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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Paying homage to the men of No. 403 Squadron – Redux

Posted in September 2011 when I knew very little about RCAF 403 Squadron.

Since then relatives of pilots and ground crew have found this blog, and shared information, pictures, and stories.

I have more than 600 posts on this blog which started when I met Greg Bell whose grandfather was a Spitfire pilot. I told Greg he had to share what he had…

freddie arseneault

ORIGINAL POST

This is will be a blog mostly of pictures of the men who served with that RCAF Squadron.

Most pictures belong to the grandson of one Canadian Spitfire pilot.

Walter Neil Dove
(Walter Neil Dove collection)

Some pictures have never been published before.

Greg is willing to share them with everyone.

So please visit this blog.

You won’t believe what collection of photos he has of his grandfather.

He also has his logbook…

END OF THE ORIGINAL POST

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…

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

283rd Post and Something More to Reflect Upon

This is what I wrote on December 27th, 2011 on this blog about RCAF 403 Squadron.

74th Post and Something to Reflect Upon

Walter Neil Dove did 74 missions. He came back alive.

He started flying on December 8, 1944.

He saw many friends died.

Hank Byrd

Wallace Burdis

Mac Reeves

Edward Aitchison

He wrote everything in his logbook and he took a lot of pictures.

His grandson teamed up with me in September.

He scanned his grandfather’s logbook and photo album.

I wrote 74 articles.

All this to share with people who could have known some pilots or ground crew who were with No. 403 Squadron.

Click here if you wonder that I meant by Something to Reflect Upon…

Read the comment carefully…

Excerpt

Once again, I get the impression that the “powers that be” hope that we’ll all fade away and the problem will disappear. I’m certainly impressed that you’ve made the effort to write about some of these airmen.

Walter Neil Dove’s Attestation Papers: Part Two

Walter Neil Dove was the son of Walter Romine Dove and Grace Edna Blaikie. This info is on the document.

I wonder if Greg knew his great-grandfather Walter Romine Dove had enlisted on January 15, 1916.

Walter Romine Dove was a tall man.

5 foot 11. And he had blue eyes.

These documents were signed at Brigden, Ontario.

Click here to visit Brigden.

I wonder if Greg has visited Brigden or if he is addicted to genealogy like I am.