LEGLESS PILOT IS WITH R.A.F.
"Bader is a protégé of mine," Ryan says. "He is an amazing man. He plays squash and tennis —I don't know how he does it— and he said he had been flying privately for years. They tested him in a Spitfire fighter, and you have read what happened. He has been leading these Canadian lads who have been shooting down the Nazis with such success."
Group Captain Ryan isn't surprised that the Canadians in Bader's squadron have won such a name for themselves. As he puts it, "Any man would want to follow a leader like that." But Ryan also has a sincere respect for the flying ability of the average Canadian, once he has been trained.
"There's no doubt about it, the Canadian is naturally adapted to flying," he says. "He operates a plane as naturally as he skates, or plays hockey and baseball."
Although high in praise for the manner in which the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps has provided medical service for the R.C.A.F., Group Captain Ryan feels that there will be advantages in having a separate R.C.A.F. medical group.
"When a man gets his feet off the ground, a new science is involved," he says. New problems and new medical conditions have arisen in aviation, and they have to be studied and met.
Ottawa, 31 December 1940 - Sir Hugh is a slight, medium sized man with a dark mustache and horn-rimmed spectacles. He speaks slowly, alm0ost academically and his appearance gives no hint of the reputation as “fire-eater” that ”Stuffy” Dowding has built up during his long career in the RAF.
He talked of the autumn victory of his own command with detachment. But there was nothing aloof or detached when he was asked about the way the people of Britain stood up under fire. The man credited with being mainly responsible for organizing the air defence of Britain, who has been in the Air Force since 1914 and was an artillery officer before that, broke down, coughed and wiped his glasses when he spoke of the Corkneys of the East Side.
“The people in the East End, when their poor houses were bombed – oh, I just can’t talk about it,” he said. A moment later he added, “They put up Union Jacks in the ruins and carried on. Hitler isn’t going to win the war by defeating the morale of those people.”
Sir Hugh completely shed his reserve when he talked about the Canadians serving with the RAF. He referred to the “very remarkable and gallant individual, Squadron Leader Douglas Bader,” the man without legs, who had made the Canadians with the RAF “one of the finest squadrons in my command. I’m proud of those fellows. They have done nobly and gallantly.”
In similar language he spoke of the Canadians under Squadron Leader Ernie McNab, who had behaved with the “utmost gallantry and success.” They were above the average age but that didn’t stop them,” Sir Hugh said. They are now in the Glasgow Estuary, Glasgow itself and the Glasgow district.
Sir Hugh arrived in Ottawa at noon today and met the press late in the afternoon.
“I imagine you would rather ask questions now than wait for the prepared statement tomorrow,” he said.
THE LONDON GAZETTE, 7 JANUARY, 1941, Air Ministry, ROYAL AIR FORCE
The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the following awards in recognition of gallantry displayed in flying operations against the enemy:
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross
Acting Squadron Leader Douglas Robert Stewart BADER, D.S.O. (26151), No. 242 Squadron
Squadron Leader Bader has continued to lead his squadron and wing with the utmost gallantry on all occasions. He has now destroyed a total of ten hostile aircraft and damaged several more.
London, Jan. 9, 1941 — (UP) — The Royal Air Force disclosed today the identities of its ten leading aces. One is a former financial clerk in a newspaper office, another, a former South African sailor. One has artificial legs; one is only 22 years old; one shot down six German planes in six hours.
Each has shot down from 15 to 30 German planes. All have been decorated, some three times. They are veterans of the battle of France, the evacuation of Dunkirk and of countless air fights over south England. All but one are still active.
Scores of other R.A.F. men have shot down from five to ten German planes, but these are the top ten:
Squadron Leader Douglas Bader, thrice decorated leader of the Canada squadron. He lost both legs in an accident ten years ago and learned to manipulate artificial legs before the war started.
Squadron Leader Roland Tuck, thrice decorated, has 23 swastikas and two Italian flags painted around the cockpit of his plane, signifying that many victories. He also has an Iron Cross, the gift of a wounded German pilot he had shot down.
Pilot Officer H. M. Stephens, thrice decorated, formerly a financial clerk on a London evening newspaper; he and a colleague shared a pool for shooting down the 600th German plane destroyed by their squadron.
Squadron Leader Adolph Gysbert Malan, thrice decorated, formerly a South African sailor.
Flight Lieutenant John Ignatius (Iggy) Kilmartin, an Irishman, formerly attached to the advanced air striking force in France, credited with having shot down 15 German planes.
F/L J. S. Dundas, recently posted as missing and believed dead, credited with 15 German planes, one of which he chased from Winchester to Cherbourg, France, before destroying it.
Pilot Officer Geoffrey Allard, formerly a sergeant-pilot, commissioned because of his outstanding fighting, credited with 15 German planes.
Flight-Sgt. George Cecil Unwin, credited with from 15 to 20 enemy planes; last September, flying alone, he charged into a formation of 15 German bombers escorted by 30 German Messerschmitt fighters and shot down two Messerschmitts before he ran out of ammunition.
23 Jan. 1941 - (BUP) - The Air Ministry revealed today that a cargo of bombs jettisoned by the crew of a badly damaged Junkers 88 just before it crashed into the North Sea, nearly ended the career of the Royal Air Force's legless squadron leader, D.R.S. Bader.
Bader, leader of The All-Canadian Squadron, was so close beneath the bomber, finishing off an attack, that the bombs, dropped from the hurriedly opened hatch, hurtled straight toward his machine. Only a quick turn saved him.
Bader, who lost his legs in a civil flying accident, uses artificial legs, and is so proficient that the R.A.F., at the outbreak of the war, overlooked his "handicap."
Last month he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for gallantry in shooting down ten German planes.
London, Feb. 27, 1941 — (CP Cable) — The King decorated Squadron-Leader Douglas Bader, English leader of the all-Canadian squadron of the Royal Air Force, with the Distinguished Service Order and the Distinguished Flying Cross at a recent investiture at Buckingham palace.
The legless pilot's mother and wife attended the ceremony. Bader had been awarded the D.S.O. September 31 and the D.F.C. December 23.
At the same investiture the King decorated his cousin, Capt. Lord Louis Mountbatten, with the D.S.O. Lord Louis was in command of a destroyer in a brush with German naval units in the English Channel recently, and also was captain of the flotilla leader Kelly, which survived torpedoing last May.
