Bill Hillman Presents
Forces: Land ~ Air ~ Sea ~ Home
Compiled by Bill Hillman
FLASH. . . Editor and Webmaster: Bill Hillman:
Private research / collection centre for Prisoners of War
(and others) artifacts and information.

6015-5th Ave. Regina, Sask. S4T 6V4  Canada
Ph. (306) 5435822

Bob HendersonFor 38 years Bob Henderson of Regina, Saskatchewan, has been an exhibitor at the Saskatchewan Gun Collectors association annual winter show and sale.

With his special interest in artifacts from German prisoners of war held in Canada during the Second World War, his presence at the show may not seem obvious. But for Bob, being at the show that features gun, knife, military and police collectables, is a chance to make contacts.

A sign on his display table asks for any information about guards or former prisoners form the Canadian PoW camps.

“Most of the guards are dead except for the very young ones that came at the end of the war. Some have information or photographs. Former PoWs are dying off fast, but there are still a few around. Many of them moved back to Canada because of their treatment during the war. I’m able to contact them. It is a domino effect, if you find one they always know of someone else.”

Bob’s interest in German PoWs began when he was 12. His parents told him stories of prisoners escaping in Northern Ontario, where he lived at the time. In 1985 he traded with a friend for a carving made by a PoW.

“I thought, ‘Well this is an area of Canadian history that is completely ignored and unknown. If everything is as nice as this carving, I’m going to start collecting it’.”

The most treasured piece in his collection is a PoW’s painting of a soldier walking with his machine gun on his shoulder. The 250 cm. X 120 cm. Painting is done in shades of brown and cream.

This painting hung at Camp 122, Medicine Hat, Alberta. An inscription on the bottom indicates it was copied from a wooden carving. After the war it was mailed to Dr. Caldwell, who had been a Canadian doctor serving at the PoW camp. 

Coincidentally, three separate sources resulted in the locating and final acquisition of the painting.  One was via a former Canadian Doctor by the name of Jim HELMSOTCK who had been posted to the Medicine Hat PoW Camp. He recalled the very young son of another Canadian Doctor had been allowed to visit his father, and who in turn received gifts from the Prisoners and Guards. 

A collecting friend had seen the picture, and told Bob of it's existence, identifying the Canadian Doctors wife as being the owner.  That information was supported by another collector who spoke to Bob of the painting.

Bob located the son of the owner in Saskatoon, Sask., and found the painting was being stored in the rafters of a forlorn insecure garage.  The roof leaked, and the painting had been placed face up, so that birds were nesting on it, and lawn chairs were piled on top of it. 

After three years of on and off negotiations, a purchase value was agreed upon.   The acquired painting was cleaned of dirt and grime, suffering minimally from the storage problems.

In SEPT 1996, Mr. George HOEGAL of Munchen, Germany, wrote to identify himself as the artist who had painted the picture.  He had seen the picture of the painting in Bob Henderson's book, German Prisoners of War in Canada.  The two have corresponded ever since.

A hand stitched RAF wing, dyed with vegetable colouring, 
made for an escape attempt by Hermann Boecklin. 
Camp 30 Bowmanville, Ontario

Prisoner of War Grave Sites 
Woodland Cemetery, Kitchener, Ontario.

In 1970, German Prisoners of War who had died in Canada were moved from their original burial sites, 36 locations across Canada, to a final resting place provided by the Royal Canadian Legion at Kitchener., where they receive perpetual care.

A stone plaque at the site states:
1914-18           1939-45

After this book was published, further research and comments from those who read the book resulted in more information.

For example; on the cover the Naval Officer on the right is Chief Engineer of the submarine U-35, Gerhard Stamer. The other officer on the left is Heinz Erchen, of the   U-35. The men are being escorted to Gravenhurst Camp 20/c.

Not only German military occupied the PoW Camps. An internment camp was constructed at Victoria Newfoundland to accommodate Civilian internees from Britain who were considered pro-Nazi.  ARANDORA STAR, the ship they were on was torpedoed at 7:00 hours July 2, 1940 by submarine U-47 commanded by Captain Gunther Prien. 671 casualties. The camp at Victoria never opened.

