943 - (AP) - Tons of explosives dropped
by Canadian airmen blasted the mammoth Krupp armament works Saturday night
as the R.A.F. and R.C.A.F. proceeded methodically with their plan to wipe
out the factories which cover hundreds of acres around Essen and supply
the Axis with much vital equipment.
Forming a part of the large force attacking the great German industrial
city were three R.C.A.F. Halifax squadrons as well as scores of Canadians
in the R.A.F. who fly in such giants as Lancasters. Of 21 bombers lost,
five were from the Canadian bomber group.
Saturday night's action by the R.C.A.F, followed afternoon sweeps over
Nazi-held France in which a Canadian Spitfire wing destroyed five German
fighters and damaged and probably destroyed others. The action, one of
the most successful in weeks for the R.C.A.F. pilots, came when the wing
supported fighter-bombers on an attack on Abbeville, on the French coast.
One Spitfire was lost.
The Canadian squadrons on the Essen raid were led by Wing Commanders W.
D. Ferris of Edmonton, A. C. P. Clayton, Vancouver, and M. M. Flemming,
Ottawa. Antiaircraft fire and searchlights were plentiful, but only a
few Canadians reported sighting night fighters.
Confident, that further extensive damage was inflicted in the 54th raid
on Essen, the Canadian airmen told of one particularly large explosion,
concentrated fires extending over a large area and dense columns of smoke.
Sgt. A. S. Sutton of 176 Erskine Ave., Toronto, reported a tremendous
blast in the heart of the target area and Sgt. T.W. Dimma of Ottawa added
facetiously that "I expect Krupps have a lot of stuff that might
"There were two smaller explosions and then right beside them a big
one," Sutton said. "Flame poured up and then mushroomed and
stayed there in an orange blaze for at least 10 seconds."
Sgt. B. D. Kirkham of Saltcoats, Sask., reported smoke poured up in such
great, thick clouds that the fires were blotted out. Twenty-five miles
from the target all he could see was the reflected glow.
Pieces of flak glanced off the shoulders of PO. Arnold Rollings of Allenford,
Ont., a veteran Canadian bushpilot who was navigator of a Lancaster. Rollings
A motor of the big aircraft cutout over the target and the English pilot
dived 11,000 feet toward the searchlights while gunners poured bullets
at the lights. Eight flicked out as the bomber swooped to within 400 yards
of the ground.
Sgt. Duncan McMillan of Landis, Sask., was a mighty tired airman when
he reached base. The elevator trimmers of his aircraft froze en route
to Essen and it was a great physical effort to control the bomber. However,
it went on to bomb the target although it was unable to weave as searchlights
scoured the sky.
Flt. Sgt. Johnny Carrere of Cochrane, celebrated his commissioning –
word of which reached him just before the take-off - by bombing Essen.
Other Canadians on the raid included Sgt. C.E. Willis, Peterborough, Ont.,
and Ken Emmons, Elgin, Ont., whose wife lives at 244 Rushholme Road, Toronto.
Also in the big attack were Flt. Sgt. Harold Huether of Kitchener, PO.
Bill Hilton, Brantford, and Ross Webb of Glenavon, Sask.
In Saturday afternoon's impressive sweep by the Canadian fighters, four
Canadians and their English wing commander each shot down a Focke-Wulf
190, a Toronto sharpshooter damaged another and two British Columbia youths
shared a probable. The five pilots who each added a Nazi plane to his
total were Sqdn. Ldr. S.L. Ford, D.F.C. and Bar,
of Liverpool, N.S.; Flt. Lt. C. M. Magwood of
414 Dovercourt Road, Toronto; FO. H. D. MacDonald
of 30 Craydon Avenue, Toronto; Sqdn. Ldr. S. H. Boulton
of Coleman, Alta., and Wing Cmdr. J. E. Johnson,
D.F.C. and Bar, an Englishman.
FO. J. A. Rae of Toronto damaged one and Flt. Lt.
R. A. Buckham of Vancouver and FO. N. A. Keene of White Rock, B.C., shared
a probable. Keene was last in the news when he scored hits on a German
fighter over France Feb 16.
