Jacques Morin avait aussi son porte-bonheur

Un très bel hommage de la plume de Jacques Gagnon.

Jacques Morin avait aussi son porte-bonheur

Comme de très nombreux autres aviateurs, Jacques Morin ne partait jamais en mission sans son fétiche ou porte-bonheur. Cet objet précieux, un chapelet en corne de pied de veau, il le possède toujours.

Rencontrer ce valeureux mitrailleur de queue est toujours un événement, à un point tel que je n’avais encore jamais pensé à m’informer s’il respectait cette tradition. Lundi dernier, le 13 avril, j’ai eu un flash, ce qui a provoqué une autre histoire dont seul Jacques Morin a le secret. Il suffisait d’ouvrir la porte.

Lorsque je lui pose la question sur un possible fétiche, il répond oui sans hésiter: «Un chapelet». Il se lève, prend sa marchette et se dirige vers sa chambre. Je l’entends fouiller dans un tiroir. Il revient avec un étrange chapelet, d’un genre que ni ma conjointe, Colette, ni moi avons jamais vu.  

«J’ai toujours gardé ça avec moi. C’est un peu comme le pitt-pitt des alouettes que je mettais après ma signature.»

Si le chapelet est spécial, la croix l’est également avec une tête de mort et des ossements aux pieds du Christ.  «C’est ma mère qui me l’avait donnée avant que je parte pour la guerre. Je l’avais accrochée au chapelet. Quant au chapelet comme tel, c’est le deuxième aumônier des alouettes qui me l’avait donné. C’était un jeune qui avait remplacé l’autre plus âgé. Je lui avais dit que je perdais toujours mon chapelet et que c’est une affaire que j’aime à traîner avec moi. Il m’a dit : Je vais t’en donner un et celui-là tu ne le perdras jamais.  Je ne l’ai jamais perdu.»

«C’est précieux. Ça fait plus de 70 ans que je l’ai. C’est dans mon tiroir. C’est solide. Ça c’est les Alouettes (le chapelet), ça c’est ma mère (la croix). Ç’a été fait en Afrique, en Tunisie.»

Peu de gens l’ont vu

Il reconnaît que peu de gens ont vu ce chapelet. Il est d’ailleurs d’accord pour qu’on puisse le photographier lors de notre prochaine visite.

À une question de Colette, il explique que le petit cœur qui relie le chapelet aux mailles menant à la croix, est également fabriqué en corne.

L’histoire du chapelet ne s’arrête pas là. «Quand je suis revenu et que maman est morte, j’avais mis la croix dans sa tombe. Après je l’ai enlevée et je l’ai rattachée après le chapelet.»

Les souvenirs de ce vétéran réservent toujours des surprises. C’est ainsi qu’il raconte que sa mère avait été associée à un moment aux Sœurs servantes. «À leur mort, elles étaient habillées dans leurs tombes avec un costume de moine, de couleur brun, avec une ceinture noire et de grandes manches. Quand ma mère est morte, on a sorti son costume de religieuse et on l’a placé sur le lit. Il y avait une cornette un peu comme celles de la Congrégation de Notre-Dame.»

Il faisait des grimaces

De confidence en confidence, le voici de retour à son poste de mitrailleur. Il avoue qu’il implorait souvent sa mère dans les moments critiques. «Maman, ton Coco est mal pris; il fait des grimaces.»

Les retours au sol étaient toujours pénibles lorsque s’amorçait la période de décompression. «Quand on sortait après le bombardement, on s’assoyait dans le camion de transport, je fumais. On ne pouvait pas fumer en haut à cause de l’oxygène. Là je fumais deux cigarettes et là, je braillais.»

Il s’arrête un instant, ému. Son chat, Coco, comme son surnom, en profite pour sauter sur lui et le sortir de son rêve.

Il reprend son récit. «Je ne parlais pas à personne. Les gars arrivaient un après l’autre. Je ne leur demandais pas comment ça allait. C’était chacun nos affaires, on gardait tout ça en dedans.»

Jamais encore Jacques Morin n’avait fouillé aussi profondément dans ses souvenirs. C’est touchant. C’est émouvant. Ça l’est d’autant plus qu’il évite de discuter de son passé militaire avec ses enfants parce qu’il ne veut  pas qu’ils le prennent en pitié et se rendent ainsi tristes et malheureux.

