- No. 408 (Goose) Squadron Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War -
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No. 408 (Goose) Squadron Royal Canadian Air Force
No. 408 (Goose) Squadron RCAF was formed in June 1941, initally flying Handley Page Hampden mk1 aircraft. They converted to the Halifax in Septemeber 1942 and also flew Lancasters. They flew with 5 Group Bomber Command until September 1942 when they transferred to 4 Goup, flying from RAF Leeming. They then transferred to 6 Group on the 1st of January 1943, returning to Canada on the 14th of June 1945. 408 Goose Squadron was disbanded on the 5th of September 1945.
During the Second World War, 4,610 sorties were flown by 408 with 11,340 tons of bombs being dropped. 170 Aircraft were lost and 933 personnel were killed or taken as prisoners of war. Their aicraft code was EQ.
408 Squadron flew from the following airfields.
- Lindholme. 24th June 1941 to 20th July 1941
- Syerston. 20th July 1941 to 9th December 1941
- Balderton. 9th December 1941 to 1st Feb. 1942
- North Luffenham. 1st Feb. 1942 to 17th March 1942
- Balderton.17th March 1942 to 20th September 1942.
- Leeming. 20th September 1942. to 12th August 1943
- Linton on Ouse. 12th August 1943 to 14th June 1945.
No: 408 Goose Squadron was reformed at Royal Canadian Air Force Station Rockcliffe, Ontario on the 10th of January 1949. Flying eight Lancaster MK.X photographic Aircraft, 408 met teh challenge of mapping of the far North of Canada. The squadron was again briefly disbanded in the early 1970's, and today 408 Squadron fly helicopters from CFB Edmonton, Alberta.
24th Jun 1941 408 Squdron formed
11th Aug 1941 408 Squdron fly first operational sortees
29th Aug 1941 408 Squadron Hampden lost
20th Oct 1941 Aircraft Lost
22nd Oct 1941 Aircraft Lost
8th Nov 1941 Aircraft Lost
9th Nov 1941 Aircraft Lost
13th Nov 1941 King visits 408 Squdron
15th Nov 1941 First Gallantry medal for 408 Squdron
11th Dec 1941 Aircraft Lost
14th Dec 1941 Aircraft Lost
28th Dec 1941 Aircraft Lost
10th Jan 1942 Aircraft Lost
15th Jan 1942 Aircraft Lost
12th Feb 1942 408 Squdron in action
Mar 1942 New CO for 408 Squadron
May 1942 Mancheter aircraft testing with 408 Squadron
30th May 1942 1000 Bomber Raid
1st Jun 1942 2nd 1000 Bomber Raid
2nd Jul 1942 408 Squadron Lancaster lost
26th Jul 1942 408 Squadron's 1000th sortie
Sep 1942 408 Squadron converts to Halifax
Oct 1942 Badge for 408 Squadron
29th Jan 1943 Enemy Aircraft
4th Feb 1943 408 Squadron Halifax lost
4th Feb 1943 Enemy Aircraft
1st Mar 1943 Aircraft Lost
14th May 1943 408 Squadron Halifax lost
28th Jul 1943 408 Squadron Halifax lost
5th Jan 1945 Night Ops
24th Mar 1944 Berlin Targeted
30th Mar 1944 Aircraft Lost
29th Jul 1944 408 Squadron Lancaster lost
6th Nov 1944 Bomber Command
24th Dec 1944 408 Squadron Halifax lost
2nd Feb 1945 Halifax Lost
17th Feb 1945 Halifax Lost
20th Feb 1945 Halifax Lost
21st Feb 1945 Night Ops
23rd Feb 1945 Night Ops
27th Feb 1945 Night Ops
2nd Mar 1945 Night Ops
3rd Mar 1945 Night Ops
25th Mar 1945 Night Ops
8th Apr 1945 Night Ops
13th Apr 1945 Night Ops
18th Apr 1945 Night Ops
22nd Apr 1945 Night Ops
If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.
Those known to have served with
No. 408 (Goose) Squadron Royal Canadian Air Force
during the Second World War 1939-1945.
- Acorn George W . Sgt
- Allen Daniel Frederick. Sqn.Ldr.
