My Life in the RCAF, “I Had A Ball” – the story of “Cap” Foster

Got distracted along the way…

RCAF No. 443 Squadron

Last edited Sunday February 1, 2015 – 8h28 EST

This will be for the time being “Cap” Foster story whose daughter shared a few minutes ago.

His story deserves much more than being just a draft version.

I will edit his story with pictures from “Cap” Foster’s private collection if any. Other pictures will come from other people’s collection who shared them with me. All pictures will be credited accordingly.

Captain Foster modified picture

Art Sager collection via Nicole Morley

Recruiting Center, Montreal                            06/16/41-06/18/41

No. 1 Manning Pool, Toronto                           06/19/41-10/10/41

No. 6 I.T.S. Toronto, Ontario                           10/10/41-12/06/41

No. 11 E.F.T.S. Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec  12/06/41-03/01/42

No. 8 S.F.T.S. Moncton, New Brunswick      03/01/42-07/14/42

No. 10 A.O.S. Chatham, New…

View original post 20,598 more words

Spitfire Redux

Dad in Spitfire-2

Collection Georges Nadon via the Nadon family

Where was this picture taken?

St. Eugene, Aylmer, England, Malta, Bagotville, France, Belgium?

Georges Nadon was posted in several places in his military career in WW II, and I intend to tell you all about it.

Every picture will have its own story to tell.

I don’t know who were the two erks hanging on the wings, but I know Georges Nadon is in the cockpit of the Spitfire Mk Vb with the code MT-M

I also know where he was stationed when this picture was taken with the information I found in his logbook.

Only two original pilots with 122 Squadron survived the war!

This is what was written on this newspaper clippings.

newspaper-clipping-george-nadon_original-copier

I know this image of the newspaper clipping is hard to read, but it’s worth straining your eyes a little just like I did to find out a true hero, and the reason why I want to pay homage to this man who, as her daughter Josette told me, was a modest hard-working man that did not talk much about the war.

To be continued on my new blog…

Transcription of the article

Temiscaming man was Spitfire pilot

Filming with Yost brings back memories

TEMISCAMING —

Today George Nadon is involved in the peaceful pursuit of ensuring the equipment at Tembec’s Temiscaming pulp mill is maintained.

For a period of seven months during 1943 he was concerned with the not so peaceful business of helping to keep the skies clear of German aircraft over Malta and still staying alive.
Today he is a millwright. During the Second World War he was a fighter pilot.

He seldom flies now, not because of any aversion to flying but he said after flying a Spitfire, piloting any smaller craft would be comparable to driving a compact after owning a Rolls Royce.

His initial training was taken at St. Eugene and Alymer and on operational training he flew Hurricanes.

As a member of 122 Royal Air Force Squadron he underwent his baptism of fire over France and the English Channel. His cousin Joffre Ribout of Mattawa, also a fighter pilot, was killed and the squadron, in one encounter, lost four men including the flight commander. Of the original 27 pilots in the squadron, only George Nadon and one other pilot remain alive.
It was during this period he received the only enemy hit to his aircraft, but he managed to limp home with a broken aileron cable, flying at a low altitude.

On Christmas Eve, 1943, he set sail from England for Halar, Malta. It was a hot spot and a sore in the German supply line to Africa. A small rocky island without much vegetation, it was pounded incessantly by German air power.

In fact the people of Malta, as a group, were awarded the George Cross for their fortitude and endurance in the face of the merciless aerial bombardment. “We had an average of about four sorties a day,” said George.

Operational headquarters for the air force were underground and the aircraft were dispersed, when on the ground, in large stone bay about two metres high. This helped prevent damage from strafing but not from direct bomb hits.

Fresh water was scarce in Malta and the effect of the German aerial thrust resulted in a shortage of food for a period of time.

Enemy attacks on shipping became so severe that food and gasoline, for a time, were brought in by submarine.

