The Captions – The Sequel

This morning I found a message in my inbox. It was about my other blog on RCAF 443 Squadron…

I have some photos of J.A. Arsenault, my late father, including one taken shortly after the mid-air formation collision of September 1945. I also have a photo of Dad in his flight suit. Additionally, I have a photo of the page in my father’s log with the signature of H.R. Finley, certifying medals earned. I would be happy to share.

In December 2011 I had written this.

ORIGINAL POST

This is the two group pictures I posted some time ago.

These pictures where taken in March 1945.

I am trying to put some of the names with the right faces. What I like about Greg’s grandfather is his sense of humour.

He uses a lot of nicknames and he calls himself Moiself

With a little French accent…

Moiself

Moiself is with Buzz Burdis who got killed the day after he wrote his father…

Buzz is on the right. I wrote about him so his story would be told and he would forever be remembered.

Gil Gillis from Pense, Saskatchewan, is wearing the German helmet.

Bob Young is behind Moiself who is picking his nose…

These last pictures were taken in Germany the first time 403 Squadron set up their tents…

I wonder who is this Freddie Arsenault. This sounds like French-Canadian…

I can’t find him anywhere on the Internet except on my blog about 403 Squadron.

END OF THE ORIGINAL POST

To be continued…

Gil Gillis Pense, Saskatchewan Redux

Note

I wrote this in November 2013. I think the time is right to post it now since Cathy, Gil’s daughter, wrote me that her father’s logbook is nowhere to be found.

This is one of the first posts I wrote on this blog.

It was about Gil Gillis.

Gil Gillis
Walter Neil Dove collection

This is the caption with this picture found in Greg’s grandfather’s photo album…

Gil Gillis Pense, Sask

Now this is what I could find from the 403 ORBs about Gil Gillis.

Sunday, March 25, 1945

Another heavy day of flying, and not much slack time amongst the Squadron.  Five operational trips, all patrols completed.  Uneventful.  F/O F.B. Gillis force landed amongst the paratroopers and gliders across the Rhine, and was seen to land safely.  Word came through that he was safe, and would be returning to the unit.

Tuesday, March 27, 1945

A very dull and foggy day, no flying carried out in the Squadron.  The day was spent in dispersal checking maps and following the movements of the ground troops across the Rhine.  F/O F.B. Gillis returned to the Squadron, none the worse for his experience of the 25th.

Friday, May 11, 1945

No operational flying to-day, but a lot of practice formation flying was done in the area.  A beautiful warm summer day and the swimming pool is now in use.  A grand place to spend a hot sunny day.  F/L L. Foster, F/L J.C. McLeod, F/L R. Morris, F/L R.A. Morrison, F/L F.B. Gillis, F/L J.W. Gilmartin, F/O R.C. Shannon, F/O Leslie have all been slated for repatriation with the decrease of the Squadron which will soon come into effect.  P/O G.K. Lindsay has been recommended to be taken off the Squadron  for non-Operational flying.

Monday, May 28, 1945

The weather still unsettled, but warming up considerably.  Posting advice for F/L F.B. Gillis has been received for repatriation to Canada.  He will be leaving May 31st.  More practice flying, but not enough to keep the fellows fully occupied.  The Squadron is hoping for a move into more civilised parts soon, anywhere away from the desolation of the airfield.

All the above information comes from Airforce.ca Website.

Footnote

He did have a story about getting shot down and stealing a car from the Germans and driving it back to where he was stationed. He had most of the German uniform he stole from the chauffeur that was with the car. The ring, cigarette case, sword, etc. and at one time talked about a German Luger (?) gun.

 March 1945 casualties

March 1945 excerpt

403PetitBrogleMarch1945_0002 identification

Gil Gillis with captured Fw 190 – Redux

As a sequel to Hart Finley’story, something I wrote in 2011 when I knew little about 403 Squadron.

Original post

Gil Gillis was probably one of Greg’s grandfather’s best friend…

We see him in many pictures in the photo album.

 

Walter Neil Dove collection

Gil is from Pense, Saskatchewan in Canada.

One of these days, someone will google his name on the Internet and find this blog…

Come back for more pictures from Greg’s collection.

End of the original post

That was back then. Since 2011 I wrote more articles about Gil.

Click here.

In Memoriam: Frederick Burdette Gillis 1919-2005

GILLIS – Frederick “Burdette” Gillis, age 86 years, passed away peacefully, Monday, April 25, 2005 at Providence Place, Moose Jaw. Predeceased by his wife Freda, who he lovingly cared for from the time she contacted Polio in 1953 until her passing in 1999; and his granddaughter Deena Battenfelder.

Burdette is survived by one daughter Cathy (Grant) Swanson of Lucky Lake, SK; two grandchildren, Delee Swanson of Airdrie, AB and Craig Swanson (Ashley Reimer) of Grande Prairie, AB; great grandson Austin Battenfelder of Camp Creek, AB; Austin’s father Steve (Lorraine) Battenfelder of Camp Creek, AB; sister Estella Morrison of Saskatoon; sisters-in-law, Esther (George) Curtis of Indian Head and Gertrude (Howard) Elstad of Regina and their families.

Burdette was a longtime resident and business owner in Rouleau, Saskatchewan. At Burdette’s request no funeral service will be held. Interment at a later date at Rouleau, SK.

Gil Gillis with his Spitfire

Gil Gillis with captured Fw-190

Gil Gillis

Setting Up Camp

April 1945

Flight Lieutenant Walter Neil Dove was in Goch, Germany.

403 Squadron was setting up camp.

Buzz Burdis is still alive as we saw last time.

So are Doug Lindsay, Hart Finley and Keith Lindsay who all three survived the war.

This was in the back of the picture…

Greg asked me if Andrew wrote back  since he put a comment on this blog.

Not yet I said…

Andrew saw pictures of his grandfather on this blog.

That’s the reason why we put them on.

Lest we forget those brave men like Buzz Burdis, Doug Lindsay, Hart Finley and Keith Lindsay, and the still elusive Gil Gillis from Pense, Saskatchewan.

The Captions

This is the two group pictures I posted some time ago.

These pictures where taken in March 1945.

I am trying to put some of the names with the right faces.

What I like about Greg’s grandfather is his sense of humour.

He uses a lot of nicknames and he calls himself Moiself

With a little French accent…

Moiself

Moiself is with Buzz Burdis who got killed the day after he wrote his father…

Buzz is on the right.

I wrote about him so his story would be told and he would forever be remembered.

Gil Gillis from Pense, Saskatchewan, is wearing the German helmet.

Bob Young is behind Moiself who is picking his nose…

These last pictures were taken in Germany the first time 403 Squadron set up their tents…

I wonder who is this Freddie Arsenault.

This sounds like French-Canadian…

I can’t find him anywhere on the Internet except on my blog about 403 Squadron.