Le Jacques Morin frondeur reprend le dessus. «On n’avait pas le droit d’emporter rien dans nos poches, même pas un paquet de cigarettes. On devait évidemment emporter les photos pour nos cartes d’identité.  Moi j’avais un case en métal de Ronson (fabricant de briquets) qui contenait 10 cigarettes. C’était interdit… mais j’aurais pu facilement m’en débarrasser en cas de difficultés.»  

Fin des documentaires

Il ne regarde plus les documentaires sur la guerre. Cela l’angoisse et lui fait revivre certaines de ses missions. Il dort mal et se retrouve en rêve dans le feu l’action. Il vient en sueur et se sent mal. Cet état dure deux jours. «Je ne suis plus capables de voir ça même s’il s’agit d’événements différents de ce que j’ai vécu.»  

Il regarde cependant ses souvenirs et ses albums de photos. Il regarde aussi à l’occasion des vidéos montées par Pierre Lagacé.

Au moment de partir, Jacques Morin déclare, un sourire en coin : «Moi avec ma grande gueule je ne vous ai pas laissé parler.»

J’aurais pu lui répondre : «Lorsqu’on a l’inestimable privilège d’avoir devant soi un personnage de cette envergure, on se la ferme, on l’écoute et on boit ses paroles.»    

Épilogue

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425 Squadron Nose Art – Research done by Clarence Simonsen

Hello Pierre,

All my best for a happy Easter, and attached is what I completed during the holiday.
This is the best I can do on the 425 Halifax data base, from what files I still have. Please expect a few errors, but it will give you a reference to work from.

Today there are hundreds of 425 log books, and photos, in Quebec, Ontario, and the Maritimes, which need to be copied and saved for future historians. The Halifax is the bomber that most French/Canadians gave their life in and the best nose art images were painted on. Maybe you can carry on from where I left off. I would love to save the history of the 425 nose artists, and this is one area I have had very little luck.

Cheers –

Clarence

Ce diaporama nécessite JavaScript.

No. 425 [Alouette] French/Canadian Squadron RCAF WWII

Formed at Dishforth, Yorkshire, England, 25 June 1942, they were designated French/Canadian a unique formation within the RCAF. From December 1943, until the end of the war in Europe they flew the Handley-Page B. Mk. III aircraft on tactical bombing operations. During this period of time they were based at Tholthorpe, Yorkshire, No. 62 [RCAF] Base, and this is where the most impressive French/Canadian Halifax nose art was inspired and painted on the bombers.

KW-A                     MZ683                  

Possibly painted with « Alley-Oop. » Pilot Sgt. M. Lavoie was landing on three engines, swung and crashed into Halifax MZ618 [KW-J] and LW680 [KW-U] which was loaded with bombs. 27/28 June 44, burnt. All crew were rescued.

KW-A                     LK798                   

Nose art « Alouette » with flying lark. 8/9 May 44, target Haine St. Pierre, Pilot F/O L. White and navigator P/O J. Lefebre were killed. POW’s -Sgt. J. Chant [RAF] F/Engineer, Sgt. J. Aubry, bomb aimer, W/O 2nd class A. Cormier, Wireless, Sgt. R. Brown, Mid-under, Sgt. J. Beluse, Mid-upper, and rear gunner, F/Sgt. J. McConnell.

KW-B                     LW381                 

9/10 August 44, over Nieppe, F/O N. Streight and crew attacked by Me109, no damage.

KW-B                     NR252                  

Nose art name « Bang on! » with 37 Maple Leafs for operation flown. arrived new with 425 Sqn. on 23 November 1944, for disposal 6 May 45. Flown by Francois Savard to graveyard at Clinton, 14 May 45. Not struck off charge by RAF until 16 May 1948.

KW-C                     MZ815                  

Failed to return Hemmingstedt, 8 March 1945. Crew were all killed without any trace. Pilot P/O W. Corbett, P/O G. Forsyth, [RAF] P/O J. Hickson, F/O V. McAllister, P/O G. Ware, P/O J. Morin and P/O L. Parent, six RCAF.

KW-C                     LW428                 

Failed to return Berlin, 24/25 March 1944. Pilot P/O N. Jones and crew all killed. Sgt. G. Mabbott, [RAF] P/O M. Latornell, P/O M. McLeod, P/o J. Laviolette, P/O J. Bouchard, and P/O J. Tracey.

