Greetings from RCAF 111 (F) Squadron

Hi

I am sending this greeting out to everyone who has responded to the invitation to participate in the website:

www.RCAF111fSquadron.com

By now you know that the guys of 111 Squadron were involved in something quite extraordinary: they defended our Country’s western boundaries. The duty was very difficult and the mission was probably hard for many to understand.  History has not been able to help us understand what  our  enemy  was up to in the Western Pacific. They had probably over-played their hand.  But Canada didn’t know that for sure at the time.  We reacted… successfully.

Eventually, Canadians were able to put our whole attention to the threat that was growing in Central Europe.  And, eventually, that was handled very well, too.

This note is to say thank you.  You have contributed to something that will mark how our countrymen have risen to the cause. The guys of 111 Squadron were heroes.  And you are related to or know about them. Congratulations!  They were probably just ordinary guys that felt the call and did what was asked of them.  In retrospect, that is what is  inspirational.

Thank you for helping this site to salute them.

I hope that 2015 was a productive and fulfilling time for you.  May 2016 bring good things to you and your family.

Merry Christmas!

Bill Eull

 

Merry Christmas Bill from Pierre in Quebec

0265.gif

Landing a Spitfire onto an Aircraft carrier

Another interesting post.

Excerpt

Rene Mouchotte had defied orders to escape from France and join the Free French in Britain in 1940. He was now a Squadron Leader in command of No. 65 Squadron, the first foreign national to command an RAF Squadron.

On the 24th December they had begun practice for landing on aircraft carriers – taking off and landing from a marked out runway. Then they moved to a Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm station at Arbroath for training at sea, on HMS Argus.

Mouchotte was impressed with the Royal Navy. ‘What a difference after the RAF. Cleanliness, discipline, mess like a grand hotel, trained waiters, very good food, comfort etc.’.

Spitfires versus Focke-Wulf 190s over France

Most interesting post.

Excerpt

On 21 March 1943 No. 341 Squadron RAF, also known as the Groupe de Chasse n° 3/2 “Alsace” arrived at Biggin Hill, one of the front line fighter stations in the south east of England. It was composed of members of the Free French forces fighting alongside the Allies, under Squadron Leader Mouchotte. They were now equipped with Supermarine Spitfire L.F Mk.IXs, one of the most refined versions of the fighter aircraft. From here they mounted sweep patrols over the English Channel, probing the German defences of occupied Europe.

Spitfire Mk XVI

When I started writing this blog in September 2011, I knew very little about 403 Squadron.

The more I wrote the more I found.

The more I found, more people found this blog, and I found a whole lot more.

This post is post No. 412 since September 2011.

I guess I will never stop writing, but I don’t mind that. I like writing about planes and things, and people I know nothing about. This is about a wonderful Website (the link is below the Spitfire Mk XVI picture) which is about planes, pilots, heroes and unsung heroes like Walter Neil Dove and his grandson Greg.

This is Greg’s grandfather who survived the war so his grandson could meet me in September 2011 for about one hour.

 

cropped-403-and-wally.jpg

More about the Spitfire Mk XVI

 

One hour was enough to decide to create this blog. As I like to say Greg scans like hell and I write likewise.

About Squadron Leader Bill Pentland

Bill Pentland was not the squadron leader who liked to show off…

Click here to visit a Website paying homage to him as well as pilots who were first with 111 Squadron.

Excerpt

Squadron Leader (Pilot) William Harry “Big Bill” Pentland DFC
(J3204)  He received his Wings from #2 Service Flying Training School at Uplands (Ottawa) in early 1940.  He was ordered to England and arrived on Christmas Eve, 1940.  On June 28, 1941, he was injured in a plane crash (head injuries) and spent a period in recovery.  By early 1942, he had been promoted to Flight Lieutenant and was named a Flight Commander in his squadron (402 Squadron). He returned to Canada and served for a time as instructor at #1 Operational Training Unit, Bagotville, Quebec.  He was appointed Squadron Leader of 111 Sqn in December, 1943, relieving his good friend since flight training days, David L. Ramsay. He took the newly re-numbered (to 440 Sqn) squadron to Europe. He remained S/L until his death on October 7, 1944. His Typhoon (Number MN 641) exploded just as he released his bombs on a railroad bombing run near Wesel, Germany. He is buried at the War Cemetery at Rheinberg, Germany. The 440 Sqn Operations Record Book, dated Oct 7, 1944, noted his last mission. “
There were three missions that day. The first  two were successful. “The third and final target proved very costly when our Officer commanding, S/L W.H. Pentland, DFC, was killed. He has only three more trips to complete his second tour of operations and his loss is deeply felt by all who worked with and knew him. The target was to dive-bomb rails at A.0758 – A.1747 in which 8 of our aircraft participated, using 16 X 500 lb 11 second delay bombs. On the bombing run S/L Pentland was seen to dive with his guns blazing and his aircraft was seen to explode after dropping his bombs. F/O Savard who followed behind was caught in the explosion and narrowly escaped spinning in….  All bombs were in target area, rails were cut and near misses scored. Weather was hazy and  smoky.” He was from Calgary, Alberta.  Photo Identification Confidence Level: 1 Confirmed