- Austin. J E . F/O.
- Bain. Donald T . F/O
- Barclay D. M.. LAC
- Bartman Mike.
- Bergman .
- Boily Joseph Omer Emile Jules. F/Sgt
- Boyd Allan Bernard . F/O (d.25th Apr 1945 )
- Brambleby. James Edwin E . W/O (d.25th Apr 1945 )
- Branton H J . Sgt
- Butchart G R . P/O
- Campbell S E . Sgt
- Chiasson Alcide Joseph. Flt.Sgt.
- Clark Russell S . F/O
- Connolly J J . Sgt
- Davis Bernard Harpley. LAC
- Davison K L . Sgt
- Dee Timothy I Anson . Sgt
- Delaney Terry.
- Dempsey S W . F/O
- Devlin Bruce. Sergeant
- Edwards John Boyd.
- Edwards Peter Leslie. F/O. (d.3rd Jun 1942)
- Farrow James Phillip. Sqd.Ldr.
- Fill H. . Sgt
- Franklin Claude.
- Freeman. J. E. . F/O (d.2nd Dec 1944 )
- Gielty A. . Sgt
- Greenbury Mervyn Arthur. F/Lt.
- Guay. Joseph Jacques Alfred . W.O.
- Haines L. . F/Sgt
- Halken W M . Sgt
- Hardy Hugh David. Flt.Sgt.
- Harvey J D . F/Sgt
- Heal Lenny.
- Hurd E J . Sgt
- Jenson Martha.
- Kasper Walter William.
- Kellond J. Clayton. F/O
- Large George Russell. F/Lt. (d.16th March 1945)
- Lowrey Ralf William. PO (d.8th June 1944)
- MacDonald. Irving . Sgt.
- Madson P J . P/O
- Marynowski Michael E . F/O
- McIlroy William Alexander. P/O
- Metcalfe John.
- Mills Archie. Sgt.
- Morgan L A . Sgt
- Morrison. Les . P/O
- Murdoch Thomas Martin. F/O
- Oliver George.
- Parsons Gordon N.. Sgt.
- Pilon. François Rolland . F/Sgt.
- Potter John Milton. W/O (d.27th Apr 1944)
- Reynolds Thomas.
- Robideau Leo.
- Rutter Albert Leroy . F/O (d. 25th Apr 1945 )
- Ryan Donal Thomas. F/O. (d.29th July 1944)
- Schrapel Ronald Ayliffe.
- Van Den Bok Ralph. A/Sqd.Ldr.
- Van Den Bok Ralph. Sqdn Ldr
- William Frederick Dixon. P/O (d.1st June 1942)
- Winter R. . Sgt
- Wood E H . Sgt
- Wood Kenneth R . Sgt
- Woodwart John Edward. Sgt.
- Wright. Allan . P/O (d.20th Dec 1943)
- Yeo Lloyd J . F/Sgt
The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List
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Sqdn Ldr Ralph Van Den Bok DFC & 2Bar. 214 squadronI am most interested in Squadron Leader Ralph Van Den Bok, DFC & 2Bar. RAFVR, as my father, Flying Officer John Tudor Mills (Wop/AG), flew on Ops with him in Boeing B17 F & G aircraft of 214 Sqdn, based at RAF Oulton, Norfolk, part of 100 group, during 1944/45. Records of the squadron's activities are somewhat sparse, in view of what they did (ECM etc). I have been quite unable to determine S/Ldr Van Den Bok's nationality, although I suspect that he might have been Canadian,as he was awarded his first DFC in 1942, as a Flying Officer, whilst operating with 408 (Goose) Squadron, RCAF (although he himself was RAFVR). From bits and pieces that I have managed to unearth, I gather that he was shot down by Flak at some point and escaped through Belgium, but I don't know the details. 3 DFC's is quite an achievement, he was awarded one of them for "Devotion to operational flying", or words to that effect. I would really like to find out more about him.Roger Mills
Sgt. Gordon N. Parsons 408 (Goose) SquadronMy father flew in Lancaster, Serial No DS731 on Operation Schweinfurt on 24th February and was shot down and taken POW. His number was 2191. Has any one any information or did they know him?Michael Parsons
F/O Thomas Martin Murdoch 408 Goose SquadronMy Uncle Thomas Murdoch told me many years ago that he flew as as a tail gunner in 408 Goose Squadron, Lancasters. His picture is on the Memorial at the front of the museum in Nanson, Alberta as the picture was taken of my uncle's air crew and was deemed the clearest picture taken of a complete air crew. His pilot in command, also in the picture, played "Relic " in the CBC series The Beach Combers in the 1970's.
