Jug and Walter, comrades-in-arms – update

His granddaughter  just left a comment…

My Grandpa was David “Jug” Dack and I am so sorry I am just finding this blog! I was wondering if you were still keeping up with it? Can I look for some more information or photos for you?

Original  post

Jug Dack was also a pilot stationed at Torbay. Jug and Walter are seen together in the photo album of Flight Lieutenant Walter Neil Dove.

I wrote an article about him on my other blog. Maybe someday someone will recognise him and write me like the son of Captain Foster did…

What an amazing blog and what a wonderful tribute to those who served in 403 squadron. I am Cap’s youngest son and can’t thank you and Greg enough for putting this together.

I can answer your question as to whether or not Cap was Eugene Gagnon’s flight instructor unfortunately he was not, I just searched through my father’s  log books from his time at 6 SFTS in Dunnville and Eugene’s name was not there. Too bad because that would have been so very cool.

I look forward to learning more about the history of the Wolf Squadron and once again thank you so much for your efforts.

Greg wrote me about Jug…

Dave “Jug” Dack was with my grandpa pretty much everywhere. Torbay and England area. Have you put up a profile? I’d like to show my Grandma, when I see her next, she remembers him the best.

Greg

Walter and his wife Elizabeth are seen with another pilot, Dave Dack and his wife Vera.

It was taken in June 1944 in Hotel Montreal the summer before Walter went overseas where he flew 74 missions on Spitfires.

David Dack was born in Calgary, Alberta, 9 May 1920. He enlisted in the RCAF in June 1941 and started his training at no. 2 ITS Regina then trained at No. 19 EFTS Virden. He graduated at No. 2 SFTS Uplands in April 1942.

He went to “Y” Depot, in Halifax, while waiting for his posting in England. He was finally posted with RCAF No. 128 in Sydney, Nova-Scotia.  In March 1944, he was transfered to Torbay before going to England in June. He was sent to No. 61 O.T.U. in August for conversion on Spitire. He was posted after with 83 Group then with 401 Squadron on 1 December as a Flying Officer. He stayed with that squadron until the end of the war. He was then posted with 411 Squadron then 416 Squadron in July. He came back to Canada in December and left the RCAF in January 1946.

Nothing much on him on the Internet. I am posting this picture of Jug at Torbay.

He is not alone as we can see.

Walter Neil Dove wrote in the back all the names.

A Time to Remember Gibby

I got a few comment from readers who are related to Gibby.

One from Patricia…

This information is remarkable and historic. I never met my uncle, Bill Gibbs, but my dad, his brother, always struggled with the fact that the body was never recovered and therefore there was no grave site or memorial in memory of Bill Gibbs. I only wish my dad were alive to see that there was something to honour his brother.

One from Roy…

I got a picture I could share with you.  How can I post it?

This pilot was with No. 128 Squadron is mentioned in this book.

All the Fine Young Eagles

by David L. Bashow ISBN; 0-7737-2976-3

Pages 248-249.

After a few rounds from the bar, a discussion developed regarding the merits of the Wildcat versus the Hurricane. It continued until the American issued a challenge they would have four Wildcats at Torbay the following morning. The tactics were simple. Four pairs, each consisting of a Wildcat and a Hurricane, would meet at an agreed upon altitude, in each of the four quadrants of the sky, North. West. South and East of the airport. They would meet, fly in formation for a minute or two, then break up and approach each other head on. From then on it was a straight dogfight, with each pilot trying to get on the other fellow’s tail. Flight Commanders were not allowed to fly on either side. We were part of the large audience assembled on the ground to see the show. Everything went according to plan. The aircraft met, flew in formation for a minute or two, and then began dog fighting. In a couple of minutes there were four Hurricanes on the tails of four Wildcats, and they stayed there, to great applause and shouts from the audience below.

After landing, everyone adjourned to the hangar to hash over the situation. The Americans seemed completely nonplused by the turn of events. They could not understand how things could have turned out the way they had. It must have been some kind of aberration that could never happen again, so they issued another challenge for the following afternoon. This time, they announced. Flight Commanders could fly, so I decided to get in on the fun in Hurricane 5485. That afternoon the two readiness aircraft: equipped with depth charges**, were sitting on the tarmac.

“Butch” Washburn and “Gibby” Gibbs were the readiness pilots that day and Butch said to me. “You know Bill, I think we can take on these buggers with those readiness aircraft.” “Why not?” I replied … “Have a go.” We lined up a fourth pilot and the exercise was carried out all over again with four Hurricanes on the tails of four Wildcats once again. Butch Washburn was so keen that he stayed on the Wildcat’s tail until it landed on the runway.

