RCAF PILOTS COVER LANDING
With the R.C.A.F. in Sicily, Oct. 5, 1943 (CP) —
For many Canadian Spitfire pilots operating from airfields and landing
strips here, the job of covering seaborne landings near Naples was their
first in operational flying with bulky, 90-gallon long-distance gas tanks.
Flying with an R.A.F. squadron on the island — the squadron formerly
commanded by Sqdn. Ldr. George Hill, D.F.C. and
Bar, of Pictou, N.S — were FO. Jake Woogar of Edmonton; FO. Don.
Rogers of Amherstburg, Ont.; FO. I. F. Kennedy,
D.F.C., of Cumberland, Ont., and Sgt. Reg Gray of Toronto.
Among other Canadians serving with various fighter squadrons are Sgt.
D. J. Schmitz, Humboldt, Sask.; Flt. Lt. M. Johnson, Selkirk, Man.; Flt.
Sgt. Tom Larlee, Woodstock, N.B.; PO. Bruce Ingalls, Danville, Que., and
FO. Bob Clasper, Winnipeg.
The big jettison tanks are of metal or fibre, which fit under the fuselage,
roughly doubling fuel capacity. With the tanks fitted, Spitfires are said
to have an endurance of more than four hours. In event of engagements
with the enemy the tanks can be jettisoned by pulling a lever.
Son of Kenneth Scott Ingalls and Nellie Read Ingalls
Husband of Jean Frances Ingalls, of Sayabec, Quebec
Born in Danville or Sayabec, Quebec, 26 June 1921
Home in Sayabec
Educated in Danville, Quebec
Enlisted in Montreal, 11 July 1941
No.5 ITS (graduated 26 October 1941),
No.13 EFTS (graduated 21 December 1941) &
No.13 SFTS (graduated as Sergeant Pilot, 10 April 1942)
At "Y" Depot, Halifax, 12-30 April 1942
Arrived in UK, 12 May 1941
Further trained at
No.5 (P) AFU, 23 June to 14 July 1942 &
No.61 OTU, 14 July to 6 October 1942
With 402 Squadron 6 October 1942 to 5 May 1943
Left Britain on 17 May 1943
Arriving in North Africa on 27 May 1943
With 72 Squadron, 12 May 1943 to 4 March 1944
With 417 Squadron 4 March 1944 to 16 June 1944
Killed In Action (flak) June 16 1944
Flight Sergeant, 10 October 1942
P/O, 29 January 1943
F/O, 29 July 1943 &
F/L, 4 March 1944
Surrendering in Mid-Air, Italians Show Elation
By FO, BOB FRANCIS, R.C.A.F.
With the R.C.A.F., in Italy, Nov. 5, 1943 - (CP) - One of the first concrete
prizes to come into Allied hands after the capitulation of Italy was a
three-motored Savoi medium bomber, which surrendered in mid-flight to
a single Allied fighter.
The machine was seen over the sea north of Sicily and an R.A.F. Spitfire
squadron, with which PO. Bruce J. Ingalls of Danville, Que., was flying,
was warned to be on the lookout. “When the Spitfires did find the
Italian aircraft, Ingalls said, a Grumman Martlett fighter already was
shepherding it toward Sicily.
"We were on the way home after a patrol over the assault beaches,"
said Ingalls, "when we got the message to watch for this Eytie machine.
When we found it the Grumman already had it in tow, so to speak, so we
just flew along with them for a while. It finally landed at a field close
to our own.
"We didn't see the surrender, but we heard afterward that the crew
waved handkerchiefs from every window in the kite as soon as the fighter
Toronto Flier in Melee
A Toronto Spitfire pilot, PO. Bill Reid, of 141 Old Forest Hill Road,
was flying with an R.A.F. squadron which engaged 12 FW-190's over the
Italian, coast, shooting down three and damaging another. The German aircraft
had released their bombs when the Spitfires dived on them. Reid fired
at two FWs during the melee, but was not able to confirm any score.
"I got in a burst at the first one in a tight turn, but could not
see my fire striking home on him," Reid said. "A moment later
I saw one going down in flames, but we couldn't confirm whether it was
mine or not"
A moment later he opened fire on another, but did not see any results
from this attack.
