Bill Hillman Presents
Forces: Land ~ Air ~ Sea ~ Home
Compiled by Bill Hillman
FLASH. . . Editor and Webmaster: Bill Hillman:
JULY 2007

A Short Sunderland takes off with its fifteen-man crew
under heavy skies for a 15 hour lonely ocean patrol.

Jim Patterson  AG with 70 and 405 Squadrons
Something Different ??

It will do us (members of Bomber Command) no harm to be reminded occasionally that there were other Commands, other aircraft, other airfields, during the war and, that though our own dear Bomber Command got most of the publicity, very good work was quietly being done by the men and machines of Coastal Command.  Operating from odd locations, and leading the life of part airman, part seaman in the big flying boats, a considerable number of AGs sweated out their war….so different to ours.

In Northern Ireland is Loch Erne, and from its waters rose and landed the Sunderlands of 422 and 423 Squadrons RCAF. The base was Castle Archdale, and even today in Northern Ireland, many are the wrecks and remnants of some of the aircraft that came to grief during 1941 to 1945, and sadly too are the neat well-kept graves of those who fell.

My friend, James Stewart, was brought up in the area of Loch Erne and has taken a very keen interest in flying from Archdale during the war. He has access to much information about aircraft casualties that may be of interest to those of our Air Gunner’s Association who flew out of that lovely place.

Being in such close proximity to the Republic of Ireland, it is inevitable that many of its citizens, then neutral, would see and follow the goings and comings of the big flying boats, and some of these actually ended up intact or in pieces in the Republic. Forced landings and crashes in these circumstances resulted inglorious sprees of “scrounging” by the natives, and many a scrap dealer made a handsome living out of the pickings. Today, despite the “Troubles”, cross boarder visits are possible to various sites where wreckage etc., is still on the ground.

James Stewart is friendly with members of the Ulster Aviation Society and they have provided some of the details of various aircraft incidents, augmented by records from the Air Historical Branch, and RAF Museum, and through the good offices of another enthusiast, John Quinn, is able to get copy reports from the Irish Army on some of the crashes.

James has supplied detail of Sunderland crashes from December 1941. Members of 422 and 423 Squadrons, who want to have a question and answer session may do so by mail with James Stewart at the following address.

6 Winters Court, Hospital Road,
Omagh, County Tyrone,
N. Ireland. BT79 0EE.

Sketch of Coastal Command Gremlin can still be 
seen on a brick wall in Castle Archdale.

Don Macfie

Don has sent us an interesting piece of work. All through his service career Don kept a daily diary and he has collated these pages with the pages of a book on the Battle of the Bay of Biscay. Don did many patrols over the Bay with 423 Squadron and then with 422 Squadron during the time line of the book. The author describes conflicts over the Bay and Don’s diary adds flesh to the stories showing that other aircraft were there and sometimes listening to the action on their aircraft radio.

By Norman L. R. Franks, 1986.
ISBN 0-7183-0602-3

“Following the fall of France in 1940, Germany was able to take over and develop the important naval bases along the French West coast that overlooked the mighty Bay of Biscay. Beyond the Bay lies the Atlantic and the routes to America and South America. From the Brest Peninsular in the North the Biscay coast line stretches some 500 miles south-east and then south to Bayonne where it joined the northern coast of Spain. The Spanish coast runs westward for 400 mile to Cape Ortegal, Coruna and Cape Finisterre.”

As well as a concentration of Submarine ports on the Bay, enemy fighter squadrons also became evident. Coastal Command, which, before the fall of France, had been concentrating on the North Sea, was suddenly faced with an impossible task.

 This work has been returned to Don for later placement in a Museum. Thank you Don in helping keep the memory of this corner of the war and the resulting sacrifices, alive. 

From Don’s diary 9/2/43

Take off 9:00 am on an A/S patrol (in the Bay). Weather was squally and didn’t see anything but a big surface raft with nothing on it. It is supposed to be a German decoy anchored for us to home in on as bait for Folk Wulfe Condors to blast us with cannon. I guess the weather was too bad for him.