More information here.

Interesting Website on the Luftwaffe

Someone told me about that Website, and I thought it would be of interest.

Excerpt

During WWII, German aircraft designers put forth many aircraft project ideas, which ranged from the practical to the bizarre. Some of these ideas were ahead of their time and reached a more advanced design stage, and even affect aircraft today. Within the pages of Luft ’46 you will find descriptions of these aircraft projects, illustrated with three-view drawings, model photos and custom color artwork….

Click here.

Joseph Gilles Bachand

This airman was with 419 Squadron.

Joseph Gilles Bachand

Joseph Gilles Bachand

He is listed on Dan Logan’s Website.

This is the page, and an excerpt…

On July 15th 1943 WO II Bachand is posted to 419 Moose squadron. Between July 27th to February 12th he had flown on 16 previous operations with F/O Laidlaw and crew. When on the night of February 12/13 1944 on a mine laying mission to Borkum Island when the aircraft was lost. The lost was a mysterious one. Five other crews in the area saw no enemy aircraft or other enemy action such as flak. No mayday was received back from the aircraft and no explosions were seen by the other aircraft. No Luftwaffle records show any claims for aircraft during that time and place.
And so this experienced crew and their aircraft disappeared somewhere after there leaving their base. Leaving no trace or record of what happened.

But there is still another impressive Website paying homage to this airman.

Click here. 

Impressive isn’t?

His last mission.

Another Impressive Website Redux

Dan wrote a comment on the blog about what I posted about his Website.

This was about Dan’s Website…

As our Home page says “everyone has a story” memories and photos should not be allowed to fade. My father was a member of the 419 Moose squadron and like many servicemen he never spoke about his experience while overseas. It left me, as it may have left you wondering what our fathers, uncles or grandfathers had experienced during during those times. The squadron’s story contains many examples of heroism and valour that have been mostly forgotten. But all are more intense and real then any fictional novel. For these were real men in true live and death situations.

In his later years my father collected photos and historical bits of the squadron from the many members he kept in touch with and added these to those he had accumulated during his service years. His idea was to gather the stories of those who served with 419 squadron and to preserve the legacy of those individuals who became the “Moose” squadron.

419-sqn

Since I have my own blog about RCAF 425 Alouette a French-Canadian squadron, I know how impressive Dan’s Website is.

Footnote

Dan wrote this other comment…

Hi Pierre,

Thanks for the kind words and promoting my 419 website. I should add a link from my site, if that is ok with you.

As for the “pinching myself”, if I understand what you are trying to say then it is a common experience. In the year I have been putting together the data on the 419 the number of times when strange, and that is the best word to describe it, things happen. Contacted by familes of crewmen whose webpage I would be just starting to work on, contacts from multiple families of different crewmen of the same lost crew contacting me the same day and none of whom know each other. And it’s not once or twice this has happened, make it dozens of times.

It’s as if those who were lost want to be heard and not forgotten. Wierd , but maybe not.

Let me know if you want to link up
Dan

I wrote back…

Pinching myself is the right expression…

I know this might be weird, but I have exactly the same feeling about someone guiding us in all this.
In the case of 403 Squadron, I think Wally Dove is looking over my shoulder.

Of course you can link my blog or blogs… I have several.
But 425 Squadron is okay since there is a link there.

My blog about RAF 23 Squadron is most interesting since these airmen flew missions to protect Bomber Command’s bombers over Germany.

http://no23squadron.wordpress.com/about/

Presentation page written in 2010!

By the way Dan, did I say your Website is impressive?

Pierre