Cumberland Flier Strikes At Enemy From Malta Base
MALTA (RCAF Service) 10 May 1943 - The reputation of the Canadian fighter-pilot in Malta, which soared to such dizzy heights with the one and only George Beurling, is being maintained capably, if less spectacularly, on this historic bit of sea-bound rock by as competent and typical a bunch of lads as ever wore wings on their chests and "Canada" on their shoulders.
Two squadrons to which the Montreal ace belonged in succession while he was making his fame here still bask in the glory of his name, and on both the RCAF is well and creditably represented. One, until recently commanded by Squadron Leader Malcolm MacLeod of Pictou, N.S., now missing, is now led by one of the American squadron commanders still in the RAF, Squadron Leader John Lynch of Tulsa, Okla., who in peacetime taught civilians to fly at Alhambra, Calif.
Varying in size, age, personality and provinces of origin, the Canadians on these squadrons nevertheless have one essential quality in common — that blend of impetuosity, coolness, courage, and the flair for aerial combat which has made lads from the Dominion unexcelled as fighter pilots in the last Great War and this.
When a "flamer" in the shape of a petrol-laden Ju52 transport plane "was recently shot down over Sicily, half of the credit went to Flying Officer I. F. "Hap" Kennedy of Cumberland, Ont., a former Ottawa Tech student who has done 140 hours of "ops" on RAF squadrons. He and Squadron Leader Lynch made quick work of their big three-engined victim. Not long ago in a dog-fight over the sea near Malta. Kennedy added a share in a Ju88 to his score and later shot up a train in Sicily and blew up the locomotive.
Flying Officer Kennedy is the son of Mr. and Mrs. R. J Kennedy and is a graduate of the Cumberland Continuation School. His father is clerk-treasurer of Russell Township. While attending the Ottawa Technical High School, he displayed considerable brilliance as a hockey player. He enlisted in the RCAF in October 1940 and went overseas in August 1941.
Born in Cumberland, Ontario, 4 February 1922.
Enlisted in Ottawa, 21 October 1940.
Trained at :
No.2 ITS (5 January to 7 February 1941)
No.8 EFTS (7 February to 29 March 1941) &
No.10 SFTS (10 April to 4 July 1941)
Arrived in UK 16 August 1941
Further trained at
No.263 Squadron, 30 Sept. '41 to 14 June '42 (Whirlwinds)
No.421 Squadron, 14 June to 22 October 1942
No.249 Squadron, 15 December 1942 to 30 July 1943
No.111 Squadron, 30 July to 13 September 1943
No.93 Squadron, 13 September to 22 December 1943
To UK, began another tour on 15 June '44 with No.401 Sq.
Shot down by flak, 26 July 1944; evaded capture
Returned to Canada, September 1944
Released 13 February 1945
DFC and Bar presented 27 June 1945
Postwar doctor in Cumberland, Ontario
Wrote "Black Crosses Off My Wingtip"
(General Store Publishing, Burnstown, 1994)
Fern & Hap Kennedy at their home in Cumberland - summer 2007. I'm sorry to announce the passing of "Bus" on January 6th 2011.
KENNEDY, F/O Irving Farmer (J15273) - Distinguished
Flying Cross - No.249 Sq.
Award effective 22 June 1943 as per London Gazette dated 6 July 1943
This officer has completed much operational flying, involving
bomber escort flights, sweeps and bombing sorties. During an operation
in 1943, Flying Officer Kennedy shot down a Junkers 52. A little later
he saw many of these aircraft flying almost at sea level. Flying Officer
Kennedy immediately attacked one of them, causing it to dive into the
water with one engine on fire. This officer, who has destroyed five enemy
aircraft, has invariably displayed great keenness.
Skull Fractured, Carried On, Canadian Flier Gets D.F.M.
London, July 6 (Tuesday) 1943 -(CP)- F/O
Irving Farmer Kennedy of Cumberland, Ont., and P/O Bruce Haynes Tupper
of Saskatoon were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Sgt. Lloyd
George Collins of Marchwell, Sask., and Russell, Man., the Distinguished
Flying Medal, it was announced today.
All three men are members of the Royal Canadian Air Force.
Collins was navigator aboard a bomber which attacked Dortmund and over
the target area was wounded in the head, suffering a skull fracture.
"Although weakened by the loss of blood he refrained from informing
his captain of the injury until the target was bombed and the aircraft
was well clear of the areas" the citation said.
"Displaying outstanding fortitude Collins calmly executed his duties
and plotted his course for the homeward flights" On landing the sergeant
collapsed and was removed to a hospital in a semi-comatose condition.
Kennedy is a veteran of much operational flying involving bomber escort
flights, sweeps and bombing sorties over Malta. He is credited with the
destruction of five enemy aircraft and invariably displayed great keenness.
Tupper completed numerous sorties, many over difficult terrain. His citation
said, "he is a resourceful captain for the success that he obtained
.. he set an example worthy of the highest praise."
Kennedy, who is growing famous as a "double play" artist, shared
in the destruction of two planes flying in formation before reaching Malta
early in June, and has a total of five enemy aircraft destroyed.
