How was the weather at Torbay during WWII?

It was like this…

David McKenzie is telling his experience during his stay at Torbay. (click here for the source)

***

My early experience flying fighters (Hawker Hurricanes) was initiated off the east coast of Newfoundland.

We flew from Torbay Airfield near St. John’s. These aircraft were equipped with two 250 pound depth charges slung under each wing in addition to our four 303 machine guns.

Ross Warnes, from Toronto

Collection Walter Neil Dove

Our responsibility was to provide coastal patrols searching for German submarines which were known to frequent the coves of Newfoundland and Cape Breton Island.

 128 Squadron Hurricanes over Newfoundland
Collection Walter Neil Dove

These submarines were sinking the iron-ore laden cargo ships stationed dockside at Bell Island in Conception Bay. Our second task was to provide a deterrent to the battleship Tirpitz (which carried a spotter aircraft) in the event she approached our shores looking to do surveillance and sink allied vessels.

We flew patrols in a single engine aircraft and covered areas as far as 60 miles to sea. We only had compasses and our innate navigating instincts to guide us. The radios only provided contact between each other and the base. They were not “very high frequency.”

At time we would return to Torbay, exhausted from the day’s sojourn, only to find the runway thick with fog. Our limited range did not allow us to land elsewhere.

Adverse conditions and in adequate equipment made for some high adrenaline landings.

I suppose that is what is meant by “… coming in on a wing and a prayer.”

We did both.

***

End of the experience.

Now some more pictures… from Walter Neil Dove’s collection

 

Red the Mascot

Collection Walter Neil Dove

 

Red the Mascot

Collection Walter Neil Dove

 

A view of Torbay airfield

Collection Walter Neil Dove

 

Proof of the weather at RCAF Torbay Station
Collection Walter Neil Dove

Jug, Ross and Gibby

Collection Walter Neil Dove

Walter Dove, George Manninen and Ralph Warring 

Collection Walter Neil Dove

Bob McCracken

Collection Walter Neil Dove

Lots of snow…
Collection Walter Neil Dove

The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.

— Agatha Christie

True also for writing blogs…

— Pierre Lagacé

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