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 dusk yesterday.
In addition, R.C.A.F. pilots chalked up a number of enemy planes probab1y
shot down and a number of 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.; John 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, Ont.
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,
Born Henry Paul Michael Zarytkiewics
- on 23 Nov. 1918 in Manhattan, N.Y.
Son of Polish immigrants
Home in New York City;
Enlisted in Ottawa 26 February 1941.
No.3 ITS (graduated 21 June 1941),
No.11 EFTS (graduated 20 August 1941),
No.9 SFTS (graduated 21 November 1941)
Served in North Africa (?) & Europe
CO of 403 Squadron at War's end
Died in Quebec, Canada in 1946 of pleurisy
Award presented 14 January 1947
ZARY, S/L Henry Paul Michael (J9261) - Distinguished Flying
Cross - No.421 Squadron
Award effective 19 September 1944 as per London Gazette of that date and
AFRO 2274/44 dated 20 October 1944.
This officer is a most distinguished fighter whose keenness
to engage the enemy has always been apparent. In July 1944, he took part
in an engagement against a superior force of enemy fighters, three of
which he shot down. This officer has completed a large number of sorties
and has destroyed six enemy aircraft.
Lose the "K" and he's got his initials on the side of that Spit
Halifax Greets Modest Heroes Aboard Letitia
Halifax July 16, 1945 - (CP) - In striking contrast to the
foggy weather which delayed the arrival of the Canadian hospital ship
Letitia and her contingent of 733 sick and wounded Canadian servicemen
for two days, a brilliant sun glistened on the white mercy ship as she
docked here this afternoon. Of the 733 men aboard the Letitia 46 were
members of the RCAF, five of the Royal Canadian Navy, and the remainder
were army personnel.
As the big ship warped into her dock, a band on the pierside struck up
"Roll Out the Barrel" and spontaneous bursts of cheering came
from the men lining the rail.
Winners of gallantry awards were liberally sprinkled about the ship. One
of these was S/L H. P. M. Zary of New York City, who received the
Distinguished Flying Cross while commanding a Canadian Spitfire squadron.
He was one of the most talkative lads on the ship - until it came to talking
Zary blasted seven enemy planes from skies over Britain and France.
Aerial Victories Include :
|with 421 Sqn
10 July 1943
19 Sep 1943
8 May 1944
28 June 1944
25 July 1944
|with 403 Sqn
21 April 1945
25 April 1945
damaged OTG &
damaged OTG (Hagenow)
5 / 0 / 3
plus 2 damaged On The Ground
Disband Canada's First Squadron
With the RCAF in Germany, July 26, 1945 - (CP) - Canada's
first air squadron to be formed overseas in this war, Spitfire Squadron
No. 403, which in more than four years of combat from Feb. 19, 1941, accounted
for at least 74 of the enemy, has been disbanded.
The RCAF tonight told of the disbanding.
Sqdn. Ldr. A. E. Fleming, of Smiths Falls, Ont., was the commanding officer
of the squadron when it disbanded, having taken over VE-Day from Sqdn.
Ldr. Hank Zary of New York.
Hank Zary died of pleurisy on 11 February
1946 at the
Royal Edward Laurentian Hospital (Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts division)
where they specialized in treating tuberculosis & other chest problems
--- Canadian Aces ---