THE LONDON GAZETTE, 17 MARCH, 1941, Air Ministry, ROYAL AIR FORCE
His Majesty has been graciously pleased to give orders for the publication of the names of the following officers and airmen who have been mentioned in despatches by Air Officers Commanding-in-Chief:
Squadron Leaders: ... D.R.S. BADER, D.S.O., D.F.C. (26151) (Acting) ...
(By WILLIAM J. HUMPHREYS) London, June 25, 1941 - (AP) - When waspish Spitfires and Hurricanes hum across the English Channel these sultry summer days, screening bombers on sweeps of the invasion coast, the heroes of last autumn’s Battle of Britain fly at the stinging end of the fighter formations. Bader...Kent...Malan...Park...Tuck. These are the names of aces who are leading the junior pilots. Veterans of such day-long battles as that of last Sept. 15, when at least 185 Nazi planes were the prey of R.A.F. marksmanship, they know the cunning in the German bag of aerial tricks.
They learned them the hard way when the outnumbered R.A.F. played David to the German Air Force's Goliath and came out on top.
S/L Douglas Bader, DSO, DFC, legless former leader of the All-Canadian fighter squadron in the R.A.F., is one of the spearheads of the British fighter convoys. When given his Distinguished Service Order he was described in the official citation as exhibiting "gallantry and leadership of the highest order."
In a recent crash both his metal legs were badly bent, he waited until they were straightened in a vice and took off immediately in another plane.
S/L John Alexander Kent, slender Canadian holder of the DFC, from Winnipeg, is a "born leader," according to his citation for exceptional skill in battle.
(This despatch was the first intimation that S/L Kent had returned to actual fighting. A Canadian Press dispatch Wednesday stated he had recently been actively engaged in training the 1941 crop of fighter pilots.)
W/C Adolph G. Malan, DSO, DFC, is another fighter pilot at the head of the attack which is taking place daily changing the Battle of Britain into the Battle from Britain. His leadership is officially described as "brilliant." Born in South Africa, he is a former seaman. Malan's personal score is known to be nearly thirty Nazi planes, possibly more.
S/L J.H. Mungo-Park, DFC, and S/L Roland Tuck are two younger British aces.
London, 15 July 1941 – (CP Cable) – two Canadian airmen were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross today for individual exploits in the air war against Germany.
They were F/L Gordon Raphael, who was born in Brantford, Ont., and F/L R. D. Grassick, whose father, J. Grassick lives at 888 Lorne Avenue, London, Ont.
Grassick is the last original member of the famous All-Canadian Squadron of the Royal Air Force. He is a fighter pilot. Raphael has a distinguished record as a night fighter pilot.
In addition to these awards, W/C Douglas Bader, British-born leader of the All-Canadian squadron which distinguished itself in the fighting over Britain last fall, was awarded a Bar to his Distinguished Service Order. He is the famous legless airman who lost his limbs in a flying accident before the war.
The official citation described Raphael as “a relentless, skillful night fighter pilot” who since May has destroyed three and probably four enemy aircraft.
There was no immediate citation for Grassick.
Bader, whose individual record is fifteen enemy aircraft, “led the wing on a series of consistently successful sorties over enemy territory during the past three months; his high qualities of leadership and courage have been an inspiration to all.”
THE LONDON GAZETTE, 15 JULY, 1941, Air Ministry, ROYAL AIR FORCE
The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the following awards in recognition of gallantry displayed in flying operations against the enemy:
Bar to the Distinguished Service Order
Acting Wing Commander Douglas Robert Stewart BADER, D.S.O., D.F.C. (26151)
This officer has led his wing on a series of consistently successful sorties over enemy territory during the past three months. His high qualities of leadership and courage have been an inspiration to all. Wing Commander Bader has destroyed 15 hostile aircraft.
From The Spectator's London News Bureau by A. C. Cummings Copyright 1941 by Southam Co., London, July 23, 1941 — For the first time in this war of the skies, the German Luftwaffe has been fighting on the defensive all over western Europe. Goering's boasts of the doom of Britain in the air have been utterly falsified.
Down Two for one
Every few hours these fine summer days, squadrons of fighters and bombers roar out over the south coast of Britain the channel and the flat country of northern France They seek German aerodromes German-controlled French factories, power-stations, railway yards, barracks and indeed every kind of military target. They fly right into Germany in broad daylight and when the German fighters come up — often reluctantly — they shoot down two of them for each machine they lose themselves. In three weeks recently, the Nazis lost 253 aircraft while the British losses — on the offensive be it noted — were only 117 with twelve pilots saved.
The damage done in these intensified and unceasing raids has been enormous. Better still, the Nazi airmen are beginning to realize that nothing can stop such day and night blitzes — and that knowledge is not good for morale. Even Goebbels’ propaganda machine no longer tries to pretend these RAF raids are unimportant. And it is certainly true the German pilots now in France show nothing like the wish for air fights their predecessors did in the days when they sang, “We are marching against England.”
Now Darken Heavens
A few months ago these continental raids were small scale affairs — half a dozen aircraft of nuisance value mainly. Now they have become air armadas darkening the heavens above the English channel and leaving behind them, as they return, a trail of fire and ruin in perhaps half a-dozen towns. Sometimes even troops on the march are shot up. So accurate is the bombing that the French people do not run to shelter because they know they will not be the target. Needless to say, not much work for the Nazis is done in French factories when the RAF is aloft in the French skies.
It is an arresting spectacle that of watching the return of these squadrons who have conducted a daylight sweep over the Continent. They are all specially trained men. Usually they start off in the dawn hours and are back in a couple of hours.
One sees only a few far distant specks on the clear sky — approaching rapidly. Then their engines’ roar grows and grows until finally they are overhead in twos and threes and landing singly on the tarmac.
Immediately after they ground they report to their intelligence officer details of the air battle. It is usually given in a few terse sentences and not until afterwards do you realize the danger involved and the cool courage evoked by it.
Carry New Bombs
“I had a good show” one pilot says. “The factory I was after just came up and hit the clouds”
“It was all I could do,” a young fighter pilot complains, “not to chase those Messerschmitts when they came up underneath.” His duty was not to be enticed away from the bombers he was protecting.
The bombers carry the wonderful new British bomb now and its destructiveness has to be seen to be believed.
“Can Germany take it” is the question now asked here. These RAF raids constitute ‘strategical bombing,’ that is to say, independent attacks on the enemy’s means of making war in contradistinction to ‘tactical bombing' which means direct bombing aid to ground troops while fighting. The Germans have tried strategical bombing in their attempt to destroy British ports and wreck British cities. It has failed. In Russia so far, the Nazi method has been mainly tactical bombing.
