Keith Lindsay, Edmonton meets Flying Officer Garland

Update

Flying Officer Garland is not the same pilot mentioned on this post.

A Canadian Tempest pilot, Flt. Lt. J. W. Garland of Richmond, Ont., jumped two Focke Wulfs just 50 feet from the ground. He dived from 9,000 feet and destroyed both.

Honest mistake…

He was posted however with 403 Squadron and his story will be partially told here.

MLG3


Ripples in the water.

The post below was written in 2011. There is a name of a pilot I did not research back then.

I have just received a message in my inbox and it is at the end of the original post.


Original post

This picture did not mean much to Greg when he was looking at his grandfather’s photo album…

 

Walter Neil Dove collection

Keith Lindsay was with this pilot when the Luftwaffe carried Operation Bodenplatte.

Click here for information on this pilot…

Canadian Fliers Down 36 German Aircraft in Luftwaffe Attack
London, Jan. 1, 1945 – (CP) – Canadian fighter pilots, in one of their greatest triumphs during the war, destroyed at least 36 of 84 Germans shot down today by the RAF 2nd Tactical Air Force.
The big Canadian score was rolled up as the German Air Force came out in its greatest show of strength for three years in an attempt to smash up Allied airfields in Belgium, Holland and France.

Five Planes Missing
Canadian fighter squadrons accounted for 35 enemy aircraft and the 36th was destroyed by a Canadian in an RAF Tempest Squadron Five. RCAF planes are missing.
Although the Huns’ low-level strafings included RCAF airfields and caused some damage, the operational program of the squadrons was not interrupted and approximately 300 sorties were flown. Some enemy planes were destroyed white the airfields were under attack and others when the enemy fled for home.
The pilot of one RCAF reconnaissance squadron, whose name was not immediately disclosed, destroyed two ME190s and damaged two FW190s as he returned to base.
Spitfire fighter-bombers also were active and destroyed or damaged several locomotives and freight cars in the German supply area around St. Vith in Belgium south of Malmedy.
The Canadian Wolf Squadron alone knocked down five out of a formation of 60 enemy craft which strafed the squadron’s airfield in the Brussels area. Two others probably were destroyed and another damaged in a low-level action that developed into the hottest dogfight for Canadian fighters in months.

Bags 2 Focke-Wolfs
Four RCAF Typhoons returning from a reconnaissance flight met enemy fighters and destroyed three and probably destroyed a fourth. Two were destroyed by FO. A. H. Fraser of Westmount, Que., and the other by FO. H. Laurence of Edson, Alta. All were FW190s.
A Canadian Tempest pilot, Flt. Lt. J. W. Garland of Richmond, Ont., jumped two Focke Wulfs just 50 feet from the ground. He dived from 9,000 feet and destroyed both.
In the Wolf Squadron dogfight, PO. Steve Butte of Michel, B.C., and Mac Reeves of Madoc, Ont., each downed two planes and Butte also claimed one damaged. FIt. Sgt. Keith Lindsay destroyed one and also had a “probable.”
These were the first scores for Butte and Lindsay.
Butte and Lindsay found themselves in a swirling mass of Huns as they took off on a morning patrol. Butte sent an ME-109 down in flames with cannon fire.
Next victim was an FW-190. “There were strikes on his wing and engine, and I saw him crash on the edge of a near by town,” Butte said.

Out of Ammunition
Then he hit an ME-109, seeing strikes and smoke, but losing sight of the enemy plane as it dived steeply toward the ground.
“By this time all my ammunition was gone and a Hun got on my tail,” Butte continued, “I managed to get on his tail, but couldn’t do anything about it.”
Lindsay shot one plane down in flames and registered a cannon hit on another, but couldn’t determine whether it crashed.
Reeves and his namesake, Flt. Lt. Dick Reeves of 1507 Mt. Pleasant Rd., Toronto, who is no relation, plunged into a flock of enemy planes while returning from patrol. Dick Reeves had to land immediately because of a faulty motor, but Mac, his guns belching, closed on the plane which caught fire and crashed. He attacked the second victim from underneath and the pilot baled out.
It was announced tonight that the Canadian Mosquito Squadron on the Continent during Sunday night destroyed two Junkers planes while on defensive patrol.

