Bill Hillman Presents
Forces: Land ~ Air ~ Sea ~ Home
Compiled by Bill Hillman
FLASH. . . Editor and Webmaster: Bill Hillman:
September 2002

“No one who saw the mask of age which mantled the faces of these young men
after a period of continued standing by, is likely to forget it.”

From CONTACT - Oct. 1990

While on a construction site, a snappy little van came selling coffee, sandwiches and refreshments. This brought to mind an incident which happened while serving with the Air Force. Everything was blacked out and we sat under the planes waiting for our turn to take off on one of the thousand plane bomber raids. The night was silent, broken only by the put – put of a tiny Morris–Austin van. This was owned by two oldtimers who, during the day, used it in their property repair business and cleaned it out for the evenings.

They were with the Salvation Army and as part of their war effort, the CO allowed them to come onto the post to go from one plane to another with whatever things rationing would allow. Mostly it consisted of red hot cocoa. At other times they would just stand to one side with those boys who wanted a little consolation. One of their favourite “treats” was what they called their “Luck-Bags”. These were broken biscuits which the lady members picked up at a local factory during the day.

On the take-off, one would see the little van on the highway with the oldtimers waving God speed to us all. When I see them on the street at Christmas with their kettles, I always see those gentlemen so clearly. As ex-servicemen they were just too old to serve but found great pride helping the war effort by bringing a little comfort to the boys.

One of the gentlemen, a mister Pointon, was a fat tiny fellow with his jolly face always smiling and bringing a smile from us. He would have made a wonderful Santa Clause, so pleased as he gave out those bags of biscuits.

{ Editor – if any reader knows the Author, please advise.}

Robert J. Henderson,   6015-15th Ave. Regina, Sk. S4T 6V4 Canada.
Phone. 1.306.543.5822

The Prisoner of War camps in Germany resulted from the invasion of Poland in Sept. 1939, when nearly 75,000 Poles were captured by Germany. In short order, the camps were expanded to hold captured allies – with prisoners being segregated according to rank, and in some cases, the military service. From this developed the following category of camps.

Dulags – transit camps
Llags – civilian internees
Luftlagers – captured airmen
Markags – captured sailors
Oflags – permanent camps for officers
Stalag – permanent camps for enlisted personnel

In 1943, an American General  Order (No. 522) directed payment of funds to German Officers and enlisted men being held by the Americans, whether the prisoners worked or not. As a reciprocity measure, Germany declared tat all American PoW’s  were to receive 7.50 Marks per month. The Americans were paid in “Lagergeld”, PoW camp money that circulated in the camps from 1939 until being withdrawn in 1944. Though intended to allow the purchase of items from very poorly stocked canteens, the money was mainly used for gambling purposes among the prisoners. It was only natural that some samples fell into the hands of Canadians from time to time.

The Reichspfennig was issued in denominations of 1, 10, and 50, while the Reichsmark notes came in 1, 2, 5, 10 and a never released 20 Reichsmark value.

Printed on watermarked paper, a distinctive red triangle on the face make these notes easily recognized. They all contain the printed signature of the Chief of the Army Headquarters.

The 10 Reichsmark notes have a seven digit number. Variations exist in the way of different numbered prefix.

They make an interesting conversation piece for any Ex-PoW held in Germany, and are now collectable in their own right.

The article by Joe Nespor in the August Issue
Re: sinking of U-Boat 625
generated the following articles.
Article taken from the as yet unpublished history of 423 Squadron.  It contains some remarks by Jim Miller, one of our distinguished members, (Northern Alberta Branch Ex-Air Gunner’s Association) regarding an incident in which he was involved.

On 20 May F/L Allen and crew took off in Sunderland YI-A for a patrol over the Irish Sea.  Due to a combination of faulty navigation and poor weather the aircraft  suddenly broke out of the fog facing solid rock, in this case, the top of Mourne Mountains.  The pilot’s quick reaction saved the crew from destruction, but the aircraft now staggered along minus the bottom of the hull, starboard float, wingtip, and aileron.  F/O Jim Miller, had been dozing in one of the bunks near the galley when the aircraft hit and had this to say:

