74th Post and Something to Reflect Upon

Walter Neil Dove did 74 missions. He came back alive.

He started flying on December 8, 1944.

He saw many friends died.

Hank Byrd

Wallace Burdis

Mac Reeves

Edward Aitchison

He wrote everything in his logbook and he took a lot of pictures.

His grandson teamed up with me in September.

He scanned his grandfather’s logbook and photo album.

I wrote 74 articles.

All this to share with people who could have known some pilots or ground crew who were with No. 403 Squadron.

Click here if you wonder that I meant by Something to Reflect Upon…

Walter and Elizabeth

Greg sent me his best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

Merry Christmas!

To you Pierre, and your family.

And wishing everyone a Happy New Year.
I’ve been showing my Grandma the whole blog site.

She’s got the memories flowing back. And she doesn’t mind if a photo of herself pops up on the site. 

Thank you again for setting this all up.

Greg

Greg had sent me this picture in November. 

I did not want to post it since it was too personal.

Now I have the permission…

Here goes.

Walter and his wife Elizabeth with another pilot Dave Dack and his wife Vera.

It was taken in June 1944 in Hotel Montreal the summer before Walter went overseas where he flew 74 missions on Spitfires.

 

In Memoriam: Frederick Burdette Gillis 1919-2005

GILLIS – Frederick “Burdette” Gillis, age 86 years, passed away peacefully, Monday, April 25, 2005 at Providence Place, Moose Jaw. Predeceased by his wife Freda, who he lovingly cared for from the time she contacted Polio in 1953 until her passing in 1999; and his granddaughter Deena Battenfelder.

Burdette is survived by one daughter Cathy (Grant) Swanson of Lucky Lake, SK; two grandchildren, Delee Swanson of Airdrie, AB and Craig Swanson (Ashley Reimer) of Grande Prairie, AB; great grandson Austin Battenfelder of Camp Creek, AB; Austin’s father Steve (Lorraine) Battenfelder of Camp Creek, AB; sister Estella Morrison of Saskatoon; sisters-in-law, Esther (George) Curtis of Indian Head and Gertrude (Howard) Elstad of Regina and their families.

Burdette was a longtime resident and business owner in Rouleau, Saskatchewan. At Burdette’s request no funeral service will be held. Interment at a later date at Rouleau, SK.

Gil Gillis with his Spitfire

Gil Gillis with captured Fw-190

Gil Gillis

Boy Did I Get It Wrong…

I thought the acronym Met meant Me-109

I got this comment… because of this article.

Click here.

It was about an information in this image. I got confused and wrote…

58 Me-109s shot down in one mission…!


The comment I got was this…

MET = Mechanical Transport

I made the correction. 

I found it strange when I read it first in Flight Lieutenant Walter Dove’s logbook but I jumped the gun so to speak and I figured he meant Me 109s.

58 Me-109s shot down in one mission…!

58 Met bagged today by the squadron…

Now I stand corrected.

If you find anymore mistakes please write a comment.

Fortunately no one in April was shot down by a T-Bolt… or a Mustang!

This is the second part of April 1945 in the logbook…

This is the page after the one where we read that on March 31, 1945 two Spitfires of 416 Squadron were shot down by a Mustang.

This is a Mustang.

One of the best fighter in WWII.

The Spitfire was also one of the best.

We could argue which one was the best.

We could also argue who were the best pilots in WWII.

I would say Canadians were… but I might be a little biased.

Anyway…

How come American pilots would shoot at British planes?

The fog of war?

I think I have part of the answer.

This comes from two WWII pilots.

One was flying a Typhoon and the other a Mosquito.

Both we great airplanes.

In fact I believe the Mosquito was the best airplane in WWII and Mosquito pilots were the best, but we won’t go into this and start a fight.

Anyway…

Some pilots would drink a lot the night before a mission.

Some pilots would be scared like hell before… during… and after a mission.

Some pilots would shot at anything that moved…

In the fog of war sometimes you can’t distinguish friends from foes.

One Typhoon pilot once said that some P-47s would shoot at them…

Now we have proof of this in Walter Neil Dove’s logbook.

We won’t start a fight about this.

This is not what’s this blog is all about.

John Baptiste Bernard Rainville

A reader sent me this link to a 403 Squadron pilot.

Click here…

I am not alone who writes about 403 Squadron pilots.

Born 8 February 1916

Enlisted in Granby Quebec 17 July 1940

Winged as Sgt/P 21 February 1941

To UK 11 March 1941

Posted to 403 Squadron Commissioned 10 march 1942

To 416 Squadron in 1943

Repatriated 9 November 1944

Served in postwar RCAF

Made S/L on 1 January 1952

Left the RCAF 19 July 1953

Setting Up Camp

April 1945

Flight Lieutenant Walter Neil Dove was in Goch, Germany.

403 Squadron was setting up camp.

Buzz Burdis is still alive as we saw last time.

So are Doug Lindsay, Hart Finley and Keith Lindsay who all three survived the war.

This was in the back of the picture…

Greg asked me if Andrew wrote back  since he put a comment on this blog.

Not yet I said…

Andrew saw pictures of his grandfather on this blog.

That’s the reason why we put them on.

Lest we forget those brave men like Buzz Burdis, Doug Lindsay, Hart Finley and Keith Lindsay, and the still elusive Gil Gillis from Pense, Saskatchewan.

The Captions

This is the two group pictures I posted some time ago.

These pictures where taken in March 1945.

I am trying to put some of the names with the right faces.

What I like about Greg’s grandfather is his sense of humour.

He uses a lot of nicknames and he calls himself Moiself

With a little French accent…

Moiself

Moiself is with Buzz Burdis who got killed the day after he wrote his father…

Buzz is on the right.

I wrote about him so his story would be told and he would forever be remembered.

Gil Gillis from Pense, Saskatchewan, is wearing the German helmet.

Bob Young is behind Moiself who is picking his nose…

These last pictures were taken in Germany the first time 403 Squadron set up their tents…

I wonder who is this Freddie Arsenault.

This sounds like French-Canadian…

I can’t find him anywhere on the Internet except on my blog about 403 Squadron.