Summer of 42 at Catterick

Same day in August 1942

I have updated a post written in May 2018 with a comment made by Stephen Nickerson. I have the wrong caption with this photo.


The group photo that you have as listed as being at Kenley, April 1943 is incorrect. That photo was taken after the Dieppe Raid. The Spitfire in the photo is a Mk.V not Mk.IX which the 403 was flying in April 1943. Also F/L George Hill is sitting to the right of S/L Ford in that photo. Hill left the 403 in November 1942 to serve in the North Africa.

I believe this photo was taken on the same day in August 1942 after the Dieppe raid when the squadron moved back to Catterick by just looking at the trees in the back.




Revisiting the Past – Sergeant Robert Brookes’ Collection


Bob Brookes, Gibby, and Roy


403 Squadron Chaplain
Most probably at Kenley, Surrey – April 1943


403 Squadron Chaplain
Most probably at Kenley, Surrey – April 1943


Unknown ground crew


George Aitken


Most probably at St. Thomas, Ontario –  circa summer 1941


Unknown ground crew


St. Thomas, Ontario – August 22, 1941


Names for group photo St. Thomas, Ontario – August 22, 1941


Village in France


RCAF 439 “Westmount” Squadron at ALG B9, Creully, France


RCAF 439 “Westmount” Squadron at ALG B9, Creully, France

More on Advanced Landing Ground Creully


Jerry Spencer and Jim Day


403 Squadron group photo – this photo was taken after the Dieppe Raid.
Bob Brookes is in top row, number 2 


Pete Marley and Jim Day


Whet, Pete, Hammie, Jim

George Aitken


403 Squadron group photo photo was taken after the Dieppe Raid. 

More about 403 Squadron at Kenley


Kenley, Surrey – April 1943 – Bob Brookes is furthest to upper right.


North Weald – 1942

Bob Brookes when he enlisted – Toronto, 1941.


403 Squadron group photo at Kenley, Surrey – April 1943


Villers Bocage




“A rigger at work – Brooksie”

Spitfire Mk Vb


6MU 7-9-41

403 Squadron 12-9-41

FAAC 10-2-43 Scottish Aviation

165 S 1-7-43

501 S 19-7-43

504 S 15-12-43

129 S 26-1-44

278 S 17-6-44

SOC 15-5-45


“A rigger at work – Brooksie”


Bob Brookes,  second row, second person.


Elmer – Catterick, Summer 1942


Gibson, Roger, and I – Catterick, Summer 1942


19 April 1942














Unknown – maybe George Aitken sitting on the right.





Hello there! Yes, it has been a while hasn’t it? I’ve been busier than ever and finding time to write build articles has been at a premium since I began commission building. I must say I feel blessed to have met so many great people through my commission work. Only last month I dropped off […]


Collection Walter Neil Dove (courtesy his grandson Greg Bell)


74 years ago… Harold Chauncy Byrd

Flowers laid by Maarten and Ronny.

De Spitfire van Landfort

Op 19 maart 1945 tussen 14.00 en 14.30 komt er een Spitfire neer bij Landfort, ten Noorden van Megchelen. De Spitfire Mk XVI met het serienummer SM-208 behoorde tot 403 squadron RCAF en was die dag om 13.30 uur met nog 11 toestellen opgestegen van de basis Petit Brogel in België voor een “sweep” (veegactie) in de omgeving van Rheine en Osnabrück. De piloot F/O BYRD rapporteert aan de basis dat hij te kampen heeft met motorproblemen en terugvliegt naar de basis. Ter Hoogte van Dwardefeld, even ten noorden van Landfort wordt hij getroffen door 2 cm Flak. De Spitfire crasht bij Landfort en de 28 jarige F/O Harold Chauncey Byrd komt hierbij om het leven. Hij wordt begraven in een veldgraf bij zijn toestel en op 14 oktober 1947 herbegraven op het RK kerkhof te Gendringen.

F/O Harold Chauncey Byrd afkomstig uit Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

©Karl Lusink-ARGA

The Spitfire of Landfort

On March 19, 1945 between 14.00 and 14.30 a Spitfire comes down at Landfort, north of Megchelen. The Spitfire Mk XVI with serial number SM-208 belonged to 403 squadron RCAF and was that day at 13.30 hours with 11 more aircraft that took off from the base Petit Brogel in Belgium for a “sweep” (sweeping) in the area of Rheine and Osnabrück. The pilot F/O BYRD reports at the base that he has engine problems and flies back to the base. At the height of Dwardefeld, just north of Landfort, he is hit by 2 cm Flak. The Spitfire crashes at Landfort and the 28 year old F/O Harold Chauncey Byrd is killed. He is buried in a field grave by his aircraft and on October 14, 1947 reburied at the RK cemetery in Gendringen.