R.C.A.F. 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 S/L George Hill, D.F.C. and Bar, of
Pictou, N.S — were F/O Jake Woolgar of Edmonton; F/O Don Rogers
of Amherstburg, Ont.; F/O 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.; F/L M. Johnston, Selkirk, Man.; F/S Tom
Larlee, Woodstock, N.B.; P/O Bruce Ingalls,
Danville, Que., and F/O Bob Clasper, Winnipeg.
The big jettison tanks are of metal or fiber, 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.
Surrendering in Mid-Air, Italians Show Elation
By F/O 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 P/O 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, P/O 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
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 P/O 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.
F/O 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
THE GLOBE AND MAIL, MONDAY, JAN. 24, 1944.
Advanced Italian Airfield, Jan. 23 - (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.
F/O 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.”
P/O Bruce Ingalls of Danville, Que.; P/O 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
"Victory Over Normandy" by Robert Bailey
June 28th 1944 "Hap" Kennedy downs a 190
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. B. Rainville,
Montreal; and Flying Officers W. J. Banks, Leaside,
Ont. and G. H. Farquharson, Corbyville,
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
Surrenders In Air To Canadian Flier
Headquarters Allied Armies, July 3, 1944 -(AP)-
A terrified German pilot surrendered in the air over France Sunday to
a Canadian Spitfire pilot who was out of ammunition after firing his last
round into the ME-109 at 150 yards.
Flt. Lt. Irving P. Kennedy of Cumberland, Ont., said he faked a couple
of passes and then flew alongside the Nazi.
"His engine had stopped," Kennedy said. "The pilot shook
his head, waved to me and pointed down. I took it he was going to crashland.
He did. I followed him down and saw a wing tear off."
It was number 12 for Kennedy.
HONORS GIVEN 11 RCAF MEN FOR GALLANTRY
Ottawa, Sept. 5, 1944 -(CP)- Air Force Headquarters
announced tonight the award of 1 Distinguished Service Order, 1 Bar to
the Distinguished Flying Cross, 6 Distinguished Flying Crosses and 3 Distinguished
Flying Medals to members of the RCAF Overseas. The recipients:
S/L H. W. McLeod, DFC & Bar,
BAR TO THE DFC
S/L I. F. Kennedy, DFC, Cumberland, Ont.
missing June 26)
F/L J. M. G. Plamandon, Ste. Michel, Que.
F/L L. R. Brochu, Ste Marie de Beauce, Que.
F/L R. K. Hayward, St, John's,
F/L R. W. Orr of 206 Livingstone Ave, Toronto.
F/O W. T. Klersy of 14 Harcroft rd.,
F/O H. J. Powell, Frankford, Ont.
F/Sgt. J. W. Cumbers, Winnipeg.
F/Sgt. E. A., Snider, Haliburton, Ont.
Sgt. W. R. Williams, Winnipeg.
McLeod, who has distinguished
himself as one of Canada's top-scoring fighter pilots with 17 enemy aircraft
to his credit, was awarded the DSO for his continued display of the "highest
standard of courage and resolution as an exceptional leader and relentless
Kennedy received the Bar to the DFC for his example of "Keenness
and resolution." He has 11 enemy aircraft to his credit.
KENNEDY, F/L (now S/L) Irving Farmer, DFC (J15273) - Bar
No.401 Squadron - Award effective 5 Sept 1944 as per London Gazette of
that date and
AFRO 2373/44 dated 3 November 1944
This officer has set a fine example of keenness and devotion
to duty. He is a most resolute and skilful fighter and has destroyed eleven
enemy aircraft. Flight Lieutenant Kennedy is a fine leader and his services
have proved of immense value.
Victories Include :
7 Feb 1943
3 Mar 1943
25 Mar 1943
16 Apr 1943
22 Apr 1943
10 June 1943
4 Sept 1943
10 Sept 1943
17 Sept 1943
13 Oct 1943
15 Oct 1943
28 June 1944
2 July 1944
destroyed (flying Spitfire EP712 coded
destroyed (flying Spitfire EP343 coded T-V)
destroyed (flying Spitfire EP343 coded T-V)
destroyed (flying Spitfire EP712 coded T-C) 
destroyed (flying Spitfire AB535 coded T-Z)
desroyed (flying Spitfire EN533 coded "N")
destroyed (flying Spitfire EN468 coded "N"
destroyed (flying Spitfire EE750 coded JU-H) 
destroyed (flying Spitfire MA481 coded JU-O)
probable (flying Spitfire JF560 coded HN-J)
destroyed (flying Spitfire LX929 coded HN-O) 
destroyed (flying Spitfire EN459 coded HN-D)
destroyed (flying Spitfire NH260 coded YO-W)
destroyed (flying Spitfire NH247 coded YO-A)
13.08 / 1 / 0
Score & score notes (below) are from Aces High 2nd Ed.
of III/KG76, pilot - Oblt. Henrich Oldendorf - Staffelkapitan
of 8 staffel
(this claim should probably be his alone)
of II/H14 - Lt Friedrich Zander bailed out of black 14
of III/SKG10 - Pilot Killed near vaticano
of III/JG27 -
- Oberleutnant Helmut Hansel 9 Staffel kapitan - killed W of
Teano in yellow 9
- Unteroffizier Hans-Werner Maximow of 9 staffel - bailed out of
The way Hap tells it, a couple planes he was credited
with sharing [1/3 & 1/2]
should not have been - AND he gave another kill away. If you go with that
it would make his score 15.25 at the most