Digressing again this morning

That’s the problem with blogs…

You start digressing from what you want to write in the first place. Like yesterday when I was talking about Eugene Gagnon a French-Canadian Mosquito pilot.

When I was reading Ted Barris’ book Behind the Glory I came to realise that Eugene was in the same frame of mind, or predicament, as Amigo and the Chief, Captain Foster that is. Amigo and Foster were both instructors with BCATP while Gagnon was a staff pilot.

How Gagnon came to be a staff pilot at No. 7 B&G, that information I was not able to find out. I am sure Gene hated it just like Foster and Amigo hated being posted in Canada when all the action was in Europe. Gagnon was finally posted overseas.

How he did that I will probably never know.

Eugene Gagnon was a little known French-Canadian airman born in Bromptonville, Quebec, a little town very few people know about unless you live there. When I started looking for information about him in 2010, I found the Air Force Association of Canada Website, and I came across this information…


Never heard of Boomtonville! 

You can see it here.

GAGNON, F/L Joseph Achille Eugene (J27002) – Distinguished Flying Cross – No.23 Squadron – Award effective 22 May 1945 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 1147/45 dated 13 July 1945.  Born 1921; home in Boomtonville, Quebec.  Enlisted Montreal 7 February 1941.  Commissioned 1942.  Trained at No.1 ITS (graduated 3 July 1941), No.10 EFTS (graduated 21 January 1942) and No.6 SFTS (graduated 24 April 1942).

Since joining his squadron in December 1944, this officer has completed many sorties against a variety of targets.  His determination has been outstanding and his persistent attacks on enemy locomotives, rolling stock and road transport have been most successful.  One night in March 1945, he was detailed on a minelaying mission in a section of the Elbe River.  On the outward journey the starboard engine developed trouble but despite this he went on to accomplish his task in the face of heavy enemy fire.  On the return journey the starboard engine became completely unserviceable.  Height could not be maintained and the aircraft was forced down to 400 feet, becoming extremely difficult to control.  Displaying brilliant airmanship and determination, Flight Lieutenant Gagnon made a successful landing at base without injury to his crew and with but slight damage to the aircraft.  His devotion to duty has been most notable.

But I persevered in my search… and found it was Bromptonville. This was the start of a beautiful virtual friendship between Eugene and me… I hope you’ll get a clearer picture of what I mean.

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Eugene Gagnon and I are not even related. He died in a plane crah on October 21, 1947. I was born a year later in Montreal. We had never met of course.

Now I have to stop digressing on this blog.


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