KW-C                     MZ418                  

Shot down by Me.262 [jet] Hamburg, 31 March 1945. Pilot F/Lt. Charles Lesesne [American] killed by mob of German females manning flak tower. POW’s – Sgt. J. Tame, [RAF], F/Sgt. J. Hilliard, F/O W. Cable, P/O R. Pigeon, W/02 R. Trudeau, and the nose artist F/Sgt. F. King.

KW-D                     LW379                 

1/2 Nov. 44, Oberhausen, pilot F/Lt. M. Dugas and crew failed to return. One member killed P/O J. Savoie, RCAF. Six POW »s – F/Sgt. J. Carrier, F/Lt. H. Goodman, F/O J. St. Arnaud, W/O 2 J. Ranger, P/O J. Crispin, and F/Sgt. J. Federico.

KW-E                      MZ860                  

5/6 January 45, lost over Hannover, two crew killed – P/O J. Piche, and P/O J. Lamarre, five became POW’s – Pilot F/Sgt. J. Cauchy, Sgt. E. Faulkner, F/O J. Lesperance, Sgt. R. Cantin, and F/Sgt. J. Cote.        

KW-E                      MZ419                  

« Easy Rides at Night » first flew No. 433 Sqn. 10 September 44, then to 425 Sqn. on 3 January 1945. Pilot P/O Miller was attacked by Fw-190 8/9 April 45, nose damaged on Halifax. Disposal 25 May 45, scrapped 1 June 45.

KW-F                                                    

Red Fox with bomb nose art.

KW-G                     LW417                 

22.23 March 44, Frantfurt, Pilot P/O C. Tindall and four crew killed. Sgt. J. Patten, [RAF] F/O K. Duffield, P/O C. Hay and P/O D. Pulham. POW – Sgt. R. Quinlan and Sgt. J. Brine.

KW-G                     MZ573                  

24/25 April 44, target Karlsruhe, pilot P/O J. Wells, and crew failed to return. One killed – P/O G. Boucher. POW’s Sgt. J. Railton, [RAF] F/Sgt. H. Mooney, F/Lt. C. Maddin, Sgt. W. Walker, and P/O S. Hunt. One evader – Sgt. P. Draper.

KW-G                     NA518                  

Transferred to No. 187 RAF Squadron, off Charge 11 May 1945.

KW-G                     MZ482                  

18/19 March 45, target Witten, they had a mid-air with a Mosquito fighter No. 515 Squadron, only the rear gunner F/Sgt. B. Balyx, survived. Killed in Action – P/O L. Hinch, F/O F. Irwin, P/O J. Wilson, F/O G. le Jambe and F/Sgt. A. Banks, all RCAF.

KW-H                     MZ672                  

« Honey Chile », [see story on Mid-Under gunner Donald Doucette] Came from No. 429 Squadron on 10 July 1944, to No. 1666 HCU on 9 November 1944, then to No. 1664 HCU on 1 January 1945. Disposal on 14 April 45, scrapped 15 May 45.

KW-H                     LW477                 

16/17 Jan. 45, P/O W. Corbett and crew were attacked by a Me410 on raid to Magdeburg.

KW-I                      NA518                  

1/2 Feb. 45, bombed Mainz and lost outer starboard engine, landed on three.

KW-J                      LW390                 

Failed to return Stuttgart, 25 Feb. 44.

KW-J                      LL547                   

Transferred to No. 644 Sqn. disposed 22 Feb. 1947.

KW-J                      LW391                 

Failed to return Duisburg, 15 Nov. 44.

KW-J                      MZ618                  

« Old Bill » Hit by MZ683 landing 28 June 44, burnt with LW680 [KW-U].

KW-J                      NR194                  

Hit trees landing 25 March 1945. W/O 2 M. Lavoie and crew landed on two good engines, overshot and did a wheels up in a grass field. No injuries to crew.

KW-J                      LW417                 

Failed to return Frankfurt, 23 March 44.

KW-J                      MZ845                 

Collided with Halifax from 420 Squadron OW-A, PN228, [mid-air] and crashed Nun Monkton Grange, bombs exploded, burnt. Six crew were killed – pilot P/O M. Anderson, P/O J. Roy, P/O J. Beaudry, F/O R. Charron, F/Sgt. J. Seguim, and P/O J. Pelletier. Wireless operator F/Sgt. A. De Cruyenaere bailed out and survived.

