Walter Neil Dove’s Training Days: Part Two

I had started posting in 2012 what Greg had sent me about his grandfather’s training days in the RCAF.

He had sent me lots of scans from his grandfather’s logbook and photo album.

Collection Walter Neil Dove

I said that more was forthcoming, but I must have been distracted somewhat and I forgot to post everything.

Since September 2011 this has been quite a long journey into the past of a young Canadian who enlisted early in the war. If I recall correctly Walter Neil Dove enlisted in December 1940.

I will have to ask Greg about it. 

This is the inside cover with a good luck charm on the upper left.

Collection Walter Neil Dove

This is page 2… very instructing!

Walter Neil Dove came home unscathed on the Queen Elizabeth in December 1945 and he had something to prove it.

Many young men were not on board like Arthur Horrell…

arthur-james-horrell

Walter Neil Dove had some pictures to record this event…

He had kept his precious logbook and all the pictures he took. His grandson Greg was generous enough to share all with me. I could have kept everything for himself but he did not.

This is how this blog started in September 2011 when I met Greg at his parents’ place.

I had told Greg I was going to take the time to check if everything he sent has been posted.

Wally, that was his nickname, was first stationed at No.1 Manning Depot in Toronto on July 11, 1941.

the gang at manning pool

Germany had invaded Russia two weeks before on June 22, 1941.

Walter Neil Dove stayed there until August 8, 1941. He was then stationed at No. 14 S.F.T.S. Aylmer from August 8 to September 1, 1941.

Aylmer airdrome

After Alymer, Wally was posted with No.5 I.T.S Belleville. Wally wrote the meaning of all the abreviations.

I.T.S stands for Initial Training School. This is where cadets were selected either to be pilots, navigators, or air gunners.

On October 27, 1941, Walter Dove was posted with No. 3 E.F.T.S. London, a flight training school.

Collection Walter Neil Dove

Flight Instructor Chandler was the one teaching Walter Neil Dove how to fly.

J. H. Chandler, Flight Instructor circa 1941

Collection Walter Neil Dove

Maybe one day relatives of J. H. Chandler will find my blog and shared what they know.

Who knows?

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The fog of war – 25 December 1944: “Sandy” Borland (416) Shot Down by T-Bolt

Editor’s  note

This was posted  in 2011. It  was  the first  time  that I  had heard  about  such a story  before.

I am sure you browsed though Greg’s first scanned pages of his grandfather’s logbook.

“Sandy” Borland (416) Shot Down by T-Bolt

If you did then you will not be surprised to read this obituary.

In memory of Flying Officer

ALEXANDER GEORGE  BORLAND
who died on December 25, 1944

Military Service:

Service Number: J/25780

Age: 21

Force: Air Force

Unit: Royal Canadian Air Force

Division: 416 Sqdn.

Additional Information:

Son of John and Jessie Borland, of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

There were very few information about the death of this pilot…

Until Greg sent me this…

 

I was shocked when I read this entry in the logbook.

“Sandy” Borland (416) Shot Down by T-Bolt

This is a T-Bolt…

This is what I found on Google Books about the incident…

This is Flying Officer Alexander George Borland…

He was just 21..

Sandy” Borland (416) Shot Down by T-Bolt…on Christmay Day…!

Air Force Casualties

Ottawa, Jan. 9, 1945 – The Department of National Defense for Air today issued Casualty List No. 1086 of the Royal Canadian Air Force, showing next of kin of those named from Ontario include:
Missing After Air Operations (Believed Killed)

BORLAND, Alexander George, FO. J. L. Borland (father), Guelph

_________________________________________________

Air Force Casualties

Ottawa, Aug. 14, 1945 — The Department of National Defense for Air today issued casually lists Nos. 1,254 and 1,255 of the Royal Canadian Air Force, showing next-of-kin of those named from Ontario include:
Previously Missing Believed Killed, now Officially Presumed Dead

BORLAND, Alexander George, FO. J. L. Borland (father), Guelph

Click here

8 December, 1944 – Redux

Original post written in November 2011…

Saw Nothing Few Flak bursts…

Very few people have the chance to see a pilot’s logbook.