"I was still in the bunk when, at exactly 0800, a terrible crunching sound took place.  I must have dozed off because I thought we were coming in for a pretty rough landing.  The next thing I knew  I was straddling a hole about ten feet long and two feet wide and my hat was sucked through it. We must have hit some sort of log on top of the hill because the whole inside was covered with peat and debris and I was too. It was at the same time that an immense roar took place from all four engines and the aircraft creaked and groaned and, after an eternity, became airborne again."
Further effects of the crash complicated a safe landing.  The bomb doors were jammed and the fuel jettison pipe was ruptured which made it impossible to jettison either. The pilot asked control for directions to a diversion field and, upon inquiry, further provided: "whole hull gone, aileron damaged, cannot stay airborne long, hurry!"  Just then Lady Luck caused a hole to appear in the clouds revealing an airfield beneath.  Deciding it was better to land on terra firma than sink in the water, F/L Allen took YI+A down for a flawless, and gearless, landing at Jurby Field.  Miraculously everyone got out alive and ran like mad carrying the injured F/L J."Ole" Oleson with them.  Oleson was thrown onto a stretcher in an ambulance which then tore off as fast as it could go, for the Sunderland had now caught fire.  All of the crew had managed to get to safety when the eight depth charges exploded.  The blast obliterated the aircraft and it also blew out the walls of a nearby hangar, badly damaged the Control Tower and broke windows within a three mile radius of the airfield.  Jim Miller stated that the Commanding Officer was not amused.

Glen Clearwater

Glen Clearwater, April  1942 Embarkation leave and Bette,
the future Mrs. Clearwater.

I thought the Coastal Command Members might find the following interesting. The Gen is the most up to date and taken from the book "Canadian Naval Chronicles".

Eastern Air Command (EAC) (BR) Squadrons successes

U-754 sunk 1942 by 113(BR) Hudson off Yarmouth N,S.
U-520 sunk  1942 by 10(BR) Digby off NFLD.
U-658 sunk   1942 by 145(BR) Hudson off NFLD.
U-209* damaged 1943 by 5(BR) Canso off Greenland.
                    (Previous records indicated U-630)
U-341 sunk 1943 by 10(BR) Lib off Iceland when returning to home base at
                    Gander, NFLD.
U-91* originally shown as being U-630 sunk by 10(BR) Lib mid Atlantic
            but now  know to have been U-91 which escaped with minor damage.
In 1944, 162(BR) Canso, based at Yarmouth N.S. was loaned to RAF Coastal  Command and moved to Iceland but was still administered by EAC. 11(BR) based at Dartmouth N. S. converted one of its Libs to Pass/Cargo and flew regular supply trips to 162 (BR). 162(BR) was the top scoring for EAC.

U-342 sunk 1944 by 162 off Iceland.
U-477 sunk  1944 by 162 off Shetlands.
U-980 sunk  1944 by 162 off Norway
U-715 sunk  1944 by 162 off Faroes
U-1225 sunk 1944 by 162 off Shetlands

Northern Saskatchewan Group met August 19th with 20 in attendance.
Plans were made for a steak dinner Sept.9th  5 p.m. at the Lynx Wing.
Regular Sept. meeting to be held on Sept. 16th.

Greetings to all.   ‘Smokey’ Robson

Northern Alberta Branch

The Northern Alberta group held their monthly luncheon meeting at the Norwood Legion on Thursday September 05.  There were 19 members and 10 Ladies present and a good time was had by all.  On Tuesday September 03 a party of 20 members drove to Sylvan Lake Alberta to take the lunch cruise on the lake.  A very good time was had by all, the weather was pleasant , the lunch excellent, and the cruise around the lake a lot of fun.  This is the second time we have taken a cruise on Sylvan Lake, the last time a number of members took the dinner cruise, a very enjoyable experience.

Jim Miller was telling me that, at the Thursday lunch meeting, two brothers appeared looking for some help in locating a couple of people that one of them knew on course back in 1941.  One of the missing persons was a fella named Jim Miller and the other was a guy named Jim McNaught. Well the one was sitting next to them and the other was across the table.  To say they were overwhelmed was putting it mildly.  I guess it is like they say, "truth is stranger than fiction"

Cheers All,
Ted Hackett

Ted Hackett – 426 (Ghost) Squadron
Ted Hackett – 426 (Ghost) Squadron

Short Visit to Sumatra – Dec. 20, 1942

Catalinas from Koggala usually found their work over that part of the Indian Ocean towards the West; that is in the area of the Maldive Islands. On at least one occasion a flight to the coast of Sumatra was made: oddly enough very little has ever been said or written about this reconnaissance. Through the good offices of Lloyd Jamieson it was learned that the only official record of this flight was written by WO 1 W.E. Nichol. A transcript of that part of his report which refers to the month of December 1942 follows:

“Despite the long spells of bad weather, a limited amount of operational flying was possible and on one of these occasions W/C Scott, the new Commanding Officer, won the Distinguished Service order. With his crew of five he was ordered to carry out an offensive reconnaissance over Northern Sumatra, and on the morning of December 20, set out on the long 1000 mile flight across the Indian Ocean.

