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

Nanton Museum Lancaster and replicas of
the 1200 lb bomb and the bouncing bomb of Dambuster’s fame.

by Ted Hackett

The Nanton Lancaster Air Museum held their annual celebration on Saturday, August 25, 2007.  This year it was to salute the approximately 9000 United States citizens who served in the RCAF and in particular the 379 who were killed while serving with Bomber Command.  Their names are inscribed on the Bomber Command Memorial at the museum.

The salute focussed on three airmen who served with distinction, Wing commander Joe McCarthy, DSO, DFC & Bar, of 617 Squadron, Flight Lieutenant Chuck Lesesne, of 425 Squadron, who sacrificed his life saving his crew, and John Gillespie Magee, a Spitfire pilot and author of the poem "High Flight".

There was a full day of activities beginning with a pancake breakfast and featuring a run-up of the Lancaster starboard inner engine and a Fleet Fawn engine run-up.  A buffet lunch preceded an afternoon programme of events in the hangar and at the Bomber Command Memorial.

The special guests at the event were Tom Huffaker, United States Consul General and Clarence R. Anderegg Director of History and Museums, United States Air Force.  An interesting story was told involving General "Hap" Arnold of the United States Army Air Corps and Air Marshall W.A. "Billy" Bishop of the RCAF.  It seems that in pre-war a cadet undergoing flying training in the USAAC had to be of very fine character, money problems, lady problems, bad discipline etc. could get you a rapid discharge.  The story goes that General Arnold told Bishop that these were the kind of airmen the RCAF needed and wanted and, apparently, he made available the names and addresses of these men so they could be recruited into the RCAF.  There was a deal worked out back then that allowed the US citizens to join the RCAF without having to swear allegiance to the King, an act that would have cost them their citizenship.

During the lunch a replica of the nose art of "Willie the Wolf" of 426 Squadron and the nose art of W/C McCarthy's aircraft were unveiled.  A small framed reproduction of the McCarthy nose art was presented to his son Joe McCarthy Jr. who was present with his family.

An interesting sight was the 6 young men dressed in RCAF uniform who played the part of a bomber crew, it certainly took one back in time.  They boarded the aircraft dressed in flying clothing just prior to the engine run up. The engine was a bit slow to turn over and a voice was heard to say, "Hooray, we don't have to go, back to Mess chaps".


Our old friend Karl Kjarsgaard was there of course, he seems to attend all of these events. He had some new information regarding the search for Halifax LW170, they have located two man made objects on the ocean bottom and they believe that one of them is the Halifax. When LW170 is raise to light of day it is destined for the Nanton Museum.

A flyby by a Canadian Forces jet aircraft brought the afternoon to a close.  I would recommend that anyone who hasn't visited the Museum do so if they are ever in the Calgary area, Nanton is only about 40 minutes south of that city.

Quiet area at Nanton Lancaster Museum.
Bench on right contributed by Northern Alberta Ex-AG Branch.

Charley Yule enjoying himself

From Tiger Moth, to Anson, to Hudson, to Sunderland, to Dakota, and back again to Fox Moth. Remember back to when you were let out of the service, and that vacuum when you think, “What do I do now?”

Out of twelve in our first Sunderland crew there were  six WAGs and one Straight AG by the name of Joe. Joe was keen and industrious, he kept all the Perspex shined, all the guns cleaned, and he himself neat. We began calling him, “Gentleman Joe.” However, after we had put in about 50 operational trips, he started to get noisy around the mess, so we started calling him, “Whispering Joe.”

Well, tours end and wars end, we are out of the service and Joe and I are lifetime buddies. Joe goes to Queens University and I take to logging camps and tourist resorts. Anything to keep me in beer. Then I get a letter from Joe. He has chucked the University bit and was out in Vancouver, B.C. on the tug boat ‘Sea Giant’, having a great time. He invited me out. I got a job delivering a new car from Ontario to Vancouver. Joe left the sea and got a job selling paint and wallpaper. He called himself “Joe the Decorator”. I got a job as tallyman in a sawmill. In the evenings we started a course in prospecting.

After a time, things get dull again. Joe has won some prizes in sales, I had moved from the back end of the sawmill to the front end. Nowhere else to go in that business. We decide on a trip back East.