My Uncle,evidently, flew 2 tours, the first ended in a training crash in England where he was the only survivor. He went out through the perplex turret in the tail. He was sent home to Montreal and went back over for a 2nd tour and completed 25 missions into Germany.
Thomas has passed on now but seeing the picture at the front of the museum brought tears to my eyes. I don't know much of anything else as,like all the vets, Thomas was reluctant to talk about what really went on as I "wasn't there".
Ironically, my Father-in-Law and Mother-in-law worked in the assembly of Lancasters in Malton, Ontario during the war .Ernest Murdoch
P/O Frederick Dixon William pilot 408 Sqd. (d.1st June 1942)I am writing my second book entitled Ireland's Aviator Heroes of World War II. I would like to add the names of the crew of Hampden, Code EQ-A, Serial Number who were killed on 1st/2nd June 1942 to your list of 408 Squadron personnel. The pilot was Pilot Officer Charlton from Lurgan in County Armagh, Northern Ireland. His crew were Pilot Officer C.I.A. Sandland, Flight Sergeant F.J.E. Womar DFM and Sergeant A Marland.John C Hewitt
A/Sqd.Ldr. Ralph Van Den Bok DFC. "B" Flight (CO) No. 214 (FMS) SqdnFurther to my researches into the service career of this interesting and remarkable man, with whom my father flew a number of missions or "Ops" in 1944/45,I now have something approaching a proper "story".
Ralph Van Den Bok was born in London, in about 1907, of a Dutch father and Australian mother. After school, he attended Dulwich College, and by the outbreak of WW2, was working at the London Stock Exchange. In 1940,he applied to join the RAFVR, and was granted a commission as a Pilot Officer on Probation (July,1940). After training as a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner, Ralph joined No.408 (Goose) Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force, with whom he flew 30 Operations as a "Wireless Air Gunner ", to use RCAF parlance.
In August 1941, Ralph was "Gazetted" as a Flying Officer, and continued to serve with No.408 Sqdn, rising to become a leader , and so always flying with the Squadron Commanding Officer, Wing Commander John D Twigg, RCAF. In the summer of 1942, following a brave but unsuccessful attack on the German cruiser "Scharnhorst", and having exhibited outstanding devotion to operational flying, Ralph was awarded his first DFC (Gazetted August 1942, at which time he was also Gazetted as a Flight Lieutenant).
Within a few weeks, however, Ralph's aircraft, a Handley-Page Hampden, was shot down over Belgium, returning from a mission to bomb Saarbrucken, by Luftwaffe night-fighter "Ace" Hauptmann Wilhelm Herget in a JU 88. The pilot Wing Commander Twigg and the rear gunner, Flt/Lt Maitland DFC were killed, but Ralph and Flt/Lt Gordon Clayton Fisher, RCAF, baled out and after contacting Belgian esacape organisations , in Ralph's case "Comete" ,they returned to the UK. Ralph was then awarded a second DFC, Gazetted November 1942.
Ralph was then accepted for training as a pilot,and was sent to Hagersville, Ontario, Canada,where he was awarded his wings, aged 38. Returning to Britain, he joined No. 12 OTU at Chipping Warden, where he "crewed up" with my father, then Flt/Sgt John Mills RAFVR, who became Ralph's Wireless Op/Air Gunner, they first flew together in Wellington bombers in June 1944.
After further training in Stirlings of 1657 Conversion Unit, they became "operational" with No.214 (Federated Malay States) Squadron, which flew Radio Counter-Measures (radio/radar jamming) sorties using Boeing B 17 "Flying Fortress" aircraft, from RAF Oulton in Norfolk.