We picked up six sighting reports from other a/c of which two were attacked. Also heard an S.O.S. from a Wellington being attacked by four JU 88s. Wellington shot up bad, some of the crew wounded, but three Beaufighters intercepted and shot all the 88s down. Sure interesting being on the wireless set. You listen to all that goes on from Iceland to Gibraltar.

Richey (navigator) was a little off on the way home and we ended up on the South coast near Portsmouth. We were a couple of hours late when we got back and had only 280 gallons of fuel left. S.E. brought us home. 14 hours away. Pretty tiresome.

Two of Don’s diary entries sum up the boredom experienced on 15 to 16 hrs. single a/c patrols over an endless ocean

2/6/43  .  Another trip. 15:15 hrs

15/7/43  Another Bay of Biscay trip. Nice weather, nothing seen. Pretty “binding”. No mail.


Don Wells second pilot – Jacques de le Paulle’s crew.

A little before nine my place as co-pilot was taken by Romeo Freer and I went down to the ward room which was empty of other crew members. My hand never reached the chocolate for at that instant I heard the sound of an engine backfire.

My head whipped around towards the right from where the noise had come from and I saw, with a terrible numb sensation, that the starboard outer engine had a white hot fire burning in the air intake below the engine.

Acrid fumes came through the wing root and something told me not to panic and that our Engineer, Ken Middleton, would soon have the fire extinguished, and we would be able to return to base on the remaining three engines. He was looking at me and, seemed about to say something, when a tremendous explosion rocked the aircraft. I was knocked backwards.

The starboard engine was hanging down from the wing root and was covered in oily smoke and flame. As I watched in some awe the engine broke loose from its mountings and fell towards the sea, taking the float and a good bit of the wing with it.

With my shoulder braced against the wardroom door frame I felt the crash and almost immediate deceleration from 100 miles per hour to a stop. A great wall of water came crashing through and our Sunderland came to a stop and started to settle by the nose. We were 200 miles West of Cape Finisterre in the Bay of Biscay. It seemed sure we would not stay afloat long.

Time seems to pass very quickly when one is trying to get out of a sinking aircraft Heading for the back door seemed like a long journey; the walkway was steep and slippery. Holroyd and Joyce had opened the door and had untied the dinghy from its storage space near the rear turret. With Mae West tied I jumped, hit the water feet first and came up spluttering. The dinghy was near by and I clung to it while I caught my breath.

Our first Navigator, Albert Bolton, provided data (position report) while the Skipper was bandaging his head. Albert had received a rather severe cut during the crash and had lost quite a lot of blood. Our first aid kit provided the bandages and the Skipper soon had him looking, from the nose up, like an Egyptian mummy.

Earl Hiscox, our radioman reported that an S.O.S. had been transmitted, but he had not had time to receive an acknowledgement, and no map position had been sent for lack of time.

There was no talk of food because no one was hungry, and we spent the rest of the day trying to dry our clothes and making preparations for the night. We worked hard during the afternoon trying to get the two rafts tied together and putting out some drogues, which would keep us lined up with the waves and prevent wave-top tipping. We also released the baffles which were fitted below each dinghy and which were intended to prevent the violent swinging to which these rafts were prone.

When dusk came we broke out the spray sheets and in preparation for the night put them over our heads. The wind came up after dark and it began to rain. On top of that the waves began to break over the sides of the dinghies, soaking every one to the skin. Quite a few curses were heard during the lulls in the storm.

Everyone recovered their spirits when the sun came up. The Skipper supervised the first issue of rations. About six that evening, September 5, the wind came up again and we took turns holding the connecting lines between the two dinghies so as to prevent the  rubber tabs on the sides from tearing off.

Someone thought they could hear engines and Ralph Ruskin shouted, “There it is.” Someone ripped the igniting tab from a flare and a red star shot up. The aircraft did not alter course. Suddenly the Skipper shouted, “Douse that second flare; it has six engines.” The only a/c that fitted the description was a Blohm & Voss BV222, called The Viking, a German troop transport. What it was doing in the Bay of Biscay we could not imagine.

