Je me souviens

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L’adjudant Réal St-Amour s’est toujours souvenu de ses chers  Alouettes.

Sa fille Chantal partage fièrement les photos de son père, plusieurs centaines qu’elle a soigneusement numérisées et retouchées.

Ces photos, vous les retrouverez ici faute d’espace sur ce blogue que j’avais dédié en 2010 aux Alouettes. 

Je te plumerai

Publicités

J’ai beaucoup écrit…

C’est en 2010 que j’ai commencé à écrire sur un escadron dont j’ignorais l’existence. Ayant étudié pour devenir un enseignant en histoire à la fin des années 60, j’ai été surpris de ne rien connaître du 425e Escadron Alouette dans mes cours d’histoire.

En 1970, je suis devenu enseignant dans une école secondaire, mais n’ayant que 21 ans à ce moment-là et comme on n’avait pas besoin d’un enseignant en histoire, j’ai enseigné l’éducation religieuse pendant deux ans. Puis un poste en histoire m’a été offert, mais cela n’a pas duré longtemps. Deux ans plus tard, on m’a offert un poste d’enseignement en anglais langue seconde. Étant bilingue, j’ai « sauté » sur l’offre.

Revenons aux Alouettes…

J’ai été curieux quand un vétéran du 425e Escadron Alouette m’a contacté sur Souvenirs de guerre, mon premier blogue sur la Seconde Guerre mondiale qui traitait surtout du destroyer Athabaskan. Ma curiosité pour les récits de guerre de cet ancien combattant m’a amené à créer un blogue sur les Alouettes pour lui rendre hommage autant à lui qu’à ses frères d’armes. J’ai saisi cette occasion car je sentais qu’il me manquait quelque chose à ma culture de la Seconde Guerre mondiale.

La Seconde Guerre mondiale était finalement plus que Tora, Tora, Tora ou Memphis Belle.

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Puis un autre vétéran a découvert ce blog et m’a contacté pour partager la « véritable » histoire des Alouettes.

KW-O

Je n’ai pas cessé d’écrire depuis sur les Alouettes et je ne pense pas que je vais arrêter un jour.

Pourquoi je te raconte tout ça? Parce que j’ai une autre histoire à partager, celle du Flight Engineer Harry James Goodwin, mais pas sur ce blogue.

Cliquez ici!

I have been writing a lot about the Alouettes…

In 2010, I started writing about a squadron which I knew nothing about. Having studied to become a history teacher in the late 60s I was surprised that I had never learned about 425 Alouette Squadron in my history classes.

In 1970 I became a high school teacher, but since I was 21 at that times and there was no need for a history teacher I taught religious education for two years before there was an opening. It did not last long…

Two years after, the only option that was left was teaching English as a second language. Being bilingual I « jumped » at the offer.

Getting back to the Alouettes, I felt I was missing something with my knowledge about World War II. World War II was more than Tora, Tora, Tora or Memphis Belle.

Memphis_belle_poster

So I got curious when a 425 Alouette Squadron veteran contacted me on Souvenirs de guerre which  was my first blog about WWII. Being curious about his war stories led me to write about this blog about the Alouettes.

Then another veteran found out about this blog and contacted me. He shared the « real » history of the Alouettes.

KW-O

I have not stop writing since, and I think I never will.

Why am I telling you all this?

Click here!

Le jour du Souvenir 2015

Écrit par un collaborateur en 2015…

Un oubli de ma part pour ce jour-là du Souvenir.

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Collaboration spéciale

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Les deux photos furent prises le même jour à quelques secondes d’intervalle, durant une journée très froide d’hiver à Tholthorpe.

Notez le givre sur l’avant du « Nissen Hut » qui abritait les aviateurs. À l’arrière, près du poêle, et sur la surface supérieure de la hutte, il y a juste assez de chaleur pour faire fondre le givre.

Il est notoire que ces huttes était froides et humides en hiver et que les petits poêles ne suffisaient pas à la tâche.  Les O.R.B.’s notent aussi des plaintes au sujet du charbon qui alimentaient ces appareils de chauffage.  Il arrivait que pendant quelques jours il y avait pénurie de ce combustible, ce qui rendait les huttes très inconfortables et invivables.

Cet incident semble avoir beaucoup fait rigoler Euloge Bouchard et Charles Numainville, membres de l’équipage Lafrenière.

Frederick Henry King qui tient la chaise et qui d’après le texte semble être en partie responsable de cet incident s’est joint à l’équipage Charles Lesesne au mois de décembre 1944 après la mort de Maurice Paradis lors du crash de l’équipage Desmarais le 18 décembre 1944.