In January 1945, Ralph was promoted to Acting Squadron Leader,and became Commanding Officer of "B" Flight of No.214 Squadron.By the end of hostilities,in May 1945, Ralph had flown a further 17 "Operations",and had exhibited such qualities of leadership and devotion to duty that he was awarded his third DFC ,in October (Gazetted November 1945). He remained in the RAF,in the rank of Flight Lt. for many years after the war, resigning his commission (as a Sqd/Ldr) in the Reserve in 1955. After flying a Proctor for a while with Standard Oil (ESSO), Ralph was, sadly, badly hurt in the Lewisham Rail Disaster of 1957, losing a leg to gangrene. He died in Salisbury in 1976.
I am deeply indebted to Adrian Van Den Bok, in Australia,for all the information he has provided about the life of his admirable and inspirational father, without whose skill and professionalism I would not be here today to write this tribute.Roger Vaughan Mills
Sergeant Bruce Devlin 408 SquadronMy Father..Sergeant Bruce Devlin,was seconded from the RAF to 408 Squadron as a Flight Engineer. He mainly flew Halifax NP714,completing a full Operational Tour between August and December 1944. I have his Log Book..though he only logged the Operational Tour as that was all he felt he needed at the time. He thinks he may be the only 408 Aircrew Member left alive?Stewart Devlin
John Boyd Edwards 408 SquadronBeing Remembrance Day I have been looking online for anything I can find about the RCAF 408 Squadron, that my grandfather, John Boyd Edwards, served with in World War 2. He passed away in 1983. During the time he was alive he would not talk about it. We believe that he flew a Halifax bomber, the only photo that we have of him during that time is him standing beside a Lancaster with a photo of Vicky the Vicious Virgin on the nose. Online we can find photos of a Halifax with the same nose art. We have several of his wartime things in a museum, like his flight log, photos of him sitting on the wing of his trainer a yellow pearl, his commissioning scroll, and charge papers, for when he was charged with writing off an aircraft but was found not responsible (we know no more about this) and other belongings. He arrived in England on April 4th 1944 and stayed until the end.
Do you know any other information? Anything that even comes close to touching this would be ever so helpful. My father is a huge WW2 nut, and has always been craving to know more about the story of my grandfather, his father-in- law.Lyle Warren
Sqd.Ldr. James Phillip Farrow 692 Squadron.My Dad, Sqd Leader James Phillip Farrow (RNZAF), flew with 50 Sqd not long after his arrival from the training he received in Canada sometime in either 1940/42. He was at that time a Sergeant. I would like to find out more about 50 squadron, as Phil passed away last year and I never really asked him anything about this Sqd. I think he must have been flying Hampton's, as he was next sent to 408 Canadian Sqd (Goose Sqd). I realise that many of my dad’s mates may have passed on as he has, but one never knows. He did end up flying Mosies with 692 SqdJeff Farrow
P/O William Alexander McIlroy 408 Sqd.Simon McIlroy
F/O J. Clayton Kellond 408 Squadron.On the 6th of November, 1944 when the RCAF 6 Group made a daylight attack on Gelsenkirchen as part of a force approximately the same size as that which had gone to Bochum. This town, seven miles north-east of Essen, was noted chiefly for its hydrogenation plants and its coking industry. Two top priority synthetic oil plants and two very important power stations lay within the boundaries of the district. Other industries included the manufacture of iron and steel goods and sulphuric acid.
The attackers, accompanied by a fighter cover of Mustangs and Spitfires, swept along over 10/10ths cloud from the Dutch coast in a very high tail wind. Cloud thinned out as they approached the target area and they found gaps which enabled them to identify the aiming point and check the accuracy of the markers.
Early bombing was concentrated and soon there was a heavy black pall rising above the cloud tops at 10,000 feet. When smoke and dust obscured the target indicators, the Master Bomber instructed crews to attack any targets of opportunity that were visible in the area. The bombing of the town itself caused intense fires north and south of the Central Station marshalling yard and in the vicinity of the Hessler district. South of the Industrie Hafen, the steel casting works of Vereinigte Stahlwerke were damaged by fire.
