Borden Graduates Get Wings From Mothers
Camp Borden, Dec. 19, 1941 (Staff) — A happy innovation
was introduced here tonight when a large group of graduates of No. 1 Service
Flying Training School received their wings. Mothers who were present
to see their sons graduate were invited by Group Captain R.S. Grandy,
commandant of the school, to perform the ceremony. Other fliers received
their wings from Squadron Leader J. McCulloch, chief instructor.
Group Captain Grandy commented on the help that had been given by the
school at Hagersville in putting the men through the course, and thanked
the residents of Barrie and neighborhood for the invitations for Christmas
that had been received at the camp.
Squadron Leader McCulloch announced that the United States citizens who
had started their training with the R.C.A.F., before their own country
entered the war had expressed the desire to continue their service in
the Canadian force.
J. C. Copeland of Brantford headed the class
and received immediate promotion to the rank of pilot officer. Other Ontario
fliers who were promoted at the same time were: J.M. Gibson, Kingsville;
R.H. Walker, Niagara Falls, and D.A. McIntosh, Parkhill. Three Americans
and thirteen Australians also were appointed to commissions.
Other Ontarians who graduated were Sergeants J.G.R. Arsenault, Windsor;
B.V. Crist, Wallaceburg; H.J. Dowding, Sarnia; J.D. Fairbairn, Windsor;
L.A. Frost, Kingsville; J.N. Goldberg, Toronto; F.S. Jamieson, Durham;
R. Morris, Windsor; K.J. Thompson, Paris; J.W. Tindale, Toronto; W.G.R.
Smith, Mount Brydges and G.D. Warriner, Toronto.
Born 27 September 1921, Sarnia, Ontario;
Enlisted in London, Ontario, 14 March 1941.
No.3 ITS (29 May to 14 July 1941),
No.12 EFTS (15 July to 13 September 1941) and
No.1 SFTS (14 September to 20 December 1941)
Posted overseas, January 1942.
Posted for further training to
No.9 (P) AFU on 2 March 1942 and to
No.58 OTU on 14 April 1942.
At this latter unit he wrote off a Spitfire on landing
- after his first solo on the type - 21 Apr.'42
With No.403 Squadron, 16 June 1942 to Oct.1943
No.8 AFDU, 11 October 1943.
With 442 Squadron, 11 March 1944 to Oct. 1944
Repatriated to Canada, 28 October 1944;
Released 6 February 1945.
In all he claimed 220 operational sorties.
Awards presented 28 May 1947
Commissions Given Airmen Overseas
London, Dec. 28, 1942 (CP) — Royal Canadian Air
Force overseas headquarters announced the commissioning of the following
R.C. Payne, R.L. Reeves, J.B. Schults, J.L. Davidson, M. Pettit, J.H.
Ballantyne, R.J. Elliott, J. J. Flood, E.J. Tucker, R S. Eustace, J.P.
Wheeler and T.E. Oliver, Toronto; K.H. Owens, O.A. Taylor, J.F. Murphy
and B. L. Whaley, Ottawa; D.N. Row, Almonte; S.O. Hill, Port Arthur; W.
J. Robbins and J.M. Morrice, London; D.A. Weskett, Woodroffe; J.H. Dowding,
Sarnia; S.J. Shewell, Owen Sound; J.A. Hutchinson, Port Dover; K.A. Decher,
Kitchener; H.J.F. Kerr, Russell; L.J. Tomb, Niagara Falls; W.B. Begy,
St. Catharines; S.J. Abel, St. Thomas.
AIR ASSAULT ON GERMANY GOING AGAIN
Heaviest Raid of War Is Made on Duisburg
London, May 13, 1943 (CP) — A vast two-way aerial
offensive against Hitler's Europe, with the Russians joining in from the
east, apparently was under way today with the return of good weather on
the continent signaling the resumption of Allied round-the-clock raiding.
Following up the destructive night assault on Duisburg, leveled by a cascade
of more than 1,500 tons of bombs dropped by the R.A.F. and R.C.A.F. medium
and heavy bombers of the British and American Commands, hammered in daylight
today at Nazi installations in Northwestern France.
The R.C.A.F. was playing a major role in the resumed prelude to invasion.
Canadian fighter pilots had one of their biggest days escorting the daylight
bombers and providing diversions. They shot down seven enemy aircraft
and damaged five more.