Johnson said the wing pounced on about 20 enemy fighters which came up
after bombs had been dropped on objectives at Abbeville
Jerries Fell in Pieces
"They were about 3,000 feet below us and I think we took them by
surprise," he said. "There were a good many combats at about
Magwood's victory was the most spectacular. His victim blew up in the
"I started firing at about 150 yards,"Magwood said. "The
blast lifted my kite with quite a bump." Ford said his victim turned
over when shells and bullets struck, then went into a dive with smoke
pouring out. Several other squadron pilots reported seeing it in flames
at a low level.
MacDonald roared in with guns blazing and saw a wheel of a FW-190 come
down, then the cockpit cover blew off and the Nazi pilot bail out.
Boulton attacked a fighter from underneath and observed strikes that blew
off pieces from the enemy aircraft.
"The bullets seemed to go into the body of the plane and then I should
think into the cockpit and the engine because he started to give out smoke,"
Boulton said. "Then the enemy machine tipped forward on its nose
and went straight down." Both firing, Keene and Buckham attacked
their victim from the rear. "We could see chunks flying from the
hood and side of the cockpit and he started to go down with smoke coming
out," Keene said.
Rae poured a long burst into an enemy fighter from an angle and observed
many hits, but "there was another Hun circling, so I did not stop
to see what happened."
British and Canadian Fliers Sweep France, Netherlands
London, May 3, 1943 - (AP) - The R.A.F. and R.C.A.F.
made two extensive sweeps over Northern France and Holland today at a
cost of 11 bombers and two fighters missing, the heaviest loss in recent
Among the targets attacked was the power station at Ijmuiden, Holland,
on which bombs were seen to burst, an Air Ministry communiqué said
The attack force encountered enemy fighters in considerable numbers. Five
were shot down, two by Sqdn. Ldr. F. H. Boulton
of Coleman, Alt and Flt. Lt. R. A. Buckham of Vancouver, B.C., members
of the R.C.A.F. "City of Oshawa" squadron.
It was the second raid in two days on Ijmuiden, a Netherlands coastal
Today's heavy loss of aircraft, coupled with other recent announced losses,
indicated a tightening of Nazi defenses against both night and day air
R.A.F. fighters and bombers shot their way through strong fighter opposition
in raiding Ijmuiden yesterday; knocking down six enemy craft, but lost
four of their own fighters. Seven American bombers were lost Saturday
night in an attack in force on the Nazi submarine base at St. Nazaire,
Thirteen British planes were reported missing after the R.A.F. assault
on Essen Friday night.
A 19-year-old R.A.F. pilot who shot down two of three FW190's destroyed
in the Ijmuiden raid said: "The Huns pounced on us from behind in
great numbers and made for both fighters and bombers. There was fierce
BUCKHAM, F/L Robert Andrew (J15246) - Distinguished Flying
Cross - No.416 Squadron
Award effective 25 May 1943 as per London Gazette dated 4 June 1943 and
AFRO 1187/43 dated 25 June 1943.
This officer has taken part in a large number of sorties
and has proved himself to be a fine fighter and a first class leader.
He has destroyed four enemy aircraft and damaged five locomotives.
BUCKHAM, F/L Robert Andrew, DFC (J15246) - DFC (US) -
Award effective 17 July 1943 as per London Gazette dated 20 July 1943
AFRO 644/44 dated 24 March 1944.
Public Records Office Air 2/ 9599 has USAAF 8th Air Force General Order
dated 16 July 1943 which gives citation.
For extraordinary achievement while escorting bombers
of the United States Army Air Force on seven bombing raids over enemy
occupied Europe. Flight Lieutenant Buckham has fervently sought out the
enemy on each occasion and has destroyed three enemy airplanes in aerial
combat. The courage and skilful airmanship displayed by Flight Lieutenant
Buckham on all these occasions reflect great credit upon himself and the
Armed Forces of His Majesty's government.
Beurling Fights Again, Bags Nazi Over France
London, Sept. 24, 1943 - (CP) - Canadian flying aces
in some of the most productive aerial fighting since the days of the Battle
of Britain three years ago destroyed five enemy fighters today in widespread
actions over France.
FO. George (Buzz) Beurling of Verdun, Que.,
marked his long-sought return to action by shooting down a Focke-Wulf
190 to raise his score of enemy planes to 30.
Maintaining the blistering pace set by R.C.A.F. night Mosquito fliers,
the Canadian pilots knocked out of the sky 5 of the 20 enemy planes downed
by Fighter Command during the day.