Mid-under gunner station on the Halifax 

Taken from a book…

Sent by a Facebook friend…

Hi Pierre.  How are things?  I found a very good picture of the inside of the Preston Green Ventral Turret in Wallace Clarke`s excellent book British Aircraft Armament.  I posted it on the Halifax Facebook page, but I am not sure if you saw it.  If not, I am attaching it here.  Yes, you can see that it sure wouldn`t have been much fun being stuck in that turret for 5-6 hours!  All the best.

Ken Marshall’s Facebook Page

Ken Marshall has a Facebook Page honouring Bomber Command. He has written a book in 1996 and a revised edition which I have been reading since January.

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I have now a different view of the role Bomber Command played during World War Two. Ken Marshall has to be commended for his research on Bomber Command and Sir Arthur Harris who has been vilified much much too long.

Lest we forget.


Bomber Command Operations 1942.

75 years ago.

Night Ops, February 14/15th, Monday night and early Tuesday:-

1) Mannheim – 98 aircraft dispatched. 67 claimed to have bombed the city in difficult conditions. Mannheim reports only a light raid with 2 buildings destroyed, 15 damaged, some railway damage and 1 man wounded (he was outside his shelter) and 23 people bombed out. A machinery works employing 15 people had to close down until an unexploded bomb was cleared. No aircraft were ‘lost’, but three came down either in England or close to the coast:-
49 Sqdn, Hampden I, AE397, EA-G, P/O. Allsebrook (why does his name ring a bell?) and crew ran out of fuel and with both engines cutting out, the pilot ditched the bomber off the Isle of Wight. No injuries reported.

49 Sqdn, Hampden I, AT112, EA-?, Sgt. R. N. Hamer and crew also ran out of fuel and crashed while trying to make an emergency landing near Upwood airfield. Again, no injuries reported.
78 Sqdn, Whitley V, Z9320, EY-?, Sgt. J. C. Stevens and crew, while returning to base at Croft with its wireless equipment u/s, the a/c strayed off track and came down in the sea 20 miles S of Bournemouth. All were picked up and taken to RN Hospital Haslar for treatment to their injuries.

2) Minor Ops – 15 a/c to Le Havre and 1 Manchester on a Nickelling trip to France. All returned safely.

Just to keep up the Blenheim crews rest, there were no Daylight Ops on Tuesday 15th February.

I hope you all noticed that yesterday’s new Area Bombing Directive arrived at High Wycombe almost 10 days before Bert Harris!

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Painting by Joe Crowfoot

The Unveiling of the Bomber Command Association’s Statue of Sir Arthur Harris

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Poster by Ken Marshall

Poem written by Ken J. W. Marshall shortly after the unveiling of the Bomber Command Association’s statue of Sir Arthur Harris, by H.M. Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother on Sunday, 31st May, 1992.

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In Memoriam

We’ve erected a statue to Harris, we’ve unveiled a statue of ‘Butch’.

Our governments couldn’t be bothered, for a man who gave Britain so much.

We’ve erected a statue of Harris, the men of Bomber Command

Butch’s ‘Old Lags’ have never forgotten the man for whom they’d still stand

But it’s not just a statue of Harris, it’s in memory of all those who died,

The fifty-five thousand five hundred who gave of their all for ‘our side’.

It’s a constant reminder of honour, standing up there in the Strand

Of the selfless devotion to duty by the men of Bomber Command.

We’ve erected our statue of Butch, a leader of stature so tall.

We’ve put up a memorial to Harris, who did what he did for us all

A symbol of all our endeavours, a memorial to all those who fell.

To a man who did what he had to, and he did it so bloody well.

The Germans and others objected, from somewhere they found the sheer gall,

To complain that we shouldn’t remember the man who made Germany fall

They all got up and protested; with moans about Dresden, Cologne

And Berlin and quite a few others, forgetting the guilt that they own.

And what if that shiny black jackboot had been on the other foot?

They’d have erected their statues to Goering, and Goebbels and Hitler to boot.

But they wouldn’t have confined them to Deutschland that we all could tell,

They’d have stuck them in occupied countries, we’d have had them in London as well!

We could understand all the furore, if we’d put Harris up over there.

If we’d stuck him in Essen or Hamburg, somewhere we’d bombed from the air.

But we’ve erected this statue of Harris, we’ve put him outside Clement Danes.

We’ve put him up here in London, which was bombed by Luftwaffe planes.

We’ve erected our Memorial to Harris and to each and every ‘Old Lag’,

For the things we remember and others we can’t, that at our memories nag.

Yes, we’ve unveiled our statue of Harris, it’s up there so noble and new,

For the chaps whom we knew that didn’t come back, it’s for them and Bert Harris too.