Russell Keith McAdams

This post is written by his son Dave.

Russell Keith McAdams
Service # R99754
Posted to 403 Squadron June 13, 1942
Posted to 6 MFPS February 22, 1944 from 128 AF HQ and promoted to L/Cpl
Arrived France June 30, 1944

My father had few stories about the war and he seemed to focus on a few funny stories or daily things while in England.  Even then, there was not much discussion of the time spent overseas.

Some of the stories we recall are as follows.

While still in Canada, a film company arrived at or near Uplands.  Hal Wallis and Jack Warner had been approached in Hollywood to undertake a “patriotic film.” Captains of the Clouds was produced with the full cooperation of the Royal Canadian Air Force to promote enlistment in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.  Dad reported that he and some others were assigned the duty of taking still images for promotion of the film.  He did not mention if he met James Cagney or others involved in the film.

We have this image of him in uniform outside some tents.  Location unknown.

Russell Keith McAdams 3

There is a menu that he kept that is a drawing with the menu and the faces of a number of people including my dad added to the menu.  The menu is a photograph that was signed “Goober” and must show members of a unit possibly while in Ottawa area but there is nothing to indicate location.

He is the person looking over the fence at the bottom right.

Russell Keith McAdams 2

Dad also mentioned that one of the group had died after drinking after shave repeatedly after they were notified they were heading overseas.

While overseas he spoke of attending crash sites of both allied and axis planes and photographing the crash.  He brought a leg compass, possibly the model AK 39 from a German aircraft that we still have and there was a clock from a dash that was taken by a dishonest watch repair person.

He spoke often about the challenges of landing Mosquito aircraft.  He mentioned he had to photograph a number of crashes and that the aircraft often burned so there was little to photograph.  He thought they were a great aircraft but landings and takeoffs were a challenge for some.

He also spoke of bartering film ends to locals once the large films from the aircraft had been tripped to fit civilian cameras.

He mentioned trading a container of peanut butter to an American group for some other food but failed to mention that they had found a dead rat in the peanut butter container.  I imagine they were not too popular after that trade.

He spoke in general about loading film for reconnaissance aircraft and putting cameras in planes.  Also the task of developing film from numerous recon flights.  We are not sure if he flew on any recon flights.  This image seems to show him in a flying suit with a British F.24 camera, possibly with a 5″ lens fitted.

Russell Keith McAdams

Once story spoke of swimming at a beach which we assume was in France shortly after they arrived while waiting to head inland.  After swimming at the beach they were greeting by an officer who advised him and his companions that the beach had not been fully cleared of mines.

The story that started our research was never told to family as far as we know.  When Holocaust denier Ernst Zündel was in the news in Canada, my father was speaking to a close friend of mine and dad was visibly upset.  His comment was something to the effect of “if Zündel had seen what I saw at Bergen-Belsen, there would be no doubt of what took place”.  Bergen Belsen was never mentioned again.

We wonder now if this explained why he did not continue working in photography after the war and did not take large numbers of photos of family or family trips.

After he passed away in 2000, we were able to request his records of service and later we requested the microfilms of the 5 MFPS 6MFPS Operations Record Book.  5MFPS record reports on May 3, 1945 “combined liberty run to Belsen Camp by 5 and 6 M.F.P.S” and then on May 4, 1945 “second combined liberty run to Belsen Camp to accommodate further personnel” .  This would seem to confirm he was likely at  Bergen Belsen and witnessed what transpired there. We hope additional research can be done at Canadian War Museum or the Imperial War Museum London.

Advertisements

Lyn Bertram Madden

This could be a picture of Lyn Madden on this Webpage.

With the information Dean Black just provided, it has to be him on that group picture, third from the left.

I have Wally Conrad’s diary from that era (mid-1943. Wally served on 403 at the time.

Why is this important?

Because in his diary he complains about getting too many F/Lts former instructors from 416 with no combat experience and Madden seems to fit that description.

From Dean Black: about Lyn Bertram Madden

Saturday, 15 May, 1943

The weather was sunny and warm with cloud in the morning that cleared off by noon. 

Circus 297: S/L Magwood led the Wing as high Cover to 12 Bostons bombing Poix. 

Rendezvous was made at Bexhill on the deck and the French coast was crossed at Le Touquet. 

Good Bombing results were seen with bursts coming up from dispersed buildings and alongside the runway. 

All of the bombers were seen in and out safely. 

Enemy reaction was first seen around Senaipoint after the bombing, with between six and eight e/as coming in fairly close. 

Between 30 and 40 e/a were seen, mostly 109s, and all some distance below at around 17,000 feet. 

F/L MacDonald, leading blue Section, climbed to cover Red Section which had turned port to attack two 190s.  At this time, he  saw two 109s below his starboard wing and he dived onto the rear one giving a short burst of cannon from 200 yards or less. 

Strikes were seen on the engine, cockpit and fuselage before the e/a was seen falling to pieces with both wings crumpling.  F/L MacDonald claims this e/a as destroyed.  F/L MacDonald then attacked a 109 from 300 to 400 yards, seeing strikes on the port wing tip. 

