The Wing Commanders of Réal St-Amour

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Bill St. Pierre receiving an American DFC from Carl Andrew Spatz

McLernon Lecomte

Wing Commanders A.R. McLernon and Joe Lecomte

McLernon

Wing Commander A.R. McLernon DFC

McLERNON, W/C Aubrey Roy (C1637) – Distinguished Flying Cross – No.425 Squadron – Award effective 13 June 1944 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 1660/44 dated 4 August 1944.Born in Montreal, 1919; home there; enlisted there 29 January 1940. Educated at Lower Canada College, Trinity College and McGill University. Trained at No.1 SFTS (graduated 19 August 1940). Medal presented 8 November 1944. Flight Commander in No.434 Squadron, 15 June 1943 to 23 August 1943; shot down in raid on Berlin; evaded via Sweden.

This officer has taken part in many successful sorties and has displayed skill, gallantry and resolution of a high order. His example has been most inspiring and has contributed in a large measure to the operational efficiency of the squadron.

McLERNON, G/C Aubrey Roy, DFC (C1637) – Mention in Despatches – East Moor – Award effective 1 January 1945 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 337/45 dated 23 February 1945.

Lecomte

Wing Commander Joe Lecomte

LECOMTE, W/C Joseph Hector Lucien (C1181) – Distinguished Flying Cross – No.425 Squadron – Award effective 2 October 1944 as per London Gazette dated 13 October 1944 and AFRO 2637/44 dated 8 December 1944. Born 1917 at St.Theodore d’Acton, Quebec; home in Acton Vale, Quebec (university student). Enlisted in Montreal, 9 October 1939. Commissioned October 1939. Flying instructor before going overseas in 1943. Commanded Nos.425 and 415 Squadrons and Base Tholthorpe. Remained in postwar RCAF; commanded Camp Borden, 1949-1951, and Station Trenton, 1951-1955. Service also included NATO duties and command of Nos.423 and 432 Squadrons. Retired December 1966. Died at St.Bruno, 18 December 1975, age 59. No citation other than « completed…numerous operations against the enemy in the course of which [he has] invariably displayed the utmost fortitude, courage and devotion to duty ». DHist file 181.009 D.1633 (RG.24 Vol.20603) has recommendation dated 28 July 1944 when he had flown 21 sorties (122 hours five minutes), 15 February to 21 June 1944.

From the time of his arrival on No.425 Squadron, Wing Commander Lecomte has shown exceptional aggressiveness, courage and fine offensive spirit which have been an example and goal for all members of his squadron.

Wing Commander Lecomte tackles all his work with vigour and has spent many hours in the air on training each captain of his squadron. That this has paid dividends is evidenced by the fine operational record attained by this squadron during the past months. In June his squadron was awarded the Base Pennant for all around efficiency.

Wing Commander Le Comte’s organization of ground training, and constant and diligent attention to all phases have been of the highest order. He is untiring in his efforts to press home to all crews by personal lectures, points of airmanship which he has learned over years of experience.

In addition to ground duties, Wing Commander Lecomte has operated on 21 sorties since February 1944 over targets in Germany, France and Belgium, including Berlin, Schweinfurt, Essen and Stuttgart. His fine offensive spirit and keenness for operations has kept the morale of his squadron at a very high level.

In recognition of this officer’s devotion to duty and fine leadership I recommend the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross. [G/C J.L. Hurley, CO Station Tholthorpe].

LECOMTE, W/C Joseph Hector Lucien, DFC (C1181) – Mention in Despatches – Station Tholthorpe – Award effective 1 January 1945 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 337/45 dated 23 February 1945.

LECOMTE, G/C Joseph Hector Lucien, DFC (C1181) – Mention in Despatches – Station Tholthorpe – Award effective 1 January 1946 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 322/46 dated 29 March 1946. AFRO gives unit only as « Overseas »; unit found in McEwen Papers list of recommendations for MiD.

LECOMTE, W/C Joseph Hector Lucien, DFC (20168) – Croix de Guerre with Silver Star (France) – Award as per AFRO 485/47 dated 12 September 1947. Pilot.

Ledoux

Wing Commander Hugh Ledoux

LEDOUX, W/C Hugh Charles (C911) – Distinguished Flying Cross – No.425 Squadron – Award effective 5 July 1945 as per London Gazette dated 17 July 1945 and AFRO 1558/45 dated 5 October 1945. Born in Westmount, Quebec, 4 June 1916; home in Montreal. BA from Loyola University. Commissioned on enlistment, 7 November 1938. Awarded Queen’s Coronation Medal, 23 October 1953 (Group Captain, Air Defence Command). Postwar appointments included being CO of North Bay (June 1954 to July 1958) and SASO at No.1 Air Division, 1959.No citation other than « in recognition of gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations against the enemy ». DHist file 181.009 D.1730 (PAC RG.24 Vol.20607) has recommendation submitted December 1944:

On 7th August 1944 this officer piloted a Halifax bomber on his first daylight attack over enemy troops southwest of Caen, Normandy, France.

As the run-in on the target was being made, cancellation of bombing was given by the Master Bomber. Immediately after leaving the target, the starboard outer engine failed, A flight of seventy-five miles was made into the North Sea where the bomb load was jettisoned.

