Searching for North American Harvard 2891 – Redux

If you’re missing some background information on this story that started late in December 2013 when someone commented on this blog which is a spin-off blog from RCAF 403 Squadron.

This is the original post.

Searching for North American Harvard 2891

That’s the plane that went missing according to the logbook.

Réjeanne had it!

She did not tell me.

She took this with her iPad.

logbook Normand Roy

Now we have the plane and the serial number.

Harvard 2891

But we have much more since yesterday.

A reader whose grandfather was also with 128 Squadron.

 Chuck Redeker

Charles Redeker

My grandfather was involved in the search for P/O Roy and Sgt. Whelan. Based on his log book he had actually flown with P/O Roy about a week before he went missing. Roy flew co-pilot to Dartmouth NS and back to Sydney which took them 2hr 50min according to the log book entry.

My grandfather flew search missions on May 18th, 19th x2, and 20th x2. Based on the notes it looks like Roy and Whelan went down in a HARVARD aircraft. I can scan you the pages from the log book that pertain to Roy and Whelan if you would like. I am working on scanning his entire log book and share the 128 Squadron pages with you to include in your blog. I did see the pictures of him on the blog.

C. R. Redeker

Charles Redeker

He joined the squadron on July 22, 1942, he left Sydney in January 1943 for about 6 weeks to take his Pilot Armament Officers Course in Mountain View, Ontario. He rejoined the squadron in February and in June 1943 was posted to Torbay, Newfoundland with the Squadron. He stayed in Torbay until March 1944 when he was transferred to No. 36 O.T.U in Greenwood NS prior to shipping off to England in July 1944 to later join the 418.

During his time in the 128 he logged time in the following aircraft types:

HARVARD
HURRICANE
HURRICANE XII
HARVARD II B

He logged a total time of 351:45 flying with the 128.

For more on Charles Redeker, click here.

I thought the name sounded familiar.

End of the original post

I saw Réjeanne’s father’s logbook Saturday.

She offered that I take it with me to scan it. I much prefer to scan it later because there was little information about 128 Squadron in it. I much prefer to write about Sgt. Whelan from now on just in case someone find this blog and write a comment like Réjeanne did in December 2013.

RAF Station Charlottetown

I am learning new things as I am reading Jean Baptiste Normand Roy’s file.

I came across this…

No. 31 GRS Charlottetown. He was posted there.

No idea what was this training school for!

So I got curious.

 

RAF Station Charlottetown (Wikipedia)

Whereas the Royal Canadian Air Force was operating its airfield at RCAF Station Summerside and another further to the west at RCAF Station Mount Pleasant, the Charlottetown airfield was to be operated by the Royal Air Force (RAF). Construction was completed and the RAF took over the facility on 15 June 1941, naming it RAF Station Charlottetown.

The BCATP school located at RAF Station Charlottetown was No. 31 General Reconnaissance School (GRS), which flew the Avro Anson. The RAF’s No. 32 Air Navigation School was also located at the airfield until it merged with the RCAF’s No. 2 Air Navigation School in 1944. Like all RAF training facilities in Canada at the time, RAF Station Charlottetown was subject to Royal Canadian Air Force operational and administrative control. RAF stations in Canada during the war were extensions of the British Commonwealth Training Plan until they were officially incorporated into the BCATP in 1942.

 

Being curious is what led me to meet Jean Baptiste Normand Roy’s daughter.

I won’t post any more articles about that pilot. I have met her daughter last Saturday and I showed her all the files I got from Archives Canada. I explained a few things. She showed me personal pictures she had but none were taken during the war.  She showed me the logbook that I will scan later when I meet her again.

One thing was interesting in her father’s logbook.

He flew once with Chuck Redeker on a search party.

Chuck Redeker

Chuck Redeker in Torbay (collection Walter Neil Dove via Greg Bell)

I will have to dig up that story once I have scanned the whole logbook.

If you want to share some information, feel free to contact me using this form.

I am not in this for the money.

My visit – Ma visite

I visited Jean Baptiste Normand Roy’s little girl yesterday.

jean-baptiste-normand-roy

She was born 4 months after her father went missing on May 17th, 1943.

She is now a little older and she looks like her father.

Jean Baptiste Normand Roy never saw her little girl. While reading his file I know he would have been a great father.