Defences were formidable on the route through the Ruhr with very accurate heavy flak, but at the target antiaircraft fire was only moderate and this time losses were lighter, only two Canadian aircraft failing to return. One of these carried a veteran Goose Squadron crew, all of whom were taken prisoner:
- F/O J. C. Kellond
- K. I. Durk
- W. A. Gillmeister,
- F/S T. G. McLeod
- D. M. Davies and
- Sgt. R. C. Robinson
- Sgt W. A. Woods
When released Kellond reported: “Perfect trip to the moment we were hit. Flak burst under a/c resulted in controls being hit somewhere at a vital point. No visible damage could be seen by the gunners. The flak came from the front lines which at the time were west of the Rhine River. It was a clear day with about 1/10th cloud. I gave orders for the bombs to be released immediately a/c was found to be out of control. Second flak burst came before bombs were gone but outside of causing a/c to rock no one was hurt. Crew were then told to bail out and they carried this out in perfect order. I managed to keep a/c straight and level until all the boys had made their jump. With throttles completely back a/c would not drop its nose and it finally stalled and went into a spin. From that point on things are not too clear as I had no time to waste in getting out.”Jennifer Paige
Flt.Sgt. Hugh David "Boomer" Hardy 408 Goose SquadronThis is a short little story about Hugh David Hardy known as Dave. On Nov.10 1944 returning from a bombing run, the Halifax, that Dave the tail gunner in, caught fire as a result of flack. The pilot gave the order to bail out. Dave had heard of fellows who bailed out with their intercom still attached, so he took his headgear off and bailed out.
In the meantime, with the aircraft badly damaged, the fire went out and the pilot rescinded the bailout order. The Halifax went on to make a soft crash landing across Allied lines and the rest of the crew were uninjured.
Dave went off to prison camp where he lost a fortune in cigarettes when he went onto a 500 mile forced march. About 1960 he went looking in an old settlers trunk of his aunt's where he had left all of the medical records starting with the letter H from the first Camp. I think it was Stalag Luft VII. He had become ill with a problem he first had before the forced march. A Lancaster pilot who worked at veteran's affairs told me Dave was considered a hero at Veteran's affairs as there were quite a number of former POWs who got their pension with the proof of illness that the records showed.
The members of Dave's aircrew are all now dead but stayed in touch. Dave succumbed to his illness Dec.17 1962 and was the first to go again. He was 37 years old. I have two very good photograghs of the Halifax and the full aircrew. And a Sargent's picture and a Pilot officer's picture of Dave.Harry Hugh Hardy
Sgt. John Edward Woodwart 408 Sq HampdenThe Hampden document In October 2006 I found some photos again I received from my father of a plane crash in October 1941 in the vicinity of Venlo (The Netherlands). I recognized a Hampden and on the tail I could read the registration EQ-D. I have some pictures of the plane but also a picture of a man lying in a hospital bed and at the backside of this picture my father had written that it was captain Thompson, one of the crewmembers of the Hampden.
With the aid of the internet I found out that the plane belonged to the 408 RCAF Sq and on a veteran site I contacted the webmaster to ask if he knew anything about a Hampden with the EQ-D registration and a crewmember named Thompson. I received an answer about the Hampden EQ-D that crashed in Limburg (province of The Netherlands and Venlo lies in that area) on 8/9 November 1941, but the crewmembers were:
P/O E.L. (Bill) Houghton (RNZAF) P/O J.C. Monkhouse (RCAF) Sgt A.J. (Jack) Gallan Sgt J.E. (John Edward) (Jack) Woodwart
This had to be the Hampden I was looking for, so I asked the webmaster if he would put a question on the site to see if there were any relatives or crewmembers who were interested in my photos. A few days later I got an email from a guy in The Netherlands who was interested in WW2 crashes and he told me that a book existed about the former German Airfield near Venlo and in this book I could read more about the plane. He also gave me a name and address of a person who had the same passion and knew everything about WW2 crashes in Limburg. I obtained the book and there I read:
The Hampden with 4 other planes took off in the evening the 8 of November 1941 at 17.19 local time from Syerston for a bomber attack on the Krupp steel factories at Essen (Germany). They set course to checkpoint Skegness and then to the isle of Texel (The Netherlands) Then they set course to the target, dropped their bombs and made a course at 270 degrees back home. At 22.30 they reached the airspace of Venlo and were engaged by a ME 110 nightfighter flown by Willi Dimter of Nightfighter Sq 1 Venlo. It appeared that both engines of the Hampden were hit and Bill Houghton made a perfect belly emergency landing (a masterpiece in the darkness) in the neighbourhood of Renkensfort at Maasbree (about 10 km away from Venlo)
At the landing 3 crew members were unharmed but one was injured (broken leg) and because of that it was impossible to transport the wounded and therefore the rest of the crew decided to stay together, waiting for the arrival of the Germans. However before the arrival of the Germans one of the crewmembers handed over the documents they had to one of the earlier arrived locals. Willi Dimter crashed on September 17th 1942.
