Vous vous rappelez sans doute

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Le 7 décembre  2010… Maurice  Landry rejoignait 19 000 jeunes aviateurs  de guerre.

19 000 jeunes  aviateurs ne revinrent  jamais.

Ceux qui sont  revenus n’ont que peu parlé  de leurs souvenirs de guerre.

Très  peu.

La petite-fille  de Maurice Landry DFC CD m’a  écrit.

C’est  pour  ça  que j’écris…

Toujours  un vif plaisir  de vous accueillir  sur le blogue  dédié  à  la seule  escadrille  canadienne-française.

Une autre contribution de Daniel Cogné

D’autres photos  de Tholthorpe

http://www.rcaf434squadron.com/tholthorpe/

Vue aérienne de Tholthorpe prise entre 1943 et 1945

http://www.forgottenairfields.com/united-kingdom/england/north-yorkshire/tholthorpe-s972.html

Format géant de cette photo http://www.raf.mod.uk/raflintononouse/rafcms/mediafiles/58546278_1143_EC82_2E1833A155D24431.jpg

airfield en 2010

http://www.bombercommandmuseum.ca/6group_airfields/airfield_tholthorpe.pdf

Hommage à Tholthorpe sur YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhwVkkh9ad4

Tholthorpe

Photos  extraordinaires

Cliquez ici.

RAF Tholthorpe opened in August 1940 as a satellite to RAF Linton-on-Ouse, part of 4 Group, Bomber Command.  Originally, Tholthorpe had three grass-surfaced runways,  along with a Watch Office for Bomber Satellite Stations (13097/41).  This tower has a distinctive and very unusual brick and concrete « runway in use » signal board hoarding on its roof.  As the need for stations capable of handling heavy bombers became more pressing, Tholthorpe (along with many others), underwent expansion and reopened, after a lengthy refit, in June 1943 as a Class-A bomber airfield.  The three runways runways were hardened (concrete/tarmac) and extended to become 28/10 E/W (2000yds/1828 m), 05/23 NE/SW (1400 yds/1280 m) and 34/16 NNW/SSE (1400 yds/1280 m) and a second tower added, a Watch Office for all Commands (343/43).  Hangars were two T2 and a single B1 and a second bomb store was constructed.  A mixture of loop-type (thirteen) and frying-pan hardstandings (twenty-three) could also be seen.  Accommodation to the south was spread over 14 sites (including sick quarters, sewage and administration sites)  for 1734 personel, RAF and WAAF all ranks.  The Station Pundit code was ‘TH’.

Initially, the early life of Tholthorpe only saw use by one unit, 77Sqn (Whitley V, coded ‘KN’) as part of the Station’s duty of satellite to Linton-on-Ouse.  Upon reopening in June 1943, it was as a 6 Group airfield and consequently, saw the arrival of the RCAF and was still linked to Linton-on-Ouse, being part of 62 Base (of which Linton was the parent, with RAF East Moor completing the trio).  With the transfer to 6 Group, the first Canadian Squadrons to take up residence were 434 ‘Bluenose’ Sqn RCAF (Halifax V, coded ‘IP’) which formed at Tholthorpe on June 13th 1943.  They were followed by 431 ‘Iroquiose’ Sqn RCAF, who transferred from RAF Burn in mid-July, converting from Wellingtons to Halifax V’s (coded ‘SE’).

Both 431 and 434 Sqns remained fully active until their departure in December 1943.  They were replaced by another pair of Canadian Squadrons: 420 ‘Snowy Owl’ Sqn RCAF (Halifax III, coded ‘PT’,  from RAF Dishforth) and 425 ‘Alouette’ Sqn RCAF (Halifax III, coded ‘KW’, from RAF Dalton).  Both of these Squadrons remained fully operational at Tholthorpe until the end of hostilities, when they were earmarked for transfer to Tiger Force, for operations against Japan and were transferred back to Canada in preparation.  With the use of the atomic bomb this never happened.

Flying ceased at Tholthorpe with the departure of the Canadians  and the site was disposed of in the early 1950s, being returned to agriculture.  Today, the remnants of the technical site is the home to a number of small businesses.  The T2’s have gone and the B1 is in use as a grain store.  The 1943 watch tower is a private dwelling, whilst the the original tower remains derelict – very little else of the station remains.  Tholthorpe is unusual (although not unique) in having two surviving wartime watch towers.  What little  else does remain is on private property.  A memorial to all four Canadian Squadrons can be found on the village green in Tholthorpe.

Jules Dargis et Léo Vézina

Jules Dargis était le pilote de l’équipage de Léo Vézina, mitrailleur arrière. 

Léo Vézina

 

 

Sur ce site on indique le nombre de missions de Léo Vézina.

Alouette, je te plumerai

Missions accomplies !

Mercredi 13 septembre 1944 : dernière sortie. Les gars n’aiment pas la date, le chiffre 13 porte malheur ! Darkie n’y peut rien, ce n’est pas lui qui décide. Les gars se ressaisissent et leur courage prend le dessus. Ce soir-là, à 20h25 précises, le bombardier est de retour à la base. Les gars sont excités. L‘équipage vient d’accomplir sa 35e mission. Un tour opérationnel complet. C’est l’euphorie totale à l’intérieur de l’appareil. Leur joie est indescriptible. La mort ne fera plus partie de leur quotidien. Ils flattent et  embrassent ce fameux Halifax fiable et costaud, le Jolly Roger, dans lequel ils ont mis toute leur confiance… et leur vie. Ce gros oiseau de fer est à jamais imprégné de toutes leurs émotions et restera gravé dans la mémoire de ces jeunes, devenus aviateurs pour la cause.