Meanwhile the Moscow radio announced that while the R.A.F. and R.C.A.F.
were raiding Duisburg, Russian long-range bombers attacked Warsaw last
night and caused fires and explosions among railway trains, ammunition
dumps and armament stores in the Nazi-held Polish capital.
The Warsaw attack was the first on the Polish capital since it was almost
pounded to pieces by Nazi airmen at the start of the war in 1939.
St. Omer, Meaulte Hit
The American assault on St. Omer and Meaulte in daylight, today was carried
out by a "strong force” escorted by Canadian, R.A.F., American
and other, Allied fighters. The main attack was delivered with good results
against an airplane factory and repair shop at Meaulte. The Canadians
fought their first engagement today while carrying out a diversionary
sweep for British bombers which hit hard at the Boulogne railway yards.
Flt.-Lt. R. T. Walker of Stamford Centre, Ont. and PO. J. A. Rae of Toronto, members of the City of Oshawa Squadron, each got a Focke-Wolf
190 and an unidentified member of the squadron shot down a third and damaged
Sqdn.-Cdr. C. M. Magwood of Toronto, commander
of the Wolf Squadron, which recently got three enemy planes in two days,
raised his wing's bag to four and also damaged one enemy plane.
Wing.-Cmdr. J. E. Johnson and PO. H. J. Dowding of Sarnia, Ont., were
each credited with one of the three German planes destroyed during the
escort duty to Meaulte. Unidentified pilots, whose share has not yet been
decided, bagged the other.
These successes followed the R.C.A.F.'s participation last night in the
attack on Duisburg, described by the Air Ministry as the heaviest raid
of the war.
The "excellent results” reported by the Ministry were borne
out by the comments of pilots whose stories of giant fires and shattering
explosions now have become the regular sequel to the tale of devastation
being spread by the Bomber Command.
Halifax and Wellington squadrons of the R.C.A.F. took part in the blow
to the Nazi center which feeds supplies into the revolt-torn low-lands
of Holland. Canadian losses were nine of thirty-four craft that did not
The Air Ministry's description of the Duisburg raid as the heaviest ever
delivered by the Bomber Command meant that the Ruhr center got a load
of more than 1,500 tons of bombs and that the tonnage was greater than
was loosed on Cologne in the historic raid nearly a year ago which engaged
more than 1,000 R.A.F. planes.
The loss of thirty-four planes out of an undisclosed total which certainly
was in the several hundreds was not regarded as excessive in the R.A.F.’s
economy is clear in view of the loss of forty-four planes in the 1,000-plane-plus
raid on Cologne in which the 1,500-ton figure was first reached in bombing
CANADIAN FLYERS DEMONSTRATE
CHIVALRY IN WAR IS NOT DEAD
Hard - Hitting Fighters Hold to Scruples in Tough Going
With the R.C.A.F. Somewhere in England, June 11, 1943 — (CP) —
Chivalry in war may be on the wane (this is a very tough war), but it
has yet to disappear altogether from aerial combat. There are still some
niceties observed in the air by fighter pilots of both sides in this war.
Tough As They Look
This statement, born in the tough league that is Fighter Command, should
not by any means suggest the aerial glad-handing which featured so many
movies based on First Great War fighting is the vogue now. Not at all.
But the fact is that these clean-looking Canadian kids like Pilot Officer
Paul Gray, of Toronto, or Pilot Officer Harry Dowding, of Sarnia, Ont.,
are just as hard-hitting as they look when they head off a fighter sweep.
At the same time they have some scruples. They'd shoot a man down in a
scrap but if he bailed out of a damaged aircraft they'd leave him to get
down in the comparative safety of his parachute.
"There is still a little bit of chivalry left, I guess," said
Sqdn.-Ldr. Chuck Magwood, D.F.C., of Toronto.
"We are not allowed to shoot down any one parachuting in distress—that's
He emphasized the "in distress." It would be different in the
case of parachute troops being dropped. On one week-end Magwood went out
and got himself three Jerries but he did it by straight destruction of
"Occasionally," he said, "you hear of a couple of pilots
fighting it out and both running out of ammunition at the same time."
Magwood smiled, and added, "You know, if I'm out of ammunition myself
I have no animosity for anybody."