KW-J                      LW632                

Transferred to 21 HCU in May 45, disposed 14 March 1947.

KW-J                      NR178                 

Failed to return Hannover, 5/6 January 1945. Killed were P/O G. Noonan, and Sgt. B. Simonin. POW’s – pilot F/O J. Seguin, F/O J. Bilodeau, Sgt. J. Cantin, P/O J. Lapierre, and F/Sgt. J. Huet.

KW-K                     LL595                   

To No. 1664 HCU, Flown by Francois Savard to graveyard 14 May 45. 20 min. flight. Disposed by RAF 14 March 1947.

KW-K                     LW415                 

Failed to return St. Ghislain, 2 May 44.                       

KW-M                    MZ954                  

Pilot F/O C. Dionne and crew hit by flak over Wanne-Eickel, 12 October 1944. Transferred to No. 187 squadron RAF, Struck off charge 22 Nov. 1946.

KW-N                     MZ364                  

F/O J. Bellinger and crew were attacked by Fw190, rear gunner Sgt. C. Wilson was seriously injured. Target was Castrop-Rauxel, 21/22 November 1944.

KW-N                     MZ674                  

F/Lt. J. Galipeau and crew failed to return from Duisberg, 14 October 1944. Four killed – Sgt. F. Eade, F/O D. Butler, F/Sgt. L. Hogg, Sgt. J. Pare, and Sgt. C. Crabtree. POW’s – F/Sgt. C. Williamson, F/Sgt. J. Bazinet, and Sgt. J. Pare.

KW-N                     LW391                 

Failed to return Duisburg, 15 November 1944.

KW-N                     NR271                  

The famous « Nuts for Nazis » flown by French/ American Charles P. Lesesne, last member of 425 to be killed in squadron WWII. Chuck shot down in MZ418, on Easter 31 March 1945. He was beaten to death by female German flak gunners and left to bleed to death. His Halifax bomber completed seven more operations and was sent for disposal on 6 May 45. Scrapped 14 May 45.

KW-O                     LW633                 

22/23 April 44, Dusseldorf, pilot P/O J. Brisson and crew shot down by night fighter, five were killed – Sgt. I. Welch, F/O E. Fortin, P/O J. Legault, and P/O J. Hurteau. Two POW’s – W/O 2nd Class J. Davidson, and F/O J. Desrosiers.

KW-O                     MZ621                  

4/5 Nov. 44, target Bochum, hit by load of incendiaries over the target, one engine caught fire, returned safely to base on three engines. Pilot F/O J. Desmarais.

KW-P                     NR136                  

Survived war, off charge RAF 15 May 1946.

KW-Q                     PN173                  

5/6 March 45, failed to return from raid to Chemnitz. Killed were pilot – F/O J. Desbiens, P/O A. Minguet, and F/Sgt. H. D’Avril. POW’s – F/Sgt. G. Tremblay, F/O J. Parent, F/Sgt. G. Langevin, and F/Sgt. L. Lamontagne.

KW-Q                     LW715                 

Failed to return Boulogne, 16 June 1944.

KW-Q                     LW413                 

Crashed into houses Adelaide St., Brierley Hill, Staffs, after abandoned by crew 16 March 1944.

KW-Q                     NP957                  

Survives today [nose art] in War Museum, Ottawa. First served with No. 427 Sqn. 13 September 1944, to 429 Sqn. on 1 March 1945, then to 425 on 16 March 45, flying ten operations and received nose art « Ville de Quebec » from crew of P/O Kolisnek, who flew her eight operations. Disposal 6 May 45, scrapped 14 May 45.

KW-R                     LW429                 

30/31 March 44, Nurnberg, pilot F/O J. Taylor and crew all killed. Sgt. P. Furlong, [RAF] F/O G. Munro, P/O F. Majchrowicz, P/O J. Sheahan, P/O A. De Witt, and F/Sgt. P. Mitchell.

KW-R                     MZ495                  

18/19 March 45, shot down on raid to Witten, killed was Sgt. P. Panasuk, pilot P/O C. Racicot and five crew became POW’s. F/O R. Marc-Aurele, F/Sgt. J. Demouchel. F/Sgt. M. Depot, F/Sgt. E. Gregory, and F/Sgt. R. Le Boeuf, all RCAF.