The next day, September 6, 1943, our fourth day away from based, was uneventful until about four in the afternoon, when, purely by accident an American Liberator came and by and flew right over our heads at low altitude. We were delighted to see the Liberator drop a parachute bag….a dozen oranges and three packs of cigarettes, and a scrawled note that read; ‘DON’T GO AWAY, HELP IS COMING’.

An hour went by until a Squadron 228 Sunderland flying boat (F/L Armstrong) appeared. The wind had increased and we could see that the landing with swells would be both difficult and dangerous, however they made a fine landing. We were plucked from the sea and the take-off was an experience which no one would want to go through twice.

Jacques de le Paulle's Bay of Biscay Crew
BR: David MacPherson, Earl Hescox, Ken Middleton, Bill Holroyo, Roy Jollymore
MR: Art Joyce, Romeo Freer, Jackques de le Paulle, Al Bolton, Don Wells
FR: R.M. Fisher, Ralph Ruskin

Of  the casualties on 422 Squadron, 65% are listed as buried at sea. In many cases the circumstances are not known, only, “failed to return”. Their names live on through the Runnymede Memorial in Surrey, England.

Interesting Search Pattern:

On Friday 17th October 2003, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 
rededicated the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede. 
The rededication coincided with the 50th Anniversary of 
it's original opening by the Queen in 1953
The Runnymede Memorial
Built by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission
to commemorate the memory of the 20,356 British and Commonwealth airmen of WWII 
who have no known graves.
Designed by Sir Edward Maufe 

Re-dedication of Runnymede Memorial by Her Majesty 

Diary of a Tail Gunner by John Gabay
taken from EYEWITNESS To War
Special Edition to Military History Magazine

Gunner – John Gabay
8th USAF

Gelsenkirchen, Germany 11/5/43
(B-17 382 – Horrible Hanks) Target: Ruhr Valley refineries. Temp –43 degrees FT.
Flight time 5:15: ET(time over enemy territory)y: 1:35. Altitude: 28,000 feet.

We went over Holland and immediately saw three Me 109s, later on we saw ten FW 190s, two JU88s one ME 110, and then several more 109s. I fired at a 109 coming in at 6 o’clock… Flak was very intense and pretty accurate. Our ship was hit several times, two holes in left wing flaps, several in fuselage, severed oil line in number three engine and bent the prop. Oil covered the ball turret and wheels. I could hear pieces of flak hit – concussion diving the ship several feet upwards…. The waist gunner got the bends. He screamed with pain. Now the ME 109s moved in for another battle. My guns worked perfectly. I was holding them off pretty good….our P-47s met us and scattered the enemy fighters.. We lost one bomber in that last fight. Bombs went through the wing of another ship but they made it back ok.

This was my first raid and it was with an old crew. They had 24 missions and were uneasy to have a rookie flying tail gun. But when we landed they all came back and shook hands with me and said I did OK.

Crew of Lucky 13 – Gabay far left back row

Frankfurt, Germany 2/8/44 (Passion Witch 11) Target: Heart of City –47 degrees FT 8:40 ET :4:00  Alt.: 27,500 ft.

….Flew at pretty high altitude. As soon as we started our bomb run I saw a group of Me 109s at 6 o’clock low and leaned up to keep an eye on them and in so doing, pulled out my oxygen hose without knowing it. I passed out and hit my head on the armour plate. But before I passed out I, I vaguely remember trying to plug the end of the hose back where it belonged, but I just couldn’t reach it. I thought it was hanging out the rear of the ship for several miles and I kept trying to pull it back in. The Flight Surgeon said that a man could only live for about ten minutes without oxygen at this altitude, but according to the crew, they were trying to contact me for over twenty minutes. Bill Geier (waist gunner) crawled back to the tail and found me slumped over, no oxygen and my face purple. He gave me emergency oxygen and artificial respiration as best he could. I started breathing again. When I came to I started fighting with him but I had no strength…was groggy all the way home. The crew said I was shooting at fighters but I don’t remember it.

 John Gabay’s Lucky Bastard Club Certificate Signed by Squadron Members

John Gabay returned home with a Distinguished Flying Cross and three Oak Leaf Clusters. In April 1945, the war’s last month, his 21 year old brother Eugene, also an 8th Air Force tail gunner, was killed by flak on his 27th mission over Germany. Back in New York City, John Gabay married and had 12 children. He died in 1986, age 64.