That happened to him once during a big scrap—he ran out of bullets.
So "Maggie" thought fast, made enough dummy attacks round and
about to make the Jerries think he could still fight and as soon as he
could he got away from there.
Flying Officer J.I. (Skip) McKay, of Owen Sound, Ont., said a lot must
depend on the way you feel in the air, which may account for some of the
things he ran across during fighter work in Malta.
Shoot Own Mates
"Sitting here in the mess, we all say no, we wouldn't shoot a man
in a parachute," said Skip. "None of us would want to think
otherwise. But in the 'Med' I've seen one of my best friends 'get it'
while he was going down in his parachute so I guess everybody doesn't
think the same way.
"Out there, too, I've seen the Jerries shooting up fellows in dinghies."
Once he even saw them shooting up fellows in dinghies when Skip and his
flying mates knew these targets were Nazi airmen who had been shot down.
"What did we do then?" asked Skip. "Well," he smiled,
"to tell you the truth, we just laughed like hell and went along
CANADIANS DOWN ENEMY FIGHTERS IN AIR TANGLES
Three Nazis Destroyed and a Fourth Damaged During Battle
London, Aug. 20, 1943 — (CP Cable) — Three
German fighters were destroyed and one was badly damaged yesterday by
the R.C.A.F, fighter wing in sweeps over France and Holland, it was announced
today. The actions cost the wing one pilot, who had received his commission
just two hours before going on the sweep.
The Canadians sighted 15 or more Nazi fighters over Holland. The Nazis
dispersed, but four were brought to battle and the Canadians blew two
of them from the sky.
Flight-Lieut. Dean Dover, of Toronto, member of
the Wolf squadron, destroyed one with a short burst from 100 yards, and
F.O. S. Harry Dowding, of Sarnia, Ont. and Thomas Brannagan, of Windsor,
Ont., shared another. This was the first encounter with the enemy for
Brannagan in +15 sweeps over the Continent.
Gets First Enemy
Flight-Lieut. Arthur Coles, of Vancouver, chalked up his first destroyed
plane by getting a Messerschmitt 109 south of Abbeville. He poured fire
into the Nazi and went low to watch him explode.
"There were two Jerries together but the second one did not bother
me when I went after the first one," Coles said.
F.O. A. Fleming, of Smith Falls, Ont., badly damaged a Messerschmitt near
Abbeville. He saw it go into a spin, but did not know if it crashed.
During last night Canadian Mustangs and Mosquitoes attacked railway yards
at Orleans, damaging a number of locomotives. They also raided the airfields
at Tours and other railway and ground targets. All returned safely.
19 FLIERS WIN VALOR AWARDS; 16 GET D.F.C.
Ottawa, Oct. 28, 1943 — (CM) — Award of 16
Distinguished Flying Crosses, one Conspicuous Gallantry Medal and two
Distinguished Flying Medals to members of the R.C.A.F. overseas was announced
tonight by Air Force Headquarters here. Award of the D.F.C. to FO. F.E.G.
Carmichael of Sudbury, a member of the R.A.F., also was announced.
The C.G.M. went to Flt. Sgt J.V. Russell of Speers, Sask. who flew home
a badly shot-up bomber after a raid on Kassel earlier this month. Russell,
his aircraft pounded by heavy ground defenses, continued to bomb the target,
then was engaged by a fighter, which battered the bomber with machine-gun
Names of Recipients
The recipients, with next of kin, follow:
… FO. H.J. Dowding, Ivan Louis Dowding (father), Sarnia. …
DOWDING, F/O Harry James (J16027) - Distinguished Flying
Cross - No.403 Sq.
Award effective 22 October 1943 as per London Gazette dated 29 October
AFRO 2457/43 dated 26 November 1943.
This pilot has at all times displayed the utmost keenness
to engage the enemy, and has destroyed three enemy aircraft as well as
sharing in the destruction of two others and damaging two more. He has
taken part in numerous operations over enemy territory, many of which
were deep penetrations on escort duty. In a period of five days he recently
succeeded in destroying two enemy aircraft and damaging another. His flying
skill and fighting spirit have at all times been of the highest order.
Sarnia Airman Believed
First To Land Plane in Invasion Area
With the R.C.A.F. in England - June 9, 1944 - (CP) - Flt.
