Flight Sergeant Gerard Pelletier

I found this article in the Ottawa Journal, dated September 15, 1942. I thought I would find there more information about Flight Sergeant Gerard Pelletier.

Collection Flight Sergeant Gerard Pelletier


Gerard Pelletier Believed Killed In Air Operations

A veteran of many air sweep over Germany and France, and a member of the first class of wireless air gunners to see service in England, Flight Sgt. J. Gerard Pelletier, RCAF, 24, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. S Pelletier, 914 King Edward Ave., is reported missing and believed killed in air operations overseas. An only son, he was an airman who took part in a raid on St. Nazaire last March and was severely injured on his return when he had to bail out of his flaming plane in England at a height of 800 feet. His parachute billowed open only 80 feet off the ground and both his shoulders were broken when he struck the ground. “His pilot was killed… We didn’t think he would fly much after that”, said his father, J..S. Pelletier, senior clerk at the Ottawa postal terminal, “and he said he wouldn’t. He didn’t want us to worry.” Flight. Sgt Pelletier, who attended Ottawa University, was a member of the first wireless air gunner class at No. 1 station, Toronto. He trained as a student pilot at St Catharines and went to Jarvis as an air gunner and a Sergeant Pilot. He went overseas in February of 1941 with the first contingent and was first attached to the RAF – later transferring to the RCAF. On September 7 his family in Ottawa received a cable informing them that he was missing and believed killed on September 3.


Collection Flight Sergeant Gerard Pelletier

RAF Drem
March 1942

Collection Flight Sergeant Gerard Pelletier


As a footnote

Flight Sergeant Gerard Pelletier was injured on March 26, 1942.

Only his left shoulder was broken on March 26, 1942.

Collection Flight Sergeant Gerard Pelletier

Flight Sergeant Gerard Pelletier never took part in the raid on St. Nazaire which occurred on March 28, 1942.

Nostalgia – Westmount Hobby Shop revisited

Are we too nostalgic about our hobby?

Westmount Hobby Shop was where I went in the mid 60s.

The owner was probably in his late sixties or early seventies. I don’t recall his name. I wish I could remember. It was so long ago. 

Nothing about Westmount Hobby Shop on Google except this comment left on a Website by Tony in 2003…

Welcome aboard, Pat. I grew up in Montreal, in Westmount. There used to be a good hobby store on Victoria Bl named Westmount Hobby Shop. Probably long gone now. I’ve been living in Southern California since 1959, and this is Hobby Shop Heaven. Enjoy the site; there are lots of great modeling categores here.

Tony Ryan

I bought many of my model kits there as well as documentation to go along.

And boy did I buy documentation there!

Hundreds of Profile Publications… this is one of the lot.

All of the Camouflage & Markings series…with this one.

Little did I know back in the 60s that the set was being staged for this!

Westmount Hobby Shop was on Sherbrooke Street, not Victoria Boulevard. 

Am I too nostalgic about my hobby?

What’s A Hobby Shop?

We all have those precious memories about our favorite hobby shops. Mine was Westmount Hobby Shop in Montreal when I was a teenager. As a kid it was L’Oiseau bleu in the east-end of Montreal on Ste. Catherines street.

amateur airplanes

Weird title for my blog right? Dangerously, I got to thinking tonight that it won’t be long before a generation comes along and asks that very question. You see, I am on Spring Break with my family in Branson, Missouri this week. As all my trips to any new city go, I search for any local hobby shops. My searches usually end with nothing more than a Hobby Lobby. This time, however, led me to Branson Hobby Center. An actual brick and mortar hobby shop. It’s main focus is aimed at the RC or train enthusiast but they did have some plastic to look through. I was very pleased to find two Airfix Martlets as well as an Airfix Blenheim. There were quite a few more that I wanted to purchase but I resisted. Added to the three kits were two bottles of RAF Dark Earth and an AK-47 rubber-band…

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Flight Sergeant Pelletier and Sergeant Frank Haines – Unsung heroes

Unsung heroes

You won’t find their names in history books.