It remains to be seen what ‘strategical bombing' by day and night over Germany can achieve in the long run whether in short it can, as its exponents believe, wreck German cities and war industries to the point where they cease to be able to carry on. The Nazis, as has been said, failed at it — but given enough bombers, the R.A.F. may succeed. Once the Germans have to withdraw a big part of their air force from the Russian front to meet the British offensive then it will be clear that 'strategical bombing' has justified itself.
Canadians are prominent in the present daylight raids on Germany and occupied France. They call the squadron led by Wing Commander Douglas Bader the “Bader Bus Service” so regularly does it operate.
London, July 24, 1941 — (CP) — One of the great aces of this war is Wing-Cmdr. A. G. Malan, D.S.O. and bar, D.F.C. and bar, whose confirmed record of 35 enemy aircraft destroyed is the highest of any man in the Royal Air Force.
A South African who holds a ship's second officer's certificate, Malan joined the R.A.F. six years ago because he wanted to earn enough money to be married. He has been flying steadily since then and is the first pilot of this war to win a bar for both his decorations.
Malan leads a wing, composed of three squadrons, and takes Spitfires and Hurricanes into battle in sweeps across the channel. He was in the thick of the Dunkerque fighting last year and in the Battle of Britain, led the crack No. 74 Squadron.
No. 74 was as famous in the last war as in this. Its leaders then included Major Edward Mannock, who shot down 75 (61 –jf) German planes, and "Taffy" Ira Jones with 40.
Malan is a close friend of Wing-Cmdr. Douglas Bader, who led the famous all-Canadian squadron in the Battle of Britain. Both men are 30, old for fighter pilots, and in appearance are somewhat alike — not tall, thick set and well featured.
Bader, who lost both legs while rehearsing for the Hendon pageant 10 years ago, is at a different station from Malan, but often the men get together, swap experiences and plan new tactics. The Englishman's score is not as high as the South African's but he has brought down more than 20 planes.
Neither Malan nor Bader puts much moment on the total bag of pilots. They are strictly team commanders and their motto is "You've all got to fight as one."
* 29.5 / 6 / 16
Adolph Galland (2nd left) & other Luftwaffe officers with Bader after his capture
London, Aug 12, 1941- (CP) - Missing was the ominous word written tonight beside the illustrious name of Wing Commander Douglas S. Bader, early air stunter who gained most of his fame as the legless leader of the all Canadian squadron of the Royal Air Force, now sheared by death or transfer of most of its Canadian identity.
Both Often Decorated
Delighted in Raids
That meant the RAF had to go after them. They did — day after day and week after week.
Back even in the sleety days of last winter, Bader took a boyish delight in scampering across the English Channel with a couple of his Canadian colleagues, harassing enemy troops and shooting up enemy fields.
Bader himself counted most of the German pilots yellow and openly said so. He treated the Germans in battle with contempt but his men swore by him.
An illustration of his spirit of team play and consideration for his men occurred one day when he and P/O L. E. Cryderman of Toronto and F/O N. D. Edmond of Calgary — both since listed as missing or killed — ran across a German bomber over the Channel. Bader, the leader, went after the big bomber, poured rounds of gun fire into it — then swerved aside to allow the two youngsters to finish it off.
They shared in the destruction of the plane but only after a narrow, escape from bombs jettisoned by the harassed bomber.
Wanted More Canadians
Bader was extremely proud of his Canadian squadron No 242. He asked for more Canadians to be placed under his command but he was promoted and transferred from the squadron early this year. He was succeeded by Whitney Straight, American born sportsman who was shot down a few days ago just before the announcement was made that he had been awarded the DFC.
For a time, Bader was an instructor but he put forth some persuasive argument and he was transferred as leader of another squadron. He never did go back to No 242 but he left behind, in the officer’s mess and across the airfield, generally a fighting spirit that can never die.
Associated with him as the inspiration for the squadron were men like P/O William L. McKnight of Calgary who held the DFC and Bar and was in line for the DSO when he was reported missing. McKnight at one time was the top ranking fighter pilot in the RAF with at least twenty three German planes to his credit.
On a sortie over France with Bader and others, McKnight, who once brought down three German planes in one day, failed to return. He was strafing enemy troops from a particularly low height when he was last seen.
McKnight had been a protégé of Bader’s and when the young Canadian failed to return Bader forgot his quiet poise and became enraged at the Germans. He wanted to return immediately and “rake the devil out of them" but was forbidden because of heavy weather.
In spite of the order — at least so the story goes — Bader called up several of his squadron leader friends and tried to arrange an unofficial trip through the storm to avenge the loss of the young Calgary flier.
The awards to Bader were not given out for any particular action but for persistent and daring leadership mostly of the all Canadian squadron.
From one of these trips, the squadron returned without loss and a bag of twelve Jerries. As the planes landed in the fast gathering dusk, P/O K. M. (Pat) Sclanders of Saint John N.B. - since killed - nipped into another machine and stood his own on its nose.
“Lots of Hurricanes"
Later Sclanders, appearing in the mess, apologized for apparently spoiling the day’s show.
Bader stopped sipping his cocoa looked at the boy's bruised eye and slapped him on the back saying, “Hell, they’ve got lots of Hurricanes. We’ll get another one tomorrow but I doubt if that eye will clean up for a week or so."
The names of many young Canadians have since been added to the squadron’s roll of honor and in the officer’s mess there is to be seen only one of the original Canadian members — F/L R. D. Grassick, London, Ont., who has won one of the squadron’s eleven DFCs. Today most of the fliers are British.
Bader lost his legs in a flying accident before the war when he was regarded as one of the best stunt pilots in Britain. After many attempts, he persuaded the RAF he could manipulate a plane with his artificial legs as well as most men without his handicap. His record showed he was right.
London, Aug. 13, 1941 - (CP) - With Wing Cmdr. Douglas R. Bader among the missing in recent air operations, it is recalled here that in July last, Cassandra, Daily Mirror columnist, suggested that the legless Royal Air Force pilots who led the all-Canadian squadron in last fall's Battle of Britain, should be "prohibited from ever stepping into an aircraft again."
"Such men as he — and there are many like him — are too valuable to England," wrote the columnist. "This country cannot afford to lose this splendid strain of manhood."
