Hugh admiring the initials on his Spit, HGC for Hugh Constant Godefroy. A WinCo privilege
Bombing Trains, Buildings, Battling Foe in Dogfight
Born in Java, 28 October 1919;
Two Toronto Fliers Shot Down Two of Five Nazi
Fighters Destroyed in Raid on Rennes
London, March 8, 1943 (CP). — American heavy bombers, escorted by Canadian and British fighters, renewed the offensive against German U-boat menace by daylight today by hammering the key French railway points of Rennes and Rouen and shooting down more than a score of enemy fighter planes in the first concentrated operations by Allied air units since Saturday.
Two of the five planes destroyed by the fighter escort were shot down by Toronto pilots, Flt. Lts. H. C. Godefroy and H. D. Macdonald. Flt. Lt. C. M. Magwood, also of Toronto, damaged another German, the R.C.A.F. said. No Canadian aircraft was lost.
Four bombers and two fighters were reported missing in the dual attack, the fifth daylight raid on the Continent by the United States Army Air Force in 11 days.
The German version of the raids as broadcast by the Berlin radio was that the raiders were over France for 1½ hours and that six, of them, including "four-engined bombers," were shot down.
Danish radio stations went off the air shortly before 7:00 p.m., suggesting that R.A.F. night bombers had taken up the offensive where the daylight raiders left off. The German Deutschlandsender went off the air at 10:00 p.m.
Rennes is an important submarine supply Center and junction on railroad lines running to Hitler’s U-boat bases at Lorient, St. Nazaire and Brest, as well as to the port of Cherbourg. Rouen is located 150 miles northeast of Rennes and is on the main line between Paris and Le Havre.
A communiqué issued jointly by United States Army Air Force headquarters and the Air Ministry said the bombers attacked Rennes "successfully" despite strong enemy opposition and overcame "very strong" fighter opposition to bomb their objectives at Rouen.
Weather conditions were described as "very good" over both targets, but the communiqué said the enemy opposition was "heavy and persistent."
Slight enemy activity over British coastal districts this morning was reported by an Air and Home Security Ministry communiqué, which said there were no reports of bombs having been dropped.
London, March 9, 1943 —(CP Cable)— Three
Toronto Spitfire pilots destroyed two Nazi Focke-Wulf 190's and damaged
another today while helping escort American heavy bombers home after a
raid on Rennes, France.
Flight-Lieut. Godefroy and Flight-Lieut. H. D. MacDonald each bagged one Nazi, while Flight-Lieut. C. M. Magwood was credited with damaging a third.
Godefroy said: "An F. W. flew under my section from behind and was climbing towards the Fortresses. I waited until I was up-sun of him and attacked from above, closing in to 50 yards. Cannon and machine-gun fire struck the cockpit and his port cannon exploded. The plane rolled over and spun down."
MacDonald also saw hits on the cockpit of his opponent and when the German attempted to escape by diving, the Canadian followed him down.
"We must have been doing 500 miles an hour or more," he said. "I kept firing and saw his hood and then a wing fall off."
All the Canadian fighters returned safely, the R.C.A.F. reported.
Public Records Office Air 2/8952 has (DFC) recommendation by
S/L L. S. Ford dated 29 March 1943 :
Flight Lieutenant Godefroy has throughout his operational career shown a singular degree of keenness to engage the enemy. Since becoming a flight commander, he has been an efficient leader and has given confidence to all by his exceptional ability to spot enemy aircraft. This officer has completed 78 hours of his second operational tour; he has carried out a total of 66 sorties over enemy territory, destroyed two enemy aircraft, damaged two others and has shared in the damaging of three railway locomotives.
London, May 14, 1943 - (AP) - American bombers followed
up night assaults on Berlin and the Ruhr by the RAF and the RCAF struck
their mightiest blows of the war against Europe today with four separate
attacks against targets in Germany northern Holland and Belgium.
These daylight attacks, constituting the largest single offensive by the United States Air Force, sustained the round-the-clock Allied assault which took the RAF to Berlin last night for a modest raid while other British forces ranged over Czechoslovakia and the industrial Ruhr.