Three of four German fighters shot down Thursday night were victims of
Canadian airmen. Flt. Lt. M. W. Beveridge of Montreal destroyed two and
FO. J.R.F. Johnson of Omemee, Ont., got
Flying with the Wolf Squadron under Sqdn. Ldr. Norman Fowlow
of Windsor, N.S., Beurling saw the FW-190 above him. He circled and tore
off the enemy's port wing with a single burst.
Wing Cmdr. L. V. Chadburn of Aurora, Ont.,
and Flt. Lt. J.D. Mitchner of Saskatoon shared
one of the day's bag. The others fell to Wing Cmdr. Hugh Godefroy
of Toronto, who has just taken over command of a Canadian fighter wing;
Flt. T. Robert Buckham of Vancouver, leader of the Red Indian Squadron,
and Wing. Cmdr. E.F.J. Charles of Vancouver,
who flies with the R.A.F.
Buckham, who also was credited with damaging one plane, blew an FW190
to bits after chasing it from 20,000 feet almost to the ground. It was
his second victory in five days.
In one of the sweeps by Godefroy's squadron - he was squadron leader of
the Wolf Squadron before his new appointment - PO. William F. Cook of
Clinton, Ont., dived his Spitfire to low level to put out of service a
French freight engine, although flak from the train broke part of one
Beurling had been yearning to get back into combat flying, ever since
he was stationed in Malta, where he ran his score of enemy planes downed
from two to 29.
He transferred from the R.A.F. to the R.C.A.F. on Sept 1 to "get
back into the air." He had been assigned to an instructor's job in
an R.A.F. gunner school after his return to Britain from a leave in Canada.
BAG 3 NAZIS, 5 LOCOMOTIVES
London, Oct. 24, 1943 - (CP) - R.C.A.F. Spitfire and
Mustang squadrons today destroyed at least three Nazi fighters and one
reconnaissance aircraft during a busy day escorting bombers, patrolling
and sweeping Northern France. Five locomotives were shot up and a number
of aircraft were damaged with the loss of one Spitfire.
Sqdn. Ldr. G. W. Northcott of Minnedosa, Man.,
shot down a Focke-Wulf fighter while his Spitfire squadron was escorting
United States medium bombers attacking an air base at Montdidier, France.
FO. J. D. Browne of Forham Park, N.J., flying in a Spitfire wing commanded
by Wing Cmdr. Hugh Godefroy of Toronto, destroyed a Messerschmitt 109
and damaged another during a sweep over France. Other members of the wing
damaged at least two more.
PO. Gordon Driver, 14 Willowbank Blvd., Toronto, damaged a Focke-Wulf
190 during a melee in which the Canadians were outnumbered nearly 4 -
1. Sqdn. Ldr. Charles Magwood of Toronto, leader
of the Red Indian Squadron, also damaged a Focke-Wulf.
From this scrap Sqdn. Ldr. Robert A. Buckham of Vancouver, leader of the
Wolf Squadron, returned home with a damaged motor that had been holed
by a cannon shell.
Details of other successes were not immediately available.
R.C.A.F.'S BAG DURING WEEK INCLUDES SUB
Ottawa, Dec. 17, 1943 (CP). — Mosquito pilots of
the, R.C.A.F. overseas destroyed one Heinkel 111 and damaged another during
the last week, while the two-man crew of another Mosquito shot down three
of four bombers destroyed over England last Friday and a Coastal Command
Flying Fortress, whose second pilot was a Canadian, sank a U-boat after
two depth-charge attacks.
In addition, the R.C.A.F. said in a summary of overseas operations tonight,
Spitfire squadrons of the RCAF were active last Monday carrying out sweeps
in support of United States Flying Fortresses and Liberators hammering
targets in Northwest Germany. Two squadrons later escorted Marauders of
the United States Army Air Force in an attack on Schipol airfield in Amsterdam.
Last Tuesday PO. C.B. Witt of Morden, Man., shared in the victory of a
Coastal Command Beaufighter squadron off the coast of Norway. Two Beaufighters
were patrolling when they saw a Dornier three-engined, long-range flying
boat ahead. They immediately attacked it and set it on fire.
Crew of the Fighter Command Mosquito which destroyed three bombers last
Friday was FO. R.D. Schultz of Bashaw, Alta.,
and FO. Vernon Williams of Hamilton, the plane's pilot and navigator respectively.
