Inévitable que les chemins se croisent depuis que j’ai commencé à écrire sur une escadrille de la RCAF.
Pierre Gauthier parlait dans un document de 9 pages d’un aviateur. Cet aviateur était dans l’équipage de Brochu.
Deux noms sans visage avant l’album photos de Réal St-Amour.
Voici la citation retrouvée sur le site Airforce.ca à propos de Claude Bourassa.
On voit bien qu’on parle du même bomb aimer Bourassa dont parlait Pierre Gauthier.
Les mitrailleurs centre et arrière sur qui pouvait dépendre la survivance de l’équipage n’oubliaient pas le moindre détail dans la parfaite efficacité de leurs tourelles. Entre leurs mains reposait l’armement défensif de l’avion et notre réponse à la chasse ennemie. Ce soir-là nous avions à la position du ventre (mitrailleur) le F/O Bourassa, bombardier, mais qui pour cette mission remplissait cette fonction particulière. Cette position avait comme armement une pièce de .5 et était plus nuisible à l’ennemi qu’efficace. Tout ceci terminé il ne nous restait plus qu’à attendre le moment de briefing. Chacun restait le possesseur de ses pensées et les réactions variaient de l’un à l’autre mais tous à leur façon dissimulait leur anxiété intérieure, car l’ignorance de l’objectif apportait à chacun sa forme d’angoisse, même chez les braves.
La citation maintenant…
BOURASSA, F/L Joseph Alphonse Claude (J86211)
– Distinguished Flying Cross
– No.425 Squadron
– Award effective 5 February 1945 as per London Gazette dated 16 February 1945 and AFRO 563/45 dated 29 March 1945.
Born December 1918. Home in Trois Rivieres, Quebec; enlisted Montreal 27 October 1941 and posted to No.4 Manning Depot. To No.5 Manning Depot, 27 January 1942. To No.4 BGS, 27 February 1942 (guard). To No.3 ITS, 11 April 1942; graduated and promoted LAC, 6 June 1942 but not posted to No.11 EFTS until 4 July 1942; may have graduated 4 September 1942 but not posted to No.13 SFTS until 25 September 1942; ceased training and posted to No.1 Composite Training School, 30 October 1942; to No.1 BGS, 4 December 1942; graduated 5 March 1943 and posted to No.1 AOS; graduated and promoted Sergeant, 16 April 1943.
To “Y” Depot, 30 April 1943.
To RAF overseas, 21 May 1943. Promoted Flight Sergeant, 16 October 1943. Commissioned 18 April 1944. Promoted Flying Officer and Flight Lieutenant, 19 September 1944. Repatriated 13 June 1945. To Debert for Tiger Force, 15 June 1945. To Halifax, 27 September 1945. Retired 2 October 1945.
Award presented in Montreal, 27 November 1949. Photos PL-32913 (ex UK-15096) and PL-32915 (ex UK-15098), dated 20 September 1944 taken at Lincoln Field’s Inn showing (front row) P/O Claude Bourassa (Trois Rivieres), Corporal Walter Sullivan (Valleyfield), and S/L Gerry Philbin, DFC (Valleyfield); standing behind are P/O Gerald Goudreau (Quebec City), P/O Leo Gaudry (Winnipeg) and Warrant Officer Elarie Pressault (Hawksbury, Ontario).
RCAF photo PL-33973 (ex UK-16326 dated 9 November 1944) shows wedding of WO J.J. Deslauriers and Miss Mary Cannon; her father, P. Cannon is present; also best man, F/L Claude Bourassa.
Throughout his tour of operations Flight Lieutenant Bourassa has shown outstanding courage, initiative and devotion to duty. As bomb aimer he has participated in many sorties against such strongly defended targets as Berlin, Frankfurt and Essen. In February 1944 his aircraft was detailed to attack Schweinfurt. Shortly before reaching the target the flight engineer became unconscious owing to lack of oxygen. Flight Lieutenant Bourassa rendered first aid and took over the flight engineer\’s duties. By his resourcefulness and skill he materially contributed to the successful completion of this mission.
The original recommendation (DHH file 181.009 D.1730, Library and Archives Canada RG.24 Volume 20607) was submitted 18 November1944 by W/C Hugh Ledoux when he had flown 33 sorties (173 hours 45 minutes), as follows:
On February 24th, 1944, Flight Lieutenant Bourassa was Bomb Aimer of a Halifax detailed to make a night attack on Schweinfurt. Shortly before reaching the target, the Captain instructed him to check on the Flight Engineer when after repeated calls, kept absolutely silent over the intercommunication.