A total of 3000 tons of bombs dropped established a record for a single night. About 1000 tons fell into the Ruhr industrial and transportation center of Bochum which was left a fire. Thirty-four planes, eight of them Canadian, were lost in these operations.
Four-engined to bombers made the deepest American penetration into Europe by raiding the important German port of Kiel today and smashing a U-boat assembly plant and naval installations there.
Antwerp, Courtrai Hit
Other heavy bomber formations smashed the former General Motors plant at Antwerp, now supplying enemy transport, and a large fighter airfield and repair depot at Courtrai, also in Belgium.
Here a Canadian fighter wing knocked down four Focke-Wulf 190s while the Americans were bombing the airport. The victories went to wing commander J.E. Johnson, the Englishman who leads the wing, flight leader H. C. Godefroy and flight leader H. D. MacDonald, both of Toronto, flight leaders of the Wolf squadron, and flight lieutenant R. A. Buckham of Vancouver, Oshawa squadron flight commander.
The Canadians, each of whom got one Nazi, said they did not witness the actual bombing, but the great clouds of smoke were rising from the target after the attacks.
American medium bombers, operating for the first time from Britain, made successful low-level attacks on industrial targets at Velsen in northern Holland without loss.
A communiqué reported 11 bombers and four fighters missing from the day's operations. Targets on both Kiel and Antwerp were left a mass of flames and smoke, returning crews said. All Canadians returned.
Bochum left ablaze
The size of the load of destruction being carried to continental Europe is indicated by comparison with the 7500 tons the Germans dropped on London in 94 attacks.
In the raid last night on the manufacturing and transportation center of Bochum in the Ruhr, the air Ministry disclosed, more than 1000 tons of bombs were dropped. The air Ministry said Berlin was not bombed on a large-scale.
Ottawa, May 24, 1943 (CP). — Air Force Headquarters
announced tonight that six Distinguished Flying Crosses and five Distinguished
Flying Medals have been awarded members of the R.C.A.F. serving overseas.
Awarded D.F.C.s were: Flt. Lt. Hugh C. Godefroy, 24 Elmsthorpe Avenue, Toronto.
Flt. Lt. Godefroy: "This officer has throughout his operational career shown an exceptionally fine fighting spirit and as a flight commander, his efficient leadership has given confidence to all. Flt. Lt. Godefroy has destroyed two enemy aircraft. He has also shared in damaging three locomotives."
GODEFROY, F/L Hugh Constant (J3701) - Distinguished
Flying Cross - No.403 Sq.
Award effective 19 May 1943 as per London Gazette dated 25 May 1943 and
AFRO 1247/43 dated 2 July 1943.
This officer has throughout his operational career shown an exceptionally fine fighting spirit, and as a flight commander his efficient leadership has given confidence to all. Flight Lieutenant Godefroy has destroyed two enemy aircraft. He has also shared in damaging three locomotives.
London, June 15, 1943 —(AP)— The R.A.F.'s front-line heavy bombers made another mass attack on Ruhr objectives last night, concentrating particularly on the important steel and coal city of Oberhausen, three miles west of Essen, and a big formation of planes roared across the Channel today to continue the non-stop offensive. Coast observers said the daylight attackers were headed southeast.
As the bombers rumbled toward the Continent, two formations of British and Canadian fighters were just returning from a breakfast-time sweep of the Pas-de-Calais area in northern France where they shot down three Focke-Wulf 190s out of two formations of 15 which were presumably setting out to harass the English coast.
Wing-Cmdr. J. E. Johnson, English leader of a Canadian Spitfire wing, was credited with knocking down two Focke-Wulfs, bringing his total enemy planes to 16. The third was shot down by Sqdn.-Ldr. Hugh Godefroy, of 120 Oriole Parkway, Toronto, recently named commander of the R.C.A.F. Wolf squadron. Flt Ldr H. D. MacDonald, of 3O Craydon Avenue, Toronto, scored a "probable" victory over a German fighter and F/O Bob Bowen, of Edmonton, was credited with damaging one plane.