The shortage of petrol was obvious and Wing Commander Ledoux captained his aircraft to the nearest English emergency landing base. Upon reaching this base, the weather had closed in and the aircraft was redirected to Mepal aerodrome. On the landing approach, another aircraft cut in front and an overshoot was necessary.

Undaunted by these circumstances, this cool and skilful pilot by his superb airmanship executed a safe landing with only a few minutes’ petrol left, without injury to the crew, and possibly saving valuable equipment.

Wing Commander Ledoux’s outstanding devotion to duty, dogged determination and exceptional dashing courage is worthy of high praise.

Inconnu McLernon et Lecomte

unknown  pilot  on the  left

Who remembers Wing Commander Joe St. Pierre?

Who remembers Wing Commander Joe St.Pierre seen here receiving an American DFC in North Africa?

Réal St-Amour.

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19 August  1943
Collection Réal St-Amour

That picture was shared by Réal St-Amour’s daughter, and it is part of this photo album that her father kept with many many more pictures.

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Réal St-Amour wanted to remember this airman.

Why?

Tush Laviolette

collection Réal St-Amour

Qui se souvient du Wing Commander Joe St. Pierre…?

Qui se souvient du Wing Commander Joe St.Pierre que l’on voit sur cette photo alors qu’il reçoit une American DFC en Afrique du Nord?

Réal St-Amour.

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19 août 1943

collection Réal St-Amour

Cette photo du Wing Commander Joe St. Pierre recevant une American DFC a été partagée par la fille de l’adjudant Réal St-Amour de l’escadrille 425 Alouettes. Elle se trouvait dans un album photos contenant des centaines de photos inédites.

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Ces deux photos d’un sans-filiste ont piqué ma curiosité…

Réal St-Amour voulait se souvenir de « Tush » Laviolette.

Tush Laviolette

collection Réal St-Amour

Lack of Moral Fibre

C’est un extrait du témoignage de Jack McIntosh.

The challenges facing the young aircrew often seemed overwhelming, and they were highly vulnerable to physical and mental symptoms of stress. Two common denominators of stress was identified as showing up in the first five operations flown, combined with the matter-of-fact acceptance of sudden death. Jack faced this expression of his feelings toward a violent sudden death after his third operation, when two of his crew were killed in action, one wounded, and his aircraft was shot up, set on fire and he had to make a crash landing at base. The death of his two crew members was particularly hard on Jack as he knew it was inevitable, he would never live to complete his 30 operations or see Canada again.  Jack was well aware of the consequences of being convicted of the Lack of Moral Fibre designation, issued in 1941, and employed against aircrew who could not fly for reasons considered unjustified. These airmen were grounded, stripped of all rank badges in front of all squadron members in a parade square ceremony. The Canadian was then dishonorably discharged and returned to Canada disgraced to all.

Le texte est de la plume de Clarence Simonsen.

Clarence c’est lui.

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Son parcours dans la vie est assez exceptionnel, mais là n’est pas le propos de ce billet.

La lecture de cet extrait nous montre qu’il valait mieux aller mourir que de passer pour un lâche.

Clarence est un autre de mes collaborateurs sur mes autres blogues. C’est le hasard qui l’a mis sur ma route. Il cherchait depuis 1985 une preuve que ceci était sur des avions de l’escadrille 128 (F) de la RCAF.

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 Il l’a trouvé sur mon blogue qui rend hommage à cette escadrille.

fred-meatball-meadwell

Je ne vous parlerai  pas de cette escadrille, car ce n’est pas le propos de ce billet.

Lack of Moral Fibre…

Cela en dit long à propos du courage de Jean-Paul Michaud et de tous les autres aviateurs de qui j’ai parlé sur ce blogue depuis 2010.

Ce diaporama nécessite JavaScript.

Faire plaisir avant tout…

J’écris pour ça finalement…

Mettre un petit sourire dans vos souvenirs.

Je sais que monsieur Corbeil, qui est  un passionné de généalogie comme moi, va aimer ceci.

1937-10-09 - mariage

La Patrie 1943-10-25_03La Patrie 1943-10-25_02

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La Patrie 1944-02-07_05

Joseph Menard William St-Pierre, premier commandant du 425, fils d’Adolphe St-Pierre et de Marguerite Ménard.  Sa mère Marguerite est née au Michigan, son père Adolphe au Canada, probablement au Québec. La recherche sur Jos. St-Pierre est difficile car il est né à Chicago, est venu au Québec en 1931 (probablement avec ses parents), a vécu à Toronto après la guerre, a étudié à Harvard, a vécu en République Dominicaine et est décédé aux U.S.A. en 1982.

Wing Commander Joe St. Pierre

Jean-Paul Corbeil a bien connu le Wing Commander St. Pierre.

 

C’était le commandant de l’escadrille Les Alouettes le 4 mars 1943.

Le Wellington Mark III code KW-B n’est pas revenu de mission sur Hambourg.

Selon Jean-Paul Corbeil cet officier méritait amplement une DFC.

DFC

 

Joe St. Pierre était originaire de Detroit. Il était un Américain qui s’était enrôlé dans la RCAF. Il ne parlait pas français.

Il n’avait donc pu dire ceci. Le KW-B n’est pas revenu…

Un petit détail qui a peu d’importance dans la vie d’Albert Dugal et dans sa mort la nuit du 3 au 4 mars 1943…