Upon reaching his position, this officer found the Flight Engineer unconscious due to lack of oxygen. He was removed from his seat and taken to the rest position where an emergency oxygen bottle was immediately used to revive him. Flight Lieutenant Bourassa returned to the Engineer’s position and took over his duties. On checking the gauges, he found that the port petrol tank was just about dry and indications were that it could not have held for more than a few minutes. He, therefore, immediately made the correct tank changes. The target was reached on time and bombed accurately and the return journey was made without any further incident.
Throughout his nearly completed tour of operations, this outstanding Bomb Aimer and Leader of his Section displayed exceptional skill and initiative in locating and attacking difficult targets. Undeterred by heavy ground and enemy fighter opposition, his objective included such heavily defended targets as Stuttgart, which he attacked four times, Frankfurt, Berlin, Karlsruhe and also Essen.
His quiet determination, efficiency and devotion to duty have set a magnificent example to all, while his conduct invariably has been worthy of the highest praise. This officer, for his keenness, outstanding and unfailing courage and his quality as an ideal leader of men greatly deserves my recommendation for the immediate award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.
The sortie list was as follows:
20 February 1944 – Stuttgart (7.35)
24 February 1944 – Schweinfurt (7.55)
1 March 1944 – Stuttgart (9.15)
7 March 1944 – Le Mans (5.25)
F/Sgt L. Brochu returned early as they were burning too much fuel.
13 March 1944 – Le Mans (4.50)
15 March 1944 – Stuttgart (7.30)
18 March 1944 – Frankfurt (5.20)
22 March 1944 – Frankfurt (6.10)
24 March 1944 – Berlin (6.55)
26 March 1944 – Essen (4.45)
30 March 1944 – Nuremburg (8.25)
24 April 1944 – Karksruhe (7.20)
26 April 1944 – Essen (4.45)
27 April 1944 – Aulnoye (4.20)
30 April 1944 – Somain (4.40)
1 May 1944 – St. Ghislain (4.15)
P/O L. Brochu had the port outer go u/s outbound. They bombed the target and returned safely to base on 3 engines.
7 May 1944 – St. Valery (3.25)
9 May 1944 – Calais (3.25)
12 May 1944 – Louvain (4.35)
19 May 1944 – Moulier (4.10)
27 May 1944 – Bourg Leopold (3.50)
P/O L. Brochu landed at Chedburgh on return.
14 June 1944 – St. Pol (4.00)
16 June 1944 – Sautrecourt (4.00)
21 June 1944 – St. Martin (4.05)
23 June 1944 – Bientques (4.25)
27 June 1944 – Foret d’Eary (4.55)
3 July 1944 – Bientques (4.25)
5 July 1944 – Biennais (3.45)
7 July 1944 – Caen (4.15)
12 July 1944 – Thiverny (4.10)
15 July 1944 – Nucourt (4.45)
24 July 1944 – Ferfay (4.20)
25 July 1944 – Stuttgart (7.50)
RCAF photo PL-42557 dated 15 March 1945 has the following caption: “F/L Claude Bourassa, DFC of Three Rivers, Quebec (in the centre of this photo) holds the trophy won by the bombing section of the Alouette Squadron at RCAF Bomber Group for the month of January 1945. He hands around cigarettes to the groundcrew staff from the silver box presented to the squadron. The groundcrew had their share in winning this trophy and they are proud of it.”
Voici trouvées sur le site de Richard Koval, quelques missions effectuées avec l’équipage du pilote Brochu.
Brochu returned early as they were burning too much fuel. 6 crews from 426 squadron bombed the target, all others were sent home by the master bomber. F/Lt F. Shedd, F/Sgt N.
Brochu had the port outer go u/s outbound. They bombed the target and returned safely to base on 3 engines. F/O M. Strange from 427 Squadron was attacked by a Nightfighter, there
Squadron was attacked by an enemy aircraft, it was claimed destroyed. P/O L. Brochu landed at Chedburgh on return. P/O L. Terroux landed at Desborough on return. W/O2 J. Jean, F/
Brochu from 425 squadron was hit by flak, was not serious. P/O P. Hache was attacked by a twin engine enemy aircraft, there was no claim or damage. F/Lt. A. MacDonald, RCAF and
Des photos maintenant…
Pour les photos de Bourassa, il faudra attendre et aller sur RCAF 425 les Alouettes II, la suite de ce blogue…