Even fewer have the chance to see a Spitfire pilot’s logbook.

Even fewer have the chance to read one…

Saw Nothing Few Flak bursts…

Greg had enough trust in me to share what I consider the most precious documents of his grandfather.

As we can see Walter Neil Dove was  in thick of it with his first missions.

I don’t think Greg knew that.

He was posted with 403 Squadron at Evere in Belgium.

The Germans were planning to launch a surprise attack through the Ardennes.

Greg’s grandfather took part in missions during the Battle of the Bulge, the last German offensive on the Western front.

You can click on the image to zoom in.

Every detail of his missions is there…

First mission:

December 8

Type of aircraft

Spitfire XVI

Plane identification code

KH-J

He is on a strafing sweep over Munster. The mission lasts 1h50.

Saw Nothing Few Flak bursts…

What happened on that day during WW II?

On the Eastern Front

In Hungary, Soviet forces of 3rd Ukrainian Front launch attacks near Szekesfehervar about 20 miles southwest of Budapest.

On the Western Front

US 3rd Army reports the establishment of four additional crossing of the Saar river on both sides of Sarreguemines and inside the town. American tanks are reported to be approaching the town of Rohrbach to the southeast.

In Italy

Troops of the British 8th Army cross the Lamone River south of Faenza.

In Liberated Greece

Communist rebels in Athens continue to fight. British casualties are claimed to be very light but the Greek police are estimated to have suffered 600 killed, wounded and missing.

In London

Prime Minister Churchill defines the British government position on the crisis in Greece to be aiming at “clearing Athens of all who are rebels to the authority of the constitutional government.” The House of Commons supports the position in a vote 279 to 30.

In the Volcano Islands

An American naval force, commanded by Admiral Smith and consisting of 3 heavy cruisers and a destroyer escort, bombard Iwo Jima.

In the Philippines

On Leyte, the US 77th Division advances from its beachhead to within 1 mile of Ormoc. Attacks by the Japanese 26th Division, near Buri, are repulsed by other US forces.

Source… 

If you look at the bottom of the logbook’s  right page, you will see Walter Neil Dove was there when the Luftwaffe launch Operation Bodenplatte on January 1, 1945. 

I am sure Walter Neil Dove saw a lot of flak around that day… but this time it was directed at enemy planes swooping down on Evere airbase.

For a walk-around of a Spitfire XVI, click here… 

As a footnote…

There is something important that happened also on December 8, 1944.

George Stewart and Paul Beaudet flew their last mission with 23 Squadron…

Click here. 

 

End of original post

This is KH-J!

And we could be December 8, 1944, after Walter Neil Dove’s first mission with 403 Squadron.

cropped-403-and-wally.jpg

Comment on Flight Lieutenant Edward Grant Aitchison

Hi,
I am named after Grant Aitchison and I sent those pictures of Grant to a government site.

When my Dad George Wissler passed away I found Grant’s picture in his wallet. I think he carried it until the day he died. He wrote that on the back of the picture.

Dad was with 424 Squadron and they flew 34 trips and all got back alive.

I found out Grant was buried in Holland just after I had been on an Oldtimers hockey trip to Holland and our bus had driven right past the cemetery where he was.

I didn’t know how he died. Awful and so near the end of the war too. There was a lady in Elora named Mary Scott, a close family friend, who used to call me « Little » Grant every time she saw me when I was growing up. She never married and I think she pined for Grant Aitchison all her life even though he was married I see.

Regards,

Grant John Wissler

It was about this post…

Putting all of Walter Neil Dove’s pictures and his logbook online is a way to reach out and to share information with relatives of airmen who were part of RCAF No. 403 Squadron.

Flight Lieutenant Tommy Todd was the first airman known by someone who wrote a comment.

His best friend Tony Cannell wrote us last month, and last week, Tommy Todd’s grandson wrote a comment when he saw pictures of his grandfather.

F/L Aitchison is another pilot’s name found in Greg’s grandfather’s logbook.