Joseph Pierre Auguste “Peter ‘Pete’ Logan” Lecoq Redux

Turning back the clock to 15 March 2014 on this blog…

RCAF No. 403 Squadron

To read once more what I wrote back in 2011 about the pilot who flew the plane that Pat Murphy built a model of…

This picture was not in Walter Neil Dove’s photo album…

But this is most interesting about a 403 Squadron pilot.

Click here…


Quoted from an email from Pierre’s son Peter :

“During the war, my father flew under an alias, Pete Logan.


During WW2, my father’s mother and siblings lived in Bonneville, France, and my father’s superiors felt that his family could face retaliation should the Germans ever learn of my father’s French roots.

My father did have some claims; however, his records are incomplete. When he went from being Pierre Lecoq (R77174) to Peter Logan, the official records for Pierre Lecoq were totally erased or lost …

What I do know, is that after my father’s tour of duty ended in July of…

View original post 109 more words

F/O K.P. Marshall

Original photo

BB1 - HR

Colorised by Doug Banks and posting it on Facebook…



Trying to find who is who…

Help needed to identify the remaining 9 of these 20 airman, mainly Canadian with a few American volunteers

403 Squadron RCAF, possibly at Catterick in late August 1942

Identified so far:
Standing –
Sgt Victor Nicholas Cabas (USA)
F/Sgt John T Norman (USA)
F/O William Thompson Lane
Sgt Fred Turner
Middle row –
F/O Roy Wozniak
P/O Harry James Dowding
F/O George Dennis Aitken
Front row –
F/L Charles McLaughlin Magwood
F/L Patrick Terrance O’Leary
S/Ldr Leslie Ford
F/L George Urquhart Hill



Add this one…

Flying Officer Ken Marshall

With regards to your July 12, 2018 posting of the 403 squadron in front of a Spitfire (the colourized version of the photo with the men’s names). The man in the second row and second from the right is F/O K.P. Marshall.

Kenneth Windsor’s Evasion Report

Evasion report SPG 3314/1367 (complete).

The Spitfire takes off from Kenley around 12:27. Almost half an hour later, while flying at 8000m, he was attacked above the target by an Fw190 fighter, which pursued him north. It seems he was shot down north of Hesdin by the Hptm. Wilhem-F. Galland of Stab II/JG 26. The Spitfire was hit and Windsor was hit by one of its debris, temporarily lost consciousness and regained consciousness while at an altitude of about 4600 m. The fuel supply was cut off and a fire broke out. He decides to head north in order to return to his base. 10 minutes later, his engine shut down and he abandoned his plane at about 4600 m. During his parachute descent, he saw his Spitfire crashing and exploding.

Windsor twists his right ankle when he lands. He buried his parachute and Mae West and crawled south for nearly 2 km. Near a wood, he hears voices speaking English and seeming to be looking for him. He decides to be cautious and does not contact them. He will rest in another wood and remove the badges from his uniform, keeping them in a pocket. Wearing ordinary shoes, he walks until about 11 p.m. and reaches the village of Ledinghem where he crawls into the stable of a farm where he falls asleep.

On the morning of June 21, Windsor, who did not speak French, approached a farmer and showed him his RAF wings. The man shakes his hands, gives him food and some civilian clothes. At around 10 a.m., he set off again in a southerly direction. He walks all day and arrives around 9 p.m. at the village of Bourthes where he spends the night again in a stable.

The next morning, June 22, he stops at a farm to ask for a drink. He was given something to quench his thirst, but people seemed unfriendly to him and he continued on his way. He arrives in the evening in Bimont where he shows his RAF wings to a farmer, HAJARDEZ, about 45 years old, who feeds him and with whom he spends the night. The next day, June 23, HAJARDEZ took him to the house of the mayor of Wicquinghem, farmer Gaston PÉROY, about 50 years old, who gave him food and other civilian clothes. During his stay at PEROY, Windsor saw Robert Barckley there.

Windsor and Barckley stayed with PÉROY until June 27, when Lucien PÉROY, the mayor’s son, about 20 years old, and Michel Peroy’s brother, guided him to Norbert and Marguerite Fillerin’s house in Renty, where he met Barckley. During his stay at FILLERIN, Windsor was photographed and then received new fake identity documents. His escape was therefore organized, as was that of Barckley, with whom he stayed until July 21.