They took off to intercept enemy bombers attacking England and shot down
a Dornier 217, blowing it up in mid-air. They then encountered and destroyed
another DO 217; accounting for their third victim after their own aircraft
had been damaged and was flying on only one engine.
New Base Effective
The Coastal Command plane which sank the U-boat was captained by an Englishman.
The submarine was the first victim to fall to a squadron operating from
newly acquired bases in the Azores.
FO. D. Thompson of Westmount, Que., second pilot, described the second
attack against the U-boat as "a beautiful straddle."
The Heinkel 111 shot down Sunday was destroyed by Flt. Lt. Robert Kipp
of Kamloops, B.C. The second Heinkel was severely damaged by FO. J. Johnson
of Omemee. Kipp's navigator was FO. Pete Huletsky of Montreal and Johnson's
was FO. J. Gibbons of Vancouver. The combat occurred in daylight over
Squadrons commanded by Sqdn. Ldr. E.L. (Jeep) Neal, D.F.C., of Quebec;
Sqdn. Ldr. I. G. Ormston, D.F.C., of Montreal; Sqdn. Ldr. George C. Keefer,
D.F.C., of Charlottetown; Sqdn. Ldr. R. A. Buckham, D.F.C. (United States),
and Sqdn. Ldr. G. M. Magwood, D.F.C., of Toronto
carried out sweeps on Monday.
In close escort of United States heavy bombers were squadrons commanded
by Sqdn. Ldr. G.W. Northcott, D.F.C., of Minnedosa, Man., and Sqdn. Ldr.
F.E. Green, D.F.C, of Toronto.
The squadrons commanded by Buckham and Northcott
escorted the American marauders in their attack on Schipol airfield.
November 1943 - Buck McNair,
Bobby Buckham & Hugh Godefroy at Buckinham
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 DFC's 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 Wolfe squadron which
flies with Godefroy's wing.
CITY OF CALGARY ADOPTS VALIANT "WOLF" SQUADRON
London.—(By Mail)—The "Wolf" squadron
of the Royal Canadian Air Force, which has just been formally adopted
by the City of Calgary, is the top-scoring fighter squadron of the Royal
Canadian Air Force. During 1943 it out-topped all other Spitfire squadrons
in Fighter Command with the exception of one Norwegian unit.
The "Wolves," now commanded by Squadron Leader R.A. Buckham
of Vancouver, fly with an R.C.A.F. wing commanded by Wing Commander Hugh
Godefroy, D.F.C. and bar, of Toronto, who is himself a former Wolf squadron
commander. The squadron was the first of a series of winning units to
be formed overseas from graduates of the British Commonwealth Air Training
Plan, and began operations in the early summer of 1941. Its first big
victory was on August 19, 1941—one year to the day before the Dieppe
battle — when its pilots destroyed four enemy aircraft. On September
27, the same year, it destroyed another three.
When the 1942 "sweeping season" opened, the squadron looked
forward to a successful summer, but for several months tragedy stalked
it. The English squadron commander went down during a sweep, and two flight
commanders were lost at about the same time. A fine job of rebuilding
the squadron's spirit and fighting abilities was done by a young New Zealand
hero of the Battle of Britain, Squadron Leader A.C. Deere, D.F.C. and
bar, whose personal score at the time stood at I8 enemy aircraft destroyed.
Deere worked hard training his pilots but, just as he had got them into
first-class fighting trim again, another tragedy overtook them. One morning,
during a sweep across the Channel, the squadron was attacked by a greatly
superior force of Focke-Wulfs which outnumbered them four to one. Five
Spitfires were shot down, and although it was learned some time later
that the majority of the pilots concerned were alive and prisoners of
war, the squadron was moved to a quiet area where it stayed for some time.
In the Dieppe engagements, on August 19, 1942, it came into its own again.
By this time, it was led by a brilliant Nova Scotian, Squadron Leader
Leslie Sydney Ford, of Liverpool, who had won the D.F.C. for, among other
things, sinking an enemy destroyer while flying Hurri-bombers. Ford led
his men over Dieppe, and between them they destroyed six enemy aircraft,
of which Ford got two — winning a bar to his D.F.C. A few months
later the squadron became part of an R.C.A.F. fighter wing, and during
1943, flying under the leadership of Ford and other commanders who succeeded
him, destroyed 59 enemy aircraft.