F/O MacKay saw further damage before the e/a rolled off to port and down. 

F/L MacDonald claims this e/a as damaged. 

At this point, F/L L.B. Madden, Blue 2, who was on his first sortie, dove down, apparently after the damaged 109. 

He was called back by his Flight Commander, F/L MacDonald, but made no reply. 

The rest of the Section orbited the spot briefly but were forced to take evasive action from further attacks. 

No more was seen or heard from F/L L.B. Madden. 

P/O Aitken and P/O Lane, Yellow 3 and 4, were split up from the rest of their Section on attacking two pairs of 109s which were alone. 

Shortly after this, 12 109s, flying in our Spitfire formation, attacked P/O Lane and P/O Aitken.  They evaded them by turning and climbing rapidly.  Then one 109 and four 190s, flying in star formation, suddenly attacked from port and behind.  P/O Aitken broke to port and into them while P/O Lane evidently broke to starboard. 

This was the last time P/O W.T. Lane was seen or heard of. 

One e/a destroyed and one damaged for the loss of two pilots.  Up at 1615 hours and down at 1755 hours. 

The Sections were as follows:

Blue Section                      Red Section                         Yellow Section

F/L MacDonald                S/L Magwood                    F/L Godefroy

F/L Madden                      F/O Brannagan                 F/S Shouldice

F/O MacKay                    F/L McNair                          F/O Aitken

P/O McWilliams             F/O Conrad                         P/O Lane

Thanks Dean

F/L Lyn Madden, KIA, 15 May 1943

Comment from a reader…

Hello ,

I would like very much a picture of F/L Lyn Madden , kia 15 May 1943 , as well as one of Spitfire BS246. This is a request for someone writing a history book of Conteville , Normandy , where Madden’s Spitfire crashed.

Thank you,

Laurent

There are no pictures yet to be found.

Lyn Bertram Madden, birth 1920  in Lachute, Québec (Quebec)?

MADDEN, LYN BERTRAM
Date of Birth:
21 Oct 1919
Date of Death:
15 May 1943
Rank:
Flight Lieutenant
Unit:
Royal Canadian Air Force
Force:
Air
Service Number:
J4555
Reference:
RG 24
Volume:
28147

Click here for his memorial on CVWM.

Peter Lecoq’s Younger Brother

Peter Lecoq is a household name on this blog.

His brother Yvon is not.

Things will change thanks for Peter, Peter Lecoq’s son.

My sleuth sister emailed me this newspaper article yesterday. Yvon is one of my father’s younger brothers who is now 88 years young, long retired and living in the south of France. For those of you who know my cousins, Richard and Frederic Lecoq, Yvon is their father.

Subject: Article about Yvon Lecoq from Toronto Daily Star, Feb. 5, 1945

Canadian Led Maquis 5 February 1945

Three Years

Lest We Forget

Three years of research on this pilot who lost in life in a plane crash October 21, 1947 in Windsor Mills. I was not even born when it happened.

numérisation0015

Three years of research on Joseph Achilles Eugène Gagnon, a Mosquito pilot with RAF 23 Squadron. I am not even related to him.

A young French-Canadian, born May 28, 1921, a home town boy from Bromptonville who does not even have a street named to remembering him by…

A forgotten hero of Bromptonville, a town that does not exist anymore after its annexation with Sherbrooke.

Eugène Gagnon

23 Squadron, a RAF Squadron almost unknown stationed near the little village of Little Snoring in England also almost unknown. A squadron little known before I started writing a blog about it especially dedicated to it in 2010 to reach out for descendants of these airmen, pilots and navigators.

23 Squadron protected Bomber Command bombers flying over Germany…

View original post 163 more words

Information for Stephen Beasley

Joseph Ronald Beasley was a Flight Officer Pilot. He was killed flying a Spitfire with 416 Squadron 127 Wing.

Ron Beasley 416 Squadron

His brother, William Harold Beasley was a Leading Aircraftsman, affectionately known as an Erk. He was killed while “bombing up” an aircraft.

It wasn’t just pilots and aircrew that were casualties. Many “ground crew” were also killed and injured during the war.

From the book, They Shall Not Grow Old, here is the information about the Beasley Brothers.

BEASLEY, JOSEPH RONALD F/O(P) J23867.

From, Ottawa Ontario. Killed in action Dec 24/44. #416 City of Oshawa Squadron (Ad Soltum Paratus). F/O Beasley was killed when his Spitfire aircraft # SM277 was shot down by flak at Malmedy, Belgium. Flying Officer Pilot Beasley is buried in the War Cemetery, Leopoldsburg, Limburg, Belgium.

BEASLEY, WILLIAM HAROLD  AC2 R188567 – armourer.

From Ottawa, Ontario. Died June 12/43 age 31. Died in an accident while bombing up an aircraft. AirCraftsman Second Class Beasley is buried in the Family Plot in the Pinecrest Cemetery at Ottawa, Ontario.

Mark White June 2013