A Guide for Historians, Research, and Collectors
C.M.V. Madsen and R. J, Henderson

Published 1993 by R. J. Henderson – address above.
ISBN 0 – 9697888 - 0 – 0

The extensive collection of both memorabilia and information held by the combined Museum/Archives has only been made possible by individual people like you.

To assist in expanding the collection, your assistance is requested.   Anyone with either memorabilia or information relating to the German PoW's and /or Veteran Guard of Canada Members from the 2nd World War time are requested to contact Mr. Robert Henderson @

It is essential that this brief period of Canadian History be preserved.

Sgt. Peter Engbrecht CGM 
424 Squadron RCAF Air Gunner Ace 

Sgt. Peter Engbrecht CGMShort Bursts June 1991 Issue #34

On the passing of Peter Engbrecht

Oh how time flies and Oh how quickly our memories dim.

Peter’s obituary in the Winnipeg Free Press was just six inches in length. Just a few family facts and a mention of his once receiving the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal. No reference to his wartime service as an Air Gunner with RCAF 424 (Bison) Squadron.

For Sgt. Peter Engbretch, age 18, it all starter on the night of May 27, 1944, when his Squadron was part of a raid on the German supply line at Bourg-Leopold. The first enemy fighter attack knocked out the rear turret. Peter, in his mid-upper turret, not only successfully fought off the ensuing thirteen separate attacks, but shot down two of the enemy aircraft. 

Two weeks later on another operation, he shot down two more enemy fighters. He then followed this up by scoring another two victories during a future raid on Brunswick. This truly amazing feat was completed when, on the Falaise Gap raid Sept. 14, 1944, he shot down two more enemy aircraft. Eight officially confirmed victories. He was a real Ace.

Sleep well Peter, rest in peace. Amen Brother, Amen.

Fast forward to 2007. Why was Peter only awarded the G.C.M. and C.D.? He should have been awarded, at least, the DFM and three Bars!

This 1991 article was resurrected due to the following letter received from Colin James.

Sent: Tuesday, January 02, 2007 5:22 PM
Subject: Fwd: Re: Engbrecht's Photographs (Copies)

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Moyles,
My name is Colin James and I am a collector of RAF/RCAF medals and display them in various history classes to help students learn about WWII.  I have put together a reproduction group of medals for Sgt. Peter Engbrecht, CGM and would like to have your permission for Stephen Hayter, the Executive Director of the CATPM, to make copies of the three photographs in Sgt. Engbrecht's display and the Air Museum.

 Regards, Colin James

Thanks to people like Colin and the CATP Museum, Peter’s memory lives on. . .

John Chalmers

In my travels through cyberspace on Sunday, I came upon a poem that interested me -- an RCAF wartime poem written in the style of William Henry Drummond. Remember him? In school we studied his poetry written in a French-Canadian accent. I wonder if his writing is still in the curriculum, or in these days of political correctness he is no longer read by junior high school students?

I thought you might enjoy the poem, "Dat Goddam Bird, De Link," so I've attached it. I re-typed it from the image I found on the 'net, but included the graphic which appeared with the poem. I think this may have originally appeared in a station newsletter. I have also added a photo I found in my research that shows a Link Trainer room in operation during RCAF training.

I’m working on an unpublished manuscript by my father, which is a history of aviation in Alberta from the first powered flight to the amalgamation of the Canadian armed forces. 

Last week I sent his book of RCAF memoirs to a publisher. It's about serving as a navigation student and instructor in Canada, in the BCATP. I finished the book late in the year and have qualified for a grant from Alberta Historical Resources Foundation, to be used only for actual printing costs when it is published, with grant funds actually going to the publisher. So now I wait a few weeks to see if the publisher is interested.

We're going England in August, and at the beginning of September will attend the 90th anniversary of RAF 101 Squadron, with which my F/S Navigator uncle Alfred R. Chalmers, flew and died, along with all other crew in their Lancaster. I hope the trip will provide a chance to see some of the major air museums in England, and Linda would like to include a visit to Vimy Ridge as well. The monument there is scheduled to have its restoration completed in April.