It was announced officially that 18 bombers were missing from the Ruhr forays, the fourth consecutive night assault by the R.A.F. on Germany. The night's activities included mine laying in enemy waters, in which Canadian pilots also participated.
The Oberhausen raid was the third reported by the R.A.F. on that city, although the Germans claimed it was hit a fourth time on April 26 at the same time Duisburg was heavily assaulted. The R.A.F. reported bombing it last in November, 1940.
The city stands on the Rhine-Herne canal and at the junction of railways to Duisburg, Dortmund and Hamm, making it an important communications center.
The communiqué said large fires were seen mounting from the Ruhr targets, but an overcast sky made it "difficult to observe results fully."
Mine Enemy Waters
Lending a hand in the mine-laying operations were Canadian planes, as an R.C.A.F. communiqué issued today said "Last night R.C.A.F. bombers, without loss, laid mines in enemy waters."
However, it was not known whether Canadian planes accompanied the R.A.F. formations over the Ruhr last night.
Also during the night, it was announced officially, a great fleet of lighter R.A.F. planes bombed, cannonaded and machine-gunned rail and water transport and airfields just back of the coast from Holland to northern France.
Two enemy aircraft were downed in the course of the night.
Oberhausen, a city with a population of some 110,000, is located on the Rhine 35 miles north of Cologne and just west of oft-bombed Essen. It has extensive iron foundries, rolling mills, railway shops, chemical works and other plants, and in the vicinity of coal, zinc and iron mines.
The Berlin radio, in a broadcast recorded by the Associated Press, confirmed that Oberhausen had been hit and said that night fighters and anti-aircraft shot down "a considerable number" of attackers. Berlin said both explosives and incendiaries were dropped. The attack by the front line heavies was only a part of a busy night for the R.A.F. tree-clipping Mosquitos, Whirlwinds, Bostons, Typhoons, Beaufighters and Mustangs—out in force over the Low Countries and France — attacked airfields at Abbeville and Poix and one in Holland. At least two enemy planes were blasted to bits at their bases.
In a dawn sweep over France, Spitfires destroyed three Focke-Wulf 190's, knocking them out of two flights of 15 which had just taken off as the Spits came in sight. Two were credited to R.A.F. Wing. Cmdr. J.E. Johnson, bringing his total of enemy planes to 16.
Nazi hit-run night raiders loosed bombs on suburban areas of London in the first of two brief post-midnight alerts, killing seven persons and trapping many others in their wrecked homes. Heavy anti-aircraft fire caused other raiders to jettison their bombs in open fields outside the city in the raids, spaced about an hour apart.
London, July 2, 1943 (AP) — R.A.F. bombers and
fighters again ripped into enemy railway, supply and communications targets
in France and the Low Countries today and observers reported seeing another
strong force of British planes, apparently including bombers, heading
across the Channel early tonight. The Air Ministry News Service said R.A.F.
Typhoons - hit an oil storage tank near Ijmuiden in Holland and the pilots
saw flames shoot to a height of 100 feet.
Boston bombers attacked railway tracks, engine sheds and rail junctions at Ghent and Courtrai in Belgium and at Lille in France.
An earlier Air Ministry announcement disclosed that R.A.F. Spitfires and United States Typhoons destroyed eight enemy fighters in separate sweeps over France and the Low Countries late yesterday. R.C.A.F. pilots, Sqdn. Ldr. Hugh Godefroy of Toronto, FO. Norman Fowlow of Halifax and Flt. Sgt. Graham Shouldice of Chesley, Ont., each shot down an enemy fighter.
United States Headquarters said the Thunderbolt squadrons ran into about 30 Focke-Wulf 190's south of Rotterdam and shot down four, probably destroyed another and damaged five with the loss of only one plane.
The Spitfires downed four planes over Northern France. Four R.A.F. planes were lost in this sweep and an earlier attack by fighter-escorted Typhoon bombers on an enemy convoy off the Dutch coast. Three merchant ships and four mine-sweepers were reported damaged by the convoy attackers.
A German broadcast declared the R.A.F. lost six fighters and two bombers in the assault on the convoy.
