STANSFELD, F/L Noel Karl (42272) - Distinguished Flying
Cross - No.242 Squadron
Awarded as per London Gazette dated 8 October 1940.
This officer has destroyed seven enemy aircraft during engagements over
Dunkirk and England. He has exhibited excellent fighting qualities, initiative
and marked powers of leadership.
NOTE: It is interesting to read S/L Bader's assessment of him from 26
September 1940, at which time he had flown 422 hours (198 hours 25 minutes
in previous six months):
Conduct, very satisfactory. Temperate. This officer is the first Canadian
in the squadron [sic]. He has a good brain, plenty of courage and is most
reliable. Has a mature sense of judgement and is an excellent pilot. In
combat he is ferocious and a good shot. Have a very high opinion of this
officer and consider he should make a good Flight Commander with a little
more experience. The best junior section leader in the squadron.
Yet he may have been affected by "burn out".
On 2 September 1942, at No.34 SFTS, G/C A. ap Ellis wrote of him: "An
extremely loyal officer. Is a Canadian serving in the RAF. Splendid spirit
and a good example to others."
On 22 September 1943, G/C E.S. Weston (No.32 OTU) wrote of him as "a
loyal officer; suited to instructional duties."
Two days later, S/L N.K. Lloyd (No.32 OTU) wrote, "A good average
training officer - not likely to provide good leadership on operations."
while G/C E.L. Wurtelle assessed him as follows: "Has done good work
in conversion flight; a loyal officer more suited for training duties."
At No.20 (P) AFU, however, having flown 1,579 hours 25 minutes (120 hours
55 minutes in previous six months), G/C N.W. Timmerman wrote:"An
above average officer who is a useful flying instructor and has done a
good job as assistant to the Wing Commander Training."
Born 25 February 1915 in Edmonton;
Educated in Vancouver, 1921-36.
Served in No.11 (Army Co-Operation) Squadron, RCAF
- (Vancouver, 28 March to 13 June 1935)
Worked on Vancouver Stock Exchange, 1936-1939
- (left owing to employment pressures)
Pupil pilot, RAF, 1 May 1939;
Trained at No.3 E and R FTS, May to July 1939;
Appointed Pilot Officer on Probation, 24 June 1939;
Training at No.8 FTS, Montrose, July to December 1939;
Flew with No.242 Squadron, 3 Feb. 1940 to 29 Sept. 1940
No.229 Squadron, 29 Sept. to uncertain date (wounded ?)
Confirmed as Pilot Officer, 1 May 1940;
Flying Officer, 27 December 1940
(although was Acting Flight Lieutenant earlier);
Confirmed as Flight Lieutenant, 27 December 1941;
Squadron Leader on 12 May 1943.
At No.34 SFTS, Medicine Hat, Jan. 1941 to Oct. 1942;
No.32 OTU, Patricia Bay, October 1942 to Sept. 1943;
No.2 FIS, Montrose, January to March 1944;
No.20 (P) AFU, Kidlington, April to July 1944;
No.2 FIS, July 1944 to February 1945;
Transferred to RCAF, 12 February 1945 (C89571);
with No.426 Squadron, 26 June to 31 December 1945;
with No.436 Squadron, 8 January to 11 February 1946
- when posted to Headquarters, No.120 Wing;
Returned to Canada, 10 July 1946;
Station Sea Island, 24 August 1946 to 18 October 1948;
Released 15 December 1948.
Awarded Czech Medal for Bravery, 1948.
Canadian Says German Flyers Really Scared
Vancouver, Oct. 9, 1940 — (CP) — Pilot Officer
Noel K. Stansfeld, Vancouver's latest Distinguished Flying Cross winner,
believes German pilots now raiding England "are really scared to
Pilot Officer Stansfeld, who was awarded the D.F.C. recently for operations
with the Royal Air Force over Dunkerque and England, was describing how
he shot down his seventh plane in a letter to his parents here, Mr. and
Mrs. J. K. Stansfeld.
After a brief gun duel with the rear gunner of a Heinkel 111, north of
London, which ended when a machine gun burst killed the Nazi gunner, Stansfeld
said he poured "the rest of my ammo into him."