Two weeks later I visited Mr 't Zandt in Venlo and he gave me copies of the photos he had. A picture of the original crew (instead of Sgt Woodward, P/O Bill Bishop belonged to the original crew), another picture of the plane and copies of the documents that were handed over to one of the locals at the crash site. About a month later I got an email from Judy Greers from New Zealand who was a daughter of Jack Woodwart and she told me that her father died in 1990 but had not talked much about the war. She knew that he had been a POW for 3 years after a plane crash in The Netherlands in 1941. On that plane he was a replacement in that crew. During a evacuation of the camp, Woodwart managed to escape and at the end of the war he got back by boat to the UK where he later graduated as a optician in Manchester. There he met his wife and in 1956 the family emigrated to New Zealand, first to Christcurch and then to Timaru.
I mailed the whole story and photos to Judy Greer and she told her mother about it and 2 weeks later she mailed back with another interesting story:
“My mother relates an interesting event that happened in the 1970's - my father was working as an optician in Timaru and had agreed to do some optical work in Greymouth on the West Coast. He flew over and that evening was sitting at dinner with the other people in the hotel including the flight crew. He heard a page over the hotel intercom for a "Mr Houghton" and when he saw this man was one of the group he was sitting with, he asked if he knew or was related to the Houghton (in the crash). Amazingly this man was the same Houghton - who was a New Zealander. Also amazing was that this flight to the West Coast was the first flight my father had been on since the crash in 1941 and the pilot was the same Houghton!!!”
About a year later I bought a book about the Hampden bomber and in the book again I was confronted with a picture of the EQ-D with its crewmembers. So now I’m eager to hear more about a perhaps continuing story?Bart Hazenbos
F/O. Peter Leslie Edwards 408 Sqn. (d.3rd Jun 1942)Flying Officer Peter Leslie Edwards served with 408 (Goose) Squadron Royal Canadian Air Force and died on the 3rd June 1942.Martin Pratley
Martha Jenson 408 SquadronMartha Jensen was stationed in Linton-on-Ouse as a wireless operator, around 1942, She was from Western Canada I believe, does anyone have any info on her?Jamie Hachey
Thomas Reynolds 408 SquadronMy grandfather, was working in the Belgian underground as a member of the escape line Comete. He moved Clayton Maclachlan and Tommy Reynolds who belonged to the 408 squadron, in Brussels, from one safe place to another.
I learned that they had to jump out of their Lancaster in fire and that they fell in Deurne-Tessenderloo on 20th December 1943. They were both hidden in the neighborhood of my grandfather where I am still living. I should be very glad if I could come in touch with one of them or with a member of their family.
The crew were:
- Les Morrison. pilot RAAF
- Allan Wright. nav.
- Clayton MacLachlan. bomb aimer
- Alexander Dumbbell. W/op
- Thomas Reynolds flt eng.
- William Heaton. mid upper gunner
- Edward Salmon. Rear gunner
Their Lancaster II, DS-704 code EQ-W was shot down December 20, 1943 on Ops to Frankfurt.Heaton and Wright were killed, Salmon was taken POW after spending time with the resistance. The rest of the crew evaded capture.
