Mes recherches commencent souvent comme ceci…
Un commentaire et un document partagé par un lecteur qui désire en savoir davantage sur un aviateur même si, dans ce cas-ci, mon lecteur en savait déjà beaucoup.
HOUDE, F/O Joseph Jean Louis Marcel (J27717) (sic)
– Distinguished Flying Cross
– No.425 Squadron
– Award effective 5 April 1945 as per London Gazette dated 13 April 1945 and AFRO 824/45 dated 18 May 1945.
Born in Montreal, 13 September 1914; home there.
Was a sheet metal worker prior to enlistment.
In Royal Canadian Artillery before joining RCAF.
Enlisted in Montreal, 23 July 1942.
Granted Leave Without Pay until 3 November 1942 when posted to No.5 Manning Depot.
To No.31 SFTS (guard), 21 January 1943.
To No.5 ITS, 6 February 1943;
graduated and promoted LAC, 17 April 1943 when posted to No.10 EFTS;
to No.5 Manning Depot, 20 May 1943;
to No.4 BGS, 15 June 1943;
may have graduated 17 September 1943 but not posted to No.4 AOS until 28 September 1943;
graduated and commissioned, 3 November 1943.
To « Y » Depot, 17 November 1943.
Taken on strength of No.3 PRC, Bournemouth, 23 November 1943.
Promoted Flying Officer, 3 May 1944.
Repatriated 9 February 1945.
To No.16 SFTS, 11 April 1945.
Retired 1 May 1945.
Rejoined as an Air Cadet Officer, 1 September 1948 (300437) with No.502 Air Cadet Squadron.
Retired 13 March 1951.
Flying Officer Houde has proved himself to be a skilful and courageous navigator. He has participated in many operational sorties against strongly defended targets in Germany. Flying Officer Houde’s extreme devotion to duty under the most adverse circumstances has been worthy of the highest praise.
The original recommendation (DHH file 181.009 D.1730, Library and Archives Canada RG.24 Volume 20607) was submitted 14 December 1944 by W/C Hugh Ledoux when he had flown 26 sorties (142 hours ten minutes); text as follows:
A bomb aimer of outstanding ability and cheerful manner, Flying Officer Houde has participated on a great number of operational sorties over strongly defended targets in enemy territory.
On the night of November 4th, 1944, along with his crew, this officer was detailed to attack Bochum, Germany. On the approach to the target, the mid-upper gunner reported an aircraft above and shortly after his own aircraft was showered with some 33 incendiaries. One of these ripped the nose of the aircraft, at the same smashing the bomb aiming instruments. The starboard inner engine was set afire by one of these bombs and the bomb aimer was hit on the head by another.
A thousand pound bomb grazed the rudder, tearing away part of the tail assembly. Other incendiaries buried themselves in the wings. Three of them burst through the fuselage and remained in the aircraft. Despite all this, Flying Officer Houde kept absolutely cool and showed outstanding determination and efficiency and the target was successfully bombed. The flight back to base was made on three engines without any further incident.
This officer has inspired the rest of his crew by showing such exceptional devotion to duty which warrants my recommendation for the award of the immediate Distinguished Flying Cross.
La prochaine fois, je vous traduis le texte ci-haut, je vous parle de son équipage, et je vous montre d’autres photos…
Louis-Marcel Houde (1915-1970)
Collection Mario Allard