(By Scott Young, Canadian Press Staff Writer)
At the R.A.F. Central Gunnery School Somewhere in England, Aug. 10, 1943 —(CP)— When the fighter pilot in charge of combat films at this university of air firing was screening pictures showing how two dozen enemy fighters were shot down during the previous few weeks, the only one he commented on was one taken from a Spitfire piloted by Flt.-Lt. Deane MacDonald, of Toronto.
"You may like to take particular notice of MacDonald's pictures," he said. "We get quite a number of his here for instructional purposes. They are good."
The pictures showed MacDonald getting two FW190s — sweeping in on them in quarter attacks which were so perfectly executed they drew comment even from this instructor who sees dozens of such films every day, films taken by some of the greatest aces in this war as they send German or Italian planes crashing into earth or sea from combat.
The films showed other decisive air victories by Canadians. Taken from the attacking planes during the winning battles by cameras synchronized to operate with the machine-guns and cannon on the Spitfire's wings, they showed Sqdn.-Ldr. C. M. Magwood, of Toronto, attacking two FW190s and getting one, and Sqdn. Ldr. Hugh Godefroy, of Toronto, getting another FW190. The victory of Sqdn. Ldr. J. D. Hall, of Trail, B.C., over an ME109 on June 11 also was shown.
The fact that the fighter pilot showing the films, a young Englishman with a. creditable fighter record of his own who soon will be going back on operations, commented only on MacDonald's action impressed itself on the several British and Empire correspondents watching the screening. After several had made comments, MacDonald's films were shown again as an example of the finer points of air firing. Both attacks were made with use of a minimum of ammunition and with maximum of results. Both planes, hit mortally, grew rapidly into the camera as MacDonald held his fire on the approach, then were hit with first bursts and fell in pieces out of camera range.
Other films shown included one taken from a Mosquito as it shot down a marauding JU88 over the Bay of Biscay, and several of R.A.F. pilots' attacks on FW190s and Messerschmitts.
MacDonald has a long and fine record in fighter operations, flying with the Canadian fighter wing. Beginning his operations here as a flight sergeant, he took part in the attack on the Gneisenau, Scharnhorst and Prinz Eugen when they escaped from Brest early in 1942, won his commission some months later, and in June was promoted from flying officer to flight-lieutenant. He has a record of five enemy planes destroyed and numerous probables and damageds.
Officer Now Missing Gives Wolf Formation Fine
ROUGH ON GERMANS
Somewhere in England, Aug. 20, 1943 — (CF) — The story of one of the R.C.A.F. fighter squadrons in Britain — which a few months ago decided on the name "Wolf" squadron for itself — is closely linked with the name of Wing-Cmdr Leslie Sydney Ford, D.F.C. and bar, of Liverpool, N.S. a brilliant commander who now is missing.
Shot Down Over Sea
Flight -lieut. Basil Dean (former Hamilton Spectator employee) said in an R.C.A.F. overseas press dispatch today that before Ford was shot down while attacking enemy E-boats from low level over the North sea he had left the “Wolf” squadron, but his imprint was so strong upon the formation which he once commanded that his name will be associated with it for the duration of the war.
When the first of a series of Canadian squadrons was formed from R.C.A.F. personnel serving in England, it started with American-built Tomahawk fighters. Soon afterwards it switched to the Spitfire Mark VB - then the finest single-seater aircraft in the world.
The battle of Britain was long over by then, and consequently all the air fighting that this squadron's pilots have done ever since has been carried out in enemy territory. Early this summer the squadron had been credited with 46½ confirmed victories—all over the air fields of occupied Europe.
Shares in Tragedy
The "Wolf" squadron got little chance to knock down Huns until August 19, 1941 — just a year before the attack upon Dieppe, France. That day, four enemy fighters were destroyed. Another three were shot down September 27.
The squadron has had its share of tragedy. One of its commanders, an English squadron leader in the R.A.F., went down over France in the spring of 1942; he now is a prisoner of war. Two flight commanders were lost about the same time, and much rebuilding was needed.
Runs Into Trouble
Then Squadron-Ldr. Alan Christopher Deere, D.F.C. and bar — later to become a wing commander and win the DFC took over. He had destroyed 18 enemy aircraft during the battle of Dunkerque and the battle of Britain, and it looked as though a scintillating chapter in the squadron's history was about to be written.