The writer mentioned another, airman — F/L J. C. Mungo-Park, D.F.C. and bar, officially credited with bringing down 27 enemy planes before he was reported missing July 1.
"The R.A.F. lost a great pilot. But we, his countrymen, lost more — a great Englishman. By their valor, by their splendor of spirit, these men kill themselves. Already they have done 10,000 times their share toward winning the war, I say they have done enough."
London, Aug. 14, 1941 — (CP) — An authoritative source said today information had been received that Wing Cmdr. Douglas Bader, legless Royal Air Force pilot reported missing two days ago, is alive and a German prisoner.
Efforts are being made, the source said, to confirm the information.
Bader, 30, was credited with shooting down 15 German planes and was one of two R.A.F. pilots holding both the Distinguished Service Order with bar and the Distinguished Flying Cross with bar. He won fame as leader of the all-Canadian Squadron of the R.A.F. in the Battle of Britain.
Berlin, 14 Aug. 1941 - (UP) — Wing Commander Douglas Robert Bader, hero of the British Air Force, is a German war prisoner after parachuting to a safe landing, when his plane was shot down in an air battle over the Channel last Saturday. It was revealed today.
The official D.N.B. agency said that Bader, who was reported missing by the British Tuesday, was "one of the most popular pilots of the R.A.F.," and is being treated with full courtesy.
Bader, credited by the British with having shot down more than fifteen German planes, lost his legs in an airplane crash ten years ago.
London, Aug. 15, 1941 - (CP Cable) - Sir Bernard Docker, chairman of the British Hospital association, today offered to buy a new set of artificial legs for W/C Douglas Bader, Royal Air Force ace, now a prisoner of war.
It is believed Bader's metal legs were broken in his descent by parachute onto enemy territory when shot down earlier this week. The Red Cross is arranging delivery of the new limbs.
Bader lost his own legs in a flying accident before the war.
London, 16 Aug. 1941 - (CP) - It was unofficially reported here tonight that the Nazi Air Force has offered to allow a Royal Air Force plane to fly new metal legs across the Channel for S/L Douglas Bader, legless R.A.F. ace now a prisoner. Bader's legs were reported broken in his descent by parachute to enemy territory when shot down earlier this week.
If the Nazi offer is accepted the legs probably would be dropped by parachute, it was indicated.
London, 17 Aug. 1941 - (CP) — The Sunday Chronicle said today that S/L Douglas Bader's batman, whom it did not identity, has offered to parachute into enemy territory with an artificial leg for the flier who was taken prisoner by the Nazis a week ago.
Bader was reported to have broken an artificial leg when he bailed out from his plane over enemy territory.
The batman was said to have made the offer, to Mrs, Bader.
London, Aug, 20, 1941 - (Wednesday, CP) - A metal leg for Squadron Leader Douglas Bader, to replace the one he broke when he landed on enemy territory and was taken prisoner, was dropped from a fighter plane during Tuesday's Royal Air Force sweep over German-held France, the Daily Express said today.
The newspaper said there was so much competition among the members of Bader's squadron for the honor of dropping the artificial limb that it was decided the whole outfit should do the job together.
Flying in a tightly packed formation the squadron crossed the Channel and the leg, carefully packed to avoid damage, was dropped by parachute. It was last seen floating gently to the ground as the planes continued toward their objective.
Bader lost his legs in a flying accident some years before the war, but learned to fly again, using artificial legs.
London, Sept. 4, 1941 - (CP Cable) - The air ministry officially announced today that Wing Commander Douglas Bader has been awarded a bar to his Distinguished Flying Cross.
When it was reported August 12 that Bader was missing, it was made known that this decoration had been conferred upon him, but the official publication was delayed.
Bader, now a prisoner of war; also holds the Distinguished Service Order and bar.
The Daily Express today told how Spitfire planes of Bader's squadron followed him down for thousands of feet to protect him when he was forced to bail out over German-held territory last month.
". . The Spitfires spiraled around him in a protective coil," the paper said.
In landing, Bader damaged one of his two artificial legs. Another leg has been dropped in Nazi territory by the R.A.F. to replace it.
THE LONDON GAZETTE, 9 SEPTEMBER, 1941, Air Ministry, ROYAL AIR FORCE
The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the following awards in recognition of gallantry displayed in flying operations against the enemy:
Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross
Acting Wing Commander Douglas Robert Stewart BADER, D.S.O., D.F.C. (26151)
This fearless pilot has recently added a further four enemy aircraft to his previous successes; in addition he has probably destroyed another four and damaged five hostile aircraft. By his fine leadership and high courage Wing Commander Bader has inspired the wing on every occasion.
New York, Sept. 26, 1941 (CP) — A Blenheim bomber, piloted by 19-year-old Jack Nickleson of Toronto, who since has been reported missing, dropped metal legs for Wing Commander Douglas Bader to replace those the British ace broke when he landed on enemy territory and was taken prisoner, according to word received here today.
Sergeant-Pilot Nickleson, in a letter dated Aug. 30 to his brother Allan, a member of The Canadian Press staff in New York, told of the flight and said, "We dropped them over Northern France during daylight and they say he received them OK — it was my plane that dropped them."
Young Nickleson's parents in Toronto, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Nickleson, received word last Sunday that their son is missing and believed dead. The bomber he piloted did not return from a raid last Saturday.
Sergeant-Pilot Nickleson joined the Royal Canadian Air Force on graduation from North Toronto Collegiate in June 1940, and went overseas this spring. Since then he had participated in many raids on Germany and Nazi-occupied territory.
Bader, curly-haired air stunter, who gained most of his fame as leader of an all-Canadian squadron of the Royal Air Force, was reported missing Aug. 12. Subsequently it was confirmed he was a prisoner of war and that his metal legs - he lost his own in a flying accident before the war - had been broken in a parachute descent from his fighter plane.
A month ago it was reported that the legs, carefully wrapped, had been dropped from a plane by parachute. There had been no indication, until today, who had the honor of flying the legs to the much-decorated Bader, who early this year had been transferred from the all-Canadian squadron.
London, Sept. 26, 1941 (CP) — Wing Commander Douglas Bader, the stout-hearted Briton who formerly led the Royal Air Force's Canadian fighter squadron, was "green with funk" when he shot down his first German airplane.
After accounting for a Dornier, he told his mother, Mrs. Ernest Hobbs: "Shooting down men for the first time is a horrible experience. I looked in my mirror. I couldn't believe it was me. I was green with funk."