KW-R                     NR196                  

Nose Art of pin-up and name « Rita ». First flew with No. 427 Sqn. 28 October 44, then to No. 429 Sqn. on 13 November 44, to 425 Sqn. on 18 March 1945. Disposal 6 May 45, scrapped 14 May 45.

KW-S                      LL591                   

12 October 44, pilot F/O T. MacKinnon and crew hit by flak.

KW-S                      MZ454                  

Crashed at Little Ouseburn, Yorkshire, after losing control during tale-off, due to icing, burnt.    Killed were pilot – F/O A. Lowe, Sgt. J. Lynch, F/O P. Hall and P/O J. Hyde, all crew were RCAF. Survivors who bailed out before crash – F/O E. Brabbins, F/O J. Brownell, and F/Sgt. K. McCuaig.

KW-S                      NA201                  

Transferred to No. 415 Squadron, off charge RAF 14 October 1945.

KW-T                      LW591                 

24/25 April 44, Pilot F/O J. L’Abbe, and crew were shot down, one killed W/O 1st class J. Michaud. POW’s – F/O T. Gravel and Sgt. H. Girard. Evaders – F/O W. Whalen, Sgt. J. Michaud, and Sgt. A. Best.

KW-T                      MZ602                  

Transferred to No. 431 Squadron, missing Versailles-Matelots, 8 June 1944.

KW-T                      LW424                 

Swung on three engine landing at Tholthorpe, crashed, 8 Feb. 1944.

KW-T                      MZ620                  

23/24 October 44, Essen, pilot F/Lt. H. Franks and crew attacked by Fw190.

KW-T                      NP937                  

Pilot F/O J. Giquere attacked by German Me-163 on 8/9 April 45.      P

KW-U                     LW431                 

25/26 Feb. 44, Augsburg, pilot F/Sgt. C. Stowell and crew shot down. One killed RAF Flight engineer Sgt. S. Wheadon. POW’s F/Sgt. R. Friskey, Sgt. G. Dinsmore, W/O 2nd J. Fullum, Sgt. W. Skerik and Sgt. R. Curnock.

KW-U                     LL594                   

Nose art 1942 « Allen Cup ». 5 August 1944, target V-1 site at St. Leu d’ Esserent, France. Hit by flak over target, pilot S/L G. Philbin and Sgt. C. Hilliard bailed out. Six were killed – F/Sgt. W. Gracie, P/O R. Reed, P/O T. Lee, F/O L. Stamp, [RAF] F/O G. Beresford, [RAF] and W/O B. Clark [RAF].

KW-U                     LL596                   

Nose art of Hitler in boxing ring, name – « U’ll Knock Him Out !!! » Flew 36 operations went to No. 1664 HCU. Operations are shown as letter « U ».

KW-U                     MZ425                  

« Little LuLu » name only. First flew No. 433 Sqn. 18 September 44, then to 425 on 3 January 45. Flew 16 operations Disposal 17 May 45, scrapped 30 May 45.

KW-U                     LV860                   

Flew with four RCAF squadrons then came to No. 425 Sqn. on 16 April 1945. Carried the nose art « Spook ‘N Droop » from No. 427 Squadron. Had an accident with 425 Sqn. on 21 April 45 and never flew operations. Disposal 31 May 45, scrapped 8 June 45.

KW-V                     LW425                 

24/25 March 44, Berlin, pilot P/O L. Renaud and crew all killed shot down by night fighter. Sgt. J. Nutman, F/O J. Brazeau, P/O M. Boyer, P/Or. Hanks, P/O C. Turner, and P/O J. Huot.

KW-V                     MZ538                  

18 December 1944, crashed after take-off due to icing. All crew killed. Pilot F/O J. Desmarais, P/O J. Blackburn [RAF], F/O J. Bernier, P/O J. Labrecque, P/O J. Dubois, F/Sgt. J. Paradis, F/Sgt. J. Larivier, and P/O R. Gauthier.

KW-V                     NP939                  

P/O J. Giquere and crew lost two engines, 19 March 45, target Witten. Landed at Handy Grass. F/Sgt. R. Kelusky [wireless/oper.] was injured.

KW-W                    NP999                  

Failed to return Hannover, 5/6 January 1944. Killed was flight/engineer RAF, P/O S. Moore. Six RCAF crew survived – pilot F/O V. Brimicombe, F/O L. Coleman, F/O M. Berry, F/Sgt. G. Delong, F/Sgt. D. MacKeigan, and F/Sgt. G. Hutton.