But one day in the summer of 1942, Deere led his squadron across the English Channel. It ran into a horde of between 40 and 50 Focke-Wulfs, and little could be done except extricate the squadron as well end quickly as possible. Five Spitfires were shot down and the "Wolf" squadron was sent to a quiet area to re-form its battle order.
Ford assumed command August 32, 1942. A week later he led his squadron into the furnace over Dieppe, and in the action his pilots destroyed six enemy aircraft for certain. Ford himself shot down two and many "probables" and damaged aircraft were credited to the guns of his fellow flyers.
Aided By Mountains
Around him Ford had three experienced men—all from Toronto— Charles Magwood, Hugh Godefroy and H. Deane MacDonald. From the time it joined the Canadian fighter wing until the end of June, 1943, the squadron—flying the new Mark IX Spitfire—destroyed 28½ German aircraft.
The Canadian wing as a whole, led by an English member of the R.A.F., Wing-Cmdr. J. E. Johnson, D.S.O., D.F.C., and bar, was performing magnificently. Johnson himself destroyed 18 enemy aircraft. Meantime, Ford had been promoted and transferred to another station. In two days during his leadership of the Wolf squadron the Canadian wing destroyed 18 enemy aircraft. Magwood succeeded Ford, and it was only a short time later that the pilots learned Ford had been shot down and posted as missing.
Godefroy then succeeded Magwood, and the squadron's tradition continued unbroken.
GODEFROY, S/L Hugh Constant, DFC (J3701) - Bar
to DFC - No.403 Squadron
Award effective 26 August 1943 as per London Gazette dated 3 September 1943 and
AFRO 2049/43 dated 8 October 1943.
Since being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in May 1943, Squadron Leader Godefroy has continued to display great courage and devotion to duty. He has recently been appointed to command his squadron which, under his leadership, has destroyed ten enemy aircraft and assisted in the destruction of another. Four of his victories have been since he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Godefroy, MacDonald of Wolf Squadron Have Impressive
Ottawa, Sept. 2, 1943 - (CP) - Two officers who were close friends overseas and became famous as a fighting team in company with their former commanding officer, Sqdn. Ldr. C. M. Magwood, D.F.C., of Toronto, have been awarded Bars to the D.F.C.s, air force headquarters announced tonight.
They are Sqdn. Ldr. Hugh C. Godefroy, 130 Oriole Parkway, Toronto, and Flt. Lt. Harry Deane MacDonald, 30 Craydon Ave., Toronto. MacDonald now is home on leave. Godefroy now commands Magwood's "Wolf" Squadron, a Spitfire unit which has made its name a byword among fighter pilots with its outstanding battle record.
The "Wolf" Squadron is famed for its destructive low-level sweeps over enemy territory, blasting trains and rail centers. Its members, who include some of the R.C.A.F.’s most outstanding pilots, have rung up an enviable record of enemy aircraft downed.
Since Godefroy took command a short time ago, the squadron has added 10 more enemy aircraft destroyed to its already impressive list, with others "damaged."
Godefroy and MacDonald both won their D.F.C.s in May of this Year. At that time Godefroy had two enemy aircraft destroyed and three locomotives damaged to his credit. MacDonald had five enemy aircraft destroyed and three locomotives damaged on his score sheet.
Citations covering awards of Bars to the D.F.C. to Godefroy and MacDonald show that Godefroy has destroyed six enemy aircraft and MacDonald eight.
Sqdn. Ldr. Godefroy, D.F.C. — "Since being awarded the D.F.C. in May, 1943, Sqdn. Ldr. Godefroy has continued to display great courage and devotion to duty. He has recently been appointed to command his squadron, which under his leadership has destroyed 10 enemy aircraft and damaged others. This officer has destroyed six enemy aircraft and assisted in the destruction of another. Four of his victories have been achieved since he was awarded the D.F.C."