On some Websites maybe…

http://www.aircrewremembered.com/haines-frank-ernest.html

How all this research started is something to be told. Negatives that we never printed sitting in a box for 75 years. I don’t have all the details for now, but I believe this story has to be shared on My Forgotten Hobby.

I never thought I would buy another model kit. The temptation was too great when Flight Gerard Pelletier’s niece shared more than 200 images from negatives she scanned last year.

I just could not resist trying to find who were on these pictures and where they were taken.

 

I believe I have a good idea starting by who was this pilot seen so many times in the collection of Flight Sergeant Gerard Pelletier.

Flight Sergeant Gerard Pelletier

Flight Sergeant Gerard Pelletier is missing since September 3, 1942. He survived on March 26, 1942 when Sergeant Frank Haines told him to bail out of the plane.

 Sergeant Frank Ernest Haines did not survived.

The Names

These are the men who paid the ultimate sacrifice that June day, so many years ago.

  • Lt. Commander John C. Waldron
  • Lt. Raymond A. Moore
  • Lt. James C. Owens, Jr.
  • Lt.(jg) George M. Campbell
  • Lt.(jg) John P. Gray
  • Lt.(jg) Jeff D. Woodson
  • Ens. William W. Abercrombie
  • Ens. William W. Creamer
  • Ens. Harold J. Ellison
  • Ens. William R. Evans
  • Ens. Henry R. Kenyon
  • Ens. Ulvert M. Moore
  • Ens. Grant W. Teats
  • Robert B. Miles, Aviation Pilot 1c
  • Horace F. Dobbs, Chief Radioman
  • Amelio Maffei, Radioman 1
  • Tom H. Pettry, Radioman 1
  • Otway D. Creasy, Jr. Radioman 2
  • Ross H. Bibb, Jr., Radioman 2
  • Darwin L. Clark, Radioman 2
  • Ronald J. Fisher, Radioman 2
  • Hollis Martin, Radioman 2
  • Bernerd P. Phelps Radioman 2
  • Aswell L. Picou, Seaman 2
  • Francis S. Polston, Seaman 2
  • Max A. Calkins, Radioman 3
  • George A. Field, Radioman 3
  • Robert K. Huntington, Radioman 3
  • William F. Sawhill, Radioman 3

 

Ensign (later Lieutenant Commander) George Henry Gay Jr. (March 8, 1917–October 21, 1994) was a TBD Devastator pilot in United States Navy Torpedo Squadron 8 operating from the USS Hornet (CV-8) in the Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II. Of the 30 VT-8 aircrew from Hornet that participated in the pivotal Battle of Midway, Ensign Gay was the sole survivor.

During the Battle of Midway Gay was the first of his squadron to take off from Hornet on June 4, 1942. Gay’s unit found the Japanese carrier fleet and launched an attack without any fighter plane support. Although he was wounded and his radioman/gunner was dying, Gay completed his torpedo attack on the Japanese aircraft carrier Kaga, but the Kaga evaded his torpedo. Rather than banking away from the ship and presenting a larger target to its anti-aircraft gunners, Gay continued in toward the carrier at low altitude. He then brought his Devastator into a tight turn as he approached the carrier’s island, and flew aft along the flight deck’s length, thus evading anti-aircraft fire. He later stated he had a “split second” thought of crashing into the Japanese aircraft he saw being serviced on the flight deck.

His plane still in relatively good condition, he decided to make for the Hornet after clearing the Japanese carrier. However, five A6M Zeros brought his aircraft down in a hail of machine gun and cannon fire, killing his rear gunner. Exiting his aircraft, and floating in the ocean, he hid under his seat cushion to avoid Japanese strafing attacks and witnessed the subsequent dive bombing attacks and sinking of three of the four Japanese aircraft carriers present.

After dark, Gay felt it was safe to inflate his life raft. He was rescued by a Navy PBY after spending over 30 hours in the water. Gay was later flown to the USS Vincennes (arriving June 28, 1942), before being transferred home. Of the squadron’s thirty pilots and radiomen, Gay was the only survivor. Gay met with Admiral Nimitz and confirmed the destruction of three Japanese carriers that he had witnessed – the Akagi, Kaga and Soryu. He was featured in the 31 August 1942 issue of Life Magazine.