Phil Dubois

Phil sends the following received from his friend, Ex-AG Harry McLean in UK.


On 27th August, 1942, I passed out from No.1 Air Armament School RAF Station Manby, in Lincolnshire. I received my Sergeant’s Stripes and seven days leave, to report after to Wing in Buckinghamshire.

Having been in the Royal Air Force for just five months, and being aware that a wing was a part of the Air Force structure, I thought that I had been selected for some duty other than that of on a Squadron. My optimism was misplaced, when, on reporting for duty, it was to find out that I was one of about 50 aircrew who were on 26 Operational Training Unit, to prepare for joining Bomber Command at the end of the course, in about ten weeks.

We gathered in a lecture theatre, and were addressed by the CO, who told us that for the first week we would be concentrating on other aspects of training relating to our perspective trades, and that by weeks end were expected to have organized ourselves into crews. Those who had not been placed would be crewed up by Himself.

I noticed that most of the pilots were Sergeants, two were Pilot Officers, and there was one Wing Commander. There were a few Colonials who were serving with the RAF, and one Pilot Officer, a Navigator, who was black. I believe that he was from St. Lucia, and he was the only coloured person I met during my service. He, F/O Etienne, was KIA on 5th March, 1943.

I did nothing the first day but on the third day thought I might try to find a pilot. I asked one of the P/Os but he had already made up a crew. This disheartened me somewhat. Next morning at coffee this same officer asked me if I had found a Pilot. I was about to say that I had not, when I felt mischievous and replied, “Yes, I have. I’m flying with the Wing Commander.” On further questioning I added that I had asked the Wing Commander and he said he would be glad to have me. At the gathering after lunch this same P/O came to me and said, “The Wing Commander wants to see you.”

My God, I thought. You’ve done it now Harry. I saw the Wingco, gave him the smartest salute I could manage and said, “I’m Sgt. McLean, Sir. I have been told to report to you.” “Yes”, he replied. “I believe you are looking for a Pilot. If I will do for you, then you will do for me.”

That is how I became gunner to the Commanding Officer of 428 Squadron, RCAF.

Wing Commander Earle was a grand chap, one who can genuinely be called, ‘One of Natures Gentlemen’. He was well liked by the Canadians and sadly missed when promoted to Group Captain and left us in February 1943. He did two Ops from Dalton, occupying the astro-dome. He had previously been flying Fairey Gordons in the Middle East, and found the Wellington difficult, partly due to his eyesight not liking the English skies, and partly as he was not a tall man.

After Christmas, 1942, there had been a heavy snow in Northern Britain followed by winds. Winco was getting his night flying hours in, just he, Sgt. Reynolds, our WOP, and myself. We had done a few touch-downs and take-offs. I had got used to seeing the airfield lights fall away behind us as we gained height. On this occasion, after falling for a while, the runway lights started to gain height. We were losing height when we should not have been. I became worried as there was a railway line across Yorkshire for some miles on a high embankment. Getting close to the turret side window, I could see the bushes, from which the snow had blown, standing out clearly above the snow covered ground. We were very low. What to do? How could I, with six months service, tell a Wing Commander with 15 years service, how to fly his aeroplane?

I had to do something, so I called, “Skipper. Aren’t you a bit low?”
There were a couple of seconds silence, before he replied, “Jesus Christ”, and up we went.

Yes he was a great chap and deserved to become Air Chief Marshal Sir Alfred Earle GBE, CB, etc., Deputy of the Defence staff to Lord Mountbatten, and Director General of intelligence after leaving the RAF.

He died in 1990. The world is sadder for his going.

British Monument for Canadian Air Gunner Andrew Mynarski VC.

British campaign to honour Andrew Mynarski VC, quarter of the way to goal.