Boarding a streetcar in Toronto, we meet Jack, one of Joe’s buddies from Queens, who stayed the course and was now a Geologist. He was looking for a crew to go North of Lake Athabaska, Sask. to prospect for Uranium. Next thing we know we are in Edmonton, Alberta. There was Jack, Joe, and myself, and we were introduced to a blond chap by the name of Garth. He was a fighter ace who flew with Buzz Beurling in Malta. He was awarded the D.F.M. and claimed to have shot down eight enemy planes, and been shot down eight times, so he came out of the war even-steven. One day I got a look at his flying logbook and, from the sketches and notes in the margins, relating to parachutes, dinghies, and stonewalls, one had to believe it.  I do have a book of all the war aces, and Garth is in it.

DitOur Company rented a 1928 Fox Moth for our use for the summer. It was sitting out at Cooking Lake and Garth was to fly it. Garth and I, plus a load of Company gear, were to fly to Fort McMurray, and then to Goldfields, Athabaska. It was a warm, calm, day and we make our take-off run down the lake. About a hundreds ducks start flapping along with us. At the other end of the lake the ducks are airborne, we are not. Again we tried to take off, with the same results. The next day I remain on the dock and Garth takes off with the equipment. The aircraft’s registration was CF-DIT. so we called her Dit, like you would a faithful dog.

Later Garth appears. He has force landed in a farmer’s slough between Edmonton and Lac Labiche. The next day we have Dit’s tail tied to a stump. When Garth got the throttle to full power, we cut the rope. Dit was off, leaving us standing in the swamp with the gear to carry out.

With all our grub and gear we take the train to Fort McMurray and settle down in a hotel. The hotel owner joins us for beer and complains that there are large amounts of oil in the sand, but nobody is doing anything about it. Finally, with the aid of a Beaver aircraft, most likely piloted by the well known chap “Lefty” McCleod, we were landed on a rocky point in Mickey Lake, well North of Beaverlodge Lake. We had a big supply of canned goods, no knives, forks, or spoons, no sleeping bags, no tents, and no bug repellent. I just can’t fully describe that first night. The mosquitoes had a great time. However, we soon had a nice camp and mooring dock set up. Garth came tootling in with Dit.

Joe on the nacelle
Garth on the float (left)
Don Macfie hanging onto the prop.

In front L to R – Garth, Joe, Don, with Dit
and some Natives in Northern Saskatchewan.

Things were just ideal, nice long sunny days, good fishing, exercise with the Geiger counter over hill and dale, and Dit to carry us to other lakes from which to work.

One day Garth took Dit to Goldfields for fresh supplies. It was a nice morning when he took off however, about mid-afternoon, Garth came staggering into camp, exhausted and eaten by flies. He announced that Dit had taken a belly-ache about halfway out and was down in a small lake with a broken rocker arm. Someone would have to go overland 25 miles to Uranium City to radio out for repairs.

Jack said he would take a compass and go, then he pointed at me and said, “I’ll go with him.” I told him I travelled best in bare feet, and that’s the way I went through the jack pine bush.  At fading light we were sliding down a steep gravel bank into Uranium City. Next day it was back to camp in the comfort of Lefty MacCleod’s Beaver. Within a few days Dit was back at the dock. When we started brushing snow off Dit’s wings we decided it was time to head for the “outside”.

The following summer Joe and I return, but without Garth. He got flying Harvards with 400 Squadron out of Toronto and, one Sunday morning, on the way to Trenton for an exercise, he collided with another Harvard and went in. To bad, he was a nice chap, age 29, with wife and children.

Dit was hired out to another Company further North and took another belly-ache. With no lake or slough to jump into, she ended up a heap of junk in the bush. No doubt she is there to this day. Joe and I stayed on for the third season, then Joe was made Supplier of Needs for the eight parties out in the bush. Joe became known as “The Expediter”.

After eleven years of adventure, I married locally, took up pitching hay and sheaves, from where I had left off in 1940. Under the VLA Act I took over the Macfie Homestead and continued there for the next 45 years of my working life.

And Joe? Well he started raising grub-stakes, and for the next twenty-five years, prospected on other peoples money. Joe became well known among the mining fraternity as “Barren Lands Joe”.

