The Theory

Pat and I have arrived at the same theory about the dollar bill…

Well almost… and I am even not sure of mine the more I look at who signed that short snorter.

Buzz Beurling Dollar bill

Brandy Godwin

Buzz Beurling Dollar bill 001 180

Beurling Dollar Bill info


I’m convinced that the dollar bill was signed by Beurling however, after all the research I’ve done on this item I’m also convinced that the dollar bill was not started in Malta and Beurling never signed it while flying out of Malta.

I believe that the dollar bill may have originated in Canada after all what is the likelihood of a Canadian having a one dollar bill in Malta.

My theory is this.

What if Brandy Godwin or any of the other signators started the short snorter on September 25 1942 after or before one of the many long flights they would have experienced during military service in Canada. It does appear the printing on the top right, side and lower right were done by Godwin  and let’s assume Godwin kept the bill as a souvenir in his wallet as many flyers of that period did.

P/O G.F. Beurling had gained rock star status  both in Canada and Europe, he returned  to Canada early in November 1942 to mend after his war wounds and surviving 5 crashes. He passed through Gander Newfoundland then on to Montreal and reunited with his family, then on to Ottawa through Rockcliff airport. Beurling was sent across Canada on public speaking events, to help recruit and to sell warbonds. People lined out to get his autograph and he was very much in demand and RCAF brass wanted to be seen and photographed with him. I believe that Brandy Godwin may have produced his short snorter at one of these events and had Beurling sign it. The date September 25, 1942 was just a coincidence and was not the day Beurling signed the dollar bill. We will never know for certain the real story behind the dollar bill – that I’m convinced of.

After comparing the signatures on the bill and what I’ve seen on-line and after many people here in Nanaimo have studied it, the conclusion is, it’s Beurling signature. The letter that accompanied the dollar bill is typed not created on a computer and the paper shows signs of age and fading. Time may provide other answers and we hope they do but for now, I think the mystery is partially solved, Pilot Officer George “Buzz” Beurling, one of Canada’s most famous fighter pilots signed this Canadian Dollar bill and we are proud to have it in our museum.

Pat Murphy
Vancouver Island Military Museum
Nanaimo B.C.

Although I agree with Pat’s theory, I believe that the Short Snorter was started before 25 September, 1942.

W.H. Wetton who had signed that dollar bill could not be there on September 25th, 1942 in Malta.

With airfields at near by Watton and Bodney, the area had its share of incidents of aircraft crashes,  some of the listings at Merton below.
I have made my own investigations around our local area with the help of crash reports from the RAF museum and from sources in America.  Equipped with original details / reports, photos etc I have managed to match these to the present day. I have also managed to record various places in the area which include Merton, Thompson, Stow Bedon, Scoulton,  Saham Toney and Watton.

6th April 1940 21 Sqn Blenheim IV L8740 YH-
Take Off 0400 from Watton, while setting out on an anti submarine patrol. The aircraft crashed into trees at 0405 Close to Merton Hall.

Leading Aircraftsman 524840 John Brayfield Ball, . Watton St Marys Churchyard

Pilot Officer 40438 Ian Stapledon, age 20, Watton St Marys Churchyard

Sgt 580533 Walter Jonathan Wetton, age 20, Heckington Cemetery Lincolnshire..

8 thoughts on “The Theory

  1. John Brayfield Ball was my distant cousin. I am trying to trace the grave, or indeed any details, of his father John (better known as William) Henry Ball. All we have is that he founded the Grimard arms company with a friend and was named in the 1935 arms commission for being a bad lad.
    If anyone knows anything I would be grateful.

    • I don’t know anything about that person. I just found his name with the other airman.
      I will approve your comment.
      Please subscribe to comments following this thread if someone else should comment further.


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