The story was told in an interview with Bader's mother in the Daily Mail after the legless ace had been shot down and taken prisoner in a sweep over Northern France.
Ten years ago she painstakingly taught him to walk on what he called his "tin pins" after losing both legs in an air crash.
At the time, she said, he had heard "his dearest wish was about to be fulfilled." He had been chosen to play rugby football for England. His happiness was complete.
"But it was not to be. Five days before the match Douglas crashed. Both legs had to be amputated. When I arrived at the hospital Douglas was unconscious. He remained unconscious for nine days. I never left his bedside."
Finally the surgeon, James Leonard Joyce, said his patient was out of danger. Only then did his mother relax.
"Never have I known a woman as brave as this," said Joyce.
"Everything in life had come easily to my Douglas," she declared. "He was always impatient of the drudgery of learning. I knew that now he must learn again the very fundamentals of living. And that it would be my job to teach him.
"Never for one second did I think of him, or allow him to think of himself, as a disabled man."
Through his long convalescence she was always with him. He learned to drive a car, to fly again, to dance, to play golf and even tennis.
When the war came he volunteered for flying duties with the R.A.F., and his enthusiasm and persistence wore down official opposition.
When Bader went to Buckingham Palace last February to be decorated by the King, His Majesty said, "I and my great Empire are very proud of you. Well done."
Rome, Sept. 28, 1941 - (UP) - Reports reaching here today said that Wing Commander Douglas Bader, Britain's famous "legless pilot," almost escaped to the French sea coast recently on a pair of artificial legs which the R.A.F. dropped for him over occupied France after he was shot down during a dogfight.
The reports said the aluminum legs, dropped with German permission, were given to Bader while he was in a German hospital. Several days later, it was said, he slid down a blanket from the hospital window and began walking away during the night.
Bader was picked up four days later, it was reported, 100 miles from the hospital. He was trying to reach the French coast.
17 Dec. 1941 - The Canadian Red Cross Society has received definite proof that Wing Commander Douglas Bader, the legless British flying ace who is now a prisoner of war in Germany, has received one of the food parcels now being packed at the rate of 10,000 per week in Montreal and 14,000 per week in Toronto for prisoners of war.
The above reproduction was made from the actual card received from the distinguished flyer who twice won the D.S.O. and who was also twice awarded the D.F.C. before being shot down over enemy territory.
The message in Bader's handwriting reads "Many Thanks, Douglas Bader. Wing Commander, R.A.F." The reverse side of the card shows the post mark of the Oflag VI B prison camp in Germany. The inset picture of Bader shows him standing on the wing of his Hurricane Fighter just after he was awarded the first Distinguished Flying Cross for shooting down 10 German raiders and damaging several more.
Definite proof that the handwriting on the card received by the Canadian Red Cross is that of the famous fighter ace is borne out by the fact that it is identical with the autograph on a picture of Bader recently received from the German prison camp by his friends in England.
The flying ace broke one of the artificial legs while landing after having been shot down over enemy territory. A new one was dropped over his prison camp by the R.A.F. and a few days later he attempted an escape from hospital. He was recaptured 100 miles away.
London, 25 Jan. 1942 - (CP) — W/C Douglas Bader is the only known fighter pilot in the world who could escape from a crashing plane while a leg was securely jammed in the wreckage - and that's how he escaped death to land in a German prison camp last September.
While his tailless Spitfire was plummeting earthward after a skirmish in which he destroyed one Messerschmitt by gunfire and collided with another in a daylight sweep over France, Bader was arguing with his artificial right leg in the cockpit.
Here's how he told about it in a letter from the prison camp to Henry Longhurst of the London Sun-Express: I had to jettison my right leg in a somewhat protracted but energetic performance of evacuation," the letter said. "It wished to stay inside the tailless airplane, while I wished to leave — so we both had our own way."
2 May 1942 - The Toronto airman who risked his own life to drop a pair of artificial legs to Douglas Bader, famed R.A.F. legless squadron leader held prisoner in Germany. Flight-Sergeant John M. Nickleson, 20, is now reported dead. He was listed as missing some time ago following operations over German-held territory.
A veteran of many air battles, it was while he was attached to a Canadian bomber squadron attacking enemy shipping last September that his aircraft was shot down and crashed in the sea. It was not known whether he had been picked up by a German ship.
A graduate of North Toronto Collegiate, Flight-Sergeant Nickleson enlisted in the R.C.A.F. two years ago. His mother, Mrs. W. J. Nickleson of Roselawn Avenue, said she had received many letters from her son, telling of raids in which he had taken part. "They used to swoop down low over the water and blast at enemy ships. On one occasion he bombed a power station at Cologne, swooping down to within 300 feet before releasing his bombs," she said.
Although the enemy had promised to respect the aircraft which was to drop the artificial legs to Bader, Mrs. Nickleson said she had received clippings from British papers indicating that the Germans had opened fire on the aircraft.
Besides his parents, Flight-Sergeant Nickleson leaves two brothers, Allan, a Canadian Press correspondent in England, Douglas of Toronto, and a sister, Mrs. Douglas Terry of Toronto.
Calgary, 22 Oct. 1942 - (CP) - Pte William Levinsky came back to Calgary from Dieppe the other day after suffering the loss of his right leg in the raid. He came back with an ambition — to be a pilot.
Chatting after the Victory Loan show at Victoria Park here, he said, he could still service his country as a pilot.
He spoke about Wing Commander Douglas Bader, famed legless ace of the Royal Air Force, now a prisoner of war in Germany.
By ALAN RANDAL, With the R.C.A.F., Fighter Command, Somewhere in England, September 3, 1943 - (CP) - Quietly, flying in the vanguard of Canada's Spitfire pilots in England, a new Fighter Ace has been born in fighter command. He is Wing Cmdr. J. E. Johnson, an Englishman who wears a "Canada" flash on his flying battledress as a mark of fellowship and admiration for the Canadians he leads.
Today his score stands at 23 enemy planes destroyed. Only Group Capt Sailor Malan, D.S.O., D.F.C. and Bar, with 32, tops Johnson among active airmen in fighter command.
At 27, Johnson has been leading the Canadian fighter wing since March 16 last, has the D.S.O., the D.F.C. and Bar. He scored 14 of his "kills" with the Canadians and they'd follow this smiling pilot to the ends of the earth if their petrol would hold out that long.
Behind his leadership Canadians have been piling up scores of their own, young fliers such as Sqdn. Ldrs. Chuck Magwood, Hugh Godefroy and Flight Lieutenant Deane MacDonald, all of Toronto, and all with five or more aircraft shot down.
