overcast cast a gloom on operational activity for the whole day
accompanied by spasmodic light drizzles. The only flying that we
did consisted of three A&E tests. Our pilot strength
increased to 25 on the posting of J4910 F/L M.J. Whelan from 83
G.S.U. This pilot only arrived from Canada only last September
where he was with 139 Squadron on the west coast and has 1300:00
flying hours under his belt.
approximately 0200 hours the ack-ack boys interrupted quite a
few slumbers, presumably on bandits, this followed up by the
audible but distant rumble of heavy artillery. The RAF Works
Flight has been plugging leisurely on some of our aircraft bays
that were pretty well swamped due to the wet weather. They are
being increased in size as well so the aircraft can be turned
right around by the pilots instead of having this done by
groundcrews. The RAF types have also been putting in consistent
work digging ditches to drain away the water, throughout the
airfield and fixing up roads which had really gone for a "burton"
in the last month.
of the pilots went out on a recce and brought back some
additional furniture for the Mess and our dispersal. We were
quite happy to see W/C Grant, DFC
(1) back from his leave in Canada,
who is to relieve S/L Hal Gooding, who was W/C Operations, for
duties with his own Squadron.
pilots were on runway readiness all afternoon until after sunset
and had to taxi their aircraft back to dispersal in the
darkness. The night brought on quite a few buzz bombs over the
Airfield, heading west. We still have one out of 18 aircraft
(1) Grant, Frank
George (J5056) Wing Commander. DSO,DFC
Born at North Sydney, Nova Scotia, 10 August 1918. Enlisted in
Calgary, 11 October 1940. Trained at No.1 ITS (graduated 9
December 1940), No.1 EFTS (graduated 28 January 1941), and No.1
SFTS (graduated 28 April 1941). Commissioned on latter date;
F/O 30 April 1942; F/L 1 September 1942, S/L 1 May 1943, W/C 14
October 1944. Served in Aleutians with No.118 Squadron, went
overseas with it when it became No.438, later becoming W/C
(Flying) of No.143 Wing. Damaged a FW.190 northwest of Aachen,
24 December 1944. See photo PL-40906 (in flying gear in front
of Typhoon). Known
awards: DSO, DFC, FCG.ea, VK Vliegerkruis Flying Cross
Guerre with Silver Star (France).
Information provided by
The Air Force Association of Canada and Hugh A. Halliday who
is the author of the
RCAF Personnel - Honours & Awards - 1939-1949 which can be
found on the Air Force Association of Canada Website. Used with
permission and sincere gratitude
To go for a Burton
implies that someone has been killed or something that is completely ruined. World
War Two pilots used this expression when colleagues did not
return from missions; it seemed less permanent than saying that
their fellow pilots had been believed killed. It is supposed to refer to Burton
Ale, a strong beer brewed at the time, with the implication that
their friends had only popped out for a drink. However the
phrase is recorded in the 15th century as a euphemism for
"to die". The origin here is completely lost.
of Work Carried Out by
J20602 F/O R.H. Laurence, J29881 F/O W.G.
C20089 F/L M. Harrison in
439 Squadron Operations Record Book
Type & Number
of Sortie or Flight
operations were carried out on this date.
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