Flt. Lt. MacDonald, D.F.C.—"Acting as deputy squadron commander, Flt. Lt. MacDonald has destroyed three enemy aircraft and damaged others since being awarded the D.F.C. He has led the squadron on 10 occasions and the wing once, and displayed fine leadership and gallantry. He has destroyed at least eight enemy aircraft."
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 one.
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. Mitchener 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 loader 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 wing.
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.
London, Oct. 23, 1943—(AP)—A great force
of R.A.F. and R.C.A.F. heavy bombers fought their way through many Nazi
fighters last night to deliver a concentrated attack on the German war
industrial center of Kassel in the ninth—and costliest—major
British raid of the month.
Forty-four heavy bombers, including 12 Canadian, failed to return from the mission, but the four-engined planes fought back stubbornly, sending “several” fighters hurtling from the dark skies.
A smaller force of heavy planes struck at the same time at Frankfurt, making it the second raid in 18 days on that industrial center, and Mosquitoes rounded out the night's bombing attacks with an assault on the Cologne area.
As the heavy bombers again added their terrific punches at German industry to the night and day attacks that lighter R.A.F. and American planes have been conducting against Nazi communications and fighter fields, German raiders stabbed at London for the seventh successive night, dropping a few bombs.
Second Biggest Loss
Not since an R.A.F. and R.C.A.F. armada hit Berlin on the last night in August had British bomber losses been so severe. Forty-seven aircraft did not return from that raid.
The lesser attack on Frankfurt, more than 400 miles from Berlin, was the 39th of the war on that big automotive, rail and rubber center.
While the official report mentioned that bad weather was encountered during the 400-mile round trip to Kassel, it said that visibility was good over the target and that first reports indicated the explosives had been concentrated, indicating that the airmen probably had equaled or even exceeded the 50 tons of bombs a minute dropped during the last Kassel raid October 10.
The attack on Kassel was the ninth major R.A.F. / R.C.A.F. raid of the month and the fifth heavy battering of that German city of 200,000 in six months.
Kassel, which is 100 miles northeast of Cologne, is one of Germany's key aircraft towns and also the site of the Henschel Locomotive Works, largest of its kind in Europe. The city has a big assembly works for Messerschmitt 109's.
The Berlin radio said that the British and Canadian raiders also had hit Frankfurt-on-the-Main. It admitted damage was caused.
Almost every type of daylight craft went back and forth across the channel yesterday in a speeded-up aerial offensive against the Continent.
Repeating their assaults on Britain for the seventh successive night, the Nazis sent a small number of planes across the Kent and Sussex coasts and a few of them reached the London area last night. Bombs were dropped in East Anglia and in two sections of the London area. A small number of casualties were reported.
The Allied bombers flew all the way to France and back without encountering one enemy plane, but a group of R.A.F. and R.C.A.F. Spitfires on patrol sweeps over occupied countries hit a sizable nest of German fighters and shot down eight of them against one loss.
In one of these series of dogfights over northern France, a Canadian fighter wing under Wing-Cmdr. Hugh C. Godefroy of Toronto, destroyed two German Focke-Wulf 190s and damaged another despite the fact they were outnumbered 3 to 1. One Canadian failed to return
Pilots credited with the kills were P.O. Karl Linton, of Plaster Rock, N.B., and F.O. R. Mackenzie, of Montreal.
During the day R.C.A.F. Mustangs were also out, destroying a Nazi bomber and damaging several locomotives, while Whirlwind bombers damaged a Cherbourg peninsula viaduct. A Coastal Command Beaufighter, patrolling off the Netherlands coast, attacked and hit two enemy trawlers, an R.C.A.F. communiqué added, leaving one in flames.
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.
S/L 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.
F/O J. D. Browne of Forham Park, N.J., flying in a Spitfire wing commanded by W/C 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.
P/O Gordon Driver, 14 Willowbank Blvd., Toronto, damaged a Focke-Wulf 190 during a melee in which the Canadians were outnumbered nearly 4 - 1. S/L Charles Magwood of Toronto, leader of the Red Indian Squadron, also damaged a Focke-Wulf.
From this scrap S/L 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.
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.C.s 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.
