Harold Brandon Godwin Redux

I am still trying to find out how and why Walter Jonathan Wetton’s name appeared on the dollar bill.

Brandy Godwin

Brandy Godwin 25-9-1942

I believe the signature is W. J. Wetton and not W. H. Wetton as transcribed in the letter.
Beurling Dollar Bill info

If we have the same Walter Jonathan Wetton who was with 21 Squadron RAF, then he signed it before his death that occured on April 6th, 1940.

6th April 1940 21 Sqn Blenhiem 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.

I found this other source which is more complete than the last one I posted about Wing Commander Godwin.

I found it on Airforce. ca. (click here)

We can ascertain where and when H.B. Godwin was posted during WWII.

Wing Commander Godwin

Source of the picture here

GODWIN, G/C Harold Brandon (C99)

– Officer, Order of the British Empire

– Station Gander

– Award effective 14 June 1945 as per Canada Gazette of that date and AFRO 1127/45 dated 6 July 1945.

See Canadian Who’s Who, 1968.

Born in Westmount, Quebec, 24 April 1907.

Educated around Montreal, B.Sc. from McGill (Electrical Engineering) in 1928; appointed to commission 16 July 1928 and won wings 18 March 1929.

Flew at Camp Borden, Ottawa and Trenton, Signals Officer at Borden (1934-36) and later commanded Wireless School at Trenton.

In 1938 appointed Advisor (Air Signals) at RCAF Headquarters with rank of squadron leader.

To No.3 Wireless School, 23 March 1941.

Promoted Wing Commander, 1 May 1941.

To AFHQ, 14 August 1942.

Promoted Group Captain, 1 November 1943.

To Newfoundland, 4 April 1944.

To “Y” Depot, Lachine, 1 April 1945.

To United Kingdom, 4 April 1945 to command No.64 Base and subsequentl as Deputy AOC, RCAF Overseas Headquarters.

Promoted Air Commodore, 25 April 1945.

Repatriated 13 December 1946.

Promoted Air Vice-Marshal, 1 January 1952.

It’s obvious that H.B. Godwin was not in England in the early 1940s and that he probably got the short snorter from someone else who was the one who probably met Sergeant Walter Jonathan Wetton before his death on April 6, 1940.

Wetton

Source

Godwin was with AFHQ from 14 August 1942 to 4 April 1944 when he was posted to Newfoundland.

This being said, I have found something that merits your attention.

It’s about  a pilot, Horace William Westaway, who was in Newfoundland at the same time period as Wing Commander Godwin.

His name is not on the dollar bill and he is almost unknown on the Internet.

Try Googling Horace William Westaway before I tell you all about him.

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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

Pierre,

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.

http://www.merton.ukgo.com

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..

http://www.merton.ukgo.com/jonte.htm

Genuine short snorter with Buzz Beurling’s signature?

Pat Murphy sent me this.

Pierre,

this letter and this Canadian one dollar bill have been in a file at the Vancouver Island Military Museum for many years.

Buzz Beurling Dollar bill

We came across it a while back as we sorted through the many artefacts that we have yet to put on display. I would like to make it part of the Spitfire display in fact I would like to create a special display just for this and place it next to the picture we have of Canada’s most famous Spitfire ace, if I can verify its authenticity then we will put it up on display.

Having never seen a copy of George Beurlings signature before I’m a little hesitant to claim it’s genuine, I thought if it were to be published on your blog site I may get some opinion from a collector of signatures who has seen Buzz Beurling signature.
The letter that came with the Canadian dollar bill tries to determine the names of the other signatures and has managed to figure some of them out, others are not eligible and I guess will never be known.

Beurling Dollar Bill info

On the back side of the dollar bill we see the name P/O G F Beurling, that signature is easy to read as is the words SHORT SNORTER in block letters on the left side of the bill.

Buzz Beurling Dollar bill signature

The date, September 25, 1942. Beurling was in Malta and claimed  a victory that day as well as one damaged. It stands to reason he might be celebrating that night with friends. I know he did not drink but he was famous for socializing with the fair sex and several female names appear on the bill.