The Americans were forced to admit that the Hurricane was the better aircraft. Even when it was ladened with depth charges. We had a party in the Mess that night with the Americans becoming more generous and more lavish with their praise as the evening wore on. According to some of them, if 128 Squadron, complete with aircraft and personnel, could suddenly be transported to the Pacific Theater, we would make short work of the Japanese Air Force. Yes, it was a great party …

pages 245-46;

Flying at Torbay took on an operational atmosphere. The Cansos and Venturas were almost constantly on patrol, and they occasionally returned to base after encountering a German Submarine. These attacks bolstered everyone’s morale. Shortly after we reached Torbay, someone in our armament section devised a way to make bomb racks out of the angle iron used in the double bunks so familiar to all service personnel. The racks were okayed by Eastern Air Command Headquarters in Halifax, and for the rest of the time at Torbay we were able to carry a depth charge under each wing. Four of our Hurricanes were fitted with these racks, and two aircraft were kept on constant readiness. Also, with twelve machine guns on each aircraft, the Hurricanes constituted a very formidable weapon against an enemy submarine.

A British Major, an armament expert, arrived about this time from London. The purpose of his visit was to discuss with aircrew the latest tactics of German submarines. Instead of diving immediately on seeing a patrol aircraft, the subs were now armed with deck guns and were shooting back. Several patrol aircraft had been shot down. All available crew from the three Torbay squadrons were called together for a talk by the Major, who spent most of his time raving about the Hurricanes armed with depth charges that he had seen on the flight line. “In all my travels to squadrons around the worId,” he said, “I have never seen such a deadly combination. The Number One aircraft could clear the deck of all living things with one burst from his twelve machine guns, and Number Two could drop his depth charges at leisure. It’s marvelous!” After his talks, the Major visited our Squadron and talked with the pilots. He left an Air Ministry address with Squadron Leader Cannon, the CO, and made him promise to forward to him the results of any encounters a Hurricane might have with a German submarine. “No matter where I am in the world, I’ll get the message.” There was no message to pass on to the Major for two reasons. Firstly, we never did get to attack a German sub, and secondly, the same day as his visit, a Canso carrying the Major to Botwood, Newfoundland, crashed while landing on glassy water, killing everyone on board, including the Major.”

“Butch” Washburn did not return home after the war just like William Robert Gibbs.

Both were killed flying Typhoons.

This is taken from the Canadian Virtual War Memorial

In memory of
Flying Officer

 WILLIAM ROBERT GIBBS

who died on February 28, 1945

Military Service:

  • Service Number: J/27239
  • Age: 21
  • Force: Air Force
  • Unit: Royal Canadian Air Force
  • Division: 440 Sqdn.

I sent all the pictures I had from Walter Neil Dove’s collection to the CVWM site and added Roy’s picture of Gibby.

billy gibbs Most people don’t know how dangerous flying Typhoons were. Click here for just a glimpse.

The Canadian Virtual War Memorial

About this comment made…

My mother often spoke fondly about a cousin who left for the war and died on Sept. 29 or Nov.29 1944 at 22 years of age. His name was Sargeant Harold Murphy R.C.A.F. I believe he was with the 128th Squadron (Pilot Officer – graduating as an Observer). How would I go about finding out more about him. My mother always said his plane was shot down at sea. His service was # J/95450

In memory of Pilot Officer

 JOSEPH HAROLD MICHAEL MURPHY

who died on November 29, 1944

Military Service:

  • Service Number: J/95450
  • Age: 22
  • Force: Air Force
  • Unit: Royal Canadian Air Force
  • Division: 128 Sqdn.

Additional Information:

Son of Emmet Thomas Murphy and Mary Jane Murphy, of Huntingdon, Province of Quebec, Canada.

Source

http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/collections/virtualmem/Detail/1077419

Someone found him.

Mosquito navigator

He was from RAF 128 Squadron not RCAF 128 Squadron.

Date: 29-NOV-1944
Time:
Type: Silhouette image of generic MOSQ model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
de Havilland Mosquito B.Mk.XX
Operator: 128 Sqn RAF
Registration: MM195
C/n / msn:
Fatalities: Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities: 0
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location: North Sea –   Germany
Phase: En route
Nature: Military
Departure airport: Wyton
Destination airport:

Narrative:
Missing (Nurnberg) 29.11.44 Lost without trace.
Crew:
W/O (1026434) Frank Edgar(pilot) RAFVR – killed
P/O (J/95450) Joseph Harold Michael Murphy(obs) RCAF – killed

http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=17808

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No._128_Squadron_RAF

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pathfinder_%28RAF%29

http://www.raf.mod.uk/bombercommand/h128.html

http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/RAF/128_wwII.html

http://www.rafwarboys.co.uk/128squadron.htm

http://www.davidcbloomfield.co.uk/new-1/128sqdn.jpg

Bob McCracken POW

I did not go into much research yet on 128 Squadron, but Darrell did.

He wrote me this.

Collection Walter Neil Dove

You will notice Bob McCracken’s name on this list

Bob McCracken

Collection Walter Neil Dove

http://www.behindbarbedwire.org/canadian.htm#Mc

This is a website about Stalag Luft I where he was POW.

I’ve seen Robert McCracken credited with a DFC but the air force honours and awards page makes no mention. It does reference a Gordon McCracken getting a DFC.