Dat Goddam Bird, De Link

By S/L (ret.) Carrol “Speed” McLeod, Trenton

For two t’ree mont’ my brudder Pierre
Take course on “link” to fly de h’air.
Dat “link” she plane of speciale make,
On first solo your nerves he’s shake.
You take him off wit’ nose to sky
But dat damn t’ing to floor she’s tie!

I visit once on Trenton place,
Dose “link” line up lac for de race.
Dat “link” she’s funny bird to see,
Got wings and tail, so Pierre show me,
But w’en you give wot’s call “de gun,”
You stay right where you started from.

Wit’ system Pierre call “one, two t’ree,” 
Dat “link” she’s fly lac hay, bee, see.
Wit’ needle, ball and h’airspeed dial,
You fly like hell for two t’ree mile,
Go right, go left, it’s h’all de same,
Dat needle, she’s lac bear to tame.

Pierre, he’s tell us once on leave
Hees boss, C.O., get plenty peeve,
When h’airspeed, height above de groun’
Don’t stay put, go hop and down.
Pierre say eyes get cross’ one day…
Try turn to lef’, go odder way!

Pierre come home for h’Easter h’eggs, 
Starts talking “Beams” and cones and legs,”
Dat’s radio noise wit’ “link” he’s ride,
Duck under hood, Pierre mus’ hide.
I h’ask him why he’s not fly home…
Dat “link” she’s nail to floor of stone!

Pierre he’s change, my modder t’ink,
Since he’s been ridin’ in dat “link”
He’s appetite on week-end trips
She’s shrink on down … jus’ leedle bits.
But lucky man, he’s now ver’ able,
He’s fly dat  “link” from de dam table!




Search Pattern

Some friends of ours want to take advantage of a bursary offered by the legion for grandchildren of our Vets specifically I suppose the WW II vets. In any case I am trying to track down a Bomb Aimer by the name of Sgt John David Ballagh RCAF. I have found nothing on my links. We have a letter and a telegram from the RCAF at the time saying that he was injured in a crash 1 July 44 near Clipston in the UK, its near Ottingham, at about 1430 hrs. The time of the crash leads me to think that he was with a OTU or on a training flight. Apparently he was in Wellingtons but given the date I would have thought everyone was over to the Lanc X series. Appreciate any help 

Cheers Ross

Major R.E. Beckett
Comm Res HQs
(780) 998-8398 

Charley Yule    ~

While things are still fresh in my mind, I thought I would advise you of some things:

First I must tell you that a company in the UK has begun publishing (in DVD Form) Specifications and Details of some of WWII aircraft
The current one is 'The Halifax III Explored'.  You can look it up on:

The latest report from Karl K. regarding the developments for Halifax 57 Rescue Canada is #16 - Special Christmas Edition which speaks of the release of 'The Halifax iii Explored', which can be ordered directly from Karl K at 212 - 2980 Colonial Road, Sarsfield, ON  K0A 3E0, at a cost of $65.00 Can. including Shipping.

I should be receiving mine early next week and you can imagine that I am keenly looking forward to it!

His latest Email to me, received only this morning, advises that there is another Nanton 'Bash' scheduled (he believes) for August 25th, 2007.  The focus will be to Honour the RCAF Americans who were killed in action in Bomber Command.  At last count there were almost 400 US citizens listed on Nanton's Wall Of Remembrance and they and their families will be honoured at this Annual Bash.  Also included in the celebration will be the running of tbe Merlin on their Lanc, PLUS the massive new museum building at Nanton which should be completed by August 2007.

I am already thinking of attending, if my health continues to hold out, and will combine that with another visit with my daughters.

So, (he says) things are cooking!!  Karl has a TV interview in Dublin, Ireland next month for the Halifax Project.  There were at least 5 Irish Nationals (Flight Engineers) KIA on RCAF Halifaxes and Lancs, and the Irish are very interested in the recovery of LW170 in their waters and the Irish-Canadian sacrifice.