Ford was eventually promoted to wing commander and given command of another
Spitfire wing of the R.C.A.F. Shortly afterwards he was shot down and
posted missing during a low-level attack on enemy E-boats in the North
Sea. But, in the meanwhile, his squadron had continued in the fine tradition
which he had set. It was led successively by Squadron Leader Charles Magwood,
D.F.C., Squadron Leader H. C. Godefroy, D.F.C., both of Toronto, and Squadron
Leader R. A. Buckham, of Vancouver,
In two days in April, 1943, it destroyed eight enemy aircraft —
its best two days of the year — and, month by month, continued to
pile up its score. Today, proud of the fact that the City of Calgary has
adopted it, it is still in the front line.
The idea for the adoption originated with a young Calgary pilot, Flying
Officer W. H. Pentland, who is at this moment
in hospital recovering from serious injuries received in a crash during
an operational flight.
RCAF Shoots Down 26 Enemy Planes
in Normandy Between Dawn and Dusk
By P.O. H. R. McDONALD, A Canadian Airfield in France,
June 29, 1944 - (CP). - Canadian fighter planes, in one of the most brilliant
achievements in the history of the R.C.A.F., shot down 26 out of a total
of 34 enemy aircraft destroyed over the Normandy front between dawn and
In addition, R.C.A.F. pilots chalked up a number of enemy planes probab1y
shot down and a number bf others which were damaged.
Four pilots scored double kills. They were Wing Cmdr. J. E. (Johnny) Johnson,
English – born commander of a Canadian fighter wing operating from
an R.C.A.F. base in Normandy, and Flt, Lts. H.C. Trainor,
Charlottetown; W. T. Klersy, 14 Harcroft Rd.,
Toronto, and R. K. Hayward. St. John's, Nfld.
Destroys Two, Damages Third
Hayward destroyed two FW-190's and damaged a third, which gave him the
highest R.C.A.F. individual score of the day.
Earlier reports indicated the Canadian airmen had downed 18 enemy planes
in yesterday's daylight operations.
The complete figures were reached by intelligence officers today after
a period of aerial operations which exceeded in intensity anything since
the Allied Normandy beachhead was opened June 6.
Besides the toll of enemy planes, which included all fighter types, R.C.A.F.
pilots also strafed transport on the roads.
Final claims on two aircraft are being sifted
Among the R.C.A.F. Spitfire pilots contributing to the total with one
Hun each were: Flt. Lts. Irving Kennedy, Cumberland,
Ont.; G.R. Patterson, Kelowna, B.C.; J.
McElroy, Kamloops, B.C.; Henry Zary,
New York; R.M. Stayner, Saskatoon; A. F. Halcrow,
Penticton, B.C.; G.W. Johnson, 102 Beechwood
Ave., Hamilton, Ont.; D.E. Noonan, 146 Willingdon
Ave., Kingston, Ont.; J.P. Rainville, Montreal;
and Flying Officers W.J. Banks, Leaside, Ont.
and G.H. Farquharson, Corbyville, Ont.
Wing Cmdr. Johnson's score of two brought his total of enemy planes downed
to 32, equaling the mark set by Group Capt. A.G. (Sailor) Malan, a South
African, now on ground duty.
Among the R.C.A.F. fliers scoring probables were FO. A.C. Brandon, Timmins,
Ont.; FO. J.B. O'Sullivan, Vancouver; and PO. J.M. Flood, Hearst, Ont.
Nine Others Damaged
At least nine others wire damaged by fliers of the R.C.A.F.
Of the wings comprising Group Capt, W. (Bill) MacBrien's R.C.AF.. sector,
the one led by 22-year-old Wing Cmdr, George Keefer, D.F.C. and Bar, Charlottetown,
was high scorer of the day with 13 confirmed victories. Johnson's wing
was second with seven, in a close race with a unit led by Wing
Cmdr. R.A. Buckham, Vancouver.
The margin for Keefer's wing was established in two dusk operations in
which seven enemy planes were destroyed and two damaged. In the first
action Hayward sighted more than 25 Nazi fighters and led his formation
in pursuit. He damaged one.
Later the same Spitfires became embroiled with a dozen FW-190's, and Hayward
got two of them. The first fell out of control, and the second burst into
flames and crashed after Hayward had followed it down to tree-top height.