Following Midway, Gay took part in the Guadalcanal Campaign with another squadron, and he later became a Navy flight instructor. He was awarded the Navy Cross, Purple Heart and Presidential Unit Citation for his actions in combat at Midway. He was also later awarded the Air Medal.

While it may seem that VT-8’s sacrifice was in vain, it would be a mistake to think that. The attack by these lumbering torpedo planes drew the Japanese Combat Air Patrol (CAP) down from a higher altitude.

VT-8 was not alone. The torpedo bombers of VT-6 (USS Enterprise) lost 10 of their 14 Devastators, and 10 of VT-3’s 12 Devastators (USS Yorktown) were shot down with no damage inflicted on the Japanese carriers, thanks in part to the abysmal performance of their Mark 13 torpedoes.

However, this left three squadron’s of dive bombers virtually a clear path to the Japanese fleet. VB-6, VS-6 (USS Enterprise) and VB-3 (USS Yorktown) attacked with fearsome results. Within minutes two Japanese carriers, Soryu and Kaga were ablaze. Soon Akagi and Hiryu would join those two at the bottom of the Pacific for a total loss of four aircraft carriers.

No, their sacrifice was not in vain. Their sacrifice opened the way for the dive bombers to strike the fatal blow for what has been called the turning point of the war in the Pacific. Who knows what might have happened if the Japanese CAP had stayed high and went after the dive bombers? As the Mark 13 torpedo proved defective, it is doubtful if the torpedo squadrons would have done much damage at all.

But they did draw the CAP down. And the dive bombers got through. The dive bombers tore the heart out of the Japanese fleet.

Remember the men of Torpedo 8, for they are men worth remembering.

 

Source here.

This is a blog worth a visit.

Torpedo Squadron 8

The U.S. Navy gives tribute to aviators and crewmen of Torpedo Squadron Eight (VT-8) who gave their lives during the June 4, 1942 battle near Midway Island in the Pacific.
Scenes show:
1) AVO Task Force, CVs, CVL underway.
2) GV “Douglas TBD Devastator” planes warm up, aviators pose on deck.
3) MS SBDs taxi, take off.
4) MS SCU Aviator pilots pose as group.
5) Sequence showing servicemen’s names, followed by a MS of them posing in front of their planes. In turn: Lieutenant Commander John Charles Waldron and Horace Franklin Dobbs; Ensign Henry R. Kenyon, Jr. and Airman 2nd Class Darwin L. Clarke; Ensign E.L. Fayle and Airman 2nd Class Aswell L. Picou; Lieutenant Raymond A. Moore and Airman 1st Class Tom Hartsel Pettry; Ensign William Robinson Evans and Airman 3rd Class Ross Eugene Bibb; Lieutenant JG Jeff Davis Woodson and Airman 2nd Class Otway David Creasy, Jr.; Ensign William W. Creamer and Seaman 2nd Class Francis Samuel Polston; Lieutenant James Charles Owens, Jr. and Airman 1st Class Amelio Maffei; Ensign Ulvert Matthew Moore and Airman 3rd Class William F. Sawhill; Lieutenant JG George Marvin Campbell and Airman 2nd Class Ronald Joseph Fisher; Ensign John Porter Gray and Airman 3rd Class Max Arthur Calkin; Ensign G.H. Gay and Airman 3rd Class George Arthur Field; Ensign Grant W. Teats and Airman 2nd Class Hollis Martin; Ensign Harold John Ellison and Carneiro; Ensign William W. Abercrombie and Aviation Pilot Robert B. Miles; Airman 3rd Class Robert K. Huntington and Airman 2nd Class Bernard P. Phelps.
6) MS Chaplain at funeral services on deck of carrier; volley squad fires guns; bugler blows taps.
7) LS Sunset at sea. SBD in flight.

Source YouTube