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.

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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