There is so much to tell about 403 Squadron now that Dean is sending me pictures and asking questions about some pilots.
I don’t want to digress on this blog which is mostly about 403 Squadron, but Captain Foster was an instructor at No. 6 SFTS, Dunnville, until October 1942.
Captain Foster is seen here in March 1945 at B90 Petit Brogel airdrome in liberated Belgium.
Eugene Gagnon got his wings at No. 6 SFTS, Dunnville, in April 1942.
Eugene became a staff pilot at No. 7 B&G in Paulson, Manitoba, and then a Mosquito pilot with RAF No. 23 Squadron. This is why I wrote a blog about 23 Squadron: to pay homage to him and to his brothers-in-arms.
Click here to visit the blog.
No. 6 SFTS, Dunnville, Ontario, April 1942
Foster and Gagnon must have met somehow since Captain Foster instructed at No.6 SFTS, Dunnville, until October 1942. Maybe he was Eugene’s instructor.
It’s funny when you meet people.
You never know what will evolve from that meeting.
It’s like when I met Greg in Hamilton. My wife and I stayed at his father’s B&B for two days.
I was just there in Hamilton to visit George Stewart who knew Eugene Gagnon. He invited me last year.
Eugene flew his first mission on December 6, 1944 while George flew his last mission on December 8, 1944. They were with the same squadron: RAF No. 23 Squadron.
Foster was one-of-a-kind flying instructor. I never met him personally.
How do I know he was a one-of-a-kind flying instructor?
I met him through this book.
I will tell you more next time or you can read Ted Barris’ book. He met Captain Foster personally as well as 200 more instructors.
As a footnote, you can read Captain Foster’s citation.
I took it from this site.
We learn more about Captain Foster’s service record.
FOSTER, F/L Livingstone (J10957)
– Distinguished Flying Cross
– No.403 Squadron
– Award effective 10 July 1945 as per London Gazette dated 24 July 1945 and AFRO 1619/45 dated 19 October 1945.
Born in Grimsby, Ontario, September 1919.
Home there; educated there.
Enlisted in Hamilton, 13 May 1940.
To No.1 ITS, 27 May 1940; graduated and promoted LAC, 22 June 1940 when posted to No.3 EFTS; graduated 31 August 1940 when posted to No.2 SFTS; graduated and promoted Sergeant, 1 December 1940.
Promoted WO2, 1 December 1941.
Commissioned 30 March 1942.
Instructed at No.6 SFTS, Dunnville, until October 1942.
Promoted Flying Officer, 1 October 1942.
To “Y” Depot, 23 October 1942; arrived overseas 5 November 1942.
Promoted Flight Lieutenant, 31 March 1944.
Further trained at No.58 OTU (January-March 1943).
Flew with Nos.416 and 403 Squadrons on his first tour (March 1943 to March 1944); at No.53 OTU until September 1944.
On second tour flew with Nos.403 and 421 Squadrons.
To UK 26 May 1945, to Canada 5 August 1945; released 17 September 1945.
DFC presented in Hamilton, Ontario, 27 July 1949.
Rejoined RCAF as Administrative Officer, 19 March 1951 (36961).
Promoted Flight Lieutenant, 1 July 1953.
Queen’s Coronation Medal, 23 October 1953 while at Station Penhold.
Reclassified as Personnel Administration Officer, 8 May 1956.
Credited with the following aerial victories:
17 August 1943, one Bf.110 destroyed (No.403 Squadron; shared with three others);
28 January 1944, one FW.190 damaged (No.403 Squadron);
29 September 1944, one Bf.109 destroyed (No.421 Squadron);
8 December 1944, one Bf.109 destroyed (No.403 Squadron);
28 April 1945, one Do.24 destroyed (No.403 Squadron).
Died in Smith Falls, Ontario, 9 March 2003.
An extensive obituary in the Ottawa Citizen, 11 March 2003, detailed an athletic career that began as rehabilitation following childhood rheumatoid arthritis.
This officer has completed numerous sorties against many heavily defended targets in Germany and enemy occupied territory. Flight Lieutenant Foster has proved himself to be an outstanding fighter pilot, showing keenness, courage and devotion to duty which, coupled with his ability and fine leadership, have made him an outstanding example to the wing. He has destroyed three enemy aircraft and has damaged or destroyed many transport vehicles.