Mystery Pilot?

I don’t think so…

Thanks Peter.


A new collaborator and a new category.

This blog pays homage to all those who served with RCAF No. 403 Squadron during WWII.

This blog is all about sharing.


Greg has shared his grandfather photo album and his precious logbook.

Mark wants to share what is seldom mentioned in WWII…



This is what George Stewart said about erks when I asked… Click here.

So next time, on this blog, we will talk about Mark’s dad who was an erk with RCAF No 403 Squadron.

I just can’t wait.

Click on the image to zoom in. Mark’s father should be there.

Constructive Remarks from Mark

People don’t talk much about erks… but pilots did and respected them a lot.

About Mark’s remarks…


Good site.

Collecting info on 403 squadron during WWII is a great idea whose time has come.

The site seems a little slow, the software is a little clunky and sometimes a little difficult to follow.

You are gathering some valuable historical information here, and I’d hate to see it lost because of the fact that you might be perhaps hosting it through a free site.

My father was an Erk – Airframe Mechanic – with Bomber Command – during WWII. He transferred to 403 while stationed in England, and remained with 127 Wing from the Normandy invasion until the end of the war.

I have many of his old photos, some written journals and some great written stories I could share. I also have some crests, medals and his old Jerkin – complete with air force paint art work, as well as many of the letters he wrote while overseas.

Keep up the good work.


Mark is now an honorary member of this blog about RCAF 403 Squadron.


180th article about RCAF No. 403 Squadron, and it’s not over by all means…

Someone has written about another pilot, Charles Thornton.

He is in this picture.


That was the name file for this picture Peter Lecoq sent me a few months ago when he found my blog. He had some pictures that he had found on his hard disk.

In this picture, Charles Thornthon was just a face and a name…

Now, he is much much more because Francis in Belgium is writing something about Charles Thornton.

It’s going to be a great story that will pay homage to this pilot and to the Belgian man who helped him escaped from the Germans for a while before Charles Thornton was finally captured.

When Francis is all done, he is going to send me a copy in French, and I will translate it for you.

So you see, this blog is a never-ending blog about a little known RCAF Spitfire squadron in WWII.

Chuck Thornton

Small world.

About Chuck or Charles Thornton.

This has to be him in this small picture sent by Peter Lecoq, the son of Pierre Lecoq…

I managed to edit it.

He is next to Pierre Lecoq aka Peter Logan…

He is also in this picture sent a few months ago by Dean Black.

Here is the original picture.

Sometimes we just have to sit and wait for more information to reach us.

Sorry for my bad English!

A reader just wrote this…

Sorry for my bad English!

I am looking for informations about Charles P. THORNTON. His Spitfire was shot down near Courtrai (Belgium) but Thornton bailed out and the man and his aircraft fell in my area, here, in Warneton (Belgium), on 15 May, 1944.

A person, now dead, gave him his civilian clothes but Charles was too tall.

Nevertheless, Thornton was caught by the Germans and he went in Germany in a prisoner-of-war’ camp.

After the war, the Belgian man wrote to Thornton and Thornton came to Belgium in 1951 to meet again the man who had helped him.

I am searching further informations.
In 1946 his address was :
Flight Lieutenant C.O. Thornton, J.4256, RCAF c/o Military Post Office, 134. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
He was living in Detroit.
If somebody…

He does have to feel sorry for his bad English!

Merci beaucoup pour ce témoignage de Belgique.

Now if we could lend him a helping hand…


I went for a search on Google, and I found my articles…


A reader added this comment…

Bonjour Francis,

The operational records book (AIR 27/1783) mentions the following details :

At 0930hrs the squadron was off on an escort job to Douai, while passing north of Lille.

Huns were sighted on an airfield, the Wingco who was leading sent yellow section down after one FW190 which had just landed.

Chuck Thornton who was leading the section gave the first burst followed by …(ORB difficult to read) Williams, Doug Orr and Tony Bryan.

The Huns plane was last seen burning but it was an expensive do as Chuck Thornton’s plane was badly hit resulting in Chuck having to bail out.

He was last seen heading for a nearby woods as fast as he could run.

We have lost for the time being one of the best liked chaps of our squadron, a real guy, but he’ll come back just live Dave Goldberg.

There was to have been a bombing do this afternoon but it was cancelled and the rest of the day was taken up with a little practice flying.

Ramrod 889:
Escort to 36 Marauders bombing marshalling yards Douai. Results not seen. F/L C.P. Thornton a/c hit by flak forced to bale out, last seen walking towards woods in Coutrai area. Flak. Heavy accurate. Weather: 7/10ths clouds at base 6,000 ft to 7,000 feet.

F/L. C.P. Thornton Up 0930 down 1030
F/L. E.C.Williams
F/O. A.J.A.Bryan
F/O. J.D.Orr
W/C. L.V.Chadburn
F/L. W.J.Hill
F/O. J.Preston
F/O. H.V.Boyle
F/L. H.R.Finley
F/L . C.T.Brown
F/L. M.J.Gordon
F/O. E.D.Kelly

(The orb is not always easy to read.)

Best regards from another part of Belgium

Paying Homage to Wing Commander Ford, by Robert de Vries

Robert sent me these pictures and this message with them. I think it’s appropriate to share what he wrote about Wing Commander Ford.

Hi Pierre

Hereby my own pictures when I visited the grave of WCmd Ford.

I really kept some moments of silence remembering him, knowing the story, young age, career of WC Ford, all for the liberation of us here.

Click to zoom in


Click to zoom in

On the other side, you can’t see it on the picture, were German graves (Vlieland Island had a big Flak regiment (500 pax) because above the island there was a route for Allied Bombers with destination Hamburg, Berlin …..).

I hope to get some more information about the crash and why L.S. Ford was buried in Vlieland (mailed the local historian).


Robert de Vries

In memory of
Wing Commander
who died on June 4, 1943 

Military Service:

Service Number: J/3712
Age: 22
Force: Air Force
Unit: Royal Canadian Air Force
Division: 402 City of Winnipeg Squadron
Honours and Awards:  Distinguished Flying Cross

Additional Information:

Son of Dr. Theodore Rupert Ford and Margaret Irene Ford, of Shelburne, Nova Scotia. B.A.

Wing Commander Ford was an ace, he was credited with destroying six enemy aircraft. He was killed when his Spitfire aircraft AA980 was shot down in the sea off Holland.