The British newspaper, The Northern Echo, wants to erect a bronze statue more than two metres high of Andrew Mynarski V.C. at the Teesside International Airport, formerly RAF Middleton St. George where Mynarski’s final wartime flight originated. Its campaign is called The Forgotten Hero Appeal

Peter Barron, Editor of The Northern Echo, said about 10,000 of the 40,000 pounds needed poured in on the very first day of the campaign to honour Canadian Andrew Mynarski, whose ultimate act of bravery in the Second World War led to a posthumous Victoria Cross….. “As well, the local authorities, and the six local councils here, have pledged 1,000 pounds each. It has really been positive here.”

The campaign has received support from British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Manitoba Premier Gary Doer, and the Winnipeg Free Press, among others.

Andrew Mynarski joined the RCAF in September 1941. He began training as a Wireless Air Gunner but graduated as a straight Air Gunner, and in April 1944 joined 419 (Moose) Squadron A Middleton St. George in the UK.   On his twelfth operational sortie, on June 12, Mynarski was mid upper gunner on Lancaster KB76, ‘A-Apple’, detailed as one of the force dispatched to attack the marshalling yards at Cambrai, France. It was a low level raid, briefed to bomb at 2000 feet. The run into target was made through a veritable hail of flak, then before reaching the objective Mynarski’s Lancaster was jumped by a Ju88 Night Fighter, which bore in from the port beam raking the bomber with cannon shells, and followed up with an equally devastating attack from below and astern.

Both port engines failed and a roaring fire erupted in the rear fuselage, just to the rear of Mynarski’s turret. In the rear turret F/O George (Pat) Brophy had taken the brunt of the attack having his turret’s hydraulic lines shattered, leaving him with only his manual winding handle with which to rotate his turret. His Skipper, having checked the uselessness of the controls, and realizing the dangers of the burning wing, ordered the crew to bail out. Brophy wound his turret towards the beam – then the winding handle sheared: he was trapped, helpless without outside aid.

Mynarski, obeying his pilots last order, climbed down from his turret and was about to go forward to the escape hatch when he glanced to the rear of the fuselage and realized Brophy was still in the turret. Despite the raging fire, unhesitating, Mynarski scrambled through the flames and began beating against the jammed turret doors in an attempt to get them moving. His flying clothing, already saturated with hydraulic fluid from the ruptured systems pipe line, burst into flames, but he continued to hammer against the turret doors.. Brophy could see Mynarski’s burning clothing and yelled for him to get out of the bomber before it was too late. Reluctantly Mynarski left his friend and made his way to the escape hatch. Before diving through the open hatchway, Mynarski straightened up, faced the rear turret, and saluted Brophy as a sincere gesture of farewell; then, with his clothing and parachute a mass of flames, Andrew Mynarski jumped. At such low altitude and in his perilous physical state, he stood no chance of survival, and plunged to the earth. 

The crippled Lancaster exploded on impact; yet by some miracle, Brophy’s turret was flung clear of the burning wreckage, and he survived, along with the remainder of the crew. Only after the war when Brohpy was repatriated to England from Prisoner of War camps was Mynarski’s story put before High Authority. On October 11, 1946, Andrew Mynarski was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross – in attempting to aid a fellow Gunner, he had jeopardized his only hope to personal survival, and this utterly selfless action cost him his life.

This restored flying Lancaster at Hamilton, Ont. has been designated KB726 VR-A
The Mynarski Lanc.

When the Ex-Air Gunner’s Association of Canada was formed in 1983, at the request of the Association, Mrs. Holowaty gave her consent to allow us to do what we could to help perpetuate he brother’s memory.

F/O Brophy remembers that Andrew had found a four-leaf clover shortly before they took off for the Cambrai raid from Middleton St. George, County Durham, in North England. Andrew gave it to him and said, “you take it.”

Brophy has said, “I’ll always believe that a Devine Providence intervened to save me because of what I had seen, so that the world might know of a gallant man who laid down his life for a friend.”

Donations in Canada can be sent to the Air Force Heritage Fund
1 Canada Air Division,
Winnipeg, MB. R3J 3Y5
Tax receipts will be issued. 
Write Andrew Mynarski Statue on the memo line.


Bob Laidlaw touched down in Regina, Sk. June 25, 2004 

Bob Laidlaw, a 78-year-old pilot from the U.S. with his 62-year-old DH-82C Tiger Moth biplane. Laidlaw, a former Second World War pilot, is flying the restored plane from California to Toronto, where it will rest in a museum.