“Hap" Kennedy Promoted
I. F. (Hap) Kennedy, D.F.C., of Cumberland,
Ont., veteran fighter pilot with a score of seven enemy aircraft destroyed,
has been promoted flight lieutenant and placed in charge of a flight in
an R.A.F. Spitfire squadron in Sicily.
Kennedy was one of several Canadians flying with the squadron from which
he transferred on receiving his promotion and in his new unit he again
found himself among members of the R.C.A.F. He had five aircraft destroyed
to his credit when he joined his first squadron in Sicily, then commanded
by Sqdn. Ldr. George Hill, D.F.C., and two bars,
of Pictou, N.S. His sixth and seventh victories were FW190's, each destroyed
after long chases. The first Focke Wulfe was shot down over the Italian
coast during a dusk patrol only a few hours after the squadron destroyed
six Macchi Italian fighters in a single engagement.
The last came the day after the invasion of Italy, when Kennedy chased
the German 50 miles along the Italian coast, damaging the machine with
gunfire and forcing the pilot to bail out.
Other Canadians with his present squadron are Sgts. J. C. Turcott, Sudbury,
Ont.; Bill Downer, Midland, Ont., and PO. Bill
Hockey, Kentville, N.S.
Mascot Goes With Squadron
When the pilots of one R.A.F. Squadron say that where they go goes their
mascot, they mean it. In fact, when the first member of the squadron set
foot on Italian soil ‘Spitfire,’ a little brown and white
mongrel, scrambled out of the aircraft with him.
FO. J.R. Woolgar, Edmonton, one of several R.C.A.F. pilots with the squadron,
arrived with some other pilots by transport plane the day the Spitfires
landed at their first base here. As he jumped out on the dusty field,
the little mascot came out with him, maintaining her reputation of being
one of the most-traveled dogs in the air force. Spitfire joined the squadron
in Algiers and has covered North Africa, Malta, Sicily and Italy in her
Canadians in Spitfires Aid Drive Toward Rome
Advanced Italian Airfield, Jan. 23, 1944 - (CP) - As
the Allied push advances steadily up the central sector of the Italian
boot, Spitfire fighters bear continually further north in sweeps and patrols
over enemy territory.
R.C.A.F, pilots who form an important part of British fighter squadrons
in the Naples area have played a leading part in recent operations which
have reached as far from base as the City of Rome itself.
FO. Ross K. Whitney, veteran Spit pilot from Chapleau, one of the leading
Canadian airmen in a famous R.A.F. squadron here, was one of those who
was over Rome during a recent sweep.
Looked Like Village
"We were right over the city about 19,000 feel," Whitney said
afterwards. "I'd been looking out for it, but for a moment I didn't
recognize where we were. From four miles up it looked just like a village.
It didn't seem to cover nearly as great an area as, say, Naples. You could
hardly pick out any features from that height."
Whitney said enemy ground defenses did not throw up any flak at the Spitfire
formations from positions in the city itself, though some pilots reported
they had been fired at from other points along the course of their sweep.
"We saw an airfield near Rome which seemed to have some twin-engine
aircraft based on it, but nobody came up after us that time," Whitney
Flt. Sgt. M. S. Zimmerman, Preston, was another Canadian pilot on the
sweep. With Whitney he recently took part in a strafing flight during
which two German reconnaissance aircraft were shot down and an enemy airfield
The operation was the first of its kind carried out by this squadron on
the Italian front, and was planned as a low-flying sweep along highways
and communication lines behind the German front, in search of road transport
and other ground targets.
Enemy Proves Slow
Zimmerman shared with an English pilot credit for destruction of one of
the German light aircraft. He also took part in strafing attacks on an
airfield where the pilots spotted a number of machines on the ground.
"We found those two down in a valley back of the line," Zimmerman
said. "They moved pretty slowly compared with us, and it was hard
to get our sights on them sometimes. The pilots pulled off quite a bit
of aerobatics before we got them, trying to avoid us.”