GODEFROY, W/C Hugh Constant, DFC (J3701) - DSO
- No.17 Wing
Award effective 5 April 1944 as per London Gazette dated 14 April 1944 and
AFRO 1020/44 dated 12 May 1944.
Since being awarded a Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross, this officer has completed many further sorties despite adverse weather. The wing under his leadership has destroyed at least twenty-eight enemy aircraft and damaged many others. He has himself personally destroyed at least one enemy aircraft. During that period, at all times, Wing Commander Godefroy has displayed outstanding leadership and a fine fighting spirit setting an example of the highest order.
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 o£ his decorations while a member of the R.A.F.
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 daylight bombers.
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 order.”
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.
Ottawa, Aug. 24, 1944 (CP).—Ready to keep the home
fires burning until their soldier-husbands come home, a group of British
women who married Canadians in Britain have arrived in the Dominion and
now are enroute to their new homes.
Crossing the Atlantic on the same ship with them were hundreds of Canadian servicemen of all branches, along with nursing sisters, members of the women's division of the R.C.A.F. and seamen of the Merchant Navy.
In a few cases, the war brides were welcomed to their new homeland by husbands who had been invalided back before them. Many others of the group had been preceded to Canada by their husbands, who could not be on hand to meet them. A few had left their husbands on the other side.
The contingent of brides was one of the largest to arrive in Canada since the war.
A few lucky couples were together for the crossing. Among these were Wing Cmdr. H.C. Godefroy, D.S.O., D.F.C. and Bar, of Toronto, with his wife and 13-month-old daughter. He had met his blond Scottish wife while she was stationed in England with Britain's Women's Auxiliary Air Force. Wing Cmdr. Godefroy was a member of Canada's famous Wolf Squadron.
Major R. R. Laird, youthful Medical Corps member from Victoria, came back with the bride whom he met during a blitz in 1941. She was a former British film actress.
A few days before their marriage, Major Laird went on the Dieppe raid. He lost a leg there, was captured and spent 16 months in German prison camps before he returned to England to keep his date at the altar.
August 28, 1944 - When a man is crowded into the skintight
cockpit of a Spitfire, balancing his wits and skill and courage against
those of the German Luftwaffe, there is no formula for longevity.
"It's like a crap game," explained Hugh Godefroy, searching his mind for the simile. "No matter how long you roll the dice, sooner or later you're going to throw a seven. As it happened, I quit before my seven came up.”
This was Wing Cmdr. Godefroy, with the DSO, the DFC and Bar and 1,400 hours of flying behind him, all of it overseas, most of it on operations. The record shows seven confirmed kills, five damaged.
He had been talking about his friend, Wing Cmdr. Lloyd Chadburn, DSO and Bar, DFC, a great Canadian Spitfire pilot who was killed shortly after D-Day in a mid-air collision with another Spit over France.
A Wonderful Leader
"Chad shouldn't have died," said Godefroy. "He was a wonderful fellow, respected and admired by every man who ever met him. I never knew any one with such a faculty for leadership. He had completed two long tours of operations, had done more than his share. But he insisted on flying. He took over my wing when I came off ops this last time."
It was then that Godefroy said there was no formula for longevity.
Actually, this 24-year-old Toronto pilot who came home with his Scottish wife and baby daughter Saturday morning, did more than his share of flying too. He got an extension on his second tour which practically amounted to a third tour but he insists it was only an extension.
Unlike many thoughtful returned servicemen, Godefroy cannot see an imminent end to the war with Germany. His guess is that next summer will see war's culmination and he stresses that this is only a personal opinion.
He does not agree with those who place the blame for recent bombings of Allied ground troops by Allied aircraft on the air force.
"When the ground forces call for air support, they should be reasonably sure that they aren't going to break through and capture the objective themselves," he reasons. "If they call for a bombing and then take the objective during the time the medium bombers are being assembled, it doesn't seem logical to blame the bombers.
"Anyway, air power has more than made up for any such bombings because during the daytime those foot soldiers can walk around behind the lines like they were at the corner of King and Yonge. The air force pounces on any member of the Luftwaffe who tries to get at our soldiers and the air force pounds Jerry defensive positions too."