Among Lowest Losses
This fighter wing that Johnson commands has one of the best scores in the group. It also has among the lowest losses. Here, in the words of one of Johnson's pilots, is the reason:
"Every pilot knows Johnson is looking after him and when he calls back a couple who are chasing a Jerry down toward the ground they get up into formation in a hurry, no matter how badly they may want to continue the chase. Johnnie likes to get Jerries and he likes to sea his pilots get them but he wants even more to bring his boys safely back home."
He used to fly No. 2 to Wing Cmdr. Douglas Bader, the legless ace who baled out over France and now is a prisoner of war. Johnson was along on that flight. He saw Bader bale out and blasted two ME109's out of the sky before turning for home.
(Written for the Canadian Press by F/L Basil Dean, R.C.A.F.) 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
Bader & "Sasha" Hess, leader of 310 Czech Sq. in 1940
TORONTO, 25 Oct. 1943 — A trio of inveterate escapers - two of them among the best-known Allied fighting men in this war - are roommates and chums in the German prison camp Oflag 4c, a 15th century castle near Leipzig.
Letters to the wife here of Maj. Gordon Rolfe, Calgary tankman taken prisoner at Dieppe, and to the wife in Belleville, Ont., of Lt.-Col. Cecil Merritt of Vancouver, Canada's only V.C. in this war and another Dieppe prisoner, tell how these two Canadian officers have been booked into the same quarters as W/C Douglas Bader, the Royal Air force's legless fighter ace.
The prison is reserved chiefly for prisoners who have made persistent efforts to escape, a category covering all three. Bader's attempts to escape have never been totaled, but are believed to number more than six, while Maj. Rolfe twice fled another camp last June. Col. Merritt is known to have made at least one escape attempt - one which he made good for four days before he was recaptured.
Legless Douglas Bader Freed From Nazi Camp
Paris, 18 April 1945 - (CP) - Wing Cmdr. Douglas R. Bader, curly-haired air-stunter, who gained most of his fame as the legless leader of the all-Canadian squadron of the RAF, has been freed by United States troops after three years in German prison camps, it was disclosed today.
(From the Spectator's London News Bureau, by A. C. Cummings, Copyright, 1945, by Southam CO.) London, April 21, 1945 — Released From Oflag IV-C (Schloss Colditz), 25 miles southeast of Leipzig, Lieutenant-Colonel Merritt, British Columbia Victoria Cross winner, is back in Britain today. Here is an account of prison camp life by a fellow prisoner of war who is a member of the Times' staff and shared Colonel Merritt's imprisonment.
The prison was a bleak, derelict castle, he says, on the River Molde. It could not be compared with a concentration camp, but it had a dismal, uncanny, look and the occupants were subjected to endless, petty annoyances culminating in the removal eastward at the dead of night of 20 notable prisoners just as U.S., troops were only 25 miles away. These prisoners included King George's nephew, Lord Lascelles, Captain Lord Half, several relatives of Premier Churchill and the leader of the Warsaw revolt, the Polish General BorKomorowski.
When the news reached the German camp commandant that Allied forces were approaching, the British senior officer, Lieut.-Col. Tod, was ordered to remove all his men eastward so that they would not be liberated. He flatly refused and the German commandant telephoned his superior. The major-general lost his temper and reiterated the order but when told force would be necessary he changed his mind and said the prisoners might stay. A little later, shells from U.S. tanks began to fall near the castle. So the German commandant gave over the interior command to the British and tried to obtain a promise he would not be handed over to the Russians after the camp was liberated. He showed the greatest terror lest he would be sent to Siberia or treated as a war criminal.
Made No Promises
The British commander declined to make any promises whatever. The commandant thereupon surrendered the interior castle to the British, only stipulating no flags should be hung out lest other German troops in the neighborhood should know the prison camp had been given up.
Just then, US artillery was getting the range for the gunners thought the castle might be a likely strongpoint. However, only a few shells struck it. One of them knocked Wing Commander Bader, famous leader of a squadron of Canadian Hurricane fighters, off his artificial legs.
No one was seriously hurt during the battle, says the Times' staff man. It lasted the whole night and few prisoners got any sleep. Electric lights in the castle fused and as arc-lamps could not be switched on outside, the camp appeared as detestable a place as it really was. When U.S. soldiers arrived, every one cheered. Then the German camp officers surrendered. They explained that the notable prisoners they had sent away were ordered removed by Himmler himself: All camp officials were at once arrested.
"Relief at returning home is immense," says the member of the Times staff. "Marred only by the absence of friends, whom the German Government kidnapped within a few hours of their freedom. The only place we had for exercise was a courtyard 50 yards by 20. The castle had been a prison during the last three wars and in peace time, had been a lunatic asylum. All the windows were barred. In the last two months 1,500 prisoners had to live in accommodation suitable only for 600."
In the neighborhood of Schloss Colditz the Americans also released 1,000 French officers and discovered a Jewish concentration camp where conditions were so appalling, half of the occupants were dead and the rest barely able to crawl. They had been distinguished men, including lawyers and doctors.
|1 June 1940
11 July 1940
21 Aug 1940
30 Aug 1940
7 Sept 1940
9 Sept 1940
15 Sept 1940
18 Sept 1940
27 Sept 1940
22 Jan 1941
21 June 1941
25 June 1941
2 July 1941
4 July 1941
6 July 1941
9 July 1941
10 July 1941
12 July 1941
19 July 1941
21 July 1941
23 July 1941
9 Aug 1941
21.83 / 6.33 / 11
* Shared with L. E. Cryderman & N. D. Edmond
Score from Aces High 2nd Edition by Shores. See that book for details.
By NORMAN CRIBBENS, London, Sept. 16, 1945 - (CP) - Twelve powerful Spitfires roared over London's cheering millions yesterday, manned by Battle of Britain aces who took to the sky in memory of the earlier, slower Spitfires which battled the Luftwaffe exactly five years previously and on that memorable Sept. 15, 1940, sent 185 German planes falling in flames.
Bader in Lead
Thousands in Square
As we roared down over Trafalgar Square fluttering handkerchiefs like a flurry of snowflakes indicated the wild demonstration. F/O Sharp, who trained at Brandon Man., was too occupied with keeping formation even to glance down.
"There are thousands of them,” I shouted through the intercom, “All are cheering like mad.”