One day I will tell you more about my meeting with Réjeanne, but not now. I told her that someone else might want to know more about the other pilot who also went missing.

 

 

J’ai visité hier la petite fille de Jean Baptiste Normand Roy.

jean-baptiste-normand-roy

Elle est née 4 mois après la disparation de son père le 17 mai 1943.

Elle est maintenant un peu plus âgée et elle ressemble à son père.

Jean Baptiste Normand Roy n’a jamais vu sa petite fille. Pendant que je lisais une page du document d’archives sur la personnalité de son père, je savais qu’il aurait été un père extraordinaire.

Un jour j’écrirai plus longuement sur ma rencontre avec Réjeanne, mais pas maintenant. Je lui ai dit que quelqu’un d’autre aimerait peut-être en savoir plus sur l’autre pilote qui est aussi disparu le 17 mai 1943.

In search of… – Redux

This is how this search began in December 2013.

I was asking if you had any information about these two airmen who lost their lives on May 17, 1943?

The daughter of one airman was looking for information about her father.

She had written this comment in French.

Au sujet de J B N Roy et le Sgt Whelan.  Disparus le 17 mai 1943.
Leur dernier vol et où? et ce qu’ils ont fait pour les retrouver? Je suis sa fille née le 6 septembre 1943.
Ma mère Marie est décédée j’avais 2 ans.
Comme les Acadiens parlent peu…. je n’ai pas su grand chose!  
SOS Heureuse de pouvoir vous parler. (je suis nouvellement sur Internet).
J’ai son tableau de bord … marqué….. Missing  le 17 mai 1943.
Ils faisaient partie de la division 128 Sqdn.

I translated it.

About J B N Roy and Sgt Whelan.  Missing on May 17, 1943.
When was their last flight and where? What did they do to find them.? I am her daughter born on September 6, 1943.
Ma mother Marie died when I was 2 years old.
Since Acadians don’t talk that much…. I did not learn a lot!  
SOS Glad to talk with you. (I am new with the Internet).
I have his “tableau de bord” … indicating….. Missing  May 17, 1943.
They were with 128 Squadron.

Click here to see his file on CVWM.

In memory of
Flying Officer
Jean Baptiste Normand Roy
who died on May 17, 1943

Military Service:

Service Number: J/20221

Age: 29
Force: Air Force
Unit:Royal Canadian Air Force
Division: 128 Sqdn.

Additional Information:

Son of Gaudiose and Albina Roy. Adopted son of Mr. and Mrs. Francis Landry, of Pointe-Verte, New Brunswick; husband of Marie Roy, of Pointe-Verte.

Cemetery: OTTAWA MEMORIAL; Ontario, Canada
Grave Reference:Panel 2. Column 3.
The other airman is Flight Sergeant John Edward Whelan.

In memory of
Flight Sergeant
John Edward Whelan
who died on May 17, 1943

Military Service:

Service Number: R/115316
Age: 24
Force: Air Force
Unit: Royal Canadian Air Force
Division: 128 Sqdn.

Additional Information:

Son of Joseph and Margaret Whelan; husband of Marjorie Whelan, of Hearst, Ontario.

Cemetery: OTTAWA MEMORIAL; Ontario, Canada
Grave Reference: Panel 2. Column 5.
Click here to see his file on CVWM.
This was the contact form to use to reach me.

You can contact me using this contact form because I am also going to write about Sgt John Edward Whelan on this blog which is about 128 (F) Squadron.
I also received his service record file from Archives Canada.

Jean Baptiste Normand Roy – Redux

Jean Baptiste Normand Roy has been missing since May 17, 1943. I would have wished to pay homage to him on that day, but I was waiting for his service record file from Archives Canada.

The wait is over.

In memory of
Flying Officer
Jean Baptiste Normand Roy
May 17, 1943

Military Service:

Service Number: J/20221
Age: 29
Force: Air Force
Unit: Royal Canadian Air Force
Division:128 Sqdn.

Additional Information:

Son of Gaudiose and Albina Roy. Adopted son of Mr. and Mrs. Francis Landry, of Pointe-Verte, New Brunswick; husband of Marie Roy, of Pointe-Verte.

Cemetery: OTTAWA MEMORIAL; Ontario, Canada
Grave Reference:Panel 2. Column 3.

Commemorated on Page 209 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance.

