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No. 5 Service Flight Training School in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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- No. 5 Service Flight Training School during the Second World War -

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No. 5 Service Flight Training School

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Those known to have served with

No. 5 Service Flight Training School

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

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LAC. John Arthur Bardill No 34 Service Flying Training School

I noted with great interest the book of David Carter "Wings on the Pararie" about the Service Flying Training School in Canada during the war years. According to his service record which I have my father John Arthur Bardill was at the base from 24.2.1941 till about 9.1.1944 as an LAC. Does anyone have any records or photographs of ground crews who serviced the training aircraft? In addition Dad was apparently a noted goalkeeper in the base soccer team who I think were called the "Red Stars" or something like that. The team were apparently were undefeated champions either locally or as my mother always used to tell me of Alberta. There were numerous photos and newspaper references to this segment of my father's stay in Canada, but these were lost in the many moves both in the UK and eventually to Australia. I have tried unsuccessfully to research the sporting achievements of dad without success, but beginning I would be very interested if anyone has any information/photos of the ground crews? Or if anyone may be able to advise me in what direction I could take to research the base and its history.

John W. Bardill

F/O C. Frank Bowker instructor 34 SFTS

My father, C. Frank Bowker, was an instructor at #34 SFTS with the rank of Flying Officer sometime during the period 1942-1944. He had broken his back as a young man and so was not allowed active duty, but somehow joined the RAF anyway. I was a baby at the time, and so I know nothing of what he taught, indeed I don't recall him being absent from home, and he never talked about his role in the RCAF. He lived at home in Medicine Hat, and had a full-time job with a local flour company, so he may have been a part-time instructor.

Perry Bowker

WOI George Elliott Milliken OTU 5 (c)

I am looking for anyone who may have have known my father George Elliot Milliken - RCAF pilot who enlisted in June 1941 in Saskatoon Sask. He trained in Canada (No 2 MD Brandon Manitoba, No 2 ITS Regina Sask, No 14 EFTS Portage la Prairie Manitoba, No 2 SFTS Dauphin, Manitoba). He embarked at Y depot Halifax on the Akaroa on Apr 2 1942 and arrived in Liverpool on April 15. He was stationed at Little Rissingtion for AFU and then (after a brief period at Harrogate) was stationed to No 5 OTU Coastal Command in Turnberry Scotland from Sept 1942 to Feb 1943.

While at Turnberry he crewed up with Sgt McKay (Navigator), Sgt Ingleson (Gunner) and Sgt. Freddie Faucus (Wireless Op & Gunner) flying a Handly Page Hampden. 5 OTU was then moved Long Kesh Ireland where he remained until June 1943. Due to numerous operations to resolve sinus/bleeding ear problems he was bounced around to Abbotsinch, Scotland and Warrington before returning home on the Queen Mary (Oct 18-24 1943). After brief periods as a staff pilot at Ottawa Ontario, Paulson Manitoba (No 7 B&G School) and Saskatoon (No 4 EFTS - refresher course) he was then a staff pilot at No 2 B&G school in Dafoe Sask from Mar 1944 until the base closed in January of 1945.

Any information would be much appreciated.

Rodger Milliken

Sqd.Ldr. Leonard James Saltmarsh DFC and bar. 7 Squadron

Leonard Saltmarsh served before and after the war in the Surrey Constabulary and I am working on the history of that force. In December 1942 he trained in a Tiger Moth and went on to fly Wellingtons and Lancasters with 7 Squadron, Pathfinders. He was awarded the DFC for actions on the 26th of August 1944 in a raid over Kiel. He flew 99 Operational sorties.

D.F.C. London Gazette 3 October 1944. The original recommendation states:

‘Flying Officer L. J. Saltmarsh has so far completed 17 successful sorties as Pilot and Captain of Lancaster aircraft, and has been most conspicuous at all times for his extremely high standard of courage and resoluteness. On two difficult occasions during daylight attacks on Vaires on 12 July 1944 and on Emieville on 18 August 1944, he observed a crippled bomber proceeding at a very reduced speed away from the target. On both occasions he dropped behind the main bomber stream in order to escort the damaged bomber safely back to England. On 15 August, during a daylight attack on the airfield at St. Trond, one of his engines became unserviceable on the way to the target and the propellor had to be feathered. But inspite of the fact that he was getting behind the main stream, owing to his reduced speed, he pressed on and bombed the target, and secured an aiming point photograph. On the way back from the target another engine became unserviceable but did not deter Flying Officer Saltmarsh from proceeding to and bombing an alternative airfield target with a bomb that had failed to be released over the primary target, and once more he secured an aiming point photograph. He eventually arrived safely over base and made a perfect two-engined landing. It was not until after he had landed that he reported the fact that two engines had become unserviceable during the sortie. This very gallant pilot is strongly recommended for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.’