Ed. Don certainly struck a nerve. How did wartime service effect your post war years?
One of my Skippers flew for a commercial carrier. In 1954 he disappeared over Labrador. Another Skipper tried to go back to DVA School, but the classroom was in a hangar with windows overlooking the active runways. He said whenever a plane took off or landed, his whole being was flying it, making it impossible to concentrate on the lesson at hand. Some, because of the addiction to flying, became airport bums hanging out at flying club coffee rooms. Others decided civilian life was not for them and went back into the Service. Some mothballed their emotions and memories, confiding in no one.

Drop us a line regarding how wartime experiences effected your re entry into civilian life.

A Trip of Remembrance
Story and photos by John J. Chalmers, Edmonton AB

Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Lancaster, flypast at Ludford, Lincolnshire, September 2, 2007

 On September 1 and 2, 2007, my wife Linda and I attended the Royal Air Force 101 Squadron Association 29th annual reunion in England, which was also the occasion to mark the 90th anniversary of the Squadron's formation.  During the Second World War, the Squadron was based in Lincolnshire, and today is at RAF Brize Norton. Although the Squadron has not operated continuously for 90 years, it has served with distinction in two World Wars, the Falklands conflict, the Gulf War, Afghanistan and Iraq.
See for info on 101 Squadron.

 My interest derives from the fact that F/S Alfred Reid Chalmers, a Lancaster navigator with the Squadron was killed along with the seven other crew members on the return flight of a bombing raid to Stettin. He was an uncle I never had a chance to know, and is buried with the crew at Dejberg, Denmark. See that story at

 RAF 101 Squadron suffered the highest losses of any squadron in Bomber Command, losing 1,176 aircrew killed in action, and yet at the end of the war it was still the largest operational squadron in the RAF. Even with the passing of 26 members of the Association over the past year, the 2007 reunion saw a record 151 people registered. We had the opportunity to meet with current members of the squadron and several veterans who served with it during the Second World War; and they had amazing stories to tell.

 One veteran we met is Royston Clarke, a wireless operator with 101 Squadron. We sat with him and his wife, Diane, at the dinner. At 18 years old, on his last training flight in a Wellington, the aircraft crashed and he was one of only two survivors in the crew of five. He had such serious damage to his face that he underwent serious plastic surgery and was hospitalized for seven months. You'd never know to look at him that he had such injuries. Then on his last operational flight in a Lancaster, on his 30th trip to complete a tour, the aircraft crashed, and again he was one of only two survivors, evading capture till the end of the war. Royston still remembers Morse code and says sometimes as he is driving he translates the road signs to Morse! He pointed to the letters on Linda's name tag and read her name in Morse -- dit dah dit dit, dit dit, dah dit, dah dit dit, etc.!

RAF 101 Squadron veteran Royston Clarke and his wife Diane

 101 Squadron was a “special operations” squadron. Normally a Lancaster had a crew of seven. The Lancasters flown by 101 Squadron carried an eighth crew member, a special wireless operator, who had to know the German language, and whose duty it was to use special equipment to listen in to German aircraft radio transmissions and jam the frequencies on which they were broadcast.

 Another veteran we met served as one of those special operators. He is Sam Brookes, who has since provided me with a description of his duties and the equipment carried by 101 Squadron Lancasters which enabled him to do his job. Sam says that, “The Germans tried all manner of techniques to overcome the jamming, including having their instructions sung by Wagnerian sopranos to try and fool our operators into thinking it was just a civilian channel!”

 The lunch in Lincoln on September 1 was followed by the AGM of the Association, and a dinner was held in the evening. The location of those events was at the Assembly Rooms, right near the magnificent Lincoln Cathedral and the ancient Lincoln Castle in the heart of the city. On Sunday, September 2, many gathered in the pubs at the small village of Ludford for lunch before going to the village church for the annual memorial service. Following that, the squadron's colors were paraded to the memorial marker nearby for the laying of wreaths.

