Rispler and Amigo

This is the 100th article on this blog that started in September 2011.

As I like to say, Greg scans like hell and I write a lot about what he sends.

But something amazing happened last week.

Dean Black found this blog.

Who is Dean Black? Well you will have to read last week’s articles.

Dean has not told me yet how he stumbled upon this blog, but that’s not important because he is sharing this picture with us this morning.

Collection Dean Black

Amigo is on the left. Les Rispler is on the right.

We know a lot about Aurel “Amigo” Roy thanks to Dean.

Last week Amigo was just a caption in Walter Neil Dove’s photo album.

The caption was beside a missing picture.

Collection Walter Neil Dove

Now we know a lot about Aurel “Amigo” Roy, but what about Les Rispler?

I got curious…

Click here…

This is what they found about him.

Traced as a result of attending the Wartime Aircrew Reunion in Winnipeg, Canada some 3 years ago and, as a result, his name appeared on the back of a menu as a 1403 representative. Later traced to Calgary, Canada. Leslie knew David Leslie well when in Germany with 403 Squadron.

Leslie was born in Three Hills, Alberta, Canada and completed High School in Medicine Nat, Alberta. He joined the RCAF on 1st May 1940. Initially he served as ground crew but was re-mustered to aircrew on 7th December 1941 (Pearl Harbour Day) when stationed at Uplands, Ontario. Service Flying Training was undertaken on Harvard trainers and Leslie obtained his wings at Camp Borden, Ontario in September 1942. He then instructed on Tiger Moth trainers at Elementary Flying Schools at Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and Virden, Manitoba.

He arrived in England in March 1944 and was stationed at Ternhill, Shropshire, Advanced Flying Unit and at Kirton-in-Lindsey Operations Training Unit. Leslie joined 403 Squadron at Eindhoven, Holland, in March 1945 and returned with the squadron to England in the July. After returning to Canada he attended the University of Alberta and graduated with a BSc in Chemical Engineering.

Leslie has been employed in the oil and gas industry in exploration and production operations. For the past 28 years he has been with the Hudson’s Bay Oil & Gas Company Ltd with headquarters in Calgary, Alberta where he held the position of Manager, Technical Services. (The more observant will have noted that 403 Squadron was adopted by the City of Calgary). His daughter Sheila visited Manston in September 1980 and saw her father’s aircraft for herself.

This blog is all about sharing.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Lest we forget.

As a footnote…

Amigo also flew TB752.

Click here. 

Great reading as we learn more about Amigo.


Aurel was born in Warren, Ontario, Canada, a village which had a population of 600 in the year he was born (1920). Warren is 35 miles east of Sudbury, which is more widely known as the nickel mining centre of the world.

He started his education at Separate School in Warren and then went to Bourget College, Rigaud, Quebec. Aurel tried to enlist in the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1939 and from that date until he actually joined up (8th May 1941) he was employed by International Nickel.

After joining the RCAF, he was posted to Windsor, Ontario, E.F.T.S. where he earned to fly on Fleet Finches. He was then transferred to Uplands (No 2 SFTS) near Ottawa where he underwent further training on Harvards. Aurel attained his ‘Wings’ in May 1942 and was then posted to Brantford, Ontario (No 4 Wireless School) where he trained W.A.G.S. on Tiger Moths, Yales and Norsemen until July 1944.

He was then transferred to No 5 S.F.T.S. on a refresher course to fly twin engined aircraft: he trained on Avro Ansons although he really wanted to fly Mosquitoes! During May 1944 he embarked for England on the ‘Ile de France’ and finally arrived at No 5 RAF Advanced Flying Unit, Newton, Shropshire, in the June where he was flying Masters and then Hurricanes. Then on to No 53 OTU on the 19th December where he again flew Masters but also Spitfires. After a short period at No 83 G.S.U. Aurel was posted to 403 RCAF Squadron on the 12th April 1945 flying Spitfires XVIs in Germany. He also did one ferry trip to Eindhoven, Holland. Aurel flew TB 752 during this period.

Aurel stayed in Germany until August that year and then returned to England. By then 403 Squadron had been disbanded and he was transferred to 421 “Red Indian” Squadron. He ended up at Bournemouth and later at Torquay. He sailed from Liver-pool to return to Canada. Aurel now runs a store, gas “bar” and restaurant which keeps him very much involved.

There is little doubt that so far as Aurel was concerned flying the Spitfire was a dream come true. As he puts it, “the sheer enjoyment of flying such a plane was incredible”. Aurel also marvelled at the manner in which the British people stood up to all the bombing and also went without so many things that were taken for granted in America. He was in London during the onslaught of the “buzz-bombs” (V.1s) and the “rockets” (V.2s) and describes as unbelievable the destruction caused by such weapons.

Aurel recalls that in Germany his unit was stationed quite close to the Belsen Concentration Camp which he described as “the most inhuman, incomprehensible sight ever” and that “no words can describe such a holocaust”.

Unfortunately all the photographs that Aurel has of his wartime service were destroyed in a fire at his father’s house in 1949.

“Unfortunately all the photographs that Aurel has of his wartime service were destroyed in a fire at his father’s house in 1949.”

I am sure Walter Dove, Greg’s grandfather, gave the missing picture to Amigo…