Kittyhawk lovers – Update

A comment about a post…

The 403 squadron site is a work of love, and respect. Well done. They were truly great guys ! I’m a major fan of the Curtiss p-40 Kittyhawk. I quite by accident came across this site while doing research on Umnak, Island, Alaska. There I found an image of pranged Kittyhawk from RCAF 118 Squadron AK 857 I.D. ‘H’. that took place on 1/September/42. My dad served with the 111 (F) Squadron Thunderbirds.

Dad was stationed  at Elmendorf, AFB, and he and one of his buddies were sent down to Annette Island to repair ( I believe) this Kittyhawk. Just curious, would anyone have further info on the above mentioned hawk. ie: who was the pilot ? what was the cause of the prang ?

Once again, nice site and thank you in advance.

***

Here is the original post…

Any comments?

Alaska Kittyhawk 3 Kittyhawk with pilot 2 Kittyhawk with pilot 1 Kittyhawk 2 Kittyhawk-001 Kitty Hawk (sic) landing Alaska Kitty Hawk cash landing Alaska

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Remembering Leonard Weston

Do you  remember  Leonard Weston?

Of course  you  do!

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Electrical section Leonard Weston

His son  has a special  request.

My memory is a bit foggy at times, but I believe this happened in March, 1959. One Saturday, my Dad got a phone call. He said it was one of his buddies from 403 Squadron, who had just bought a war-surplus plane. He was flying in to Waterloo-Wellington Airport (now Kitchener- Waterloo), the next day, Sunday, and that we should meet him there and have a ride. I was 11-years old, and so full of anticipation, I could hardly sleep that night. What was it going to be——a Spit, a Hurri, maybe a Mossie?

The next day, we were parked on the gravel road beside the active runway, watching downwind for something interesting. Soon, a high-wing tail-dragger appeared, and Dad proudly announced “it’s an Auster!”

WHAT?????

An AUSTER?????

Oh, well. It was a veteran, and an airplane, and beggars can’t be choosers. He taxied over near our car, and I got in the back (it was a tandem-seater, not side-by-side), and went up for my first flight of ten or fifteen minutes. We landed, I got out, Dad got in the back seat, and they went up for a couple of short circuits. They landed and switched seats. This time, when they had lift, the nose went up sharply, the tail went down, and the Auster was struggling for what seemed like an eternity, but was probably only a couple of seconds. Then, the nose came back down, it got some airspeed, and flew off for a couple more short circuits. It landed again, the owner got out, and Dad took off properly, and went for a twenty or thirty minute flight.

The owner came over to Mom and I and asked “did you see what happened there?”. My immediate response was “yes, you almost crashed”. He then explained that Dad had his right hand on the stick, and was holding the throttle wide-open with his left. As soon as the Auster lifted off, he tensed up, switched his left hand to the stick, hauled back on it and reached down beside the seat with his right hand, trying to find the undercart lever. The owner said that he had to punch Dad in the shoulder to snap him out of his trance, whereupon he nosed the plane over, and got it back under control. He then explained that Dad had last flown in 1944, and the last plane he flew was a Spitfire.

If anyone knows of a former 403 member who owned an Auster in 1957-59, please contact me, as I have no idea who the man was. I do know it wasn’t Jerry Billing or Cec. Brown.

Lorne Weston
Mount Forest, Ont.

For a full refresher  course click here.

 

Exclusive Pictures From Alaska Circa 1942 – Redux

Editor’s note…

Have you noticed something on one of these old pictures?

I just did!

***

More pictures from Lorne Weston’s collection with this message…

Hello again Pierre

Here are more Alaska pictures for you, all but one un-dated, with Dad’s notes, where possible.

Crack up
crack up
 
Kitty Hawk (sic) crash landing Alaska
Kitty Hawk cash landing Alaska
 
 
 
Bolingbrook (sic) landing Alaska
 
Bolingbrooke Landing in Alaska
seaplane base Alaska
 
Seaplane Base in Alaska
runway
 
Runway
 
Alaskan Airfield
Alaskan Airfield
(sign reads); 1 MILE
                  <———–
                  FATHER NESBITTS
                  BOYS TOWN
                  WELCOME
 
(back of picture); WING COM. NESBITT
                         SQAD. LEADER ASHMAN
                         PILOT OFFICER BULTON
                         AUG 1942 ALASKA
 
airborne on dawn patrol Alaska
airborne on dawn patrol Alaska
 
Kitty Hawk (sic) landing Alaska
Kitty Hawk (sic) landing Alaska
 
Back in the 1960s Dad told me that the “dawn patrol” picture, and others like it which I have, were taken from the Observer’s seat of a U.S.A.A.C. PB-Y Catalina, but I don’t know if they were taken at Ketchican, or Kodiak.
 