En octobre, avec plus de 380 heures de vol outre-mer à son actif, Léo est rapatrié. Après six longues journées en mer, le navire accoste à Digby en Nouvelle-Écosse. À l’aube de ses 22 ans, Léo pose enfin le pied sur la terre de ses aïeux. C’est le cœur serré et les larmes aux yeux que ces jeunes hommes se quittent se promettant de toujours garder le contact. Un nombre effarant d’aviateurs canadiens dispersés sur les bases d’Angleterre ne sont pas revenus. Statistiquement, les chances des équipages de bombardiers de compléter les trente-cinq missions obligatoires étaient d’une sur trois. Après la guerre, Arthur Harris, le chef duBomber Command, avoua sans détour : «Ils étaient virtuellement, et ils ne le savaient que trop, des condamnés à mort en sursis ».

Jules Dargis en a donc fait autant et pilotait un Halifax baptisé Jolly Roger.

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Une chance sur trois de revenir de la guerre…

Tiré du site de Richard Koval, quatre des 35 missions.

June 7/8, 1944

23 Lancasters from 408 and 419 squadrons were joined by 97 Halifaxes from 420, 425, 426, 429, 431, 432, 433, and 434 squadrons in attacking the road/rail junction at Acheres and the rail yards at Versailles. The crews were over the targets at between 3,000 and 7,000 feet releasing 930,000 lbs of high explosives. According to reports, these targets were accurately bombed.

F/O J. Dargis was fired upon by friendly anti aircraft in East Anglia. There was no damage.

July 28/29, 1944

46 Lancasters from 408, 419, and 428 Squadron were joined by 186 Halifaxes from 408, 415, 420, 424, 425, 425, 427, 429, 431, 432, 433, and 434 Squadrons on an attack at Hamburg. The crews were over the target at between 16,000 and 22,000 feet, releasing 2,019,000 lbs of high explosives. According to reports, some bombing fell into the port area, otherwise the attack was scattered. On this attack, 6 Group suffered their highest losses. 22 crews failed to return.

Eighteen crews from 425 Squadron departed base at between 22:05 and 22:35hrs, they were over the target at between 01:13 and 01:19hrs, returning to base at between 03:55 and 04:45hrs.

F/Lt J. A. Cote and crew, flying Halifax III LW-414 coded KW-E, returned early as the port outer was u/s. They landed safely at base on 3 engines. F/O J. Dargis and crew were hit by flak, not serious.

P/O T. Barton RCAF and crew, flying Halifax III MZ-641 coded KW-K, failed to return from this operation.

Sgt R. Barnicoat RAF
P/O J. Gibson RCAF
P/O W. Murray RCAF
P/O B. Welsh RCAF
P/O P. Poulos RCAF
P/O E. Fairey RCAF
P/O J. Howell RCAF
All were lost without a trace.

P/O V. Vincent RCAF and crew, flying Halifax III MZ-712 coded KW-S, failed to return from this operation.

P/O J. Noonan RCAF
P/O H. Vanderveen RCAF
P/O F. Watson RCAF
P/O B. Betts RCAF
P/O L. Image RCAF
P/O F. Dalessandro RCAF
P/O R. Patterson RCAF
P/O W. Vance RCAF
All were lost without a trace.

 

August 14, 1944

165 Halifaxes from 408, 415, 420, 424, 425, 426, 427, 429, 432, 433, and 434 Squadrons were joined by 59 Lancasters from 408, 419, 428, and 431 Squadrons on an attack of German troop positions at Falaise, Aisy, and Bons Tassilly. The crews were over the targets between 6,000 and 9,000 feet, releasing 2,131,000 lbs of high explosives. According to reports the attack was going well and then some bombing started to fall back into Canadian army 3rd Division positions. This problem was made worse when ground troops started firing yellow flares, which happened to be the same colours as the Target Indicators, attracting more loads of explosives. This carried on for more than an hour and little could be done but for the troops to head for their slit trenches and wait the attack out. 13 army personnel were killed and many injured along with some equipment being destroyed.

 

F/O J. Dargis from 425 Squadron was hit by flak, there were holes in the stbd tail plane.

 

August 18/19, 1944

102 Halifaxes from 408, 420, 425, 426, 427, 429, and 433 squadrons were ordered to attack the rail yards at Connantre. The crews were over the target at between 15,000 and 18,000 feet, releasing 797,000 lbs of high explosives. According to reports, the target was well hit and great damage was caused. This was the last attack on the rail systems in France and Belgium.

 

W/Cdr H. Ledoux, P/O P. Hache, F/O J. Galipeau, F/Sgt C. Dionne, F/O E. St. Jean, F/O H. Gregson, P/O J. Jean, F/O J. Dargis, F/O J. Gourdeau, F/Lt T. Rance, F/O N. Streight, F/Lt J. A. Cote, P/O J. Y. Cote, P/O S. Milliken, P/O J. Desmarais, P/O J. Henry, P/O V. Lacaille, and F/O C. Bouchard from 425 Squadron landed at Coningsby on return

Wireless air gunner

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aviateur inconnu

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Le sans-filiste  Jacques  P. Lamontagne  revient  en Angleterre  à  bord  d’un Dakota.
Le bombardier que pilotait Laporte avait été abattu par un chasseur allemand.
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Jacques P. Lamontagne retrouve des copains de l’escadrille probablement lors de la première rencontre après la guerre.
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Son fils Laurent a trouvé ces photos inédites dans les souvenirs de guerre de son père.

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aviateur  inconnu

 Je ne reconnais que son père…

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