Keith Lindsay was with another pilot on January 1st 1945.

Mac Reeves was from Madoc, Ontario.

Walter Neil Dove collection

Mac did not come back from the war…

Walter Neil Dove collection

End of the original post

Message: 

Thursday, 17 August, 1944

Three armed recces today and a black day for us. On the first armed recce we lost F/O Weber, a newcomer to the Squadron whom we saw bale out and on the second we lost F/O Boyle, a second tour type, an old-timer of the Squadron and a darned good type.

We also lost F/O Garland (pictured below) on the second recce, a newcomer, all to Jerry flak. Here is the last entry of F/O Garland’s journal: On Aug 17 at 1800 hours we went on our third trip of the day strafing German trucks and transport in the Falaise Gap. I was flying #2 to F/O Greene and reached target in a few minutes.

After several passes at many levels, I was climbing back up from one pass at about 700 feet when I was hit in the base of the right wing by a 4mm shell. The plane went out of control but I managed to recover and by trimming it hard managed to crawl along. I immediately turned for home and started climbing for height. The shell must have hit my oil cooler as the oil pressure was gone, the engine commencing to run rough and the temperature started to rise. I tried to jettison my crop top but had to slide it back finally. Flames started to come from the stacks and the temp had gone past the danger mark so I switched off the engine and prepared to bail out. By the time I reached approximately 2000 feet, undid my harness, opened my door, stood up in the seat, slowed the plane up to about 130 and looking down dove out. My trip was suddenly stopped as I was halfway out. Later I reasoned that it was my dinghy straps that had become entangled with the door. I managed to hack loose and after feeling myself slide along the fuselage and past the tail, I pulled the ripcord and waited what felt like hours. Suddenly my fall was stopped with a quick jolt and looking up saw my chute opened. On looking down, I was just in time to see my plane explode into the ground. I had bailed out I think near St. Pierre which was about five miles south east of Caen and at that time was in the center of fighting. I pulled my chute half shut in order to reach the ground as quickly as possible in case any German snipers were around. I landed in the matter of a few seconds in the center of a small field filled with hay. I released my chute and started to run as fast as I could to the nearest hedge. When about ten yards from it I heard something like “Halt” and on looking closely at a small hole in the hedge, I observed a German with a machine gun pointed at me. I immediately stopped and upon his direction went slowly towards him. On passing through the hedge, I discovered about thirty five Germans along the hedge. It must have been a German patrol which I had run across in No Man’s Land. After searching me, they commenced to move slowly back to their lines with their head Sargent keeping a very close watch upon me. We kept walking until about nine at night when the Sargent brought me to what seemed a divisional headquarters.

F/O Garland would later escape capture and find his way back to London via the French underground. He would furlough back home but not have to return to battle due to the war ending. F/O Garland would return to Canada, marry his sweetheart Marguerite, and successfully obtain an Engineering degree from Queen’s and ultimately his MBA from Harvard.

F/O Garland with Marguerite had 6 children, 15 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren (still counting). F/O Garland passed away in September 2007.

Below are photos courtesy David Garland

403 Squadron Pilots at Diepholz, Germany April 1945

Dean Black sent me more information he had about 403 Squadron.

This picture was taken at Diepholz, Germany, in April 1945.

 

Photo #30

Photo from Neil Dove & Bob Barbour

Front Row L to R:   Reg Morris, Keith Lindsay, Squadron Adjutant, Squadron Leader Hank Zary, Al Fleming, Bob Barbour

Back Row:  John Pickering, Cy Yarnell, Mo Morrison, Mac McLeod.

Dean added a note…

Zary, Barbour and Morrison were flying TB 752 at this time 

Source: http://spitfiremuseum.org.uk/spitfire/pilots.htm

The squadron moved to Eindhoven.