KW-W                    LL582                   

12 October 44, pilot F/O G. Lareau and crew hit by flak over target Wanne-Eickel.

KW-X                     LL594                   

Failed to return St. Leu d’Esserent, 5 August 1944.

KW-X                     NA634                  

1/2 November 1944, target Oberhausen, pilot F/O P. Legault attacked by a Me110, port flap was shot off, and damage to fuselage which was riddled with exploding shrapnel. 4/5 November 44, F/O W. Forman and crew fired on by Fw190, over Bochum.

KW-Y                     LK810                   

22/23 May 44, target Dortmund, Pilot P/O E. Laporte and crew shot down, one survived, Sgt. R. McGowan, killed – Sgt. N. Ward, F/O J. Tetrault, F/Sgt. J. Mallette, W/O 1st class J. Laing, and Sgt. J. Levasseur.

KW-Y                     NR172                 

15/16 March 45, raid to Hagen, shot down and two killed were pilot P/O J. Patry, and F/O A. Fournier. They were killed by German civilians. POW’s were – Sgt. G. Odell, Sgt. J. Lanctot, W/O 1st class J. Paiement, F/Sgt. C. Panneton and F/Sgt. J. Goupil.

KW-Y                     MZ714                  

Nose art name only « Yetta ». Came to 425 Sqn. on 27 May 1944 and flew until 2 Feb 1945. Transferred to No. 187 squadron 2 Feb. 45 and disposal on 16 Feb. 45. Scrapped 24 Feb. 1945.

KW-Z                      MZ831                  

F/O D. Smith [pilot] failed to return from 4/5 Nov. 44 to Bochum. One killed – flight engineer [RAF] Sgt. W. Clowes. POW – F/O L. Jamieson, F/O E. Knorr, Sgt. R. Ford, F/Sgt. A. Limacher, and F/Sgt. R. Gale all RCAF.

KW-Z                      LW394                 

8/9 Feb. 45, had the starboard outer engine catch fire after hit by flak over target Wanne-Eickel, would not feather, then crew bailed out over Belguim. Pilot – F/O W. Mark, Sgt. J. Whyte, [RAF] P/O R. Daniels, F/O W. Wotherspoon, F/Sgt. W. Ketcham, P/O A. McLean, F/Sgt. H. Sanderson, and F/Sgt. A. Alger

KW-Z                      LW381                 

« Bull Head » flew 62 Ops. 12 Dec. 1943 until 7 November 1944. Went to 1666 HCU [Heavy conversion Unit] 12 Nov. 44 and to No. 1664 HCU on 1 December 44. Disposal 20 April 1945, scrapped No. 45 MU 28 April 1945.

425 Halifax Nose Art - Logo


 425 Halifax Nose Art - KW-A

 

Impressive nose art of flying lark with squadron nickname Alouette which was adopted in October 1942. The squadron motto is also painted « Je te plumerai » [I shall pluck you]. A very impressive 66 operations are shown as this was truly a veteran bomber. I’m sure the code letter was KW-A but the serial is not known. MZ683 carried the code letter « A » but this Halifax arrived with the squadron in May 1944, and struck Halifax LW680 on 28 June 1944 while landing and both burnt.

425 Halifax Nose Art - KW-A Alley-Oop

This is believed to be KW-A ‘Alley-Oop » [MZ683] which crashed into LW680 [KW-U] and MZ610 [KW-J] on landing 28 June 1944 and three aircraft burnt. This was the original Halifax « A » which was then replaced with the above « Alouettee » aircraft and became the new KW-A.

 425 Halifax Nose Art - KW-A Alley-Oop 2

        MZ683 built 15 May 1944, crashed 28 June 44. [serial not confirmed]

 

« Bang on! » KW-B, serial NR252, built between 4 to 18 November 1944, delivered new to No. 425, 23 November 1944, flew 37 operations marked with Maple Leafs. Sent for disposal 6 May 1945, struck off charge by RAF 16 May 1948. Has a DFC ribbon under pilot widow.

425 Halifax Nose Art - KW-B

KW-E, « Easy Rides at Night » serial MZ419. Built 3 August to 9 September 1944, delivered first to No. 433 [Porcupine] Squadron 10 Sept. 44. Transferred to No. 425 on 3 January 1945, ordered for disposal 25 May 1945, and scrapped 1 June 45.