"The Huns were like bees,” said WO. Murray Havers, 1 Lloyd
St., Hamilton. Ont. "They seemed confused and acted as though they
did not know what they were doing."
The Canadian airmen said the Germans did not put up much of a fight despite
their numerical advantage.
Other Canadians credited with kills during the day were FO. G.R. Stephen,
Montreal; FO. Larry Robillard, Ottawa; FO.
W.A. Gilbert, Dartmouth, N.S.; FO. Don Goodwin, Maynooth, Ont.; and FO.
Tommy Wheler, 10 Beauford Rd., Toronto,
F'O. Klersy took a prominent part in athletics at St, Michael's College,
playing hockey and rugby. He also rowed for his college, and was goalie
for Ostrander's mercantile hockey team. Enlisting in June, 1941, he took
aircrew training in Toronto, Oshawa and Dunnville and after nearly a year
with a fighter squadron at Bagotville, FO. Klersy went overseas in May
The 21-year-year old airman is the son of Mr. and Mrs. W. P. Klersy, 14
ALL-CANUCK FIGHTER WINGS IN BATTLE FOR BEST SCORES
Competition So Intense Airmen Beg For Another Crack at
London, July 12.—(CP Cable)—-Competition among all-Canadian
fighter wings operating from Normandy in support of the Allied invasion
reached such a pitch by to-day that pilots are plaguing operations officers
to have one more show "laid on" so they can top the score of
German planes downed by rival wings.
A summary of the operations of one Normandy-based fighter wing during
four weeks of the invasion period shows that 170 Nazi aircraft have been
shot out of the skies. This summary covers the period up to Monday, since
when poor weather in the bridgehead area has reduced tactical flights
to a minimum.
Since D-day Wing-Cmdr, J. E. (Johnny) Johnson, who holds the D.S.O. and
two bars, the D.F.C, and bar, and the American D.F.C., has skyrocketed
to new fame as Britain's leading ace with a score of 35 German aircraft
downed. Johnson, native of Nottingham, England, now heads a Canadian fighter
Downs 35th Victim
He downed his 35th enemy victim June 30 to top the record of 33 set up
by Group Capt. A. G. (Sailor) Malan, from South Africa, who now is on
ground duty. At the same time Johnson's wing went on to win a bet made
with the late Wing-Cmdr, Lloyd V. Chadburn,
of Aurora, Ont., holder of the D.S.O. and bar and the D.F.C., six weeks
The two wing-commanders wagered that their respective wings would outscore
the other during the month after the invasion was launched. After Chadburn
lost his life over France in the early days of the invasion, the wager
was taken over by Squadron-Ldr. Walter Conrad,
D.F.C. of Richmond, Ont., of the Red Indian Squadron.
Until Johnson's wing scored seven victories in one operation July 5 Chadburn's
wing, now led by Wing-Cmdr. R. A. Buckham, D.F.C., of Vancouver, was only
two behind. The latest available accounting showed Johnson's wing is in
the lead 47 to 40.
Others in Race
Meanwhile however, another Canadian-led wing under Wing-Cmdr. George Keefer,
of Charlottetown, although not included in the wager, is just as interested
in finishing at the top and in the last reckoning was tied with Johnson's
wing with 47 enemy planes destroyed.
Furthermore, Keefer's pilots claimed 23 enemy aircraft damaged against
11 by Johnson's wing. Flt.-Lieut. Charlie Trainor
of Charlottetown, who until June 28 was scoreless, entered the ace class
by being credited with 7½ victories in the subsequent seven days.
This was half a point more than Johnson achieved during the first month
of the invasion.
Other Canadian airmen who have achieved notable scores during that period
are: Flt.-Lieut Doug Lindsay, Arnprior, Ont.,
four; Squadron-Ldr. H. W. (Wally) McLeod, D.F.C.
and bar, Regina, four; Flt.-Lieut. W. T. (Bill) Klersy,
Toronto, four; Flt.-Lieut. Paul Johnson,
Bethel, Conn., four.
These scores brought Lindsay's total kills to six, MacLeod's to 19, Klersy's
to five and Johnson's to five also. McLeod became Canada's leading operational
pilot with his score of 19.