Jean Baptiste Normand Roy – Redux

The file on Jean Baptiste Normand Roy has arrived…

À la mémoire du
Lieutenant d’aviation
Jean Baptiste Normand Roy
décédé le 17 mai 1943

Service militaire :

Numéro matricule : J/20221
Âge :29
Force :Aviation militaire
Unité :Aviation royale du Canada
Division :128 Sqdn.

Renseignements additionnels :

Fils de Gaudiose et Albina Roy. Fils adoptif de M. et Mme Francis Landry, de Pointe-Verte, Nouveau-Brunswick. Époux de Marie Roy, de Pointe-Verte.

Cimetière :
MÉMORIAL D’OTTAWA; Ontario, Canada
Informations sur la sépulture :
Panel 2. Column 3.

Information found on a forum

One of my readers sent me this information.

This is an archived page from the older DCBoard Forum of RAF Commands. 

Someone whose name is Floyd Williston posted a message on a forum in 2005 about Harvard 2891.

Harvard 2891/May 17, 1943

Harvard 2891/May 17, 1943
Author: Floyd Williston (Guest)
Time Stamp:  07:30:15 14 November 2005
Post: P/O Jean BN Roy (J20221) and F/Sgt.John E. Whelan were killed in the crash of Harvard 2891 near Sydney, Nova Scotia, on May 17/1943. Does anyone know the cause of the crash? (Sq. 128 Fighter Squadron)?

RE: Harvard 2891/May 17, 1943
Author: Ken MacLean (Guest)
Time Stamp:  23:54:59 14 November 2005
Post: Floyd,

Both are commemorated on the Ottawa Memorial-no known grave. Did this a/c crash at sea, or did it crash on land, wreck not yet discovered? Not likely that a land crash in the vicinity of Sydney would remain undiscovered to this day.

Cheers, Ken

RE: Harvard 2891/May 17, 1943
Author: Floyd Williston (Guest)
Time Stamp:
02:17:26 15 November 2005
Post:
Thanks Ken. The aircraft likely went into the sea off Scateria Island(Cape Breton).

(Floyd)


RE: Harvard 2891/May 17, 1943
Author: Chris Charland (Guest)
Time Stamp:  04:45:40 15 November 2005
Post:
Hi Floyd

It was indeed a Harvard Mk. II of No. 128 ‘Dragon’ (F) Squadron.

Sergeant Whelan was the safety pilot. Pilot Officer Roy was under the hood when he took 2891 up for some authorized instrument flying training in the local area. It was to be a 45 minute flight. At 10:50 hours after the first takeoff, the pair landed and exchanged positions and got airborne again, never to be seen again. The accident is listed as having either being reported or having occurred at 13:00 hours.

The squadron had not changed the R/T to a longer range and failed to service the compass for at least three months. Additionally, there were no deviation cards and the compass log was missing. There were other irregularities cited as well.

Pilot Officer J. B. N. Roy’s flying hours were:

Instrument – 42
Night – 20
Dual on Type – 73
Solo on Type – 167
Total Dual – 116
Total Solo – 262

Sergeant J. E. Whelan’s flying hours were:

Instrument – 47
Night – 21
Dual on Type – 60
Solo on Type – 171
Total Dual – 91
Total Solo – 296

Cheers…Chris


RE: Harvard 2891/May 17, 1943
Author: Floyd Williston (Guest)
Time Stamp: 15:59:43 15 November 2005
Post:

Thanks Chris.

P/O Roy apparently also served in Malta or at least over Sicily and was thought to have been with Beurling at some point. There is a David Roy who flew in Malta but according to speculation by Roy’s daughter, her father was shot down at least once.

There was also some problem about getting his files from Ottawa but that may now be resolved.

And, co-incidental with the reporting of the aircraft being missing were reports of a submarine spotted off Scateria Island (Cape Breton). I was just in Cape Breton and this mystery has been discussed for many years. Did the Harvard (unarmed) spot the sub and then return (as you indicated) to base to report it? Did they then play the vigilante with Whalen at the wheel and were blown out of the air by the sub? Only parts of the fuselage and a Mae West were apparently found.

(Floyd)


RE: Harvard 2891/May 17, 1943
Author: Floyd Williston (Guest)
Time Stamp:  23:47:54 17 November 2005
Post: Were Harvards equipped with cine-cameras? There might be footage somewhere.

(Floyd)