Bar to D.F.C. London Gazette 16 November 1945. The original recommendation states:

‘This officer has completed 53 operational sorties, of which 28 have been carried out in the squadron, in the Path Finder Force, 18 of them as Captain of a Marker Crew. Flight Lieutenant Saltmarsh is an efficient and skilful pilot who has always shown a strong devotion to duty and a cheerful confidence which has always inspired a high standard of morale in his crew. He has always displayed exceptional fearlessness in the face of danger, complete disregard for personal safety and has pressed home his attacks against the enemy with the utmost determination.’

Leonard James Saltmarsh commenced pilot training at No. 31 E.F.T.S. at De Winton, Alberta in December 1942, and graduated from No. 34 E.F.S. at Medicine Hat in June 1943. Back in the U.K., he attended No. 11 A.F.U. at Shawbury, prior to joining No. 26 O.T.U. at Little Harwood in early January 1944, where he gained experience on Wellingtons, and then attended a conversion unit for Lancasters at Waterbeach, at which place he joined No. 514 Squadron that June.

Thus ensued his first tour of operations, commencing with a strike against L’Hey on the 23 June and ending with another against Emmerich on 7 October, the intervening period witnessing him attack numerous French targets in support of the Allied invasion, but also a number of heavily defended German targets, including Bremen, Dortmund, Saarbrucken, Stettin and Stuttgart. And as confirmed by the recommendation for his D.F.C. after 17 sorties, several of these trips were not without incident, his flying log book further stating that his Lancaster received flak damage during strikes against enemy panzers and transport at Villiers Bocage on 30 June and against a supply depot at Beauvoir on 2 July. Similarly, too, during a visit to Bremen on the night of 18-19 August.

In October 1944, Saltmarsh attended the Path Finder Force’s training centre at Warboys, as a result of which he was transferred to No. 7 (P.F.F.) Squadron at Oakington in the following month, flying his first such sortie on the night of the 11th-12th, against Dortmund. A daylight strike against enemy communications at Julich, in support of General Patton’s troops, followed on the 14th and a night operation to Sterkrade on the 21st, Saltmarsh’s flying log book again noting flak damage. Then on the 29th he flew as support aircraft to the Master Bomber on a raid to Dortmund, a role that he would fulfil with growing regularity over the coming months. Such heavily defended targets as Duisburg, Essen (twice) and Karlsruhe formed the backbone of his operational agenda in December, while January 1945 saw him attacking, among other locations, Hanover, Magdeburg, Munich and Stuttgart, his flying log book noting an encounter with a Ju. 88 on the Munich run. February witnessed his Lancaster carrying out strikes against Dortmund, Gelsenkirchen, Ludwigshaven and Pforzheim, in addition to participating in the famous “firestorm” raid on Dresden on the 13th, an action that Saltmarsh would robustly defend in years to come.

March saw him completing five more sorties to German targets, three of them in daylight, and April another four, two of these in daylight, including Bremen on the 21st, which latter operation marked the end of his operational tour. He did, however, fly three “Cook’s Tours” to the Rhur in May, and ended his career with an appointment in Transport Command in December 1945. Over and above all of this, however, it would appear that he flew 56 “unspecific” sorties of a secret nature, evidence for which is to be found in the following endorsement from “Bomber” Harris. He also flew: Diversions, experimentation of special equipment, including radar, photographic reconnaissance, these top secret sorties and others. In May 1945 he was selected and volunteered to form a new squadron for the continuation of hostilities against Japan.’

Any information on Mr Saltmarsh DFC and Bar would be appreciated

Robert Bartlett

Sgt. George Stanley Barclay 166 Squadron

NZ413369 Sergeant Pilot George Barclay on graduation in Canada 27th of March 1942

New Zealander, Sergeant Pilot George Barclay joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force on 15th June 1941 and began his flying training in Tiger Moths at New Plymouth, New Zealand, on 6th September 1941. He left Auckland, NZ on 17th November 1941 on the SS Monterey and arrived in San Francisco on 5th December 1941. He then travelled by train to RCAF Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada where he joined No 44 Pilots course on 5th December 1941 to complete his flying training on Cessna Crane aircraft at No 4 SFTS. He arrived in UK on 13th May 1942 and joined Number 16 Course of 12 (P) Advanced Flying Unit (AFU) at RAF Grantham on 21st July 1942 where he flew Oxford Mk1 aircraft. The AFU course was completed on 15th September 1942 at which time he was posted to No 43 Course of 16 OTU at RAF Upper Heyford to fly the Wellington medium bomber. Having completed his training at 16 OTU on 23rd December 1942, he was posted to the Home Echelon of 150 Squadron to fly Wellingtons operationally from RAF Kirmington, Lincs, on 12th January 1943. In turn, the Home Echelon of 150 Squadron merged with the remains of 142 Squadron to form 166 Squadron on 27th January 1943. George flew with 166 Squadron until he baled out over Mezerolles, NW France, after an 'Op' on Duisburg on the night of 8th/9th of April 1943. He was a POW until escaping on 6th April 1945 and returned to UK on 17th of April 1945. George married a London girl on 16th of June 1945 and returned to New Zealand to raise a family. He turned 93 on 2nd May 2016.

Jim Barclay

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