RCAF FIGHTERS DESTROY 24 ENEMY PLANES
London, Oct. 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.
F/S H. W. Bowker of Granby, Que., and F/O Art Coles of Vancouver led the Canadians by blasting two Germans each. Others fell to S/L R. W. McNair of North Battleford, who got his 16th victim in leading the Canadian Red Indian Squadron, W/C L. V. Chadburn of Aurora, F/O W. G. Dodd of Winnipeg, F/O Frank Packard of Montreal and P/O 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 S/L 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. Bowker’s 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 English Channel.
Born 8 December 1920 at Rennie, Manitoba.
Home in Winnipeg or English River, Ontario;
enlisted in Winnipeg, 6 January 1941.
No.2 ITS (graduated 4 April 1941),
No.18 EFTS (graduated 6 June 1941) and
No.10 SFTS (graduated 30 August 1941).
Posted overseas in September 1941.
Further trained at No. 56 OTU;
To No.54 Squadron, 3 December 1941;
Assigned to Malta, 3 March 1942;
flew off HMS Eagle on 29 March and
immediately assigned to No.126 Squadron;
No.185 Squadron, 2 April 1942;
Commissioned 7 July 1942;
No.55 OTU (instructor) 12 September 1942.
No.416 Squadron for second tour, 14 May 1943;
No.402 Squadron 11 June 1943.
Met & married Margaret Graham 1943
F/O 7 January 1943;
F/L 22 February 1944;
S/L 26 July 1944.
Commanding Officer of No.402 Squadron,
- 26 July to 29 October 1944.
Repatriated to Canada, 27 November 1944;
No.2 Air Command, January 1945;
No.15 SFTS, 18 January to 26 March 1945;
No.18 SFTS, 27 March to 4 July 1945;
No.7 BGS, 5 July to 31 August 1945;
No.2 ACU, 1 September 1945;
No.2 REMU, 17 Dec. 1945 to 17 Feb. 1946.
Released from RCAF 26 February 1946.
Medal sent by registered mail, 24 February 1947
After the War he returned to Canada with Margaret
They had 3 children in Canada
Then moved to to San Jose, Ca. in 1955
They had one more child there
He passed away October 27th 1990 in San Jose
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 F/Sgt. H.W. Bowker, of Granby,
Que., and F/O Art Coles, of Vancouver, who got two Germans each. Others
were credited to S/L R.W. (Buck) McNair,
of North Battleford, Sask., who hung up his 16th victory; W/C 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, S/L 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.
Jeff Northcott (front and center) with "his" 402 Squadron. Dodd is on his left (light pants). Shortly after this picture was taken, 402 became Dodd's squadron. Click it for a closer look.
Behind The Lines
August 19th 1944 - "Come on up and fight" is what the boys of the City of Winnipeg fighter squadron are saying these days to the Luftwaffe, as they escort Allied bombers, according to an R.C.A.F. public relations story
But the German pilots, probably remembering the severe mauling the Canadian squadron gave them in months gone by — notably in August and September, 1943, when 43 German planes were shot down for a loss of only one Canadian aircraft, and that from engine trouble — seem loath to try conclusions with them.
The Winnipeggers are distinctly bored and they admit it. They haven't seen a German in months and although they see all the bombing and have some bird's-eye views of the action in France, "We never get a shot at a German," says F/L W. G. Dodd, Winnipeg.
The squadron's early days in Britain were exciting enough. The late W/C L. V. Chadburn, D.S.O. and Bar, D.F.C. of Aurora, Ont., was its wing commander in 1940 when the Winnipeggers landed in Britain in June. Their squadron commander was S/L G. V. Northcott, D.F.C. and Bar, of Minnedosa, Man., and a fine team he and Chadburn were. Such famous flyers as the late Paddy Finucane and the present leading British Empire fighter ace, W/C Johnny Johnson, with 35 aircraft destroyed to his credit, also flew with the wing for a time.
None of the present pilots are "originals" of the squadron but a number of the ground crew boys are. They include Sgt. S. H. Baker, aero-engine mechanic, of Ancaster, Ont.
DODD, F/O Wilbert George (J15740) - Distinguished Flying
Cross - No.402 Squadron
Award effective 21 October 1943 as per London Gazette dated 5 November
AFRO 2507/43 dated 3 December 1943.
This officer has completed a large number of sorties,
many of them in the Middle East. He is a fine leader whose great skill
and fighting qualities have proved an inspiration to all. Flying Officer
Dodd has destroyed at least four enemy aircraft. His excellent work during
a recent patrol contributed materially to the rescue of ten airmen who
were adrift on the sea.
Chris Shores, Aces High (2nd edition)
lists victories as follows:
23 April 1942
25 April 1942
08 May 1942
10 May 1942
22 May 1942
06 June 1942
06 July 1942
07 July 1942
08 July 1942
24 Sept 1943
03 Oct 1943
08 Oct 1943
Z2396 coded "D")
(Spitfire, no details)
7 / 3 / 4
Hugh Halliday states;
Dodd Claimed with 185 Squadron (Malta):
4.33 destroyed, 3 probables & 3 damaged
with 402 Squadron:
1.25 destroyed, 1 probable & 2 damaged
6.57 / 4 / 5