425 Halifax Nose Art - KW-F

KW-F, a red fox holding a 500 lb. bomb, with 42 operations show as bomb bursts and letter « F » inside each burst. Serial number is not known.

 425 Halifax Nose Art - KW-F Honey Chile

KW-H, serial MZ672 « Honey Chile » full story and photos in Donald Doucette story.

 

 425 Halifax Nose Art - KW-N

KW-N, « Nuts for Nazis » serial NR271, the story of French/American pilot Charles P. Lesesne.

425 Halifax Nose Art - Nuts for Nazis

This replica nose art was painted for Caitlin McWilliams, editor Canadian Aviation Historical Society newsletter, October 2010. It is painted on original skin from Halifax NA337, which today resides in Trenton, Ontario, RCAF Museum. It honors French/American Charles P. Lesesne, who flew and gave his life in No. 425 [Alouette] Squadron RCAF.

 

 

A second replica of French/Canadian 425 Squadron nose art was presented to the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

425 Halifax Nose Art - Historian

425 Halifax Nose Art - KW-N missions

 425 Halifax Nose Art - Lesesne

 425 Halifax Nose Art - KW-O

« Old Bill » [LW467] KW-W

On 28 June 1944, Sgt. M. Lavoie was returning to base on three engines in Halifax MZ683, [KW-A] possibly with nose art of « Alley-Oop ». On landing his Halifax swung and crashed into LW680, [KW-U] which was loaded with bombs as a spare aircraft. He then struck another Halifax MZ618 [KW-J] which had lust landed after the operation. It is believed KW-J was « Old Bill » with serial MZ618. The three aircraft caught fire and amid the huge fires and exploding bombs in KW-U all crew members were saved. Air Commodore A. Ross lost an arm from an exploding bomb and was awarded the George Cross. Other awards of bravery were awarded during this high risk rescue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 425 Halifax Nose Art - KW-Q

KW-Q, « Ville de Quebec », NP957. In War Museum Ottawa today.

425 Halifax Nose Art - KW-Q missions

KW-Q the only original French/Canadian Halifax nose art to survive today in the world. First served with No. 427 Squadron, 13 September 1944, to No. 429 Squadron on 1 March 1945, then to 425 Sqn. on 16 March 45. Completed ten operation with 425, eight flown by crew of P/O Kolisnek, [above] and the crew who picked the nose art painting. Disposal 6 May 45, flown to graveyard on 14 May and scrapped in a few weeks. The original nose art was saved by F/L Lindsay in mid-May 1945.

 425 Halifax Nose Art - KW-R

KW-R, « Rita » serial NR196, First flew with No. 427 [Lion] Sqn. [28 Oct. 44] then No. 429 [Bison] Sqn. on [13 Nov. 44] then to 425 on 18 March 1945. Completed 22 operations until 6 May 45, scrapped after 14 May 45.

425 Halifax Nose Art - KW-U

KW-U, « U’ll Knock Him Out !!! », serial LL596, built 8 July to 29 August 1944, flew 36 operations then sent to No. 1664 HCU. Struck off charge by RAF 13 December 1946.

425 Halifax Nose Art - KW-U Little Lulu

KW-U, serial MZ425, built 8 August to 17 Sept. 1944, first delivered to No. 433 [Porcupine] Squadron 18 Sept. 44, then to No. 425 on 3 January 1945. Flew 16 operations. For disposal on 17 May 45, scrapped 30 May 45. Nose art « Little LULU » originated with crew of S/L Don Rogers in No. 433 Sqn. but retained by crew in 425 squadron.

425 Halifax Nose Art - KW-U Spook and Droop

KW-U, LV860, flew with four RCAF squadrons before it was transferred to No. 425 on 3 January 1945. Came with nose art painted while it flew with No. 427 [Lion] Squadron. Had an accident with 425 on 21 April 45 and never completed any operations. Disposal on 31 May 45, scrapped 8 June 45.

425 Halifax Nose Art - Snoop and Droop

This replica nose art is painted on original WWII aircraft skin and today hangs in the « Military Museum’s » of Calgary, Alberta.