"I could see three chaps in the front as they circled lower and lower,"
Stansfeld wrote. "He landed in a field and the three chaps, looking
very dejected, crawled out with their hands high above their heads. I
saw some local defence volunteers come out and drag them away.
"It is my firm belief that the Jerry pilots coming over are really
seared to death. Except for the gunfire I had from the Heinkel 111 he
tried no evasive tactics at all. All he wanted to do was to land and land
RECORD OF MAPLE LEAF FLYERS
THROUGH 1940 MOST BRILLIANT
Figure in Every Important Aerial Operation With Distinction
ARE IN TWO DIVISIONS
(By Don Gilbert, Canadian Press Staff Writer, January 3, 1941)
In the battles of France and Britain, and in the historic week of Dunkerque,
Canada's airmen carried on the traditions of the Canadian aces of 1914-18.
In every major aerial operation of 1940, Canadian pilots, navigators,
observers, gunners and bomb aimers were to the forefront, helping first
to establish and then to maintain Britain's supremacy over the uncounted
squadrons of the German air arm.
Along Two Lines
The hundreds of young men from the Dominion who had crossed to Britain
in the years before the war, many at their own expense, to find adventure
in the skies had ample scope for their mettle, the Canadian Press story
of the year shows. Canada's participation in the air war was along two
lines—first, by Canadians in the Royal Air Force, second, by the
1st Fighter Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force. In addition, two
squadrons of army co-operation aircraft were with the Canadian Corps in
Of the Canadians in the R.A.F. the most widely known are the pilots of
the so-called, All-Canadian Squadron, This group originally was made up
entirely of Canadians, but, in weeks of heavy fighting in France and the
Low Countries, and in the Dunkerque evacuation, it suffered heavy casualties
and the gaps in many cases were filled by Britons. The squadron, however,
maintains its Canadian name. Assigned to convoy protection work on its
return from the Continent, the squadron early became prominent in the
battle of Britain under Squadron-Ldr. Douglas Bader, an Englishman, who
proved himself an indomitable air fighter despite the handicap of artificial
legs, his own having been lost in an air crash before the war.
On August 30, in the space of one hour, 12 Hurricane fighters of the All-Canadian
Squadron shot down 13 German bombers and fighters in a great air battle
in which the Canadians were outnumbered six planes to one. While in France,
the squadron was officially credited with 72 enemy planes and by the time
Germans gave up their mass daylight attacks on Britain it had added well
over 100 more.
Among the pilots in the squadron are Pilot Officer William McKnight, of
Calgary, who bagged 17 Nazi planes and won the Distinguished Flying Cross
and Bar. Flight-Lieut. P. S. Turner, of Toronto, who shot down ten enemy
machines at Dunkerque, and Pilot Officer N. K. Stansfeld, of Vancouver,
who bagged seven.
The First Squadron of the R.C.A.F. under Squadron-Ldr. Ernest McNab, of
Regina, got into action with its Canadian-built Hurricanes in the battle
of Britain on August 24. After a week of action McNab alone had bagged
12 enemy aircraft and after a month the squadron was able to celebrate
its 50th air victory during a visit to its camp by Air Marshal W. A. Bishop,
V.C., Canada’s great air fighter of the last war.
Two days after Air Marshal Bishop's visit the squadron shot down six more.
The Canadians were honoured by an inspection by His Majesty the King.
By November 5 the squadron's bag was up to 75 and the fine work of McNab
won him a transfer to the R.A.F. with the rank of Acting Wing Commander,
which means it is unlikely he will do much more combat flying.
Stayed With Machine
Canadians with the R.A.F. who distinguished themselves , included pilot
Officer Clare Connor, of Toronto, who was awarded the D.F.C. for his work
in a flight that brought his 18-year-old gunner, Sgt, John Hannah, of
Glasgow, the Victoria Cross. While returning from a raid on Antwerp, fire
broke out in the bomb compartment and ammunition began exploding as the
flames spread and forced the remainder of the crew to bail out.