No caption…
 Kittyhawk with pilot

***

Alaska Kittyhawk 2

Setting the record straight… 
Alaska Kittyhawk 3

It Does Not Take Much

One picture and one name to pay homage to someone…

Alaskan Airfield

(sign reads); 1 MILE
                  <———–
                  FATHER NESBITTS
                  BOYS TOWN
                  WELCOME
 
(back of picture); WING COM. NESBITT
                         SQAD. LEADER ASHMAN
                         PILOT OFFICER BULTON
                         AUG 1942 ALASKA

Click here!

This is what you found about him… on the Website

Born in Montreal, 16 November 1910
Educated there
Began flying with the Montreal Light Aeroplnane Club in 1933
In 1936 was judged the most competent pilot in the club
(Winning the James Lytell Memorial Trophy)
Joined the RCAF (No.115 Squadron) 15 September 1939
Obtained wings at Camp Borden, 11 April 1940
Proceeded overseas with No.1 (C) Squadron
Served in the Battle of Britain (wounded 15 September 1940)
Was the oldest Canadian in that battle
Later commanded No.401 Squadron
To Canada, 18 September 1941
Commanding No.14 Squadron and then
No.111 Squadron (15 December 1941)
Promoted to Wing Commander, 15 June 1942 & Given command of Station Annette Island
To Station Boundary Bay, 10 October 1942
C/O, No.6 SFTS, Dunneville, 30 Dec. 1943 to March 1944
To UK to command No.144 Wing (16 April to 12 July 1944)
Joined No.83 Group HQ as Accidents Investigation Officer
Promoted to Group Captain on 1 January 1945 &
Took over No.143 Wing
Returned to Canada, 16 September 1945
Retired from the RCAF on 27 November 1945
Prominent in investment business and was  President of Nesbitt, Thompson & Co. for 25 years (1952-77)  (founded by his father, A.J. Nesbitt in 1912)
Handled accounts of Trans-Canada Pipelines, Ltd., &
Wrote a book on the early troubles of that company
Died 22 February 1978 in Montreal after a skiing accident on 4 Feb. left him almost totally paralysed

Exclusive Pictures From Alaska Circa 1942

More pictures from Lorne Weston’s collection with this message…

Hello again Pierre

Here are more Alaska pictures for you, all but one un-dated, with Dad’s notes, where possible.

Crack up
crack up
 
Kitty Hawk (sic) crash landing Alaska
Kitty Hawk cash landing Alaska
 
 
 
Bolingbrook (sic) landing Alaska
 
Bolingbrooke Landing in Alaska
seaplane base Alaska
 
Seaplane Base in Alaska
runway
 
Runway
 
Alaskan Airfield
Alaskan Airfield
(sign reads); 1 MILE
                  <———–
                  FATHER NESBITTS
                  BOYS TOWN
                  WELCOME
 
(back of picture); WING COM. NESBITT
                         SQAD. LEADER ASHMAN
                         PILOT OFFICER BULTON
                         AUG 1942 ALASKA
 
airborne on dawn patrol Alaska
airborne on dawn patrol Alaska
 
Kitty Hawk (sic) landing Alaska
Kitty Hawk (sic) landing Alaska
 
Back in the 1960s Dad told me that the “dawn patrol” picture, and others like it which I have, were taken from the Observer’s seat of a U.S.A.A.C. PB-Y Catalina, but I don’t know if they were taken at Ketchican, or Kodiak.
No caption…

    Kittyhawk with pilot

More From Lorne Weston

Hello, Pierre
Sorry for taking so long to reply. Yes, the picture of the crashed Kittihawk was taken by my Dad, while posted in Alaska.
AK857 prang
I am including some more pictures, and have quite a few more. Dad’s American service bible might be of interest, especially the date. DND have, in the past, assured me that the only Canadian personel serving in Alaska were pilots, and no Canadians were there prior to 1942.
 
These pictures,
Front pages of U.S. service Bible
A Sacred Token
 
Dad playing the pipes, off-duty, Kodiak, Alaska
Kodiak Alaska
 
no notes
Kittyhawk 2 Kittyhawk with pilot 1 Kittyhawk with pilot 2
except
RCAF R 63795  G A Kibbler
R.C.A.F. #R 63795  G.A. Kibbler (?) W.O. II,
Ketchikan, Alaska
 
 
Unfortunately, none of these are dated.
 
 
Lorne