RCAF Station Torbay, January 3, 1944 revisited – Update

Remember this picture of a prang...?

Click on the image for a larger view.

And what was written on the back…?

This was not Walter Neil Dove’s prang…

Someone had written me about it…


Find attached an excerpt from 128’s diary telling about F/O Dove’s prang on 3 January 1944. Before the arrival of 128 at Torbay, 125 Squadron handled fighter defence duties. No. 125’s diary for 29 January 1943 tells how Hurricane 5501 nosed up in a deep snow bank at the edge of the runway. The aircraft ground looped to the right due to a strong crosswind. The aircraft suffered damaged prop and undercarriage. The pilot was P/O W.O. Young.


Darrell had sent me this to prove that I was wrong.


Chris Charland has confirmed once more what did happen.

Salut Pierre

According to official R.C.A.F. documentation, the Hurricane in the photo s/n 5501 was with No. 125 (F) Squadron at R.C.A.F. Station Torbay, Newfoundland. I have the squadron’s Operational Record Books and a copy of the crash card.

Although Hurricane 5501 did serve with No. 128 (F) Squadron, it had no accidents during the winter. The only accident was when 5501 jumped off the tow bar while being towed at Torbay on the 5th of July 1943 damaging the rudder. The aircraft was repaired.

Having said that, Dove was actually flying Hurricane s/n 5705. I have attached a page from the No. 128 Squadron’s O.R.B. that shows what was recorded. I also have the crash cards as well.



I just saw the light!

I never realised before that the serial number was not the same!

5501 versus 5705.

I guess everything was due to too much excitement on my part.


Such a beautiful picture.


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.


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.