Rare footage

RAF 23 Squadron

Strange title… for my 175th post on this blog about 23 Squadron.

Click on this link to view my edited version of some Movietone shots made in Italy.

Please view the credits at the end.

Next time I will tell you when and how these movie shots were taken.

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Peter Lecoq’s Latest Contribution: Spitfire 944

Great viewing!


8 mm footage recovered 50 years later and converted to modern media by the photographers grandchildren and presented to the Spitfire pilot in the film.  

Mac Reeves’ Last Moment Redux

This post first published on March 20th, 2012 was the one which touched me more than any stories shared with me about 403 Squadron…

Dean Black contributed a lot and he wrote me this e-mail about Mac Reeves…

You may be interested to know that Mac Reeves sent a radio transmission to his fellow pilots moments after he had been attacked by enemy airplanes. He told them that his arm had been completely shot off and that he had no choice but to ride the airplane in. (he could not get out and he could not fly it). He wished them well and he said it was a privilege flying with them. 


Mac Reeves does not have a grandson to talk about him or remembering him by like Greg Bell and Colin Forsyth have. 

As a footnote, Mac Reeves would die just a few weeks after that picture was taken.

Mac Reeves

I often wondered who were Mac Reeves’ erks and how saddened they were when they got the news about Mac’s death.

283rd Post and Something More to Reflect Upon

This is what I wrote on December 27th, 2011 on this blog about RCAF 403 Squadron.

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…

Read the comment carefully…


Once again, I get the impression that the “powers that be” hope that we’ll all fade away and the problem will disappear. I’m certainly impressed that you’ve made the effort to write about some of these airmen.

When in Doubt… The Sequel

This a sequel of this post…


It’s better to leave a comment.

Any chance any of the five men in the image following the line “More Stories? ” are identified. One looks a bit like my dad but we have very few pictures of him from around that time. He was with 127 and 128 AFHQ before being attached to 6 MFPS in Europe.

George White top row left


Mark White wrote back about this post…

Regarding the airmen in this photo, I have no idea who they are and I have no idea when the picture was taken. I think the fellow in the left side back row may be my father, although I am not entirely sure.

George White left

 Dave, which fellow do you think is your dad?

 I’ll look at some of my dad’s other pictures and see if I can find any more with him in them.

Engine Job 05

The fellow in the above picture bottom right is the same ERK shown in the bottom right beside the Merlin engine. No idea who the fellows are or when the photo was taken.

 I received this drawing from Dr. Mark Celiscak. He is doing research about Bergen-Belsen. A number of airmen from 127 Wing visited the camp after the cessation of hostilities in the spring of 1945 and provided relief for some of the inmates.

Bergen Belsen

Flight Officer Donald K. Anderson, also of the 127 Wing, arrived at Bergen-Belsen at the end of April or early May 1945. He completed numerous sketches of Bergen-Belsen and its inmates. Anderson ultimately completed only one water colour of the camp, which is held by the Canadian War Museum.

This picture depicts members of 127 Wing handing out a truckload of relief supplies at the camp fence.



 When in Doubt…

George White montage


It Does Not Take Much

One picture and one name to pay homage to someone…

Alaskan Airfield

(sign reads); 1 MILE
                  FATHER NESBITTS
                  BOYS TOWN
(back of picture); WING COM. NESBITT
                         SQAD. LEADER ASHMAN
                         PILOT OFFICER BULTON
                         AUG 1942 ALASKA

Click here!

This is what you found about him… on the Website

Born in Montreal, 16 November 1910
Educated there
Began flying with the Montreal Light Aeroplnane Club in 1933
In 1936 was judged the most competent pilot in the club
(Winning the James Lytell Memorial Trophy)
Joined the RCAF (No.115 Squadron) 15 September 1939
Obtained wings at Camp Borden, 11 April 1940
Proceeded overseas with No.1 (C) Squadron
Served in the Battle of Britain (wounded 15 September 1940)
Was the oldest Canadian in that battle
Later commanded No.401 Squadron
To Canada, 18 September 1941
Commanding No.14 Squadron and then
No.111 Squadron (15 December 1941)
Promoted to Wing Commander, 15 June 1942 & Given command of Station Annette Island
To Station Boundary Bay, 10 October 1942
C/O, No.6 SFTS, Dunneville, 30 Dec. 1943 to March 1944
To UK to command No.144 Wing (16 April to 12 July 1944)
Joined No.83 Group HQ as Accidents Investigation Officer
Promoted to Group Captain on 1 January 1945 &
Took over No.143 Wing
Returned to Canada, 16 September 1945
Retired from the RCAF on 27 November 1945
Prominent in investment business and was  President of Nesbitt, Thompson & Co. for 25 years (1952-77)  (founded by his father, A.J. Nesbitt in 1912)
Handled accounts of Trans-Canada Pipelines, Ltd., &
Wrote a book on the early troubles of that company
Died 22 February 1978 in Montreal after a skiing accident on 4 Feb. left him almost totally paralysed

Exclusive Pictures From Alaska Circa 1942

More pictures from Lorne Weston’s collection with this message…

Hello again Pierre

Here are more Alaska pictures for you, all but one un-dated, with Dad’s notes, where possible.

Crack up
crack up
Kitty Hawk (sic) crash landing Alaska
Kitty Hawk cash landing Alaska
Bolingbrook (sic) landing Alaska
Bolingbrooke Landing in Alaska
seaplane base Alaska
Seaplane Base in Alaska
Alaskan Airfield
Alaskan Airfield
(sign reads); 1 MILE
                  FATHER NESBITTS
                  BOYS TOWN
(back of picture); WING COM. NESBITT
                         SQAD. LEADER ASHMAN
                         PILOT OFFICER BULTON
                         AUG 1942 ALASKA
airborne on dawn patrol Alaska
airborne on dawn patrol Alaska
Kitty Hawk (sic) landing Alaska
Kitty Hawk (sic) landing Alaska
Back in the 1960s Dad told me that the “dawn patrol” picture, and others like it which I have, were taken from the Observer’s seat of a U.S.A.A.C. PB-Y Catalina, but I don’t know if they were taken at Ketchican, or Kodiak.
No caption…

    Kittyhawk with pilot