 After the squadron’s colours were paraded and wreaths were laid, tea and pastries were served at the Village Hall. The afternoon concluded with a flypast of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Lancaster, PA474. I saw the Lancaster fly again at Duxford when we visited there, and we also saw the Lancaster in the BBMF Hangar at RAF Coningsby.
 On September 3, I visited the site where the Ludford Magna wartime base of RAF 101 Squadron was located, adjacent to the village of Ludford. Today the buildings are gone, the land has been returned to farming, and a tractor was busy cultivating the fields after the crops had been taken off. All that remains are concrete roads leading into the former site, and a road running through the fields. Nearby, close to the village of Binbrook, the hangars remain from the time when the squadron was located there from 1946-1957.

 Our trip also included visits to the Royal Air Force Museum in London, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight at RAF Coningsby, and the splendid aircraft displays at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford. As well, prior to the 90th anniversary weekend, we took the Eurostar train under the English Channel to Lille, France. There we rented a car the next day for a trip to the Vimy Ridge Memorial. We also stopped at the Belgian city of Ypres, and a few military cemeteries near Ypres, including the Tyn Cot Cemetery, close to Passchendale and the largest Commonwealth cemetery, with nearly 12,000 graves. Of those, the headstones mark the graves of 70% of men buried there whose remains are unidentified.

 Sightseeing in London included Buckingham Palace and the Royal Mews, the British Museum, the National Gallery and St. Paul's Cathedral. Other sights included Lincoln Cathedral, Lincoln Castle, Norwich Castle, some of the coastline and palatial homes and gardens, including another royal residence, Sandringham. We drove 251 km on the right side of the road with a rental car in France and Belgium, and 940 miles on the "wrong" side of the road in England, shifting a 5-speed manual transmission with my left hand!

The Silver Lancaster

 I have posted 30 photos of the 101 Squadron weekend, photos from Vimy Ridge, hangars at Binbrook which are still in use for industrial purposes, and a picture of the silver Lancaster shown at the banquet. It was commissioned by RAF 101 Squadron Association to mark the 90th anniversary. It is about a 12-14" long and is a unique creation for display at formal dinners. The aircraft depicted is Lancaster DV302, SR-H of 101 Squadron, which completed 121 bomber operations during the War. The photos can be seen at

 At that location, click on "A Trip of Remembrance 2007" to bring up the photos. Click on any photo to see a larger size or click "View Show" to run the photos as a slide set. While you're at the gallery, you can click on any title to see the other photo shows.

 I have also posted a two-minute and 37 second movie of images and footage of the memorial events held at Ludford on September 2. For reasons unknown to me, the video seems to lose a bit of the color saturation when posted, but it is still legible. The flypast of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Lancaster is taken from footage shot at Ludford and at Duxford. A picture the BBMF Lancaster in the hangar at Coningsby, is shown at the end of the video. You can see the video by going directly to
 I have also posted the Lancaster flypast only (1 minute) at YouTube, which can be seen at

 Below is a photo which I have not posted at the web site. It is of the Battle of Britain Memorial Window in the RAF Chapel at Westminster Abbey. Four airmen are depicted in the stained glass images. If you would like more information, also below are links to some of the sites we visited.

John Chalmers

Royal Air Force Museum, Hendon (greater London area) --
Battle of Britain Memorial Flight --
Imperial War Museum, Duxford --
Vimy Ridge Memorial --
Tyn Cot Cemetery --  and

Battle of Britain Memorial Window in the RAF Chapel at Westminster Abbey

Official Order to Aircrew personnel

If you are shot down over enemy territory, and survive, it is your duty to make every effort to escape capture and return to base. If captured take advantage of every opportunity to escape.

This was part of OTU training. Some training bases carried out mock escape practices in cooperation with the local constabulary. Aircrew were bussed into the countryside at night and ordered to avoid capture and return to base.

There is an interesting story of two Canadians on such an exercise who, when crossing a narrow bridge, were confronted by a local police officer who tried to take them into custody. One of the Canadians decked the poor officer. They rolled him into the ditch and made their way safely back to base. By the time the complaint was filed by the constable, the Canadians had been posted to a Squadron.

Aircrew were given escape kits containing, among other things, maps, secret compasses, chits to obtain assistance. Compasses were hidden in items such as buttons, pens, pencils, razorblades.

