Comments on Pilot or Visitor?

spitfire pilot.jpeg

Curry Family Collection

Hi Pierre

I have entered this picture (citing your blog) on my site:

It is on the Miscellany page where I am exploring the use of the round red maple leaf insignia on 135 Squadron P-40s. I had only seen this insignia on No. 402 Squadron Spitfire IXs. Your photo is the only one I have seen showing that insignia on another RCAF squadron’s aircraft. I wonder how that insignia came into being, how the decision was made to apply it and how it was applied. There seems to be a quite standard quality to all of the ones I have seen so far. I wonder if it was not painted on but was available as a decal or patch that could be pasted on.

Thanks, Pierre, for all of the contributions you have made to my education

Best regards

Bill Eull

Hi Pierre;
I believe S/L Robert Morrow introduced the round red maple leaf insignia for the 402 squadron in March or April 1942. Morrow liked the red and white checker board insignia the Polish squadrons used for identification so he came up with the red maple leaf to identify Canadian squadrons. Syd had served under Morrow in late 1941 and early 1942. He may have liked the concept and introduced Morrow’s created Maple Leaf insignia for his squadron in 1943.

Stephen Nickerson

Hi Pierre and Stephen Nickerson

That is great information! ! Robert Ellis Evan “Bob” Morrow, DFC, returned to Canada from Europe and, in May, 1943, assumed command of 111 Squadron when they were on Umnak Island in the Aleutians. He may be the link I am looking for get an understanding of how the process of installing an insignia or non-standard marking worked.

Thanks to both of you.

Bill Eull

Hello Bill, and everyone.

My name is Dean Black and I commanded 403 Squadron from 2000-2002. All that to say the history of 403 Squadron is a passion. I’m surprised, Bill, that you may have only come across one use of the maple leaf roundel. I have seen it on Johnnie Johnson’s Spitfire which he flew with 127 Wing and 144 Wing, and I have seen it on some 421 Spitfires now and then. I sincerely believe there was no such thing as decals, during the Second World War. Everything was painted on, including the invasion stripes, which were apparently painted with large brooms!

The Maple Leaf was painted on a captured German truck used by 127 Wing in Germany at the end of the War.

Mark White