The war was far from over as we can see in these logbook pages.

TB752

There is little doubt that so far as Aurel was concerned flying the Spitfire was a dream come true.

As he puts it, “the sheer enjoyment of flying such a plane was incredible”.

Many 403 pilots flew this particular Spitfire.

From the book “The Manston Spitfire” by Lewis Deal
Published 1981  ISBN 0 948305 01 0

To learn more click here.

Most of the names appear in Walter Neil Dove’s photo album and on this logbook page.

No 403 Squadron (RCAF) Wolf Squadron Squadron Code KH-Z

Flight Sergeant Robert E Barbour

Flying Officer David Leslie

Flight Lieutenant James D Lindsay (DFC)

Flight Lieutenant R A Morrison

Flight Lieutenant C Leslie Rispler

Flying Officer Aurel A Roy

Flying Officer Robert C Shannon

Flying Officer Arthur Van R Sainsbury

Flying Officer Frederick W Town

Flying Officer Robert Young

Squadron Leader Henry P M Zary (DFC)

You will find these pictures on the site.

SUPERMARINE SPITFIRE MK XVI (LF) – TYPE 361 SERIAL TB752

Operation Bodenplatte revisited

Flight Lieutenant Dove was in the thick of it as his logbook mentions it…

Mac Reeves got two enemy planes.

Steve Butte got three.

Keith Lindsay got one plus one probable.


This is the log entry…

 

Flight Lieutenant Walter Neil Dove did not get any.

He never got a chance to get off the ground and tangle with the Germans fighters.

That might have been his lucky day…

Who knows?

Mac Reeves’ luck ran out a few months later.

Click here…

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.

Pilots

This is the list of the pilots of 403 Squadron found in the logbook.

One thing that might not get noticed with the names highlighted is that Hank Zary survived the war contrary to Hank Byrd, Mac Reeves and Grant Aitcheson.

Hank Zary was a squadron leader and Walter Neil Dove called him the Chief…

The Chief died in 1946.

Hank Zary died of pleurisy on 11 February 1946 at the Royal Edward Laurentian Hospital (Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts division) where they specialized in treating tuberculosis & other chest problems.

Click here. 

Walter Neil Dove thus added this information after the war. Like so many war veterans Greg’s grandfather kept in touch with his comrades.

I wonder how the other pilots used to call affectionately Walter Neil Dove. 

Keith Lindsay, Edmonton

This picture did not mean much to Greg when he was looking at his grandfather’s photo album…

 

Walter Neil Dove collection

Keith Lindsay was with this pilot when the Luftwaffe carried Operation Bodenplatte.

Click here for information on this pilot…

Canadian Fliers Down 36 German Aircraft in Luftwaffe Attack
London, Jan. 1, 1945 – (CP) – Canadian fighter pilots, in one of their greatest triumphs during the war, destroyed at least 36 of 84 Germans shot down today by the RAF 2nd Tactical Air Force.
The big Canadian score was rolled up as the German Air Force came out in its greatest show of strength for three years in an attempt to smash up Allied airfields in Belgium, Holland and France.

Five Planes Missing
Canadian fighter squadrons accounted for 35 enemy aircraft and the 36th was destroyed by a Canadian in an RAF Tempest Squadron Five. RCAF planes are missing.
Although the Huns’ low-level strafings included RCAF airfields and caused some damage, the operational program of the squadrons was not interrupted and approximately 300 sorties were flown. Some enemy planes were destroyed white the airfields were under attack and others when the enemy fled for home.
The pilot of one RCAF reconnaissance squadron, whose name was not immediately disclosed, destroyed two ME190s and damaged two FW190s as he returned to base.
Spitfire fighter-bombers also were active and destroyed or damaged several locomotives and freight cars in the German supply area around St. Vith in Belgium south of Malmedy.
The Canadian Wolf Squadron alone knocked down five out of a formation of 60 enemy craft which strafed the squadron’s airfield in the Brussels area. Two others probably were destroyed and another damaged in a low-level action that developed into the hottest dogfight for Canadian fighters in months.