Part of  45cm x 37 cm silk escape map. Berlin Left Centre

Blood Chit
Blood Chit wording
Dear friend
I am an Allied fighter. I did not come here to do any harm to you who are my friends. I only want to do harm to the Japanese and chase them away from your country as quickly as possible. If you will assist me, my Government will sufficiently reward you when the Japanese are driven away.

Languages: French, Tamil, Sumatra, Thai,  East Shan  and North Thai, West Shan, English, Jawl, Chinese, Haka,  Kagmin, Laizo, Bengali, Annamite, Burmese, and Karen


Richard Bennett was kind enough to photograph these items from his collection for use in our newsletter.

Rick Bennett   (email:  phone: 306-545-0217)
researcher and collector of WWII 1st Canadian Parachute Corps, First Special Service Force, and escape-evasion items).

Ted Hackett

IAero-News has learned remains discovered last year of the aircrew from a WWII RAF Halifax bomber -- shot down over Poland in August 1944 while on a special operation at the time of the Warsaw Uprising -- will be buried with appropriate military honors in Krakow, Poland on Thursday, October 4.

The service, which will be attended by family members of the crew, will take place during the anniversary week marking the end of the Warsaw Uprising, which concluded in October 1944.

The Ministry of Defense says that the Halifax, manned by a mixed British, Canadian and Irish crew, was on route from Brindisi in Italy to drop supplies at a location 60 kilometers southeast of Warsaw when it was shot down by an enemy fighter close to the town of Dabrowa Tarnowska, approximately 110 kilometers east of Krakow.

On October 4, a memorial service will take place in the Garrison Church in Krakow, followed by the rededication service, which will take place in the Commonwealth War Graves cemetery within Krakow's Rakowicki Cemetery. The rededication will involve personnel from the RAF's Queens Colour Squadron and the Canadian Forces, as well as the families of the crew.

Halifax JP276, from 148 Squadron, took off from Brindisi, Italy at 19:56 hours on 4th August 1944 to carry out a special operation over Southern Poland. From the time of take-off nothing further was heard.

On board were Flight Lieutenant Arnold Raymond Blynn, RCAF Pilot; Flying Officer Harold Leonard Brown, RCAF Wireless Operator; Pilot Officer George Alfred Chapman, RCAF Navigator; Flight Sergeant Arthur George William Liddell, RCAF Air Gunner; Flight Sergeant Charles Burton Wylie, RCAF Bomb Aimer; Sergeant Kenneth James Ashmore, RAF (VR) Air Gunner; and Sergeant Frederick George Wenham, RAF (VR) Flight Engineer.

Eyewitnesses later said the aircraft experienced problems near the town on Dabrowa Tarnowska, and was on fire and flying in the direction of the village of Morzychna. The aircraft was seen to suddenly stop in mid-air before crashing, killing all seven crew members.

Due to the presence of occupying enemy forces the remains that were discovered at the time were buried in secret in the town of Dabrowa Tarnowska. These remains were later exhumed and reburied in the Krakow Rakowicki Cemetery.

In 2006, a Polish team from the Rising Museum in Warsaw located remains at the crash site on the outskirts of Dabrowa Tarnowska. In October 2006 the site was excavated and aircraft wreckage and artefacts belonging to JP276 were recovered. During the excavation human remains were recovered.

In accordance with Ministry of Defense policy and the wishes of the families the remains will be buried in a single casket/ossuary. The crew of Halifax JP276 are commemorated on the Runnymede memorial, which overlooks the river Thames on Cooper's Hill, Englefield Green.


HAVE NO FEAR … “B.G.” IS HERE By B. Graham McDonald
191 pages, soft cover, 8 ½ X 11  60 photos
ISBN 978-0-9784242-0-6

Order from Author
B. Graham McDonald,
507 – 165 Herchimer Ave.
Belleville, ON. K8N 5M1

Cost $20.00 plus $7.00 Handling and Postage. Enclose cheque or M/O.
Graham was a member of The Air Gunner’s of Canada Association, No. 170.