His aims for the postwar period are much similar to those he held when he left University of Toronto to join the RCAF in 1940. Then, as now, Godefroy hoped to be an aeronautical engineer. The only difference, as he sees it, is that now he is better qualified.
Experienced Test Pilot
"After I finished my first tour I put in a lot of time as a test pilot," he explained. "I think that has equipped me better for the job." He didn't say so, but air force records show that Godefroy experimented with more than 40 types of aircraft during the test pilot period.
Godefroy's father entered the room.
"We have just received a cable from David," he said. "He has finished his first tour."
The senior Godefroy, tall and erect, explained that David was his youngest son.
A Thankless Job
"He is just 19 now," Mr. Godefroy explained. "He is an air gunner on a Lancaster bomber. When he was 17 he came to me with a sheaf of papers and said: ‘I want you to sign these, Dad.’ They were RCAF forms requiring my signature if David were to join up. I told him to wait awhile. I asked him to wait until he got his matriculation.
“‘No, Dad,' he told me, 'they need air gunners.’ And so I signed them."
"An air gunner's is a thankless job," said Hugh Godefroy. He is home on a month's leave, has not Yet learned what his next assignment will be.
PO. David Godefroy is home in Toronto from his first
tour of operations as a rear gunner in a Lancaster bomber, a tall 19-year-old
quiet boy, the brother of Canada's famous fighter pilot, Wing Cmdr. Hugh
Godefroy, DSO, DFC and Bar.
Is the brother of a decorated Spitfire pilot ribbed by his bomber mates?
"No," said David last night. "It's no handicap." Then he smiled. "People generally look properly impressed when Hugh's name is mentioned.”
“They do!” exclaimed Hugh's wife, who was visiting her parents-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. C. Godefroy at 120 Oriole Parkway, last night. She and Hugh were married more than two years ago overseas and she came to Canada last August with Hugh and their baby daughter, Isabel.
"Yah," agreed David, "he's pretty well known."
In D-Day Operations
About his own experiences, the lanky youngster said little. He was over Caen on D-Day, helped bomb the Falais Pocket from 1,000 feet. He'd seen a few night fighters, he said, then admitted reluctantly his crew was credited with one and a half conquests.
He'd visited France "Buckshee" with a pilot pal in an Anson, finished out his four of operations late in August. He didn't know what the future held, hoped he'd get a chance to go to India to fight Japs. David won his commission in September, had gone overseas a sergeant.
His father explained how he'd come to be an air gunner.
"When he was 17 he came to me with a sheaf of papers and said: 'I want you to sign these, Dad.’ I told him to wait awhile, to get his matriculation. ‘No, Dad, they need air gunners.' And so I signed."
Godefroy was one of a group of airmen who returned from overseas yesterday morning. There was PO. Ross Corby, also a tail-gunner, who Lived and fought with the French Maquis for more than five months after being shot down. He was 200 miles southeast of Paris when he ran into American columns of the 3rd Army.
Three Ontario boys who spent 14 months in India and Ceylon also came home. They were Flt. Lt. Jerry Boyle, 26 St. Germaine Ave., PO. Jack Fudge, 225 Bexhill Ave., and PO. J.H. Roberts of Port Credit.
Flt. Lt. George Turvey, DFC, Spitfire pilot in Italy, smilingly declined to be interviewed. He had completed two tours of fighter ops. Flt. Lt. Wray Heath, 1147 Woodbine Ave., flew 45 operations on Boston bombers, and PO. Bob Smith, DFM, of 39 Silverthorn Ave., shot down a Nazi fighter after it had damaged his bomber in a running fight which earned Bob's pilot the DSO.
GODEFROY, F/L Hugh Constant, DSO, DFC & Bar (J3701)
Croix de Guerre with Gold Star (France)
AFRO 485/47 dated 12 September 1947.
Credited with the following victories :
17 January 1943, one FW.190 damaged (could be 2)
See Chris Shores, Aces High and Godefroy's autobiography,
Died in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, 3 April 2002.
--- Canadian Aces ---
On these pages I use Hugh Halliday's extensive research which includes info from numerous sources, newspaper articles via the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation (CMCC) as well as other sources both published and private