Also, the organizer of a deep sea expedition going out from Scotland next summer are interested in helping us find the Halifax as a joint expedition - so I will be going to meet them in Glasgow next month.  The co-ordinates of where LW170 went down are known, but there could have been some drift over the years.  He hopes they can come up with a good plan!  If nothing else, they will know how important this mission is and that Canadians never give up on a good cause.

I know that Karl will be very pleased if you can continue to give his Project coverage in SHORT BURSTS.  Will continue to try and provide you with material that you may include in Short Bursts - so you will be hearing from me now and then.

From: Joe O'Loughlin 
To: Norm Muffitt 
Sent: Wednesday, December 27, 2006 5:21 AM

Subject: From Joe.

Dear Norm,
      Thank you for the latest Halifax information from John. Very little ever changes - if the powers that be can possibly blame the Pilot and crew for an accident they will always do so. The same applies even today.  Thank John for me and if ever he wants a contact in Ireland he is free to e-mail me. Maybe even someday he and Doreene will come over to Fermanagh and bring you and Peg along.
                       Best wishes for the New Year from Joe.

Ed. Thank you Joe, for that wonderful invitation, but I think Old Father Time may object. Keep well,  John and Doreene.

Dog Fight WWII

I found this site
(Short Bursts April/06)
It mentioned Fred Gardham. Would you know if Fred Gardham was an artist? 
I came across the above painting (signed F Gardham) ..  And it makes sense... 
Please let me know if you would know, or if there is someone else I may ask...
 (I understand that the article is old and if you have no idea what I'm talking about, please disregard my question.) 

Ted Hackett

I got this from Norm Muffitt. Now this is dedication. This chap has made a beautiful job of this model - have to admire that kind of patience and attention to detail.

Scratchbuilt 1/5 scale 
Supermarine Spitfire Mk.I
by David Glen

Ed. The site has some beautiful close up pictures e.g. cockpit. Check them out.

I’m trying to trace Jack Williams and/or family. I’m afraid I don’t have much information .He was married to Joan and the most recent address I have is Toronto.
I’m researching my family tree and I think he was my mum's cousin. He was a WAG. He was probably born in the 1920s, and he had a sister called Dorothy.
Yours hopefully,

Gibbs, Lesley

Ed. This is a tough one, too little information. It would help if we had a Squadron number. Do any of our readers know whom Lelsey could contact in the Department of National Defence, Canada, or DVA, to get information on WAG Jack Williams?

Ted Hackett
Some old guy with wrinkles holding a newborn with wrinkles..........of course, the newborn will lose hers!  First great granddaughter born December 23, 6lbs 15oz, 18 inches long and big feet. 

Congratulations Ted. Truly another little Wireless Operator. Word of warning. There is nothing more revolting than a proud Great Grandparent! 

Forwarded from Weldy Moffatt
Sent: Sunday, January 14, 2007
Subject: AFAC National President's Bi-Weekly Report

To All:
It might be a good idea to once again remind our concerned membership to ensure that they have in fact written to their MPs expressing their displeasure as to the current wording on the WWII Bomber Command Plaque in Gallery # 3 at the CWM.
I look forward to working with all of you in facing the challenges ahead of us in 2007, therefore advancing AFAC to the forefront.

Cheers:  Ted

Allan Coggon 1919 - 2006 
After graduating as a Pilot from CATP January 1, 1940, Allan spent over 40 years in aviation including 38 years as an active Pilot. On graduation he had visions of being a fighter Pilot but, true to military lore, he was destined to be a Staff Pilot in Canada until 1944. Allan built up time in his logbook, increased his flying skills, and kept putting in requests for an overseas posting. When the posting came through it was for the Burma theatre. Not Spitfires, but DC3s on 31 Squadron RAF, dropping supplies to allied troops fighting Japanese forces in the Jungles of that mountainous country.  Allan put in a tour (700 hours) with 31 Squadron.

