More Spitfires! Redux

I had never hear about Buck McNair.

Never knew he had a son for that matter.

Never knew his son had these…

Bruce McNair did not know there was someone who had been writing a blog about a RCAF Fighter Squadron and allowed other people to write stories about those who served in the RCAF.

Mark White has been contributing a lot on this blog with his stories about his father who was an “erk”.

I did not know that word in September 2011 when I first met Walter Neil Dove’s grandson. In fact I did not know who was Walter Neil Dove nor did I know anything about 403 Squadron even if I know a lot about WWII.

403 Squadron Plaque (3)

Life is funny sometimes.

I met Walter Neil Dove’s grandson when I stayed at his father’s B&B in 2011.

I was in Hamilton paying a visit to George Stewart.


George was in the same squadron has Eugene Gagnon, a French-Canadian Mosquito pilot, who died in a plane crash in 1947.

Eugène Gagnon

So in fact all this is due to Eugene Gagnon to whom I am not even related except for the fact that I have this passion for airplanes.

This is the post Pat wrote on this blog. I never met him, but I know he’s a very nice man. Pat in a way is the one who led me to Bruce McNair.

Start reading…

Pat is writing a story for us on this blog.

He is going over it right now so it will be just right.

Pierre, I’ve cranked out about 1600 words tonight to tell the wonderful story of the Smith brothers. I have picture and details about a recent book that has been written about the mystery of the Malta Spitfires and I think you and your readers will enjoy what I have put together. It will take me till Tuesday night to get it ship shape then I will send it to you, Hope that is ok with you. I know it’s not a 403 Squadron story but you might want to share it with you readers.

I’ve sent you a picture of the Smith brothers, save it, That’s Rod on the right, Jerry on the left

While we are waiting for his story about the Smith brothers, here is another  picture of George Aitken’s Spitfire on display at the museum.


KH-L George Aitken with his wheel roundels.

Pat also sent me these with a message.

Pierre, some more Spitfire models including George Aitkens

AU-M is Buck McNair 421 Squadron

AN-A is Bert Houle 417 Squadron

JEFF  is Jeff Northcott as Wing Commander of 126 Wing

2I-D Art Sager 443 Squadron

HC-G Hugh Godefroy 127 Wing Commander

KH-L George Aitken with his wheel roundels.

I have other pictures but want to write something special tonight about the Smith Brothers. It is a compelling story of two brothers that met in Malta and flew together, one survived the War and one did not. They were united once again by a Spitfire and I need some time to obtain the details for you. I have built models of both brothers Spitfires and they are side by side in my display. Jerry Smith was killed in Malta and his brother Rod Smith went on to fly Spitfires in Normandy after surviving Malta and lived in Vancouver, the story of how they were united in remarkable but I need time to get it right.

I love what you sent me today, you do good work.

Pat Murphy


2I-D Art Sager 443 Squadron


JEFF  is Jeff Northcott as Wing Commander of 126 Wing


AN-A is Bert Houle 417 Squadron


AU-M is Buck McNair 421 Squadron


HC-G Hugh Godefroy 127 Wing Commander