"Sorry, can't talk now old boy, have to concentrate hard." Sharp replied. "This is tricky work."
Often Sharp had to throttle down abruptly because he was too close to the plane ahead and a buzzer warning of reduced speed ran through the ship.
Low clouds made it necessary to fly lower than normally. We never rose above 2,000 feet, dropping to 500 over London for the benefit of watchers below, who said later, they could almost feel the slipstream from the planes as they tore past.
Above and ahead of us in perfect alignment, the trim Spitfires stood out sharply against a background of dark clouds, gold-edged by the sun. Every now and then a fiery Tempest shot underneath so that the trapdoor of our plane seemed to shake with the roar of the mighty engines. Sometimes the wings of neighboring Beau fighters seemed dangerously close - not more than 10 feet - but Sharp's cool, steady hands and watching eye lent confidence.
Poles in Flight
Flying with us were five squadrons of Mustangs manned by Polish pilots. But the plane which played the biggest part in winning the Battle of Britain - the 400-miles-per-hour Hurricane - was conspicuously absent. Even at maximum speed it would have been left lagging by the Typhoon and Tempest fighters of 1945.
Bader's own Spitfire - pride of his ground crew - had been tuned to a nicety and he was smiling when the mechanics helped him into the cockpit at the start of the flight.
"Let's go, boys," he said. Many times during the Battle of Britain he had spoken those words, but now there was a subtle difference in his tone. No grim battle with the enemy lay ahead. He and "the few" were going to "raid"' London and cheering crowds awaited them.
Afterward Bader presented his beribboned ace pilots to Air Chief Marshal Lord Dowding, commander-in-chief of Fighter Command in those fateful days of 1940.
Well pleased with the performance, Lord Dowding shook hands warmly with Bader and his fellow aces, who wore 52 medals between them.
"Excellent show," Lord Dowding commented.
Thanks and Commendation
"The few" then gathered at an officers' mess where they receives thanks and commendation from Bader and congratulations of other fliers. Many regretted such aces of the air war as F/L George Beurling of Verdun, Que., and G/C Johnny Johnson, English-born leader of a crack Canadian Spitfire wing, could not have taken part.
In the final scoring record compiled by the RAF, RCAF and United States Army Air Forces, Johnson topped the list with 38 German planes destroyed. Next came G/C A. G. (Sailor) Malan, a South African member of the RAF, and the late S/L Brendan (Paddy) Finucane of the RAF with 32.
Beurling was credited with 31 enemy planes destroyed and W/C Stanford Tuck of the RAF, who participated in the anniversary flight, scored 29 "kills."
Aces who flew with Bader yesterday were: G/Cs Frank Carey & Stan Turner; W/Cs Pete Brothers, Ed Wells, Dennis Crowley-Milling, Keith Lofts, Billy Drake, John Ellis & Tim Vigors & S/L Charlie Bush.
G/C Turner, who was born in Devon, lived in Toronto before the war and came to England to join the RAF.
London, Oct. 13. 1945 - (AP) - Fewer than 50 of "the few" Battle of Britain fighter pilots who saved this island from German invasion in the gloomy autumn of 1940 are alive today.
All the rest of the 375 top-flight fighters of the battle were killed in action. The last one went down six weeks before the war ended.
Almost all of those whose luck kept them alive through five years of war still are serving in the R.A.F., Air Ministry records show. Many of them, too young to have had civilian professions when they joined up, plan to make the air force their career.
Most widely known among the survivors is legless Group Capt. Douglas Bader, 35, who led the "All-Canadian" squadron of the R.A.F. into the Battle of Britain.
Turner High On List
Among the men who flew with him and lived to see the war through are Group Capt. P. S. (Stan) Turner, born in Devon, England, but who lived most of his life in Toronto. Taciturn and superstitious, Turner would never pose for newspaper photographers. "Bad luck," he said succinctly.
Turner was one of the young Canadians who went to England before the war to join the R.A.F. and was posted to Squadron 242, which became the "All-Canadian" unit, and which numbers among it, survivors F/L R. D. (Bob) Grassick, of London, Ont.; recently returned from Egypt.
Bader fought the Battle of Britain from the cockpit of a Hurricane using a set of artificial legs. He previously had made flying history with a comeback after a flying accident in 1931 cost him both legs.
Bader was shot down over France after the crucial battle and spent four years in German prison camps before the United States 1st Army set him free last summer.
Defies Hun Captors
He had broken his artificial legs in his parachute jump to German capture and a new set was parachuted to him by F/Sgt. Jack Nickleson, of Toronto, since lost. Bader attempted to escape four times so the Germans took away his legs.
He now is second in command of the R.A.F.'s famous 11 Fighter Group, the same outfit with which he fought in 1940.
The commander of No. 11 Group during some of the hottest days was Sir Keith Park, now Allied air commander of the Southeast Asia command. He is an air chief marshal.
Little Art (Sailor) Malan was one of the most publicized pilots in the Battle of Britain. He now is a group captain at R.A.F. Staff College.
F. R. Carey, another one of the original few, has a desk job in the same office with Bader. W/C P. M. Brothers, veteran Hurricane ace, is one of the top men at the R.A.F. Cadet College.
Among other old-timers holding staff jobs are: W/C W. Crowley-Milling, Keith Lofts, Bill Drake, Joe Ellis and Tom Vigors. All those names once were virtually household words around London.
Released, Serves Again
Al Donaldson, who knocked down three Germans in one afternoon, now, is stationed with the R.A.F. in Calcutta. Stanford Tuck, who gained almost as much attention as Bader and Malan, spent two years as a prisoner of war, but now is back with old Group 11. How the few hundred pilots contrived to give the Luftwaffe the thrashing they did in the Battle of Britain is one of the miracles of the war.
The superior morale of the pilots, their skill, the fact that they were fighting over and for their very homes, the excellence of the Spitfire and Hurricane fighters, good organization in the control rooms and the invaluable secret of radar - all were factors contributing to victory.
It has been admitted officially that in July, 1940, the R.A.F. Fighter Command had only 640 aircraft available daily for the battle. These were being supplemented at the rate of 130 new planes a week.
Terrible Toll of Life
This was little more than enough to make up for heavy losses. But it was the high toll among the best pilots, more than the loss of aircraft, that almost cost them the decision. In the four months from July to October, 1940, the fighter command lost 481 pilots killed, captured or missing plus 422 injured.
