Thursday, November 5, 2015

MacRobert Hurricane Presentation - 94 Squadron - September 19, 1942

(1061468) Sgt. Norman Geoffrey Alderdice Sir Roderic: (115919) Arnold Edgar 'Blondie' Walker Sir Iain: F/Sgt. Douglas Walker

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sergeant Pilot Albert Digby Cooper - No. 108 Squadron

November 3, 1942 - Canadians in one of the busiest R.A.F. bomber squadrons in Egypt find smashing up Rommel's retreating columns a more exciting job than flying the nightly "milk route" to Tobruk. The squadron has almost lost count of tons of high explosives dropped in the past few weeks. Canadians have been the the battle from all angles including the view a crew in the Wellington captained by Sergeant Pilot Albert Digby Cooper got when it skimmed homeward only a few feet above an artillery barrage. Cooper, whose crew includes two other R.C.A.F. men, Sergeants J.K. Lawson, Thorold, and P.J. Hom, was returning from a raid on Fuka when an engine cut out. He lost height so rapidly he couldn't reach his base, and pointed the nose groundward. Skimming over the artillery barrage, he set the bomber down just inside the British front line. "One minute less flying time and we would have landed smack in the middle of No-Man's-Land." Advance British troops picked up the crew and headed them for the rear. "Toughest part was the long walk back," said Hom. "We couldn't get a transport as every darn thing was moving the other way." Since the push against Rommel began, night squadrons have taken over where day bombers left off. The usual routine for No. 108 Squadron is two trips nightly on alternate nights. (Pilot Officer Cooper was killed in a flying accident, June 16, 1944)

Monday, January 21, 2013

AUS.401676 Pilot Officer Frederick John Silk - No. 450 Squadron

Frederick John Silk Jr. was a teacher with the Victorian Education Department prior to enlisting in the RAAF, March 28, 1941. After completing his elementary flying training, he embarked at Sydney for Vancouver, aboard the Awatea August 8, 1941. He received his pilot's flying badge at No. 1 SFTS, Camp Borden January 22, 1942. Advanced flying and operational training followed in England prior to Silk's posting to the Middle East, joining No. 450 Squadron November 4, 1942. Pilot Officer Silk was a member of a formation of 11 Kittyhawk III fighter bombers (FR.125) carrying 40-pound wing bombs, airborne at 07.41 hours February 26, 1943, to bomb enemy concentrations in the Gabes area. Light, inaccurate A/A fire was experienced from the target area. Immediately after the bombing, Me.109s were sighted and attacked. Individual fights ensued, with fierce intensity, and running fights continued from Gabes to Medenin. Pilot Officer Silk failed to return from this operation and has no known grave. His father, Private Frederick John Silk was killed in action September 20, 1917, when his son was only 2 years of age. (AWM)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Oliver 'Sandy' Kallio (Part I) No. 33 Squadron

Acting Flight Lieutenant Oliver Charles Kallio R.C.A.F. (U.S.) - Distinguished Flying Cross Citation: “In October, 1942, this officer led a formation against a force of enemy dive bombers protected by a strong escort of fighters. The attack was so skilfully executed that the enemy bombers were compelled to jettison their bombs on their own lines. A few days later, in a similar sortie, a superior formation of enemy bombers was forced to release its bombs prematurely. Throughout the engagement, Flight Lieutenant Kallio, who destroyed a Junkers 87, displayed fine leadership. He has at all times set an inspiring example.”

Oliver 'Sandy' Kallio (Part II) Recalls 145/417 Squadrons & L.C. 'Lance' Wade

Squadron Leader Oliver Charles Kallio - Distinguished Service Order Citation: “Since the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross, Squadron Leader Kallio has flown on operations against the enemy with consistent success and gallantry. He has commanded a flight and two squadrons during his operational career, at all times showing fine qualities of leadership and judgement. Under his command his present squadron has produced excellent results. He has personally destroyed two enemy aircraft and damaged or destroyed much enemy road and rail transport.”