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.


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.


Play ball!

Greg send these along with the picture of the Chief at bat…

Collection Walter Neil Dove

Hank Zary was not the only one at bat.

Fred “Body Beautiful” Town was also at bat and in great shape…

Mo and Ollie Olson were also playing while Tommy was just relaxing at first base…

Collection Walter Neil Dove

With so many names, we have to look at the squadron roster found in Walter Dove’s logbook to know who’s on first.

Collection Walter Neil Dove

If Tommy Todd is taking easy around first base when Mo Morrison is running hard and Ollie Olson is reaching for the ball, then these pictures would have been taken before March 31, 1945 because that’s when Tommy Todd was shot down.

If we have Tommy Tomlinson, then when this picture was taken is everybody’s guess.

Tommy Tomlinson left on April 4, 1945 when his tour expired.

This is Tommy Tomlinson in the Nissan hut.

I wonder if he is packing up his things.

Collection Walter Neil Dove


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. 

Mo Morrison

Another pilot identified in the group pictures.

I found this on the Internet.

Flight Lieutenant R A Morrison


‘Mo’ Morrison was the last of TB 752’s war-time pilots to be traced by the Lewis Deal.

There seemed to be some evidence that ‘Mo’ had been living and working at Toronto and accordingly all efforts to trace him were centred around Ontario Province, Canada.

Some 6 years of research brought little reward until one last attempt by the present 403 (CAF) Squadron in “Air Force” Magazine brought a reply from ‘Mo’ Morrison from Hamilton, Ontario. It was then discovered that he had been living in Berkshire, England for the last 38 years and had only returned to retire in Canada in March 1983.

‘Mo’ Morrison was educated to Matriculation standard (pre-University) at Delta Collegiate in Hamilton, Ontario in 1938, After leaving College he served in the Freight Office of the T.H. & B. Railway until September 1940. He enlisted on the 1st October 1940 at Hamilton and in the same month was sent to No 2 Manning Depot, Brandon, Manitoba.

During the October and November of that year he was at No 7 Central Navigation School, Rivere, Manitoba where he was an AC2 – on guard duty! By the November ‘Mo’ had progressed to No 2 I.T.S., Regina, Saskatchewan, but by February 1941 was flying Fleet Finches at No 10 EFTS, Mount Hope, Ontario. From the March to May of 1941, ‘Mo’ was flying Yales and Harvards at No 6 S.F.T.S., Dunnville, Ontario.

At the end of May, ‘Mo’ received his Wings and was promoted to Sergeant Pilot. Further promotion followed when he was made Pilot Officer in the June. At the end of that month he embarked overseas and spent his 20th birthday (4th July) in Iceland en route to England. Like other Canadian pilots who flew TB 752 ‘Mo’ eventually arrived at Bournemouth in mid-July. By the August he was at O.T.U. Heston, Middlesex flying Spitfires (Mk I and Ms).

‘M’ joined 411 Squadron (RCAF) at Digby, Lincolnshire and flew Spitfire Vs from the September until February 1942. He was then sent to RAF Hawkinge to join 277 Squadron (RAF) on Air-Sea Rescue duties flying Lysander, Defiant and Walrus aircraft. He reverted to Spitfires again when he joined 402 Squadron (RCAF) at Digby and he stayed with this Squadron until July 1944. From the July and to the September he was instructing on Spitfires and Hurricanes at the O.T.U. at Tealing near Dundee.

‘Mo’ resumed operational service with 403 Squadron (RCAF) in September 1944 (2nd Tactical Air Force) and in April 1945 he flew TB 752 with this Squadron. He ceased flying in May and was “demobbed” at Toronto in the September.

He resumed work with the Railways until January 1947 and then sold insurance for a year. Mo returned to England in March 1948 with his wife (whom he had married in England in 1942) and his son John – born in 1945. From 1948 to 1982 Mo pursued several occupations and held positions ranging from sales clerk to sales manager. His wife had 2 further children (Neil 1949 and Susan 1955). Mo returned to Canada in March 1983 to retire, which he is thoroughly enjoying.

Mo relates that he had one narrow escape when, flying with 3 other Spitfires from 403 Squadron over Germany his aircraft and that of Tommy Todd were both hit by flak. Todd was forced to bale out and became a P.O.W. Mo’s Spitfire was flying nose-heavy with the elevator trim-tab useless. He had to land the aircraft under power, which he did successfully. It later transpired that the oxygen bottle had been hit and the elevator trim control wires severed. Fortunately neither the elevator control wires or the rudder cables were cut — otherwise the story could have ended quite differently.