Lt Harry Dowding of Sarnia, Ont., a Canadian Spitfire pilot, is believed
to have been the first Allied airman to make a "both-wheels-down"
landing on an emergency strip established on the French invasion area.
Dowding did it yesterday, coming down after beachhead flak had punctured
his gas tank and gas was spraying into his cockpit.
A companion, Flt. Lt. G. Keltie of Edmonton, "beat up" the strip
a few times to warn persons on it that an aircraft was coming in. Every
one cleared off but a French farmer who was pitching hay, and when Dowding
landed he ran smack into the load of hay, escaping unhurt. Dowding returned
to England by boat.
The previous day FO. Don Goodwin of Maynooth, Ont., bailed out over the
Channel when he ran out of gas after his tank was hit by flak. He jumped
from 3,000 feet, was picked up by a Polish destroyer a half hour later
and returned to England by launch the next day after spending the night
on the ship. Goodwin bailed out once last year between Sicily and Malta
when operating from the George Cross Island.
Sarnia, Winnipeg Aces Each Down Two Huns
By PO. STANLEY HELLEUR. A Canadian Airfield in France,
June 27, 1944 - (CP) - Four more ME-109's fell today to sharpshooters
of Sqdn. Ldr. Dal Russel's Canadian Spitfire
squadron over France. F/L Harry Dowding, D.F.C., of Sarnia, and F/O
Stan McClarty of Winnipeg each destroyed two.
The squadron, one of the recently arrived units from Canada, now part
of the Canadian wing led by Wing Cmdr. Johnny Johnson, spotted six Messerschmitts
flying at low altitude and peeled to the attack from about 8.000 feet.
Both Dowding, who raised his own score to six destroyed, and McClarty
were close on the tails of the victims when they made the kills. McClarty,
for whom it was first blood, in fact, was so close he flew through the
burning wreckage and scorched the propeller, starboard wing and elevator
rudders of his Spit so badly the paint was peeled off.
One Big Sheet of Flame
"I guess I wasn't much more than 50 yards away from him when he blew
up," the young redhead said. "He seemed to go up in one big
sheet of flame and I was smelling fire and brimstone and burnt rubber.
It was a little too close for comfort."
Only disappointed man in the squadron was FO. Larry Robillard, D.F.M.,
of Ottawa, who first went down to the attack and had two Me's as sitting
ducks in front of him. "But when I pressed the button not a darned
thing happened," he said. "The guns jammed. I'll never get a
better chance than that."
Dowding's aircraft hadn't come to a full stop at its dispersal bay before
his ground crew, led by LAC. Maurice Smith of Ottawa, the armorer, were
on the wings and asking Dowding all about it. "That makes four Gerries
knocked off by guns that I have worked on," said Smith.
Smith's coworkers were LAC. Johnny Christie, fitter, from Calgary, and
LAC. Bill Rigby, rigger, from Winnipeg.
It was a 'first’ for McClarty's ground crew and one of their immediate
problems was getting paint to inscribe two swastikas on the fuselage of
the scorched aircraft LAC. Jack Smale of Montreal was the armorer; LAC.
Charley Grasley, Lawson, Sask., the rigger, and Jack Squires, Tramping
Lake, Sask., the fitter.
Onboard HMS Rodney July 12, 1944 - Wally McLeod, Dowding, A.J. Dent &
DOWDING, S/L Harry James, DFC (J16027) - Bar to DFC -
Award effective 1 December 1944 as per London Gazette of that date and
AFRO 239/45 dated 9 February 1945.
This officer continues to display the highest standard
of skill, courage and devotion to duty. His example has greatly inspired
the squadron which, within a period of a few weeks, has inflicted much
loss on the enemy. More than 500 mechanical vehicles have been put out
of action, many of them by Squadron Leader Dowding. In addition, this
officer destroyed two of the nineteen enemy aircraft which were shot down
by the squadron during the period.
Victories Include :
|13 May 1943
15 July 1943
19 Aug 1943
6 Sept 1943
8 Sept 1943
11 Sept 1943
27 June 1944
28 June 1944
destroyed (sh w/ H.D. MacDonald)
destroyed (sh w/ Tom Brannagan)
6.33 / 0 / 2
PL-47295 - portrait by Robert Hyndman - now with the Canadian War museum