Barckley and Windsor had been taken in charge by Eugène D’HALLENDRE from La Madeleine (Lille) and they both arrived by train in Paris on July 21 where they were then separated. Eugène D’HALLENDRE, born in 1898, railwayman at the SNCF, had just been arrested on July 20, 1943, on denunciation, at the same time as his wife Lucienne, their son Edgar being a little later. Eugène D’HALLENDRE was shot by the Germans in Bondues on 27 December 1943. Edgar D’HALLENDRE, born in 1922, appears like his mother Lucienne, born BUYSSE in 1899, on the list of French Deportees and survived the conflict.]

Rosine THERIER, wife of London’s Sydney Witton in captivity, confirms that she has transported Windsor and Barckley from Mr. DIDIER’s house in Arras to Paris and handed them over to Jacques Le GRELLE. Émile DIDIER and his wife Madeleine CARON lived at 22 Rue de Bapaume in Arras. Subsequently arrested on 24 July 1943, they were both in the “Nacht und Nebel” convoy of 4 May 1944 bound for the Saint-Gilles Prison in Brussels. Deported to Germany, Émile DIDIER, born in 1889, died at Gross-Rosen camp on 15 January 1945 and his wife Madeleine, born in 1892, died at Ravensbrück camp in February 1945.

On page 14 of his E&E 63 report, Bernard Kœnig states that he leaves Paris by train on 22 July from Montparnasse station to Bordeaux with “Alexandre” (another alias of Jean-François NOTHOMB) and William Murphy. Koenig adds, without naming her, that another lady (Rosine WITTON-THERIER) is on the same train, guiding a Typhoon pilot, who is Bob Barckley.

Windsor stays until August 1 at 16 Rue Royer-Collard, Paris VIe with a 55-year-old ex-pilot, Mr. Paul ROUTY and his niece Jeanne, 30, who speaks perfect English. Paul Louis Camille ROUTY, born in 1883, had completed his service in 1914-1918 as captain, Commander of the MF 1 Squadron of the 2nd Air Group. He died in Saint-Briac-sur-Mer on September 30, 1960.] Windsor is staying with the ROUTY until August 1st and then with a doctor, Dr. Pierre HABREKORN at 6 Avenue du Parc in Vanves.

On Sunday, August 8, Windsor was taken to a subway station by Jean-François NOTHOMB (“Franco”) and met Thomas Slack. They are eagerly awaiting Franco’s return and end up attracting the attention of users.

NOTHOMB finally joined them and guided Slack and Windsor to a railway station where they took the 22-hour train to Bordeaux. On the train, the two airmen received a new identity card. In Bordeaux, they take the train to Dax. They met Thomas Hunt and William Aguiar, two Americans who had travelled at the same time without NOTHOMB informing each other. They rent bicycles in Dax and reach the Bayonne exit around 6 p.m., where they go to a café where they spend the night. It is at Pierre ARRIEUMERLOU’s house at 12 Quai Augustin Chaho, along the Nive.

On the 10th, they drive to Saint-Jean-de-Luz where they arrive around 7 p.m. and leave their bicycles at the station. A guide took them on foot from Saint-Jean-de-Luz to Ciboure, where the bridge over the Nivelle was guarded by a German sentinel. They pass safely to the other side and eat in thickets outside Ciboure where they meet two other Basque guides (including Florentino GOÏKOETCHEA) and a Frenchman. The first guide (NOTHOMB) leaves them there.

This is the 50th Comet Passage. They crossed the Pyrenees between Biriatou and Irun around 3 a.m. on the 11th, alone with the Basque guides. They go to a farm and eat there. They then take the tram to San Sebastian and stay three nights in a garage, at Bernardo ARACAMA’s house at n°7, 5th floor on the left, Calle Aguirre, Miramon district in San Sebastian.

On the 14th, a consular car took Windsor, Aguiar, Hunt and Slack to Madrid. They stay there until the 18th. The vice-consul of Seville then came to take them by car to drive them to the Atlantic coast, which they reached on August 19 in the middle of the morning. The four escapees embarked on the 20th on the “Borgholm”, a Norwegian merchant ship, and were hidden under the propeller shaft. On the 20th, the boat leaves for Gibraltar, which it reaches on the 21st.

Kenneth Windsor left Gibraltar by plane on August 23 (probably with Slack, Hunt and Aguiar) and arrived in Whitchurch, England the next day. He was interrogated by MI9 on the same day, 24 August 1943 in London.

After his return to Canada after the war was over, Kenneth Windsor served a few more years as Chief Instructor for the Royal Canadian Air Force Cadets of No. 191 Squadron.

Translate from the French Website

(c) Philippe Connart, Michel Dricot, Edouard Renière, Victor Schutters