 

 

 425 Halifax Nose Art - Halifax KW-U serial LL594

This is the replica nose art of Halifax KW-U, serial LL594. and the story of F/Sgt. W. B. Gracie. She only flew four operations – 16 June 44 to Sautre Court, [4 hr. 15 min.], 23 June 44 to Bamiere [4 hrs. 30 min.], 3 August 44, to Foret de Nieppe [4 hr. 45 min.], and then shot down 5 August 44 to St. Leu d » Esserent.

425 Halifax Nose Art - Halifax KW-U, serial LL594 log book

His father’s log book, [F/Sgt. Bill Gracie] from Ken Cothliff. Halifax KW-U serial LL594 shot down.

 425 Halifax Nose Art - KW-Y

 

KW-Y, serial MZ714, built 13 May to 26 May 1944. Delivered to 425 Sqn. on 27 May 44, and flew until 2 Feb. 1945. She completed 75 trips which was two tours, ground crew then chalk marked [75 trips DFC and still going strong]. Transferred to No. 187 RAF Squadron, sent for disposal 16 Feb. 45, and scrapped 24 Feb. 1945.

425 Halifax Nose Art - KW-Y 75 trips

 

 

 425 Halifax Nose Art - KW-Z

 

KW-Z, built 27 October to 27 November 1943, delivered to No. 425 on 12 December 43. Flew 62 operations until 7 November 1944. Went to No. 1666 HCU [Heavy Conversion Unit]12 November 44, to No. 1664 HCU on 1 December 44 and for disposal 20 April 1945. Flown to 45 M.U. 28 April 45 and scrapped in mid-May 45.

Un mystère

Un commentaire…

 

Bonjour,

En parcourant le web je suis tombé sur votre blog. Je tente depuis quelques années à identifier un site de crash, celle d’un avion anglais tombé dans la nuit du 6 au 7 décembre 1942 entre  01h45 et 02h (heure française). Le document est très fiable, il s’agit d’un courrier adressé au préfet de la région Bretagne suite à un courrier envoyé au préfet du Morbihan. Le Préfet régional lui reprochant ; que la population civile de la commune de Langonnet (Morbihan)  n’aurait pas signalé la perte d’un avion Britannique.

Le préfet lui répond que le maire a alerté par téléphone vers 9 heures la brigade de gendarmerie de Gourin. A 10 heures le chef de brigade se trouvait sur les lieux et en rendait compte à l’officier  de gendarmerie de Pontivy, lequel prévenait les autorités allemandes locales. A 14 heures la feldgendarmerie était à son tour sur place suivie à 16 heures des techniciens allemands.

Le rapport de gendarmerie. Un avion s’écrase près du moulin du Bois en Langonnet. Le choc est rude : la carlingue est en partie enterrée, le moteur s’achève de se consumer à 6 m de la carcasse et les arbres environnants sont couverts de débris de toile. La gendarmerie de Gourin résume l’affaire par ces mots : amas de ferraille. Ce serait, selon eux, un bombardier bimoteur anglais. Quant aux occupants, on ne sait ce qu’ils sont devenus. Les allemands arrivent à 14 heures le lendemain.

Les débris de toile font penser à un Wellington. Il y a des pertes cette nuit là.

Wellington Z1401 de 300 Escadron a été abattu par la flak près de Boulogne sur le retour de Mannheim. L’ensemble de l’équipage a été tué.

Un Wellington du 301 Sqdn s’est écrasé à Salcombe dans le Devon (SW Angleterre).

ORB 115 (R.A.F.) Sqdn. Two losses. Wellington III VJB 513. Pilot : Flying Officer.  DIXON, MAXWELL WINTRINGHAM. Buried : MONTCORNET MILITARY CEMETERY. (Montcornet is a commune 38 kilometres north-west of Rethel).

Wellington III CBJ 898 : Pilot : Flying Officer. LARKINS, HARRY WILLIAM. Buried : RHEINBERG WAR CEMETERY. (The town of Rheinberg lies in the west of Germany approx 85 kms to the north of Koln).

 

Et ce dernier. ORB the 425 (R.A.F.) Sqdn. Loss of the Wellington III BJ 657. Pilot : Pilot Officer. CRONK, GEORGE EDWARD. RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL.

Rien de plus dans les pertes du 6 au 7 décembre 42, il n’est pas question sur les lieux du crash de corps. Dans les dossiers escape evasion, aucun nom ne ressort, dans le fichier des POW, rien non plus.

 

Un mystère !