When Walter Neil Dove left Torbay, he had his comrades-in-arms sign his logbook.

Collection Walter Neil Dove

Precious information.

D. B. Riddell, Manitoulin Island, J 38938

Ross Warnes, Toronto, Ontario

Bob McCracken, Lakefield, Ontario, J 28117, POW

WR Gibbs, Peterborough, Ontario +

Don Cleghorn, J 23864, Fredericton, New-Brunswick, POW

Robert Scott C23854, Oakland, California

Squadron Leader A.E.L Cannon, Quebec

Bob Gregory, Ottawa, Ontario

J.L Liggett, Toronto

Mahler, J 28175 (CM) Galt, Ontario

Don Elsley, Essex, Ontario

Don McMillan J 27214, Toronto, Ontario

Ralph Warring, Cornwall, Ontario

Bill Gould F/O J 11554, Fredericton, New-Brunswick

Mickey Harrison, Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan,  J 28164

Harry D Barnes, C-10388, Los Angeles, California

Dave “Jug” Dack, Calgary, Alberta

George Manninen, Toronto, Ontario

M M Wood, c/o Royal Bank, Toronto

Ron Beasley, Ottawa, Ontario +

F O Cloutier, Ottawa +

Bruce? A.  ?, J 18538, RCAF, 383 Argyle St. Renfrew, Ontario



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

Fred “Meatball” Meadwell (1922-2003)

Fred “Meatball” Meadwell was in Walter Neil Dove’s photo album.

Collection Walter Neil Dove

Fred Meadwell survived the war and he had a family and kids.

Gibby did not survive  WWII.

Meatball that’s what Walter Neil Dove called him…

I surely would like to know how other pilots were calling Walter Neil Dove.



Frederick Charles Meadwell passed away peacefully in his sleep on October 2, 2003 at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg, MB. His family was by his side for his final days. He will remembered always by his wife Shirley; his daughter Jane; and his sons, Eric, Ken and Hudson; their partners, Ted, Tara, Alan and Anna; and his grandchildren, Lindsay, Andrew, Michael, Emily, Liam, Logan, Callum; and special friend Kyle.

Fred was born May 29, 1922 in Sioux Lookout, ON, the son of Frederick Charles Meadwell Senior and Elsie Gordon Brodie. Predeceased by his brothers, Dick and Jack, he is mourned by his sister Ann and brothers, Ken and Alec. In November 1950 in Kenora, ON, Shirley and Fred were married, attended by Kathy and Reg Hibbert. They began their life together in Sioux Lookout, where Fred built a house overlooking Abram Lake. A strong and proud man, selfless, courageous and determined in life, Fred loved deeply the place where he grew up and started his family – the Sioux Lookout area. He spent countless days in the bush and especially on the lakes, whether with his many friends in Sioux Lookout or with his family.

Fred served as a fighter pilot in the RCAF during the Second World War, returning to Sioux Lookout in 1945. After working for the CNR, he joined the Canadian Postal Service in 1949. He moved up the ranks rapidly, serving as Postmaster in Sioux Lookout, Fort Frances, Portage La Prairie and Fort William, and as Plant Manager of the Winnipeg Post Office. Fred retired in 1978.

Early in his retirement, the federal government appointed him senior administrative officer for the Sports Select Lottery Foundation. In 1984, Fred began his true retirement. With Shirley, Fred enjoyed gardening, home renovation and hosting family dinners. His specialty was summer barbecues with copious amounts of beef tenderloin that delighted everyone who received leftovers.

Among Freds creative achievements, it was hard not to be enthralled by his famous “looney” banks or his skillfully crafted stained glass pieces. In addition to his love of family and of the outdoors, Fred was a committed church-goer in his early years and served in various capacities with the Anglican church in those communities where he lived, including being Rectors Warden at St. Martin-in-the Fields in Winnipeg. The family wishes to thank the compassionate emergency staff at St. Boniface Hospital and the Health Sciences Centre. We express our appreciation also to Dr. Kaufmann, and Ms. McDiarmid and the GA5 neurology staff at the Health Sciences Centre.

A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, October 8, at 1:00 p.m. at Cropo Funeral Chapel, 1442 Main St, with The Right Rev. Canon William Oakley. According to Freds wishes, cremation will take place. Interment to follow at St. Andrews on the Red at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family would welcome donations in Freds name to the War Amps CHAMP program for child amputees (1-800-250-3030).

Semper floreat  CROPO FUNERAL CHAPEL 586-8044

As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on October 05, 2003

It is clear we have the same person.

Sergeant Fred “Meatball” Meadwell from Sioux Lookout.