But Hannah stayed to fight the blaze and eventually put it out, while
Connor stuck determinedly at the controls. The gutted plane was landed
safely at its home base. Connor was killed November 6 while on active
Flight-Lieut. William Campbell, of Revelstoke, B.C., destroyed two Italian
submarines when Italy entered the war. Later he was forced down in Greece
and Interned. He won his freedom when Italy invaded Greece. Flight-Lieut,
Garfield Prior, 26-year-old pilot from Indian Head, Sask., took part in
the first raids on Turin, center of Italian war industry.
Flying Officer Everett Badoux, of Stellarton, N.S., sank a German U-boat
early in December and got back to his base, although one gasoline tank
was empty and another leaking.
The 1st Army Co-operation Squadron of the RCAF, under Squadron-Ldr. W.
D. Van Vliet, of Winnipeg, arrived at an R.A.F. station in southern England
in February and was joined by the 2nd Squadron in May. R.C.A.F. headquarters
in London were established under Group Capt. George Welsh, who later returned
to Canada for promotion and was succeeded by Air Commodore L. F. Stevenson.
Some 55 Canadian officers received the Distinguished Flying Cross during
the year and about 90 Canadians lost their lives. The first graduates
of the Empire air training scheme from Canada, mostly air observers, arrived
in Britain late in November. They were soon in action. Within 48 hours
of debarkation, Pilot Officer Arthur Snell, of Calgary, helped bomb Boulogne.
A second contingent, made up of crew men, observers and a small number
of pilots, arrived in Britain early in December. And while these young
Canadians fought the Empire's air battles, a veteran of the last war,
Air Commodore Raymond Collishaw, of Nanaimo, B.C., directed Britain's
air victory over the Italians in the western desert of Egypt during the
Airmen Who Met Huns During Battle of Britain
Some of Canada's First Aces of This War Still Are in Action
— Pilots Now Seek Out Enemy Over His Own Territory
(Written for the Canadian Press by Flt.Lt. Basil Dean,
Fighter Command, Somewhere in England, Sept. 8, 1943 — (CP) — There
are still some of the few left, some of those hard-fighting combat pilots
of Battle of Britain days, but mostly it is a new brood of pilots who
fly from the air bases hereabouts in Britain's Fighter Command. Three
years ago, when the first few of Canada's aerial aces were fighting their
way to fame, the battles were over British soil. Now, with greater numbers
of Canadians than ever before in Fighter Command, the pilots are going
out to seek the enemy over his own territory. This air fighting of today
is offensive, not defensive, as during the Battle of Britain, but it was
the fighting then that made the current offensive possible.
Some Still Flying
Some of the Canadians who fought with honour and glory in those grim days
three years ago are still flying. Wing-Cmdr. B.D. Russel,
D.F.C., of Montreal, who now leads an R.C.A.F. Spitfire wing in Britain,
was then P.O. Dal Russel and a member of Canada's No. 1 Fighter Squadron,
which arrived in England in June, 1940—just in time to get trained
for the fierce tests of August and September of that year.
Russell's old commanding officer, Ernie McNab, now is Group Capt. Ernest
McNab, D.F.C., of Regina, commander of an R.C.A.F. fighter station.
In Sicily, Squadron-Ldr. Stanley Turner, D.F.C. and Bar, of Toronto, led
the R.C.A.F.'s City of Windsor fighter squadron through the island campaign.
In 1940, he was a flight commander in the R.A,F.'s famed "all-Canadian"
squadron led by Wing-Cmdr. Douglas Bader, D.S.O., D.F.C., which destroyed
63 enemy aircraft during the Battle of Britain and shared three with other
The squadron was composed mainly of Canadians who had joined the R.A.F.
before the war, and fought nobly during the Battle of France and over
Its achievements during the Battle of Britain, indeed, brought from the
air officer commanding of the group in which it was serving at the time
a message which said that its efficiency as a squadron was "equal,
if not superior, to any squadron in the R.A.F." The British chief
of air staff signaled: "You are well on top of the enemy and obviously
the fine Canadian traditions of the last war are safe in your hands."
Greatest pilot of the "all-Canadian" squadron—apart from
the legless commander, Bader (who was not Canadian)—was P.O. W.
L. McKnight, D.F.C. and bar, of Calgary, who was reported missing some
months after the Battle of Britain ended. McKnight destroyed 16½
enemy aircraft, and was the first Canadian ace of the war.