Bob learned to fly on Tiger Moths at Oshawa, Ont. in 1944. attended #32 FTS at Moose Jaw, Sk. And went overseas to fly Mosquito a/c. He had a desire to again fly a Tiger Moth. He found one partially restored in Alberta in 1997. Most of the paper work on this a/c had been destroyed in a fire in the Moose Jaw control tower in the late 1940s. It had been built in 1942 and trained pilots in Virden and Neepawa. It was then sold to the Moose Jaw flying Club. It languished on a farm near Assiniboia, until bought by an Albertan and partially restored.

Bob has donated the Tiger Moth to the Toronto Museum. Go to the Museum’s web site for more information:

Some Wireless Schools trained Wireless Air Gunners on the Tiger Moth.

Felton tuning up. #3 Wireless, 
Winnipeg, Man. Crowded cockpit.

(Ed. A personal experience at #2 Wireless School: When I carried out the first of three flying exercises it was a complete washout. It was a listening out exercise and when settling in to the cramped cockpit I accidentally kicked out the plug to my ear phones. After the flight I was sitting in the hangar feeling sorry for myself and waiting for the axe to fall when a young Pilot Officer Pilot comes up and says, “Lets go, your are doing the third exercise.”

Who was I to argue with an officer! We sat on the taxi strip waiting for a line of Ansons to take off. I guess the pilot must have had a date that night as he was in a hurry to get the assignment finished. He passed me back a position report and said, “send this in.” I did and, because were still on the ground, got great reception. We finally got take-off clearance and the pilot flew directly to position report two and then three. All went well.

Back at the hangar a Warrant Officer approached and said, “You failed your first exercise Moyles, so you will have to go back to the next class.” This was devastating as it would mean leaving all the chaps with whom I had trained. I blurted, “But Sir, I have just completed #3 successfully. Ask that officer over there.” After discussion with the pilot, he returned and said, “Ok, I guess you have completed your flying exercises.”

Fred Burnyeat with Tiger Moth 
Calgary, 20th Entry, Sept.15, 1941.

Then there was the time a Tiger Moth returned with a cow’s horn wrapped around the trailing aerial…but that is another story.


Dear John and Doreene,
together with my girl friend Melanie Patten I write a book about the largest 
airborne Operation of WW 2 and was appreciated to find the article "I FLEW 
BACK TO SEE DUISBURG DIE" by William Troughton on your homepage. We would 
like to get in contact with anybody who took place in the raids and also 
would like to get some photographs or documents for our book.
Sincerely yours
Melanie Patten & Harald Molder
Duisburg / Germany 

Harald Molder
Am Finkenacker 30
47259 Duisburg

Again all the best to the members of RAF Bomber Command

(Ed. Harald is referring to article in March 2004 Page. Check your log books, were you at Duesbury Oct. 14/15/16/1944? If so drop a line to Melanie and Harald) 

Charley Yule
John:  This is the message which I received from Matt Poole in Wheaton, MD  USA, and mentioned to you on the phone.  Thought there might be a small article for SHORT BURSTS which might possibly stir memories.  If not - file it!

Dear Charles,
On the Internet I saw March "Short Bursts", the newsletter of the Ex-Air Gunners, and I was saddened to learn of the passing of Vern Donnelly of Winnipeg.  I corresponded with Vern several times in the 1990s at around the time of his visit to the Far East with the Canadian veterans group.  My mother's first husband, Sgt. George Plank, flew with 159 Squadron in early 1944 and was shot down and killed over Rangoon on 29 Feb 1944 (hence, my e-mail address). 

Through my years of research into the action I learned much about 159 Squadron and befriended Ivor Smith of Australia.  Ivor's uncle, Arthur Williams, was lost in perhaps 159 Squadron's most well known incident -- the downing of C-Flight's "Wottawitch" over southern Burma on 31 January 1945.  S/Ldr Bradley was the skipper.  Although six crewmen bailed out successfully, Arthur was never again seen after he exited the bomber.