As Editor of Short Bursts I have reviewed many books written by Ex- Service Personnel reminiscing on their experiences during WW II. Many fall into a lock-step rendition of postings, dates, Squadrons, aircraft, and tend to lose reader interest. Not so with HAVE NO FEAR "B.G." IS HERE. This greeting was belted out by Graham when entering the mess, barrack block, or pub. I have never experienced a book that, on just about every page, has one erupting in laughter, or pausing to reflect, ‘that reminds me of a similar situation.’ Ex Aircrew can certainly identify with Graham’s experiences. He spares no one, the pre war personnel on training bases, who found themselves suddenly elevated to positions of power and authority over raw aircrew trainees destined for the uncertainty and trauma of war, by-the-book administrative officers, or mess hall catering staff siphoning off rations for self gain, being relegated to the inferior position of Colonials by some RAF personnel, all come under the scrutiny of the authors caustic quill.

From the time Graham enlisted in 1940, it took four years for him to be posted to an operational Squadron. In those four years there was a lot of down time. Trained as a WAG under the CATP, he bounced around RAF training Units in the UK, toured North Africa as crew member on a Wellington torpedo bomber, moved from one non operational holding unit to another, then by boat back to the UK. Finally he was posted to 103 Squadron RAF, where he completed his tour of 31 Operational missions.

The writer does not gloss over the down time but goes into detail regarding their shenanigans. After all, idle hands are the Devil’s instruments. When he begins Operational flying with 103 Squadron, Graham , then a WO1, explains their crew’s actions that enabled them to beat the odds and complete their tour, included some of the crew baling out close to London. Even the description of this dicey situation is laced with humour.

Historians will gain greatly from the explanation of defying the odds during operational flying. Baby Boomers will realize the life style and trauma experienced by family service members. And, dear reader, you and I, ex-aircrew, can enjoy identifying with, and appreciating the humour of this timely work.

Graham tells it as it was. I recommend it highly.

Reviewed  by John Moyles.

Graham and Connie on their 60th. Anniversary September 11, 2006
Thank you for this book Graham and Connie.Our heart felt congratulations.


Re: Sgt. Scratch Story Sept issue Short Bursts

I simply want to compliment you for the above story, which from my knowledge is most accurate. Don was a good buddy of mine in high school in the hamlet of RADWAY in northern AB. He then used his step-father's name, WHITMAN.
I remember seeing him off to join the RCAF and seemingly a short time later appearing as a sharp looking Sgt-Pilot. This was a factor in my joining in Aug 1941, I think.

Incidentally, my brother and his wife attended Don's funeral in ASHMONT, AB. Many thanks again.

Harold Park     Wartime Aircrew   Kelowna BC

Hi John,
Summer is just about over and I expect you’ll be collecting more stories for “Short Bursts”. I have been corresponding with Harry Levy (RAAF navigator) who was based at RAF Alness during 1944 and flew in Sunderlands. You or my father may have shared a pint with him in the mess one evening. While he was not an air gunner, the whole crew obviously shared the experiences and you may find his two stories of interest.

He shares a bit of information about himself then tells the story about “A Day of Operational Flying” that stretches over four days from November 26th to 29th in 1944. It commences with the crash of my fathers Sunderland and Harry’s experiences over the next few days. The story is a bit long and I’ve edited it slightly from his original version. You have his permission to use it if you wish.

The second story takes place a month earlier when they pass a flight of Lancaster Bombers over the North Sea and his meeting with one or their crew members 50 years later.

David Kinton

Ed: Harry’s articles are too long to reproduce in Short Bursts, but if any of you Coastal types out there are interested in reading Harry Levy’s accounts of Operational flying, drop me a line and I will get a copy to you. They are well written and very descriptive.

Letter from Down Under
Ed. In the June 2007 Page we ran the following letter from Ken Wright of Australia:

I am writing an article about an Australian airman, A. Heymanson,  who  trained as a Wireless/Air gunner at Mossbank - Saskatchwan, Canada as part of the  British Commonwealth Air Training Plan in 1943.

Could I please ask for your help. I am looking not for the history of the gunnery school but the actual mechanics of the training. Windage, fall of shot, deflection etc. In other words, how to shoot. Sgt A. Heymanson eventually joined 195 Sqn as a top turret gunner in a Lancaster.

May I please ask if you can direct me to an internet site or any other source where I might find the relevant information. Any assistance you can give will be most appreciated.
Kindest regards,
 Ken Wright.