The Normandy-based Empire fighter plane group to which these Canadian
wings are attached is commanded by Air Vice-Marshal Henry Broadhurst,
of the R.A.F. Total of 12,000 sorties were flown by British and Canadian
members of Air Vice-Marshal Broadhurst's group during the four weeks following
An all-Canadian Typhoon wing in the sector, commanded by Wing-Cmdr. Paul
Davoud, D.S.O., D.F.C., of Kingston, Ont., has
achieved a high degree of precision in dive-bombing since assigned to
this role in Normandy.
More than 8,000 rockets have been projected by R.A.F. Typhoons from close
range at enemy targets within the battle area.
FOURTEEN FLYERS ARE DECORATED
Ottawa, August 11, 1944 - Air Force headquarters announced
last night award of a bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross to two members
of the RCAF serving overseas. The awards:
BAR TO DISTINGUISHED FLYNG CROSS
S/L W. A. CONRAD, Richmond, Ont.
S/L R. A. BUCKHAM, Vancouver.
DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS
F/L J. C. VAN NES, Saskatoon.
F/L E. W. FOCKLER, Vancouver.
F/L T. B. WINSLOW, St. Agathe, Que.
F/L F. J. SHERLOCK, Calgary.
F/L J. E. PRITCHARD, Middleton, Wis.
F/L A. T. CARLSON, Calgary.
F/L O. M. LINTON, 08 York Mills Rd., Toronto.
F/L V. J. FAUROT, Niagara Falls, .Ont.
F/L D. H. DOVER, 83 Buttonwood Ave., Mount
F/O H. B. DATE, Woodrow Beach, Sarnia.
F/O F. S. SORGE, Pincher Creek, Alta,
F/O N. C. HOWE, 68 Charles St, E., Toronto.
BUCKHAM, S/L Robert Andrew, DFC (J15246) - Bar to DFC - No.403 Squadron
Award effective 8 August 1944 as per London Gazette dated 11 August 1944
AFRO 2101/44 dated 29 September 1944.
During May 1943, this officer was awarded the Distinguished
Flying Cross. Since then he has flown on a great number of sorties and
on many occasions has successfully led his wing, sometimes under very
adverse weather conditions. He is a fearless leader and set an inspiring
example to those serving under him.
NOTE: Public Record Office Air 2/9633 has recommendation
drafted about 28 March 1944 when he had flown 167 sorties (327 operational
hours), of which 83 sorties (141 hours) had been since his previous award.
The text is more detailed than that published.
Since the citation for the award of the Distinguished
Flying Cross to this officer on May 24th, 1943, he has flown a further
142 hours on operations involving 83 offensive sorties. The types of operations
comprise Ramrods, Rodeos, Circus' and Rangers. He has destroyed a further
two aircraft and damaged one bringing his total personal score to 6½
destroyed, two probable and two damaged.
He is an outstanding fighter leader who is an inspiration
to those serving under him. Absolutely fearless personally, he combines
this quality with innate good judgement in the air. He has led the Wing
on many occasions, always successfully and sometimes under very adverse
This was favourably endorsed by his Wing Commander (Flying)
on 30 March 1944, by an Air Vice-Marshal (appointment not stated) on 11
April 1944, by the Air Officer Commanding, 2nd Tactical Air Force (Air
Marshal Coningham) on 24 April 1944, and by the Air Commander-in-Chief,
Allied Expeditionary Air Force (Air Chief Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory)
on 28 May 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 FO. W. A. Bishop Jr., 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 Wing Cmdr. G. C. Keefer, D.F.C. and Bar, of
Charlottetown, back after two completed tours of operations.
Others returning included Wing Cmdr. J. W. Reid, Kingston, and Flt. J.
L. McCauly, D.F.C., Toronto; Sqdn. Ldrs. 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 Sqdn. Ldr. G.W. Conrad, Richmond, and Flt. Lt A. J.
Van Rassell, Timmins.
19 August 1942, one FW.190
- one Ju.88 damaged;
3 February 1943, one FW.190 destroyed;
3 April 1943,
one FW.190 destroyed
(shared with another pilot)
3 May 1943,
one FW.190 destroyed;
14 May 1943,
one FW.190 destroyed;
16 May 1943,
one FW.190 damaged;
early June 1943 one
Spitfire (accidentally -
(Screwball bailed out - this 'kill' does not count
19 September 1943, one Bf.109 destroyed;
24 September 1943, one FW.190 destroyed and
- one FW.190 damaged.
See Chris Shores, Aces High