Darrell

Someone created a website to pay homage to his father who was shot down over Germany.

Here are the pictures taken at Stalag Luft I.

Click here for the home page.

Footnote

Sandy McCracken says:
I am the daughter of Bob McCracken (deceased 1992) There are no documents indicating DFC.

Flying Officer Dean Jerome Washburn, Service Number: J/29339

This pilot who was with No. 128 Squadron is also mentioned in this book.

He’s “Butch” Washburn.

All the Fine Young Eagles

by David L. Bashow ISBN; 0-7737-2976-3

Pages 248-249.

After a few rounds from the bar, a discussion developed regarding the merits of the Wildcat versus the Hurricane. It continued until the American issued a challenge they would have four Wildcats at Torbay the following morning. The tactics were simple. Four pairs, each consisting of a Wildcat and a Hurricane, would meet at an agreed upon altitude, in each of the four quadrants of the sky, North. West. South and East of the airport. They would meet, fly in formation for a minute or two, then break up and approach each other head on. From then on it was a straight dogfight, with each pilot trying to get on the other fellow’s tail. Flight Commanders were not allowed to fly on either side. We were part of the large audience assembled on the ground to see the show. Everything went according to plan. The aircraft met, flew in formation for a minute or two, and then began dog fighting. In a couple of minutes there were four Hurricanes on the tails of four Wildcats, and they stayed there, to great applause and shouts from the audience below.

After landing, everyone adjourned to the hangar to hash over the situation. The Americans seemed completely nonplused by the turn of events. They could not understand how things could have turned out the way they had. It must have been some kind of aberration that could never happen again, so they issued another challenge for the following afternoon. This time, they announced. Flight Commanders could fly, so I decided to get in on the fun in Hurricane 5485. That afternoon the two readiness aircraft: equipped with depth charges**, were sitting on the tarmac.

“Butch” Washburn and “Gibby” Gibbs were the readiness pilots that day and Butch said to me. “You know Bill, I think we can take on these buggers with those readiness aircraft.” “Why not?” I replied … “Have a go.” We lined up a fourth pilot and the exercise was carried out all over again with four Hurricanes on the tails of four Wildcats once again. Butch Washburn was so keen that he stayed on the Wildcat’s tail until it landed on the runway.

The Americans were forced to admit that the Hurricane was the better aircraft. Even when it was ladened with depth charges. We had a party in the Mess that night with the Americans becoming more generous and more lavish with their praise as the evening wore on. According to some of them, if 128 Squadron, complete with aircraft and personnel, could suddenly be transported to the Pacific Theater, we would make short work of the Japanese Air Force. Yes, it was a great party …

pages 245-46;

Flying at Torbay took on an operational atmosphere. The Cansos and Venturas were almost constantly on patrol, and they occasionally returned to base after encountering a German Submarine. These attacks bolstered everyone’s morale. Shortly after we reached Torbay, someone in our armament section devised a way to make bomb racks out of the angle iron used in the double bunks so familiar to all service personnel. The racks were okayed by Eastern Air Command Headquarters in Halifax, and for the rest of the time at Torbay we were able to carry a depth charge under each wing. Four of our Hurricanes were fitted with these racks, and two aircraft were kept on constant readiness. Also, with twelve machine guns on each aircraft, the Hurricanes constituted a very formidable weapon against an enemy submarine.

A British Major, an armament expert, arrived about this time from London. The purpose of his visit was to discuss with aircrew the latest tactics of German submarines. Instead of diving immediately on seeing a patrol aircraft, the subs were now armed with deck guns and were shooting back. Several patrol aircraft had been shot down. All available crew from the three Torbay squadrons were called together for a talk by the Major, who spent most of his time raving about the Hurricanes armed with depth charges that he had seen on the flight line. “In all my travels to squadrons around the worId,” he said, “I have never seen such a deadly combination. The Number One aircraft could clear the deck of all living things with one burst from his twelve machine guns, and Number Two could drop his depth charges at leisure. It’s marvelous!” After his talks, the Major visited our Squadron and talked with the pilots. He left an Air Ministry address with Squadron Leader Cannon, the CO, and made him promise to forward to him the results of any encounters a Hurricane might have with a German submarine. “No matter where I am in the world, I’ll get the message.” There was no message to pass on to the Major for two reasons. Firstly, we never did get to attack a German sub, and secondly, the same day as his visit, a Canso carrying the Major to Botwood, Newfoundland, crashed while landing on glassy water, killing everyone on board, including the Major.”

“Butch” Washburn did not return home after the war just like William Robert Gibbs.

Both were killed flying Typhoons.

This is taken from the Canadian Virtual War Memorial

In memory of
Flying Officer
 DEAN JEROME  WASHBURN 
who died on December 24, 1944 

Military Service:

Service Number: J/29339

Age: 23

Force: Air Force

Unit: Royal Canadian Air Force

Division: 438 Sqdn.

Additional Information:

Son of Lenox Francis and Teresa Louise Washburn, of Fernie, British Columbia, Canada.