Ed. Later, In my reply to Ken asking him if he had any feed-back, he replied in the negative. We mailed Ken a copy of Short Bursts #60 Dec. 1997, which contains a lengthily article on #2 B&G Mossbank. Here is his reply.

Hi John,
Thanks very much for the copy of ''Short Bursts'. Arrived this morning. I will post back tomorrow. I've attached a draft copy of the story. Would you do me the honour [or do you spell it 'honor'] of pulling the story apart a with a critical editors eye and tell me if I've made any mistakes, and any suggestions, additions, subtractions etc. Please be as critical as you like or feel free to praise it. I love flattery. The article's central character is WO Heymanson who gets only brief mentions as this is all the personal information I could get from his son.

Enough waffle-Hope you like it.
Best wishes,

Ed. This will give you, our readers, a brief glimpse of how our Newsletter is providing information around the world. If you can assist any of those who are seeking information, don’t hesitate to contact the enquirer. The results are quite rewarding.

Ted Hackett
Change of Name for the RCAF Memorial Museum
Hello Ed and Bruce

Got your name from Barbara Adkins and she suggested that you may be able to pass this to members of the Canadian Military Photographers Association. Would appreciate your help.

As you are probably aware by now, the name change of the RCAF Memorial Museum was approved, without consultation with any of those concerned and in the face of considerable opposition. The changes are already underway; i.e. the web site, and are to be completed by 01 APR 08 (very ironic).

However, some of those who are opposed have formed a small committee whose purpose is to get enough support to have the name change reversed or reach a compromise which would see the RCAF retained in any new name.
Support is growing, not only in the number who have signed the original petition (nearly 900) but by individuals who have written letters or e-mailed the museum.

We, the committee, are sending out the attached letter to as many interested parties as possible and hope to generate a large number of letters and/or e-mail to the Board of Directors and at least get a compromise name as is mentioned in the letter. We  would appreciate your help in informing as many people as possible about our aim to get the name change reversed.

Per Ardua Ad Astra
Committee,Keeping the Name
"RCAF Memorial Museum"
The attached letter referred to above
August 20, 2007


On May 12, 2007, an e-mail message was sent to sixteen members of the RCAF Board of Directors asking them to vote on the following motion:

“The name of the Museum located at 8 Wing Trenton, is the “National Air Force Museum of Canada”, hereinafter referred to as the “Museum” and that the name of the Airpark is “The RCAF Memorial Air Park”.

Changes in Museum operations affected by this decision are to occur gradually over time but all signage and other supporting documents will be in place reflecting this name change no later that 1 April 2008.”

Upon receiving a copy of this e-mail, letters from volunteers were written and hand delivered to the Chairman of the Board expressing objection to this motion. An e-mail was sent with a copy of one of the letters to other interested parties asking for support through a petition. The petition has to this date, 876 names from across Canada, Mexico, the USA and Europe. The names on the petition, include retired RCAF and CAF (from LAC to LGen) as well as presently serving CAF personnel and civilians. The motion was passed without any input from the volunteers, the Ad Astra Stone group or the Halifax Restoration crew. A briefing was called on Friday, June 1st to inform the volunteers after the name change had been announced on the local radio stations. The briefing was given by the Executive Director; the Chairman of the Board was present, however, he did not address us.

A committee has been formed to clear up misconceptions re the name change that have been given to the media and to convince the Board to reconsider the motion. We do not object to the museum being called “National Air Force Museum of Canada” as an additional name as long as the RCAF Memorial Museum name is retained as the official name on the front of the building and on all signage, stationery and daily operation of the Museum. As you see in the motion, the date for replacing the name is April 1st, 2008, which means for 10 months they are continuing to use the RCAF Memorial name. The visitors to the Museum are unaware of the name change and continue to think they are supporting the RCAF Memorial Museum. Even though the Air Park retains the RCAF acronym any revenue from the purchase of stones will be to the benefit of the National Air Force Museum of Canada. We feel this is misleading.

