Toronto Flyers Snare Two While Escorting Americans
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.
R.C.A.F. BLASTS ESSEN PLANTS, DOWN JERRIES
London, July 23, 1943 — (CP)
— Mingled with Britons, men of the three Canadian fighting
services and a representative of the Dominion's fire-fighters in
Britain were decorated by the King at a recent investiture in Buckingham
S/L Charles Magwood
(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.
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.
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.
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.
Sqdn. Ldr. 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.
FO. J. D. Browne of Forham Park, N.J., flying in a Spitfire wing commanded by Wing Cmdr. 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.
PO. Gordon Driver, 14 Willowbank Blvd., Toronto, damaged a Focke-Wulf 190 during a melee in which the Canadians were outnumbered nearly 4 - 1. Sqdn. Ldr. Charles Magwood of Toronto, leader of the Red Indian Squadron, also damaged a Focke-Wulf.
From this scrap Sqdn. Ldr. 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, Nov. 3, 1943 (AP) — The largest force of
heavy bombers ever sent out by the United States Air Force — probably
500 or more — battered its way with long-range fighter protection
through strong German opposition to smash the important port and naval
base of Wilhelmshaven and other targets in Northwestern Germany today.
The raiding force destroyed 34 German planes, 18 falling to the heavy bombers and 16 being shot down by the escorting fighters. In other daylight operations over Occupied France and Holland, Spitfire pilots knocked down 12 German fighters, all but one being victims of Canadian pilots. Medium bombers destroyed two, bringing the total loss for the day to 48 for the Nazis.
The total Allied losses for the day were five heavy bombers, two medium bombers and three fighters, a joint Air Ministry and United States Air Force communiqué said.
The cross-Channel air war continued after dark with a short alert in London—indicating Britain's 13th German raid in 19 nights — and German radio stations went off the air, often a sign that the R.A.F. is raiding the Continent.
(D.N.B., German agency, said in a broadcast that the R.A.F. bombed Cologne wednesday night.)
The record raid by the heavy bombers followed earlier sweeps over the Continent by 8th Air Force medium bombers escorted by R.A.F., Dominion and Allied Spitfires in attacks on enemy airfields at St. Andre de L’Eure and Tricqueville in France and Amsterdam-Schipol in Holland.
In other operations Typhoon bombers raided shipping along the French coast, damaging 12 barges and four boats
Today's attack was the sixth American raid on Wilhelmshaven and the third assault on which escorts went all the way to the target and back with the bombers but it was the fighters' longest trip. The other two-way trips were to Emden, a little short of Wilhelmshaven,
Vigorous opposition by groups of as many as 75 German fighters were reported by the fliers. But, they were unanimously enthusiastic about the way the two-engine twin-tail Lightnings — flying close to the bombers while Thunderbolts provided high and surrounding cover — kept the Germans on the run.
Nine of the German fighters destroyed by Spitfires were victims of an R.C.A.F. fighter wing commanded by Wing Cmdr. Lloyd V. Chadburn of Aurora, Ont., and were destroyed as the fighters protected Allied bombers raiding Schipol Airdrome at Amsterdam. The other two were shot down by Sqdn, Ldr. Charles Magwood of Toronto and Flt. Lt. John Sherlock of Calgary while escorting bombers in a raid on St. Andrew de L’Eure Airport in France.
Chadburn and Flt Lt, Jack Mitchner of Kitchener, Ont., each got two planes. Other Canadian victors: Flt. Lt. Danny Noonan, Kingston, Ont., 1½ planes; Flt. Lt. Arthur Sager, Vancouver, one-half plane; Flt. Lt. Doug Booth, Vancouver, Flt. Lt. Jeff Northcott, Minnedosa, Man., and a Toronto flying officer named Jacobs, one each.
Ottawa, Dec. 17, 1943 (CP) — Mosquito pilots of
the, R.C.A.F. overseas destroyed one Heinkel 111 and damaged another during
the last week, while the two-man crew of another Mosquito shot down three
of four bombers destroyed over England last Friday and a Coastal Command
Flying Fortress, whose second pilot was a Canadian, sank a U-boat after
two depth-charge attacks.
In addition, the R.C.A.F. said in a summary of overseas operations tonight, Spitfire squadrons of the RCAF were active last Monday carrying out sweeps in support of United States Flying Fortresses and Liberators hammering targets in Northwest Germany. Two squadrons later escorted Marauders of the United States Army Air Force in an attack on Schipol airfield in Amsterdam.
Last Tuesday PO. C. B. Witt of Morden, Man., shared in the victory of a Coastal Command Beaufighter squadron off the coast of Norway. Two Beaufighters were patrolling when they saw a Dornier three-engined, long-range flying boat ahead. They immediately attacked it and set it on fire.
Crew of the Fighter Command Mosquito which destroyed three bombers last Friday was FO. R. D. Schultz of Bashaw, Alta., and FO. Vernon Williams of Hamilton, the plane's pilot and navigator respectively.
They took off to intercept enemy bombers attacking England and shot down a Dornier 217, blowing it up in mid-air. They then encountered and destroyed another DO 217; accounting for their third victim after their own aircraft had been damaged and was flying on only one engine.
New Base Effective
The Coastal Command plane which sank the U-boat was captained by an Englishman. The submarine was the first victim to fall to a squadron operating from newly acquired bases in the Azores.
FO. D. Thompson of Westmount, Que., second pilot, described the second attack against the U-boat as "a beautiful straddle."
The Heinkel 111 shot down Sunday was destroyed by Flt. Lt. Robert Kipp of Kamloops, B.C. The second Heinkel was severely damaged by FO. J. Johnson of Omemee. Kipp's navigator was FO. Pete Huletsky of Montreal and Johnson's was FO. J. Gibbons of Vancouver. The combat occurred in daylight over France.
Squadrons commanded by Sqdn. Ldr. E. L. (Jeep) Neal, D.F.C., of Quebec; Sqdn. Ldr. I. G. Ormston, D.F.C., of Montreal; Sqdn. Ldr. George C. Keefer, D.F.C., of Charlottetown; Sqdn. Ldr. R. A. Buckham, D.F.C. (United States), and Sqdn. Ldr. G. M. Magwood, D.F.C., of Toronto carried out sweeps on Monday.
In close escort of United States heavy bombers were squadrons commanded by Sqdn. Ldr. G. W. Northcott, D.F.C., of Minnedosa, Man., and Sqdn. Ldr. F. E. Green, D.F.C, of Toronto.
The squadrons commanded by Buckham and Northcott escorted the American marauders in their attack on Schipol airfield.
15 Feb 1943
24 Oct 1943
damaged (BS196, w/ C.G. Cumming)
(Spitfire serials from Chris Shores, Aces High, 2nd edition)
--- 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