Of course, this incident is so famous because of the horrific ending which befell four of the crew.  Bradley and his navigator, Allan Jeffrey, were sent to Rangoon Jail and survived the war, but the four sgts/flight sgts, technical specialists all, were ultimately beheaded after terrible torture.  Stanley Woodbridge, the last to die and the one with the most technical info, was posthumously awarded the George Cross in 1947 or '48.

Anyway, Ivor put me in touch with Vern, who also flew with C Flight of 159 Sqn.  During his visit to Rangoon and Singapore, Vern took photos of relevant names on the Singapore Memorial and graves in Rangoon and Taukkyan war cemeteries.  It was a very nice gesture.  He also sent me a videotape.

I have notified Ivor of Vern's passing.

Now, I have a question for you.  Just today I received an e-mail from ex-159 Squadron instrument basher George Barker-Read of the UK.  He asked the following:

"Was there a Scottish Observer named 'D.R.'(dead reckoning) Yule ?"

Minutes after reading George's question, I walked into my bedroom and my eyes stopped on your name at the bottom of Vern's obituary, which I had printed out last week.  COULD IT BE?, I thought.  I'd never recognized the name "Yule" before in my 159 Squadron research, and now moments after I'd been asked about a D.R. Yule, I recognized your name.

Are you the Dead Reckoning Yule remembered by George?  He was with the squadron from the formation of the squadron until past the war's end.

If you are he, I'd like to surprise George with the news, and then I'll give you his e-mail.

If you were with 159 Sqn, what was your assignment?  I don't see you in aircrew listings, on initial inspection.

Thanks, and best wishes,

Interesting sources of used out of print books

Hi John,
 I found 13 copies of the "Sunderland at War" book by searching , most in the UK, at the following link:

Nine copies of "Sunderland Squadrons of World War 2" showed up on this
search and I'm going to order a copy for myself from one of them.


Branch Reports

Northern Alberta Branch
Ted Hackett

The members of the Northern Alberta Branch got together with the local Wartime Aircrew Association for a barbecue on June 09, 2004.  The affair was held at the Pioneers cabin in Edmonton, a nice little spot overlooking the North Saskatchewan River with a nice view of the Edmonton skyline.  There was a good crowd in attendance from both organizations and they enjoyed a fine dinner of either steak or chicken with all the trimmings, washed down of course with some fine wine. The weather was nice unlike last year when some rain kept us indoors for part of the evening. This was the second year the barbecue has been held and a quick show of hands indicated that everyone would like to hold it again next year. 
A survey of the members present indicated that we should have a good attendance at the “Salute to Air Gunners” in Nanton, Alberta August 14th.   We sent a cheque to Nanton this month to help in the purchase of the Boulton-Paul mid-upper turret which, with the help of our friends in Calgary and others, they were able to obtain. 

Northern Saskatchewan Branch
President “Smokey” Robson reported that their June luncheon was well attended. 

Air Gunner Members travelling across Canada this summer be sure to check Branch meeting dates as listed in this Page and plan to attend some of these luncheons.

Restoring Handley Page Hampden

In the June Issue we recorded the restoration of Hampden P5436. Here are some follow-up pictures.

Jerry Olson and Fred Gardham (cap) working 
On Nose section in Jerry’s garage, Vancouver.
Jerry located the a/c in Sanaich Inlet, BC.

Where do you start?

Building to mate starboard main frame which was not
damaged when a/c hit water and jackknifed.

 Fred Gardham at Starboard undercarriage.


CRAIG, GRANT. G. #0920, EDMONTON, AB:  We have been advised by Ted Hackett of Grant's passing on June 24th, 2004 after a lengthy illness.  He enlisted October 1942 in Ottawa and was trained as a WAG/NAV.  Attended #4 W/S at Guelph and #6 B&G Mountain View.  He flew on Ops with #45 (RAF) Atlantic Ferry Command, flying in a variety of aircraftr to the UK, Africa, Italy and India, and was commissioned as J38268

Editors Report

In the May 2004 Page we announced the Air Gunner’s Day being hosted by the Nanton Museum. I have had a number of phone calls from members who hope to attend this ceremony. Here is part of the letter of invitation: 
“Our “Salute to the Air Gunners” will take the form of a luncheon in the museum followed by various tributes to the Air Gunners. As part of the program we will be unveiling a commissioned painting by well-known aviation artist John Rutherford depicting Sgt. Engbrecht and Sgt. Gillanders in action. Following the ceremonies flypasts of various vintage and modern aircraft will salute the air gunners. 