Bags 2 Focke-Wolfs
Four RCAF Typhoons returning from a reconnaissance flight met enemy fighters and destroyed three and probably destroyed a fourth. Two were destroyed by FO. A. H. Fraser of Westmount, Que., and the other by FO. H. Laurence of Edson, Alta. All were FW190s.
A Canadian Tempest pilot, Flt. Lt. J. W. Garland of Richmond, Ont., jumped two Focke Wulfs just 50 feet from the ground. He dived from 9,000 feet and destroyed both.
In the Wolf Squadron dogfight, PO. Steve Butte of Michel, B.C., and Mac Reeves of Madoc, Ont., each downed two planes and Butte also claimed one damaged. FIt. Sgt. Keith Lindsay destroyed one and also had a “probable.”
These were the first scores for Butte and Lindsay.
Butte and Lindsay found themselves in a swirling mass of Huns as they took off on a morning patrol. Butte sent an ME-109 down in flames with cannon fire.
Next victim was an FW-190. “There were strikes on his wing and engine, and I saw him crash on the edge of a near by town,” Butte said.

Out of Ammunition
Then he hit an ME-109, seeing strikes and smoke, but losing sight of the enemy plane as it dived steeply toward the ground.
“By this time all my ammunition was gone and a Hun got on my tail,” Butte continued, “I managed to get on his tail, but couldn’t do anything about it.”
Lindsay shot one plane down in flames and registered a cannon hit on another, but couldn’t determine whether it crashed.
Reeves and his namesake, Flt. Lt. Dick Reeves of 1507 Mt. Pleasant Rd., Toronto, who is no relation, plunged into a flock of enemy planes while returning from patrol. Dick Reeves had to land immediately because of a faulty motor, but Mac, his guns belching, closed on the plane which caught fire and crashed. He attacked the second victim from underneath and the pilot baled out.
It was announced tonight that the Canadian Mosquito Squadron on the Continent during Sunday night destroyed two Junkers planes while on defensive patrol.

Keith Lindsay was with another pilot on January 1st 1945.

Mac Reeves was from Madoc, Ontario.

Walter Neil Dove collection

Mac did not come back from the war…

Walter Neil Dove collection

RCAF Base 56 Evere, Belgium

I don’t know if Greg knew that…

Click to zoom in

Walter Neil Dove collection

I wonder if Greg knew about Operation Bodenplatte

Operation Bodenplatte (Baseplate), launched on 1 January 1945, was an attempt by the Luftwaffe to cripple Allied air forces in the Low Countries during the Second World War. The goal of Bodenplatte was to gain air superiority during the stagnant stage of the Battle of the Bulge, to allow the German Army and Waffen-SS forces to resume their advance. The operation was planned for 16 December 1944, but it was delayed repeatedly owing to bad weather until New Year’s Day, the first day that happened to be suitable.[7]

Secrecy for the operation was so tight that not all German ground and naval forces had been informed of the operation, and some units suffered casualties from friendly fire. British signals intelligence (Ultra) recorded the movement and buildup of German air forces in the region, but did not realise that an operation was imminent.

The operation achieved some surprise and tactical success, but was ultimately a failure. A great many Allied aircraft were destroyed on the ground, but these losses were replaced within a week. Since the majority of Allied losses were empty planes sitting on the ground, Allied aircrew casualties were quite small. Conversely, the Germans lost many Jagdflieger fighter pilots they could not replace.[4]

Post-battle analysis suggests only 11 of the 34 Luftwaffe’s air combat Gruppen made successful attacks on time and with surprise.[4] The operation failed to achieve air superiority, even temporarily, while the German ground forces continued to be exposed to Allied air attack. Bodenplatte was the last large-scale strategic offensive operation mounted by the Luftwaffe during the war.[8][9]

Now you know his grandfather was there.