Tommy Todd Revisited Redux: the Sequel

Post 321

This post is for you Andrew.

This has happen so many times since 2011 that I have stopped pinching myself.

Andrew Todd contacted me!

Andrew whose grandfather was Tommy Todd left more comments…

I don’t know how you found me but I am sure glad you did! I feel like I know you somehow but can’t figure out the connection.

If you start reading this blog from the start, I know you will start pinching yourself then stop pinching.

Andrew had written a comment on this blog in December 2011, but he had never contacted me again…

Tom Todd is my grandfather.  These pictures are new to me.  I am at work and have to keep it together but feel overwhelmed with emotion so I will have to look at this later in private.  Thanks for posting this.

Walter Neil Dove collection via Greg Bell

Many people contacted me since 2011 and they shared memories and pictures.

I posted everything!

This is why this is Post No. 321.

Captain Foster’s son wrote me, Van Sainsbury’s son wrote me, someone who knew Gil Gillis wrote me. Peter Lecoq’s son wrote me…

Dean Black, who is a retired air force Lieutenant-Colonel with 30 years’ service in the Canadian Forces, wrote me and share tons of information,

George White’s son wrote me and he wrote articles about his father… 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tony Cannell was the first person to reach me on this blog…

He knew Tommy Todd as well as his wife Val and he shared a story.

Walter Neil Dove collection via Greg Bell

I knew Tom Todd very well and despite the fact he was older (I missed the war by two years) he was my best friend.

I took him flying occasionally in light planes in the early sixties. He loved that and would sometimes recall some of his wartime experiences while we tootled around the skies west of Ottawa, or later around Maple Airport north of Toronto.

One incident he recounted was of flying a rhubarb, busting trains etc. He and his friend Izzy Isbister were warned to stay away from the Rhone Valley because of the intense flak in the area. Unfortunately, in their haste to get away after intense activity and getting low on fuel, they mistook the Rhone for another river and flew through some heavy flak. Leaving the coast, Tom could see cannon shells hitting the sea just behind Izzy just ahead. Taking evasive action, they were lucky to get out of that little mess with, no doubt, a great sigh of relief !

Other little incidents were just as interesting too !

Tom was a very quiet,  unassuming and wonderful friend.

Tony Cannell

I wrote this on Tommy Todd.

Click here to read my article. 

Someone else had written a story about Tommy Todd. I just copied it because I did not want to lose that precious story found also in Walter Neil Dove’s precious logbook.

F/L Todd Shot Down by Flak North of Emmerich

Walter Neil Dove collection via Greg Bell

Toddy was shot down 6 weeks before the end of the war and was taken prisoner. He should not have been flying that day, but had offered to take the place of a young pilot who was exhausted.

I had told Greg I was going to write about Tommy Todd once again so he revisited his grandpa’s photo album and Greg found this…

Walter Neil Dove collection via Greg Bell

Walter Neil Dove collection via Greg Bell

To be continued…?

There is no end in sight about what we can discover about RCAF 403 Squadron especially since Andrew is going to contact Karl.

13 thoughts on “Tommy Todd Revisited Redux: the Sequel

  1. Hi Pierre,

    Thanks for the kind words and promoting my 419 website. I should add a link from my site, it that is ok with you.

    As for the “pinching myself”, if I understand what you are trying to say then it is a common experience. In the year I have been putting together the data on the 419 the number of times when strange, and that is the best word to describe it, things happen. Contacted by familes of crewmen who’s webpage I would be just starting to work on, contacts from multiple families of different crewmen of the same lost crew contacting me the same day and none of whom know each other. And it’s not once or twice this has happened, make it dozens of times.

    It’s as if those who were lost want to be heard and not forgotten. Wierd , but maybe not.

    Let me know if you want to link up


    • Pinching myself is the right expression…

      I know this might be weird, but I have exactly the same feeling about someone guiding us in all this.
      In the case of 403 Squadron, I think Wally Dove is looking over my shoulder.

      Of course you can link my blog or blogs… I have several.
      But 425 Squadron is okay since there is a link there.

      My blog about RAF 23 Squadron is most interesting since these airmen flew missions to protect Bomber Command’s bombers over Germany.

      Presentation page written in 2010!

      By the way Dan, did I say your Website is impressive?


    • I found a French-Canadian airman on his Website. Joseph Gilles Bachand.
      Same name as my wife’s name.
      Got curious…

      On July 15th 1943 WO II Bachand is posted to 419 Moose squadron. Between July 27th to February 12th he had flown on 16 previous operations with F/O Laidlaw and crew. When on the night of February 12/13 1944 on a mine laying mission to Borkum Island when the aircraft was lost. The lost was a mysterious one. Five other crews in the area saw no enemy aircraft or other enemy action such as flak. No mayday was received back from the aircraft and no explosions were seen by the other aircraft. No Luftwaffle records show any claims for aircraft during that time and place.
      And so this experienced crew and their aircraft disappeared somewhere after there leaving their base. Leaving no trace or record of what happened.

      • I found some of his ancestors. His father was Hector Bachand and his mother Anna-Marie Dostaler. They got married 18 January 1910 in Trois-Rivières, Québec.
        I wonder if I should write something about it on Souvenirs de guerre or on my blog about genealogy.
        I wonder if I can resist writing something about it.

      • Told you there was more work for you – and you thought you’d have an easy time of it this summer – HA. Good work, Pierre and keep digging.

      • Love the comments on Korean War 17!!!
        About the Korean veterans…
        I knew this was going to happen.
        You must be feeling pretty good and Smitty is all smile.

      • Feeling good is an understatement. I am so overwhelmed by Sheri’s work and my blog that I am usually speechless when I write back to her. I can see Smitty’s half-grin and a wink too.

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