Pilots Redux

I love this comment left below this post I wrote last year.

I grew up knowing the story about Chuck Thornton – he was my Dad.

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.

403 Erks Captured German Truck Redux

Mark White will love these comments left on one of his posts he wrote.

Mark’s dad was an erk with 403 Squadron. Mark has written several posts about his father and other ground crew personel with 403 Squadron.

Hello all,
It’s a real great model, but the wrong type. The capured 4,5 tons truck on the images is a “absolut” rate Saurer SGS 4500. It’s a combination design of Klöckner Humbold Deutz, Henschel and Saurer factory.

Please look here.


Saurer SGS 4500

Best regards

Second time 😉
I think it must be Soltau not Soldau. I live in “Lower Saxony” to in Stade. Here is a map link from Reinshelen with the airfield.

Best regards

Reinshelen airfield Reinshelen airfield

403 Erks Captured German Truck

Towards the end of the war, 403 Squadron operated out of 127 Airfield near Soldau Germany. 

This was known as Base 154 or B154. They remained there from April 26 until July 7, 1945.

B 154 was an abandoned German airbase known as Reinsehlen. It was about 45 km from Hamburg. It was quite near the Concentration Camp at Bergen Belsen and the swimming pool at Lüneburg Germany.

The Erks from 403 visited the concentration camp and the swimming pool. I’m posting some never before published pictures from my dad’s collection.
You can identify some of the Erks in these pictures in the 403 Group picture.


I showed a friend of mine, who is a serious military model maker, some of my dad’s photos. Steve had never seen a Maple Leaf painted inside a Roundel. He built a model depicting this truck complete with three 403 Erks. The Erk with the cigarette wearing the leather Jerkin is my dad. Steve won a gold medal at a recent model show in Calgary for his work depicting 403 squadron’s captured German truck at B154 in July of 1945.

The medium 4.5T cargo truck Mercedes-Benz L4500S was originally developed for civilian use. It was used in wide service with all German military units during World War II on both Western and Eastern fronts. A total of 9,500 trucks were manufactured from 1939-1944, most of them for the Wehrmacht. The L4500 had a 7.2 litre diesel engine with 112 HP and existed in 2 basic versions: 2-wheel drive “S” and 4-wheel drive “A”.

Steve’s Model Depicting 403 Erks with a Captured Mercedes 4.5 Ton Truck