The turning point in the Battle of Britain came on that historic Sunday of September 15, 1940, when a gallant little band of dog-tired Pilots, outnumbered ten to one, went up for a desperate last-ditch stand and shot down 185 German Planes in a nightmare battle which lasted all day over London and southeast England. The pilots fought in relays that day, each coming down only long enough for a cup of tea and for refueling his plane.
London, 27 Nov. 1945 — (Reuters) — Group Capt. Douglas Bader, legless ace of the R.A.F., today was given bars to his Distinguished Service Cross and his Distinguished Flying Cross by the King at Buckingham Palace.
Capt. Bader, fighter pilot veteran of the Battle of Britain and later a prisoner of war, walked almost effortlessly up the red carpeted ramp to the royal dais. He bowed to the King, who shook hands and gave him the decorations.
THE LONDON GAZETTE, 31st January, 1947, Air Ministry, ROYAL AIR FORCE
The King has been graciously pleased to give orders for the publication of the names of the following personnel who have been mentioned in despatches:
Group Captains: D.R.S. BADER, D.S.O., D.F.C. R.A.F. ...
(By JACK HAMBLETON, June 3, 1947)
G/C Douglas Bader, the famous "legless" Bader of the Second Great War, has a "scunner" against North American weather. Of course, he admits, he is not alone in bemoaning the rainfall and fog which has characterized recent local, weather. But when a chap is 20 yards from Niagara Falls, which he has never seen before, and can't see them now - well … It's not quite cricket, old boy.
Nor is it hardly fair that a pilot, who has made three abortive attempts to escape from a German prison camp and finally was released by the United States Army, should be denied a sight of New York's famed skyline - because of rain and fog.
Nor is the stocky, dark-haired fighter pilot particularly happy about the fact the Shell Oil Co. plane he was piloting from Akron to Toronto was forced back at Buffalo - by weather - and that he was forced ignominiously to drive into Toronto yesterday. G/C Bader will spend several days with Shell executives here before returning to New York Wednesday.
An interview with G/C Bader is an experience in itself. This grey-suited individual with the blue shirt, striped tie and two artificial legs, is no morose cripple. As he sits on a chesterfield and drags at a typical English pipe, he is quite alive - and kicking. He stomps around the room, with little about his gait to indicate his legs aren't perfectly normal. And if there are any individuals in Canadian hospitals who want to know what it is like to be without legs, Bader is anxious and willing to tell them - and show them.
On Sunday, September 21, (1947) - Across the whole Dominion of Canada congregations in churches will bow their heads in prayer in tribute to the valiant members of the Royal Air Force and the Royal Canadian Air Force who gave their lives for freedom in the Battle of Britain waged over the skies of that island from July to October 1940.
In that epic struggle for supremacy of the air, Canada was represented by several hundred officers and airmen who served as air crew and ground crew in Fighter, Bomber and Coastal Commands. The great majority of these Canadians who fought in the Battle of Britain were young men who had crossed the Atlantic in pre-war days to enroll in the R.A.F. and served in units of that force. There were, however, two fighter squadrons which bore the name Canadian. One was 242 (Canadian) Squadron of the R.A.F., composed of Canadian fighter pilots in the R.A.F.; the other was No. 1 (Fighter) Squadron of the R.C.A.F., (later designated No. 401) which arrived in Britain on the eve of the battle.
Hamilton today mourns the loss of one of her sons who fought in this heroic battle. P/O Norris Hart, son of R. S. Hart, 90 Stinson Street, was shot down in the first week of November 1940 after having served with 242 Squadron under the famous leader S/L Douglas Bader for two months.
Speaking of 242 Squadron R.A.F., on September 15, 1940, the official R.A.F. records state "September 15 marked the climax of the battle, the historic day on which 85 enemy aircraft were shot down. When, just before noon on that sunny Sunday morning, the first great waves of raiders began to cross the Channel, No. 242 Squadron took off to engage them. Over Gravesend, east of London, the squadron, accompanied by four other fighter units, found about 30 Dorniers escorted by Messerschmitt fighters flying 6,000 feet below. S/L Bader led his pilots in a diving attack out of the sun and the enemy force was all but annihilated. Bader described the action as "the finest shambles" he had been in. For once the British had the advantage of height, position and numbers; indeed the sky seemed to be full of Spitfires and Hurricanes who queued up and pushed each other out of the way to get a shot at the Nazi bombers. The German fighters judiciously stayed out of the way. Stansfeld and Turner each destroyed a Dornier; F/O Tamblyn shared another with a companion; S/L Bader shot down a fourth and a Fleet Air Arm pilot in the squadron accounted for a fifth. P/O Hart shot down an Me-109 in flames. In addition, several Dorniers were damaged. The four squadrons flying with No. 242 claimed 23 destroyed and eight probables in the action.
This is but the account of one squadron in one day of those terrible four months that finally hammered the Hun into submission so far as striving for the conquest of Britain was concerned. It is for the heroism of those pilots who fought those grim battles high above the British Isles that Canadians everywhere will offer a prayer of thanks on Sunday as will the people of Great Britain.
Here in Hamilton the occasion will be marked by a church parade of 424 Fighter Squadron R.C.A.F. (Auxiliary) and the Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadrons of Hamilton to the Church of St. Thomas. At this special service W/C Douglas H. Wigle, commanding officer of 424 Squadron will read the lesson and Rev. Dr. R.C. Blagrave, rector of the church, will deliver a special sermon.
Following the service the squadron and cadets, led by the Air Cadet Trumpet Band, will march west on Main Street East to James Street, north on James to King Street, and east on King Street past a saluting base near the Cenotaph. Here the salute will be taken by Commander Sam Ross R.C.N. (R), commanding officer of H.M.C.S. Star; Lt.Col. A.E. Bliss, E.D., commanding officer of The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada, and Group Captain Norman S. McGregor, president of the Hamilton Air Cadets.
Following the march past the squadron will return on the north side of King Street and halt in front of the Cenotaph where a wreath will be placed and Last Post and Reveille sounded. The parade will then move off south on Hughson Street to Hunter Street for dismissal.
In the afternoon at approximately 4 o'clock two flights of the squadron, commanded by S/L Douglas Annan, D.F.C., A.F.C., and S/L William A. Olmsted, D.S.O., D.F.C. and Bar, will fly in formation over the city.
Thanks go out to
Ron Kendall for the photo from his collection
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); the Google News Archives; the London Gazette Archives and other sources both published and private.
All content on this site is probably the property of acesofww2.com unless otherwise noted.