Engine trouble forced the pilot to return but, transferring his crew to a Catalina of another Squadron, W/C Scott took off again immediately.

Eight and one half hours later, after night had fallen, the flying boat made landfall on some Islands off the Northern tip of Sumatra and flew down the coast line at low altitude. All was quiet along the shore: not a light was to be seen. After reconnoitering one area W/C Scott set course for an enemy aerodrome, their primary objective, but found only an expanse of water-logged paddy fields. Turning to their next objective, the harbour of Kota Raja, they carried out a successful dive-bombing attack, before flying on to a third objective, another harbour. Here there were no ships or signs of life to be seen.

The crew then set course homeward across the ocean, landing at their base after a flight of 17 and ½ hours, during which time they had covered 2000 miles of open sea. “One of the longest bombing raids in history.”

The information which W/C Scott and his crew brought back proved to be of great value to the Military Staffs. Two other boats from another Squadron also made raids that night; the navigation of all three crews over so great an expanse of ocean was commended as “Superb”

The crew of the Sumatra flight included: W/C Scott;  P/O L.E Gardiner; P/O G. Chesley; F/Sgt. W.J. Robertsons, and Sgt. F.W. Ferris.


I’m giving a thought to the days when I
Was a happy and carefree young maiden.
When we’d take a chance
On a weekly romance,
Down at Wellesbourne, Stratford or Gaydon.

Of the days when we knew
All the boys in the crew,
And the hours were happily laden
When we’d try out our luck
On some handsome Canuk.
Down at Wellesbourne, Stratford or Gaydon.

We wouldn’t be there again,
But I’ve still got a yen
For a line-shooting dashing Canadian,
And I’d give my best blue
To be back with the crew,
Down at Wellesbourne, Sratford or Gaydon. 

Lucy Rickman  W.A.A.F.  M.T. Driver, Wellesbourne 1943

Your Editor’s Report

My apologies for being a bit late this month but a germ decided to do battle with my immune system. No, it was not the West Nile Virus. As the doctor explained it to me, “the good news is that your virus has subsided, the bad news is that you have contracted Dutch Elm Disease from the tongue depressor!” Oh well, what can you expect from medi-care!

When Doreene and I made our move from the Country to the Cement Jungle, our computer could not take the shock and expired upon arrival. As a result we lost our Email ADDRESS BOOK. Here is a suggestion. If one Ex-AG Member in each Branch across our fair land gathered up Email addresses of Members in their local area and forwarded them to me, I could record them in the permanent portion of the Web Page. In this way we might  encourage Members to exchange ideas and greetings.

You will note that we have run pictures of some of the contributors. Hopefully this will help the chaps communicate. Of course, one might have trouble recognizing Glen Clearwater today. Handsome young devil!

Our Members must be 78 years plus now. Question, what do we do with all the spare time on our hands? If you have this problem and have a computer, hook up to the World Wide Web. It will boggle your mind.

I am running my own business on-line. It is called NO MORE SUITS. This business costs me the price of five cups of coffee, $5.50, a month, and gives me a monthly income which varies depending on how much time I want to devote to it.

Besides the money there are side benefits such as meeting young enthusiastic people on-line, mastering the challenges posed by the technological explosion, and sharing successes with children and grandchildren, but mainly, feeling productive again.

If you are on the Web, check me out at:
Email me at
Or phone – 1-306-949-6221

Send in your articles and anecdotes along with a picture of yourself, either wartime or present for future Short Bursts’ Web Pages.

Just a reminder. The CATP Museum, together with Bill Hillman our volunteer Web Master, are gracious enough to host this Web Page for us. Please pass the hat at some of your luncheon meetings and send a donation to the Museum. Address is at the bottom of this page.

Until October  - (time to get out the long-johns and check the trap door button.)

John & Doreene Moyles

Please note that Doreene and I have a new address:
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 - Second 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 -  Third Tuesday 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 12 noon, 
Canadian Legion, 4896 Delta, Ladner, B.C. (no 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.

Donations can be made directly to:   CATP Museum Inc.
                                                            Box 3, Grp. 520, RR5,
                                                            Brandon, MB   R7A 5Y5
                                                             Ph.- (204)727-2444

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