The artifacts in the museum should encompass everything from the first military flying in Canada to the present and on into the future. The RCAF era forms a large amount of this history and that is why we want the name preserved. There are many Air Force Museums in Canada but we believe it is the acronym “RCAF” that attracts so many visitors to the Museum in Trenton. At least three generations of ex- RCAF veterans have donated monies and artifacts specifically to the RCAF Memorial Museum. It is a disservice to these people to change the name.

We encourage all concerned members to discuss this situation within their own organizations and support the retention of the name “RCAF Memorial Museum”. One dissenting e-mail or letter will not cause the Board to change their decision, but many might. If you agree with us, please send a letter to Board of Directors, RCAF Memorial Museum, PO Box 1000, Stn Forces, Astra ON K0K 3W0 or e-mail your individual views to the Chairman of the Board, Peter McCulloch, at and/or to the Executive Director, Chris Colton, at  with a carbon copy to our committee, if you wish, at

Several volunteers have left the museum and many people have withdrawn their financial support and donations of artifaxes. If we are to continue to have a Memorial Museum that perpetuates the RCAF name, we need your support now.

Per Ardua Ad Astra,

Keeping the Name
“RCAF Memorial Museum”

Search Pattern
From: "Weldon Moffatt" <>
To: "Doug Sample" <>
Cc: "John Moyles" <>
Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2007 11:51 AM
Subject: Re: HELP
 Doug Sample wrote:

 Dear Weldy,
We have lost the trail of two of our YAM Life Members. Florence & Robert McWhirter's last address was 312-1040 Ist Street East, Prince Albert Sask. S6V 0C4 Phone # was (306)764-8784. Last contact was Feb 2000.

Tried to find them via Google but no luck...seem to have vanished.. Bob  was an Air Gunner with 420 Sqn Ist tour and 405 PFF for seccond tour. Total ops - 58 all with the same original Jeff Coffey crew. Any chance you could track them down....strange BOTH would vanish  together in such a short time.
Best regards to you and Alma.  Cheers,  Doug.

So far have checked telephone and it is still active but nobody answered.  There are no other WcWhirters in Prince Albert.  Have checked the obituaries and no listing for that name in last six years.

Ed. Can anyone help Doug Sample?

Ed Chenier

A Picture is worth a thousand words
Canadian Lanc from 6 Group, Bomber Command, delivers final strike in recent skirmish. Pinpoint bombing eliminated propaganda output centre while leaving building intact. Collateral damage: Two civilians, B Oda and J Guerts.
We have been advised by Jack Denmee, Calgary, AB of the passing of Ed Hunter.  Unfortunately, Ed's application for membership in the Ex Air Gunner's Association did not give many details of his Wartime Service, but we have shown as much as he provided.

HUNTER, EDWARD: CALGARY, AB:   Member #1254 Enlisted in RCAF as R107467 and selected for Wireless Air Gunner training.  Attended #2 Wireless School, Calgary followed by Gunnery training at #2 B&G Mossbank, where he was awarded his WAG Brevet.  Served overseas with 115 Squadron, 3 Group and #432 Squadron, 6 Group.  Ed became commissioned as J41272.  

~ Editor Charlie Yule
We were so impressed with Graham McDonalds book, HAVE NO FEAR “B.G.” IS HERE we are helping Graham with the promotion. Many of our Members and other aircrew, who are not on the internet, should be made aware of this interesting and factual read. We have prepared information sheets including the Book Review found in this Page, and sent them to representatives in the various Air Gunner Branches across Canada, for distribution at their monthly luncheons. If you know of any RCAF organization where the information sheets may bear fruit, drop us a line.

Doreene and I recall, when we edited, published, and paid for ($7,450.00) the COMMEMORATIVE ISSUE 1983 TO 1993 Selections from Short Bursts, it was “white knuckle time” until Membership purchased enough copies to cover costs. If we all make an effort to promote HAVE NO FEAR “B.G.” IS HERE, it will be a well deserved THANK YOU to Graham and Connie for the work they have done.

We are now back into our monthly publishing routine, for how long, who knows!

Let us have your comments and anecdotes for future Pages.

See you in November.
Cheers.                John and Doreene Moyles - Editors
John and Doreene Moyles – Editors.

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, 
435 Froom Crescent
 Regina, Sk.  S4N 1T5
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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Editor and Webmaster Bill Hillman ~ Copyright 1996-2021
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