Clayton MacLachlan & Tommy Reynolds evaded arrest with the help of the resistance until Brussels’ liberation. Ted Salmon joined the resistance at Diest, East of Brussels. He was taken to Brussels four days later and stayed at various houses. At the last house the people were engaged in sabotage. One was captured and the house was surrounded in the middle of February. He was taken to St. Giles prison till May 12th. then was moved to an interrogation camp, Dulag Luft. Later Ted was sent to Stalag Luft 6, Heydekrug. Moved to Thorn, in Poland and eventually to 357 at Folling Bostel. He was released while on the march, in May 1945.Victor Schutters
F/O. Donal Thomas Ryan 408 Squadron (d.29th July 1944)My uncle, Donal Thomas Ryan, was a Flight Officer in 408 Goose Squadron and was based at RAF Linton-On-Ouse. He flew Lancaster EQ-H. He was shot down on July 29, 1944. Donal is buried at Becklingen War Cemetery, Germany. He was son of Leo George and Alice Ellen Ryan, and brother of Leo E. and Frances Geraldine Ryan(my mother)of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Donal's citations are; 1939-45 Star, Air Crew Europe Star, Defence Medal, Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and clasp, War Medal 1939-1945, Operational Wings awarded posthumously 8 January 1947. He was born December 11, 1920, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Donal was 23 years old.David Doyle
Sgt. Archie Mills 408 SquadronArchie Mills was an ERK (aircraft mechanic). His squadron was nicknamed Goose. I would be interested in any further information.Robin Paulton.
F/Lt. George Russell Large 408 Squadron (d.16th March 1945)George Large died on the 16th of March 1945, aged 25 and is buried in the Adegem Canadian War Cemetery in Belgium. he was the son of Alexander Russell Large, and of Florence Lillian Large, of Makaroff, Manitoba; husband of Isabelle Kathleen Large.s flynn
Flt.Sgt. Alcide Joseph Chiasson 408 SquadronAlcide Chaisson was my brother. He served with No.408 Goose Squadron based at Linton-on-Ouse in 1944. He wrote this a short memento in 1988 for the reunion: "I was the tail gunner on a Halifax Bomber in 408 Goose Squadron, 6th Canadian Bomber Group, Bomber Command. Out home base was Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire, England.
On 24th of December 1944 we were assigned to a bombing mission on a German Air Base at Dusseldorf. Approximatley 250 aircraft were deployed on this raid, only two planes failed to return, ours was one of them. This, incidentally was our first daylight raid, we always flew at night. While over the target we were coned by Germany Ack Ack Fire resulting in several direct hits, setting the plane on fire. Out of a crew of seven, the pilot Bill Dunwoodie and myself were the only two who survived by parachuting out of that airborne inferno."
Sqn.Ldr. Daniel Frederick Allen DFC. 408 Goose SquadronDaniel Allen was the second son of Lewis and Ina (Stewart) Allen. At the age of five, Dan and his family moved to Lennoxville, Quebec, his mother's hometown. He proudly served Canada as a pilot in the Second World War where he rose to the rank of Squadron Leader of 408 Goose Squadron. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by the King of England in recognition of his gallantry and devotion to duty.Kristina Daboul
PO Ralf William Lowrey 408 Sqdn. (d.8th June 1944)I am trying to find anyone who knew my father, Pilot Officer Ralf William Lowrey, 408 Sqdn 1939-44. He was shot down over Berlin. I was two years old. Does anyone remember him?Sheila Hatton
LAC Bernard Harpley "Dave" Davis 408th Sqd.My father has many pictures of his war time years in Britain. He is 96 and sharp mentally and is reminissing a lot. More stories are coming out and he is studying the pictures on 408 Squadron on the internet. If you are interested contact me.Anne Mervyn
Ronald Ayliffe Schrapel 408 (Goose) SquadronRonald Schrapel did 40 bombing missions over Germany from Linton on Ouse when many comrades never returned. The crew became disorientated and this Australian Crew flew back with the Canadians. Dad vomited constantly in the air, remembered spiralling to escape enemy fire and never recovered mentally from accidentally bombing an orphanage.
I would love to hear from anyone who knew him and I still have and wear his war time blazer with the RCAF logo. He died in 1997 never having gotten over mum's death in 83. On the night he died the door bell rang and a whoosh came through through door enveloping myself and sister in mystical electricity. We know it was dad happy to be with mum again.Kathryn Schrapel
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