The man behind the Spitfires

Pat Murphy is the man behind all those Spitfire models he made for the Vancouver Island Military Museum in Nanaimo, British Coumbia.

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He has contributed so much.

This is Pat’s latest contribution.

Pierre, sorry it’s taken me a few weeks to send you this picture of S/L Hart Finley’s two daughters, Heather left ,and Sandra right and myself at the Spitfire display. Both of Harts daughters attended the museum to see the model of their famous Dad’s Spitfire. Both daughters brought their husbands and we all had a great visit. Heather brought one of her Dad’s log boooks from his days with 403 Squadron and allowed me to make a copy for the museum. The log book makes for some very interesting reading and we are very proud to be able to add the log book to our growing collection of Spitfire and bomber pilots log book collection.

S/L Hart Finley's two daughters, Heather left and Sandra right

S/L Hart Finley’s two daughters, Heather left and Sandra right

Pat Murphy with Hart Finley’s daughters


No easy to get it right…

Joe had this most interesting comment…

There are so many mistakes in this business … I have corrected hundreds since I started my site. Many relatives have corrected photos for me. Which I appreciate greatly.
Unfortunately, many official photos have the wrong names given… what can you do? Until family emails you and says “hey, that’s not my Dad!” or whatever.
So many it’s kind of strange. Lots of famous photos too. Which means that for many years people have been looking at pix of men that are misidentified. Its one of the reasons I started this thing. To correct those mistakes. That being said, I’m sure there’s still plenty on my site.
I’ll  just wait for people to correct the info. That’s all we can do right?
That & pass the corrections along – right my friend ?!
Right Joe!
443 pilots Charlesworth identification
Joe is this man who has this most interesting Website

Just a picture – Redux

Pierre Lagacé:

Joe sent me a message to correct something I wrote about the identification of pilots on a picture someone had shared with me.

Originally posted on RCAF No. 443 Squadron:


This is from Joe of joeflyingforyourlife…

No. 6 Course 58 O.T.U. (Operational Training Unit) Grangemouth (UK), 12 May to 23 June 1941.

The man identified as “Bishop” is NOT Arthur, son of Billy Bishop. I’m 100% sure.

Looks nothing like him and he was not in the RCAF yet at that time

Back row 4th from the left is Johnny Plagis from Rhodesia. 100%

Back row 4th from the right is F. H. Belcher of Roblin, Manitoba. 100%

Middle row far left is Mike Sharun of Alberta. 100%

Middle row 3rd from right is probably Tom Holden, later with 411 squadron

Front row
Smith, McNair & Charlesworth I can confirm.

That’s all I know …

I think I’m done for the day,



This is the original post I wrote in November.

I was too excited and I posted this on the wrong blog!

Proceed with your reading…

View original 125 more words


Dear Darryl,

I traveled to Seven Oaks, England in 2002, as the Commanding Officer 403 Squadron. I met Madeleine, and stayed at her house overnight. I had the pleasure of meeting all but one of her children, from her second marriage – to Squadron Leader Ken Campbell.

Madeleine’s husband Hank Duval, was flying alongside his Commanding Officer Ken Campbell, when they collided. Both went down, Duval died in the ensuing crash, and Campbell was captured by the Germans.

Three years later, after being liberated by the Americans at Stalag Luft VIIIB, Campbell traveled home, searched for Duval’s widow, Madeleine, and proposed to her. They lived happily ever after. I have shared a photo of Madeleine and her children, which I took during my visit.

Pierre Lagace is authorized to publish the photo, if he so chooses. Failing that, I can send it to you Darryl.

Dean Black, Lieutenant-Colonel (Retired)

family picture

Jean Baptiste Normand Roy – Redux

Pierre Lagacé:

Réjeanne Roy never met her father who died in 1943. She was only 5 months-old. She only had a small picture and her father’s precious logbook. Now I have received a large file from Archives Canada with her father’s service record in the RCAF. Jean Baptiste Normand Roy has been missing of the coast of Nova Scotia since with another pilot.

Originally posted on RCAF 128 (F) Squadron:

The file on Jean Baptiste Normand Roy has arrived…

À la mémoire du
Lieutenant d’aviation
Jean Baptiste Normand Roy
décédé le 17 mai 1943

Service militaire :

Numéro matricule : J/20221
Âge :29
Force :Aviation militaire
Unité :Aviation royale du Canada
Division :128 Sqdn.

Renseignements additionnels :

Fils de Gaudiose et Albina Roy. Fils adoptif de M. et Mme Francis Landry, de Pointe-Verte, Nouveau-Brunswick. Époux de Marie Roy, de Pointe-Verte.

Cimetière :
MÉMORIAL D’OTTAWA; Ontario, Canada
Informations sur la sépulture :
Panel 2. Column 3.

View original

I hope Darryl is reading the comment section…

Dear Darryl

during 1941 your great uncle and my father Douglas Barker Crabtree (616 squadron) together with a French Canadian pilot Larry Robillard escaped from France, bringing back secret plans of ammunition and fuel dumps in the Pas de Calais area. The plans were written on a cigarette paper which I still have. The RAF later destroyed all the installations. They escaped via the famous Pat O’Leary line over the Pyrenees and had some very eventful times while on the escape.

Hank’s widow Madeleine is not in good health and lives in sheltered accommodation supported by her family. Let me have your contact details and I will happily give you further information.


Neil Crabtree



Dear Pierre

Please find pictures of the actual cigarette paper which was stored in the lining of a beret, picture blow ups of the same, and aerial photo of the area taken by Hurri Bomber.  I do have the combat report marked SECRET but it is quite faded now.

Hope this is of interest.


Neil Crabtree



Henry Percy Duval – Redux

Post 422

I write so people can find lost loved one.

We had very little information on Henry Percy Duval before the war.

Henry Percy Duval

Dean Black had sent this taken from the year album of McGill University. He had sent a painting done by someone at the former base where he was a commander.

Col Blacks picture

That painting was done by Robin S. McQueen

Henry Percy Duval was a Spitfire pilot with 403 Squadron.

Someone has just left a comment.

We now know much more about Henry Percy Duval.

Henry Percy Duval was my great-uncle. I grew up with his sister(my grandmother) so I was familiar with stories about Uncle Harry who was killed in the war. I knew he was a pilot but not much else. He looks a lot like my grandmother. Thank you for posting this.
Darryl Hunter
Los Angeles, CA