B2 (Base 2) Crepon France

Written  by Mark White

B2 (Base 2) Crepon France 

June to August 27 1944

The D-Day was June 6, 1944.

The Erks from 403 Squadron had expectations of landing in France on June 10 1944. The glider crossing was cancelled. My father’s crew was then scheduled to cross the channel by air with the Dakota group, but was switched at the last minute to cross with the barge group.

They eventually landed on Gold Beach on June 18, 1944 and got their trucks on shore. The Maintenance Officer, a fellow named Disher, ordered the crew to make sure that they got the crane truck to the airfield near the Village of Crepon. The crane truck was a key piece of equipment for lifting crashed aircraft and doing engine changes on the Spitfires.

After a long and difficult day moving the trucks along railway lines and under railroad tunnels, they were met in Crepon, by one of their men, who was sent out to find them and guide them to their airfield.

our tent

The Erks from 403 Squadron seem rather fresh faced and clean in this photo. It was likely taken soon after the arrival at the B2 Airbase. My father, George White, is the fellow seated. The fellow sitting on his leg is Bob Mosher.

Now, I will share a few stories from 403 Squadron’s No. 1 Crew Journal – as written by hand:


June 18, 1944

……… I was never so tired, it was warm and I was dirty. We took a truck back down to the beach to clean up, there was a dozen or so dead, 2nd Division Canadians in the water so we came back dirty. At 11:30 PM an air raid started, intense gun fire, hard to sleep.

June 19, 1944

Maintenance Crew started to dig in. We are in an open grass field along a hedge. Our Maintenance Work area is in an apple orchard. We are close to a German Fort, consisting earth banks with old World War I field guns set up to cover sections of the beach. There was lots of ammo scattered about. Our pilots wheeled out a field gun and started firing a few rounds, hopefully into German lines. Anyway, the Canadian Army or British Army caught on immediately and took the gun away. The German gun crew lived underground in a boarded up shelter. We tried some of their canned rations – pretty good.


June 20, 1944

Got stomach flu from drinking bad water – rain and mud. Still on Compo Rations – stew and hardtack, spoonful each of jam – hard to eat as the wasps practically take it out of your mouth. Lots of stings.

June 21, 1944

Feeling better – work starting in maintenance. Green apples not the edible kind – think the French use them to make Calvados – a drink with a heavy kick. Lots of German rifles around. I would like to get a good one home – the Mauser bolt action is superior. 80 hour inspections today – our aircraft handling short netting runway excellently. On guard at night. Air raid missed our airfield. Did some laundry – gasoline – once drained out of aircraft it is not allowed to be put back in, even thou we use chamois skin filters.

Going on guard

June 22, 1944

 Lovely day – not much work built a small fireplace so we can have a fire with no flames showing. Working late at 416 Sqd. Interesting day. Shot up American Fortress crashed. Crew bailed out, plane on fire. Marauder bombers attacking Caen. Heavy German AC AC, clear sky. Aircraft took a beating, one exploded and came down in flames, others just went down, some came back smoking. German Acc Acc shot one man coming down by parachute. Some German Acc Acc bursts over our airfield. Lots of smoke and gunfire from Caen. Annother big air raid at night. Tracer fire beautiful in the dark. German artillery shelled an empty field near our Campsite. Precision shooting but the wrong field. No damage. Some guys came to gawk – didn’t know what was causing the explosions. Army let them know in a hurry.

June 24 1944

 Worked in flight today, fellas there don’t get much chance to do repairs. Dust is getting real heavy. We seem to be the only ones worrying. We went into the nearest village, tried the wine, 10 francs a glass, thought it was Cognac. Actually was Calvados, swear it was moonshine made from local apples, has a kick like a mule. One glass was enough. Vin Blanc, 160 francs 1 bottle, no hell. We saw another German fort setup for beach fire. 28 Winnipeg Rifles killed putting it out of action by sniper fire.

Mark White

July 2013


Comment from Mark White about Russel Keith McAdams

People sometimes overlook the comments on this blog. This is why I am posting this one from Mark White who also writes posts on this blog about RCAF 403  Squadron.


That’s an amazing wartime story about your dad and some nice research on your part.

The real heroes of the war never talked much about their experiences. I only heard my father talk about the war in detail and visiting the camp at Bergen-Belsen only once in my life. That was on the 50th Anniversary of D-Day. He gathered the whole family together and he talked about the war for about 4 hours. I thought the most amazing stories he told were during the liberation of Paris.

When I was young, he would sometimes get together with his war buddies. Nobody really understood what they were talking about. One minute they would be laughing their heads off and rolling around on the floor and the next minute they would be crying like babies.

Thanks again for sharing.


Mark White

Mark has more in store on this blog.

Voyage to Nowhere: MS St. Louis

Paying homage to a captain and his crew…


It would be a voyage to remember; whether it ended happily or whether it didn’t. One thing was for sure — it wasn’t going to be a picnic for Captain Gustav Schroeder. The Nazi regime had a way of working its way into everyday life. And now here, on the MS St. Louis, Schroeder knew that the Nazis had penetrated shipboard life.

As the Jewish passengers filed aboard Schroeder had a few run-ins with the Gestapo, a photographer from the Ministry of Propaganda, firemen who were Gestapo and a Nazi agent posing as a steward, Otto Schiendick. The captain would treat the Jews as equals and would brook no nonsense from anyone on his ship who would do otherwise. Schroeder’s attitude, for the most part, reflected in the attitude of his crew. They too were putting their best foot forward. The crew made every possible effort to accommodate…

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