The "all-Canadian" squadron's first Battle of Britain engagement
was August 30, when Bader, now a prisoner of war, led a formation of 14
Hurricanes against a "vast number" of German aircraft, two swarms
of 70 to 100 each. Detaching one section to investigate a third formation
of aircraft some distance away, Bader led the rest of his pilots to the
attack. As a result, 12 enemy aircraft were destroyed; not one of the
Hurricanes had so much a scratch.
Similar engagements followed. On September 7, Bader and his Canadians
destroyed 10 enemy aircraft without losing a pilot, although seven of
the squadron's Hurricanes were damaged. On September 19, when the wing
in which the squadron was flying destroyed a total of 18 enemy aircraft,
the "all-Canadians" were credited with 11 of these for the loss
of one pilot killed.
And then, in the greatest day's fighting of all on September 15, the squadron
destroyed 12 enemy aircraft. This was the day on which Bader described
the fighting as "the finest shamble I've ever been in."
"The sky," he added, "was full of Hurricanes and. Spitfires,
queuing up and pushing each other out of the way to get at the Dormers.
I was seldom able to hold my sights on a target for long for fear of colliding
with other Spitfires and Hurricanes anxious to get in a burst."
Among the Canadians P.O. J. B. Latta, D.F.C.,
Victoria, B.C., had knocked down five enemy planes; Flt.-Lt. Turner had
five; so had P.O. N. K. Stansfeld, D.F.C., Vancouver. P.O. H. N. Tamblyn,
D.F.C., North Battleford, Sask., and P.O. N. Hart had four each. Altogether Canadian pilots in the squadron had destroyed
45 of the total of 65 credited to the squadron; Bader had scored 11.
Canada's own No. 1 fighter squadron, which although its personnel have
completely changed; is still flying in Britain with fighter command, had
scored a total of 31 victories during the battle under McNab's leadership.
McNab himself had scored the first victory to be credited to a member
of the squadron when, in order to gain combat experience, he flew as a
supernumerary officer with an R.A.F. squadron before No. 1 fighter was
ready for front-line duties.
In the squadron's first engagement as a unit, on August 24, it destroyed
three Dorniers for the loss of one pilot. By the end of its first week
in action it had destroyed eight enemy aircraft for the loss of one pilot
killed. The score continued to mount until September 27, when the Canadian
squadron destroyed seven enemy aircraft out of about 70 engaged during
the day; one pilot of the squadron was killed. In the day's first fight,
Russell had destroyed an ME 109 and an ME 110 and had shared with a Polish
pilot the destruction of a third enemy fighter.
McNab, Flt.Lt. G. R. McGregor and Russell were
each awarded the D.F.C., having destroyed between them, 11½ of
the squadron's total. McNab and McGregor now are both group captains;
Russell is a wing commander.
In other squadrons of the R.A.F., Canadians had also distinguished themselves.
One of the flight commanders in the R.A.F. squadron was a Canadian, Flt-Lt.
R. A. Barton, Kamloops, B.C., who later became squadron commander of his
unit. He was awarded the D.F.C. for his "outstanding leadership"
on September 27, a day on which the squadron destroyed 21 enemy aircraft
for the loss of two pilots killed. The total bag during September was
48, a total exceeded only by the famous No. 303 Polish squadron, in which
another Canadian, Flt.-Lt. (now Wing-Cmdr.) John Kent, Winnipeg, was at
that time a flight commander.
STANSFELD, F/L Noel Karl, DFC (20472) - Medal for Bravery (Czechoslovakia)
Canada Gazette dated 24 January 1948, AFRO 81/48 dated 6 February 1948.
Pilot. Born in Edmonton, 27 February 1915; home in Vancouver.
Joined RAF in 1939 and flew with No.242 Squadron.
Transferred to RCAF, 12 February 1945.
Victories Include :
|22 May 1940
31 May 1940
1 June 1940
18 June 1940
30 Aug. 1940
7 Sept. 1940
15 Sept. 1940
27 Sept. 1940
one He 111
destroyed (not official)
6.5 or 5.5 / 2 / 0
--- 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