He was forced landed near Deist on December 31, 1944.

Click the image for a larger view.

Flight Lieutenant  Edward Grant Aitchison’s name would appear later in the logbook.

That time F/L Dove will write how Flight Lieutenant  Aitchison died.

In memory of
Flight Lieutenant
EDWARD GRANT AITCHISON
who died on March 31, 1945

Military Service:

Service Number: J/8387
Age: 26
Force: Air Force
Unit: Royal Canadian Air Force
Division: 403 Sqdn.

Additional Information:

Son of John A. and Louise Aitchison. Husband of Bronwen M. Aitchison, of Elora, Ontario.

These pictures were on the site.

This is what was in Walter Neil Dove’s logbook.

March 31, 1945

F/L Aitchison Bailed Out over Rhur…

Was beaten to death by SS…


Walter Neil Dove’s training days: Toronto Manning Depot to No. 14 S.F.T.S. Alymer

Greg sent me these scans from his grandfather’s logbook and photo album.

Collection Walter Neil Dove

The gang at manning pool

Collection Walter Neil Dove

This was on the back of that picture.

# 5 Squadron

A-1 Flight

July 22/41

Toronto Ont

#1 Manning Depot

RCAF

Walter Neil Dove was really there in 1941 if we cross-referenced this picture with this logbook page.

Collection Walter Neil Dove

He was there from July 11 1941 to August 8 1941.

Walter Neil Dove then moved to No. 14 S.F.T.S. Alymer, Ontario where these pictures were taken.

Collection Walter Neil Dove

Collection Walter Neil Dove

Collection Walter Neil Dove

Collection Walter Neil Dove

Collection Walter Neil Dove

More pictures next time.

For more on No. 14 S.F.T.S. Alymer, click here.

Walter Neil Dove’s training days

Greg sent me lots of new scans from his grandfather’s logbook and photo album.

Collection Walter Neil Dove

More to come as I post all that Greg sent me.

Inside cover with good luck charm on the upper left.

Collection Walter Neil Dove

Walter Neil Dove was stationed at No. 3 E.F.T.S. London on October 29, 1941.

Collection Walter Neil Dove

Flight Instructor Chandler is teaching Walter Neil Dove how to fly.

J. H. Chandler, Flight Instructor circa 1941

Collection Walter Neil Dove

First flight at No. 3 E.F.T.S. on October 29, 1941.

We don’t say enough about the Flight Instructors.

They played a big part in the BCATP. They stayed in Canada. Most of them would have like to be posted overseas where the action was. 

I wonder what happened to Flight Instructor J. H. Chandler.

Prior to being posted there, Walter Neil Dove was first stationed  at No. 14 S.F.T.S. Alymer, Ontario and after at No. 5 Belleville, Ontario.

Collection Walter Neil Dove

Aylmer airdrome

Harvard 71

Harvard 71

Taking the bus to Belleville


Fortunately no one in April was shot down by a T-Bolt… or a Mustang!

This is the second part of April 1945 in the logbook…

This is the page after the one where we read that on March 31, 1945 two Spitfires of 416 Squadron were shot down by a Mustang.

This is a Mustang.

One of the best fighter in WWII.

The Spitfire was also one of the best.

We could argue which one was the best.

We could also argue who were the best pilots in WWII.

I would say Canadians were… but I might be a little biased.

Anyway…

How come American pilots would shoot at British planes?

The fog of war?

I think I have part of the answer.

This comes from two WWII pilots.

One was flying a Typhoon and the other a Mosquito.

Both we great airplanes.

In fact I believe the Mosquito was the best airplane in WWII and Mosquito pilots were the best, but we won’t go into this and start a fight.

Anyway…

Some pilots would drink a lot the night before a mission.

Some pilots would be scared like hell before… during… and after a mission.

Some pilots would shot at anything that moved…

In the fog of war sometimes you can’t distinguish friends from foes.

One Typhoon pilot once said that some P-47s would shoot at them…

Now we have proof of this in Walter Neil Dove’s logbook.

We won’t start a fight about this.

This is not what’s this blog is all about.