For additional information regarding our museum please visit and in particular our “Past Special Events” section that documents our numerous successful special events of previous years and our “Air Gunners” section. 

Please let us know if you will be able to join us on August 14th. I can be reached through the addresses listed or directly by telephone at (403) 646-2681 (evenings). 
Yours truly, 
Dan Fox, President 
Mailing Address   PO Box 1051, Nanton, Alberta Canada T0L1R0 
Museum:   (403) 646-2270 
Fax:   (403) 646-2214 

Business correspondence:
Inquiries and Information: nlscurator@lancastermuseum ca
At last report there will be members attending from Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, and Regina. 

There will be NO SHORT BURSTS WEB PAGE newsletter in August. Hopefully we will have full coverage of the Nanton Day in the September Page.
Keep well. 

Cheers, John and Doreene Moyles.

Please drop us some copy and pictures for the September Issue.
Keep well.
John and Doreene Moyles
Ste. 233 - 1060 Dorothy St.,
Regina, Sask.     S4X 3C5  CANADA
Ph. (306) 949-6112
Regional Meetings

Southern Ontario Chapter
Royal Canadian Legion
Wilson Branch 527
948 Sheppard Avenue West
We meet the first Wednesday of each month at the Legion hall 1:00 pm. 
No meetings July, August, September.
Contact persons: 
Ken Hill  ~  President ~  905.789.1912
Bill Cockburn  ~  Secretary ~  416.492.1024

Location - Royal Canadian Legion Br.#4 St. James Legion.
Date - Third Thursday of each month.
Time - Luncheon meeting (provide your own lunch).
Contact Member - Charlie Yule Ph. (204) 254-6264.

Northern Saskatchewan
Location - Lynx Wing Ave. C North, Saskatoon.
Date - Third Monday of the month.
Time - Luncheon meetings.
Contact Member - C.A. "Smokey" Robson  Ph. (306) 374-0547.

Northern Alberta Branch
Location - Norwood Branch 178, 11150 – 82 Street, Edmonton, AB
Date -  The first Thursday of each month.
Time - 12:00 hours.
Contact Members - E. H. "Ted" Hackett (780)962-2904 
or Sven Jensen (780)465-7344.

Southern Alberta
Location - Royal Canadian Legion  #264 
Kensington, Calgary
Date: Second Monday of each month.
Time - 11:30 hours.
Contact Member: Dave Biggs Ph: (403)236-7895
or Doug Penny Ph: (403)242-7048.
October meeting time moved to third Monday. 
Also there are no meetings in July and August, however, a Barbecue is usually held  at Larry Robinson's ranch in Okatoks during that time.

British Columbia Branch 
Meeting time and local: 2nd Tuesday of each month at 11:30 
Firefighters Social & Athletic Club, 
6515 Bonsor Avenue, 
Burnaby, B.C. V5H 3E8 
Super eating facilities 
Contact person - Dave Sutherland       Ph. 604-431-0085 

Members across the Country are encouraged to 
send current information regarding 
regular meeting places, dates, and Contact Members, to

John and Doreene Moyles, 
Ste. 233 - 1060 Dorothy St., 
Regina, Sask.     S4X 3C5  CANADA
Ph. (306) 949-6112


Members are requested to send their experiences, articles, anecdotes, pictures, etc., to John Moyles and I will forward them to our Web Master in Brandon. Articles and Last Post items will be deleted from the page each month after the designated Member in each region has had an opportunity to copy the material for their Members. Notices of deceased Members are to be sent to Charlie Yule who is still our 'Keeper of the Rolls'. This is your SHORT BURSTS with no printing or mailing costs, and no deadlines!
We thank our Web Master, Bill Hillman, for his volunteer time and expertise.

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