31 Squadron was formed in 1916 and served in the North West Frontier against rebellious Afghani tribesmen. They were equipped with Be2Cs, Bristol Fighters. In 1942 the Squadron was in Assam. They converted from Valentias to Dakotas in 1943. 

After the War Allan flew for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Hollinger Ungava Transport, and Algoma Steel Corporation. He became proficient on float and ski planes. On retirement in 1979 he taught helicopter ground school at Sault Ste. Marie. After returning to his roots in Mahone Bay, NS. in 1990, he founded the Nova Scotia Branch of the Aircrew Association in 1992, and the Silver Dart Chapter of the Aviation Historical Society in 1996. He was Editor of TAILWIND, the Aircrew Association newsletter and, with the Editor of Short Bursts, exchanged articles and ideas for their respective newsletters. I had the pleasure of sharing Allan’s hospitality at his home in Mahone Bay and seeing his well stocked reference library.

Short Bursts reviewed two books written by Allan, 


In a letter to Alan, November 24, 2006, I informed him I had used information from his book, From Wings Parade to Mandalay, to send some WWII history to Canadians in New Delhi India. Allan replied the same date, as follows: 

Thanks for your update John. I continue to plug away on Book # 3, 'tis about another 6 years of flying.  If  God's a-willing 'n the crick don’t rise It may come out by spring.

Here is a peek at a paragraph in Chapter Five.

Blessings - Allan
The Ocean of the Sky: Our Home

 "After many years of flying, it seems to me the immensity of the sky is like an ocean, the greatest ocean of them all. It has its storms, eddies and currents in the same endless confusion as the oceans below it. Ice, snow, thunder and tempest all thrust danger into the path of airmen, yet if that same aviator has mastered the skills and sciences of aeronautics, he can then see himself completely in this ocean of air. The high cirrus clouds level as the top, the surface. The land and the seas with the birds, airplanes, and fish are swimming in the depths beneath it. If we lived in the mud and earth we would be buried, in the water we would drown. We live instead within the first and greatest ocean, the Ocean of Air. The sky really begins at our feet. We, like crabs in the ocean, are crawling on the bottom of the sky. The sky can be much more primitive and dangerous than the earth below. When caught up in its occasional fury the aviator would give a months pay to be safely home in his bed. Despite this, the euphoria of the wild blue yonder is the siren’s call of the sky to which he must return."

One month later, December 24, 2006, Allan passed away. I guess God was just not ‘a-willing’. 
Those who believe in reincarnation, watch the skies for a high-flying Eagle. 

The world has lost a dedicated historian and compassionate human being. 
Our condolences go out to Chris and family.

Editor’s Report

As we are being asked for information concerning Ex-RCAF personnel, it would be appreciated if someone could set out a number of locations, services, and/or phone numbers one might use to track such information. 

As I have mentioned before, I spend a lot of time marketing products on the internet. The  name in the trade is Multi Level Marketing. At 84 (yes, I’m just a young chap) I find it stimulating. Every morning I get up to another challenge (and I don’t mean getting the right leg into the right pant sleeve). I highly recommend this activity for those who do not have a hobby and are finding it hard to put in time.

Right now I’m working a Trident Home Business:

  • Coffee laced with the Asian Red Mushroom -  Health Body.
  • Fuel Pills, increase mileage and cut CO2 emissions by 85% -  Healthy Environment.
  • Spiritual and positive thinking DVDs - Healthy State of Mind.
If any Members would like to know how to get started, drop me a line, or ask your grandchildren to check you out.
Doreene is still saying, “Ok Tycoon, show me the money!”

We are always looking for articles, there must be a host of stories out there that would be of interest to our readers.

See you in March. 
Keep well.

John and Doreene

Charley Yule
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 Milne,  Secretary,
392 St. Clements Ave., 
Toronto, Ont. M5M 1M1 

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:
Harry Thompson, 702 Mckercher Dr., Saskatoon, SK  S7H 3W7 Phone: (306) 374-6036

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.
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.

Contact Person and President
Larry Robinson 
Box 179
Okotoks, AB   T0L 1T0
(403) 938-4105

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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