PO. Bruce Ingalls of Danville, Que.; PO. J. C. Turcott of Sudbury, and
Flt. Lt. I. F. (Hap) Kennedy, D.F.C., of Cumberland, Ont., are other veterans
of sweeps over Rome. Kennedy, with 10 enemy aircraft destroyed to his
credit, is one of the highest-scoring Canadians in the Mediterranean theatre
Germans Fought to Standstill In Second Major
Bid to Drive Allied Invaders Into the Sea
Feb. 17 1944 - Allied air fleets flew more than 1,200
sorties throughout the day and night at a cost of four planes. The Luftwaffe
flew some 130 sorties over the Anzio beachhead in support of the Nazi
ground offensive, and the Allied communiqué said nine enemy planes
were shot down. Of the nine shot down, five fell to Spitfire pilots including
three destroyed by Canadian pilots. Flight-Lieut. James Francis Edwards,
of North Battleford, Saskatchewan, who holds the D.F.C. and D.F.M., shot
down his first plane during his second operational tour of duty.
Edwards served one operational tour in the desert campaign. He scored
10 and a half destroyed planes there. Yesterday's raised his score to
11½. He was widely known for his long range accuracy. Yesterday
was no exception. He destroyed a FW-190 at the extreme range of 500 yards.
The other Canadians who destroyed planes were Flying Officer B. J. Ingalls,
of Sayabec, Quebec, and Warrant Officer W. Downer,
of Midland, Ont., each of whom destroyed an F. W. 190.
Allied airpower also blanketed the main 5th Army front around Cassino,
where the Germans launched a small-scale diversionary attack to coincide
with their main offensive against the beachhead.
Bombers returned to attack the ruins of the 1,415-year-old Benedictine
monastery on Mount Cassino yesterday; piling new wreckage about the heads
of Nazi gunners entrenched behind the massive walls of the abbey.
A New York Times Special to the Globe And Mail
Naples March 17 1944 - Airacobras strafed armored cars,
trucks and tankers at Tarquinia, while Kittyhawks were relentlessly active
along the Italian east coast and Dalmatian shoreline, sinking a small
schooner off Ancona and firing Yugoslavian coastal rail yards near Knin.
It was disclosed today, meanwhile, that Canadian Spitfire pilots of the
City of Windsor squadron destroyed two Focke-Wulf 190's after a pursuit
that continued to the neighborhood of Rome.
Date of the action, in which victories were credited to FO. G. S. O'Brien
of Toronto and Flt. Lt. B. J. Ingalls; of Montreal, was not indicated.
Huns Tried to Escape
Sighting the Spitfires while flying southward, the two German planes rolled
over on their backs and dived, with the four fighters in pursuit, toward
O'Brien engaged one, closing to 100 yards and firing two long bursts from
astern. He saw strikes on the tying roots and saw pieces falling from
FO. S. B. Kimber of Montreal, flying under high tension wires during the
chase, saw the Focke-Wulf burst into flames and crash.
The other Focke-Wulf was chased by Ingalls to a point 15 miles northeast
of Rome, where the German plane crashed in flames after Ingalls hit it
with two bursts.
INGALLS, F/L Bruce Johnston (J17096) - Distinguished
Flying Cross - No.72 Squadron
Award effective 15 May 1944 as per London Gazette dated 23 May 1944 and
AFRO 1380/44 dated 30 June 1944 &
Globe and Mail May 22 1944
Flight Lieutenant Ingalls joined this squadron in Malta
and flew many sorties during the invasion of Sicily, subsequently he took
part in the Salerno operations and has been flying with the squadron on
all occasions during the Italian campaign. On many occasions it has been
due to this officer's accurate reporting of the presence of enemy aircraft
that his squadron has been able to engage them. He has destroyed at least
five enemy aircraft and damaged others.
Chris Shores, Aces High (2nd
ed) lists the following victories:
12 July 1943,
one Ju.52 destroyed plus
one Bf.109 damaged (Spitfire
12 September 1943, one Bf.109 destroyed plus
one damaged (MA637);
27 January 1944, one FW.190 destroyed
7 February 1944, one FW.190 destroyed
- possible shared with another pilot);
16 February 1944, one FW.190 destroyed (A/C identity
20 February 1944, one FW.190 destroyed (MH699);
16 March 1944, one FW.190
destroyed (JG173, "E");
19 March 1944, one Bf.109
destroyed (JF956 "B").
Air Force Casualties
Ottawa, July 19, 1944 — The Department of National
Defense for Air today issued Casualty List No. 939 of the RCAF showing
next-of-kin of those named from Ontario as follows:
INGALLS, Bruce Johnston, D.F.C., Flt. Lieut: Sayabec Station,