“We were allowed only two slices of bread daily and we bought eggs for ourselves at 50 cents each.

“About all we had to eat was corned beef but our cook was Maltese and he did wonders disguising the stuff.”

The pilots were billeted in vacated private homes some miles from the dispersal area and rotated on shifts for emergency alerts. There were few recreational facilities.
“We had some hectic moments in the air but it is an experience I’ll never forget and never regret.”

He said he has never been back to Malta since the war but he would enjoy seeing it again.
Upon completion of his tour of duty in Malta he was returned to England, given leave for Canada and Was married to Henriette Lauzon, at Temiscaming.

Like all the armed service people he knew, the invasion of Europe was imminent and he returned for a second tour of duty. He completed his time as one of the many giving aerial support to the allied armies moving through France and the Lowlands, to eventual victory.

George Nadon has many memories and many tales to tell of his experience during the war.
He has kept his official log book which is an action-packed story in short form. It shows 277 sorties and more than 500 hours in the air.

He doesn’t talk much about those times but he does admit he sometimes looks at his log book and the photographs of his stay in Malta.

This week he relived some of his Malta experiences in an interview with TV Ontario personality, Elwy Yost.

Girlfriends and beer…

I hope you are not glued on this blog about model airplane kit building because you might be disappointed.

george-nadon-122-squadron-1

Georges Nadon

source IMW

Above: Flight Sergeant Georges Nadon of No 122 Squadron was the focus of another photo-story taken at Hornchurch in May 1942. This time, the photographer’s brief was to record the movements of a single pilot over the course of the day. The 27-year-old French-Canadian, seen striking a pose in the cockpit of his Spitfire was asked to list his hobbies. Somewhat predictably, the response was ‘girlfriends and beer’! He survived the war after service on Malta and in northwest Europe.

I don’t have too many hobbies other than writing blogs and desperately trying to repair my B-17 G.

Girlfriends and beer are not my hobbies, and I am sure they were not Georges Nadon’s hobbies either. Maybe he said that just as a joke to relieve the tension of the airwar or of having his picture taken to immortalize him before he met his death.

george-nadon-122-squadron-1

I know that this picture was taken in May 1942, but I don’t know if it was taken before or after May 5th 1942 when his cousin Joffre Ribout flying in the same squadron was shot down over Belgium.

Joffre Ribout

Joffre Ribout

To know more about what happened on May 5th, 1942, you can click here and see how people in Belgium remembered Joffre Ribout.

As a footnote…

Georges Nadon survived 277 missions, and he died peacefully on August 26, 2007.

Just Joe III

Just Joe III and George Sutcliffe_blog

I knew all about Mosquitos, but I knew nothing about Mosquitos based in Malta, nor did I know about Eugene Gagnon, a French-Canadian, who flew 33 missions, most over Germany, from December 6th, 1944 to May 1945.

I just had to know more about that pilot.

Just Joe III is not just about someone whose name was Joe or Eugene Gagnon. In fact I don’t know if Eugene had christened his Mosquito.

Just Joe III was a De Havilland Mosquito, the Wooden Wonder.

The airman’s name in front of Just Joe III is not Joe. His name is George Sutcliffe, and he was a navigator stationed in Malta in 1942.

Nothing extraordinary about George’s life.

He was not a top scoring ace during WWII (he was a navigator remember), and I am still trying to get any relative of George to contact me on my blog about 23 Squadron.

I have been writing that blog on 23 Squadron since April 2010 when I first met Marcel Bergeron, a 84 year-old man you wanted to know more about this man.

Eugène Gagnon 1940

Eugene Gagnon

I won’t go into this story because I want to make my posts as short as possible on this blog about my forgotten hobby.

So what about Joe Just III?

Was there a Just Joe II and before that a Just Joe I?

You will have to stay glued to this blog about My Forgotten Hobby to learn more, unless you visit my other blog and discover why I have been forgetting my forgotten hobby for such a long time.