Buzz Beurling Dollar bill 001 90L Buzz Beurling Dollar bill 001 180

Buzz Beurling Dollar bill 001 90L

Buzz Beurling Dollar bill Short

The tradition of the Short Snorter is not well known, It was common during the Second World War and maybe, just maybe this dollar bill is the genuine article. If any of your readers have an opinion I would love to hear them.
 
Pat Murphy
Vancouver Island Military Museum
Nanaimo B.C.

You can contact me using this contact form.

Thirde, Tressam, Todd, Ottawa 1940 Redux

See the footnote after reading this.

Tommy Todd

Andrew Todd, Tommy Todd’s grandson, sent me this picture.

The caption on the back says…

“Thirde, Tressam, Todd, Ottawa 1940”

Thirde could be this airman.

In memory of
Flight Sergeant
William Thirde
who died on November 1, 1942

Military Service:

Service Number: R/80227
Age: 21
Force:Air Force
Unit:Royal Canadian Air Force
Division:233 Squadron

Additional Information:

Son of Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Thirde, of Hartney, Manitoba, Canada.

Tressam could be this airman.

In memory of
Sergeant
Thomas Edward Tressam
who died on December 8, 1941

Military Service:

Service Number: R/75814
Age: 25
Force: Air Force
Unit: Royal Canadian Air Force

Additional Information:

Son of Thomas and Lydia Tressam; husband of Lois A. Tressam, of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Would you have more information on these two airmen?

Footnote

I got this from Mark White.

TRESSAM, THOMAS EDWARD SGT (P) R75814. From Hamilton, Ontario. Killed December 8, 1941 age 25. #60 Operational Training Unit. Defiant Aircraft #N 1570 failed to return from training flight. Sergeant Pilot Tressman has no known grave, his name inscribed on the Runnymede War Memorial, Englefield Green, Egham , Surrey, England.

Thomas Tressam

THIRDE, WILLIAM FS (AG) R80227. From Hartney, Manitoba. Killed in action November 1,1942 age 21. #233 Squadron (Ymlaen). Hudson Aircraft was seen by the crews of other squadron aircraft to spin into the Atlantic Ocean, off La Guardia, Portugal. The aircraft disappeared immediately and only wreckage was sighted. Three of the crew, not Canadians were also killed. Flight Sergeant Air Gunner Thirde has no known grave. His name is inscribed on the Runnymede War Memorial, Englefield Green, Egham , Surrey, England.

 Thirde

On a Side Note:

Hartney, Manitoba is a small town in southwestern Manitoba. It is only a few miles from my mother’s hometown of Reston, Manitoba.

During the Second World War, these small towns probably only had a population of 200-300 people.  Because of the depression and lack of work for young men, and because of their close proximity to British Commonwealth Air Training Plan bases, many of the young men from these areas enlisted in the RCAF and many were war casualties.

Hartney, Manitoba has a War Memorial and William Thirde along with 14 other casualties of the war are listed.

Reston, Manitoba also has a War Memorial. My uncle, John “Jack” Forman and 17 other casualties of the war are listed.

I really understand the impact the Second World War had on my mother and other people from these small towns. A whole generation of young men was lost.

Mark White

December 2013

Thirde, Tressam, Todd, Ottawa 1940

Tommy Todd

Andrew Todd, Tommy Todd’s grandson, sent me this picture.

The caption on the back says…

“Thirde, Tressam, Todd, Ottawa 1940”

Thirde could be this airman.

In memory of
Flight Sergeant
William Thirde
who died on November 1, 1942

Military Service:

Service Number: R/80227
Age: 21
Force:Air Force
Unit:Royal Canadian Air Force
Division:233 Squadron

Additional Information:

Son of Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Thirde, of Hartney, Manitoba, Canada.

Tressam could be this airman.

In memory of
Sergeant
Thomas Edward Tressam
who died on December 8, 1941

Military Service:

Service Number: R/75814
Age: 25
Force: Air Force
Unit: Royal Canadian Air Force

Additional Information:

Son of Thomas and Lydia Tressam; husband of Lois A. Tressam, of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Would you have more information on these two airmen?