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Thread: to Hugh Halliday: W/O G E Deschaine J/93784

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    Default to Hugh Halliday: W/O G E Deschaine J/93784

    Hello Hugh and all,

    I found in the canadian awards W/O Gordon Eward Deschaine DFC J/93784 as member of 74 Squadron, but I have him as member of 619 squadron as Bomb Aimer in 1943 ...

    Is it the same ??

    Alain

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    Hi Alain,

    Don't know if it helps, but G. E. Deschaine, from Windsor, Ontario, graduated from Fingal Bombing and Gunnery School as an Air Observer in April, 1942 ('Airmen Awarded Wings
    At Station Ceremonies', in The Globe and Mail, April 27).

    Regards,

    Fox.
    Last edited by Fox; 27th January 2013 at 16:48.
    Author of Crash in Bayeux - The Last Flight of Sergeant Ferguson (ISBN 979-10-91044-13-4) - www.facebook.com/crashinbayeux.

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    Hello,

    16-17 Sep 1943
    No.619 Sqn
    Lancaster III EE106 PG-E
    Op:Antheor Viaduct.

    T/o 2006 Coningsby as part of a joint 617/619 Squadron force. Believed hit by flak over the target. Subsequently, ditched off Oporto and were rescued by Portuguese fishermen. Both award holders had served previously with 106 Squadron, their DFMs being Gazetted on 12 January and 18 May 1943 respectively. Following a brief spell of internment, all were returned home, F/O Holding joining 617 Squadron. On 20-21 January 1944, he lost his life in an accident.

    F/L S E J Jones DFM int
    Sgt A E Brookes int
    F/O A D Holding int
    Sgt G E Deschaine int
    F/S R G Faux int
    Sgt C S Cook int
    P/O A W E Cartwright DFM int

    See:BCL4/323 & 486.

    Col
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 27th January 2013 at 17:07.

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    Alain,

    Clearly I am wrong but what is right ?

    The material I have is very limited. The Air Force Routine Order quoted identified his unit as No.74 Squadron. On careful consideration, and given that No.74 was a Spitfire unit, he was clearly trained as a navigator and thus in another squadron. Going to the London Gazette reporting his award, the unit is identified as No.74 (NZ) Squadron - also incorrect - but it led me to a list of Canadians in No.75 (NZ) Squadron.

    It would appear that he flew in No.619 Squadron (dates and details unknown to me) and then in No.75 (NZ) Squadron (again, dates and details unknown to me), for services in which he was awarded the DFC.

    I am anxious to correct and expand the entry for Deschaine and look forward to further information from yourself (as I assume you are expert in the ways of No.619) and from the specialists in the history of No.75 Squadron. Colonel Bruggy has already supplied a "first installment" for such work.
    Last edited by HughAHalliday; 27th January 2013 at 17:01.

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    Default W/O Deschaine

    Hello,

    On google search

    Flightglobal 2 august 1945 page 134
    WO1 G.E. Deschaine N°74 (NZ) Sqn

    Air Force Association of Canada
    74 sqn DFC award effective 10/05/1945 as per London Gazette 24/05/45
    In the biography it mentioned his transfer oversea but no sqn

    Best regards

    rene

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    Since the original London Gazette entry is incorrect (typographical error, I suppose), other sources (Flight Gobal, Air Force Association website are wrong.

    I believe that the original recommendation for Deschaine's award will be at Kew in Air 2/9070 and will be indebted to anyone who can consult and copy that portion of the document on my behalf.

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    Thank you for your help, I hope to learn more on Deschaine soon, will keep you informed .
    He seems to have been posted to 619 Squadron in May 1943 .

    Alain.

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    Brief notes on the man of the moment: (From database members of 75 (NZ) Squadron.

    DE SCHAINE, Warrant Officer E, RCAF.
    R.109929 Air Bomber 75 Sqn 7 November 1944 to X February 1945. Crewed with F/O J H McDonald, on ops 20/11/44 – 29/1/45.

    And that is all I have, although anyone can now look up his operations wih that squadron.

    David D

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    Crew of F/O J H McDonald posted to 75 Squadron from 31 Base 7 Nov 1944, one of two crews posted in this day.

    David D

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    Default G.E. Deschaine Revision

    With information provided during the course of this thread (to date) and via "Documents on Line" (Kew) the data entry for this man now reads as follows:

    DESCHAINE, WO (now P/O) Gordon Edward (R109929/J93784) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.75 (New Zealand) Squadron - Award effective 10 May 1945 as per London Gazette dated 24 May 1945 and AFRO 1453/45 dated 14 September 1945. Note that the unit was incorrectly identified as “No.74 (NZ) Squadron” in the London Gazette and the error was carried on by other sources. Born 7 January 1922. Enlisted in Windsor, 4 August 1941 and posted to No.1 Manning Depot. Posted elsewhere, 20 August 1941. To No.5 ITS, 25 September 1941; promoted LAC, 22 November 1941; to No.9 AOS , 6 December 1941; to No.4 BGS, 14 March 1942; graduated and promoted Sergeant, 25 April 1942; posted that date to No.2 ANS; graduated 25 May 1942 but not posted until 9 June 1942 when sent to No.5 Manning Depot. To Eastern Air Command, 18 June 1942; to RAF overseas, 12 July 1942. To No.619 Squadron, May 1943. Posted from No.31 Base to No.75 (NZ) Squadron, 7 November 1944 in crew of F/O J.H. McDonald (whose operations covered the period 20 November 1944 to 29 January 1945; posted February 1945.) Commissioned 28 February 1945. Repatriated 14 May 1945. To No.1 Air Command, 27 May 1945 and posted that date to No.16 SFTS. To Release Centre, 15 August 1945. Released 20 August 1945, to settle in Windsor, Ontario. Rejoined RCAF, 12 February 1956 to 1 November 1965 (Auxiliary, No.2401 Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron).

    This Warrant Officer has completed numerous operations against the enemy in the course of which he has invariably displayed the utmost fortitude, courage and devotion to duty.

    British National Archives, Kew (AIR 50/281/180) have the following Combat Report for 11/12 June 1943 from No.619 Squadron with mention of him:

    F/O Jones - Pilot
    Sergeant Brooks - Flight Engineer
    Sergeant Lance - Navigator
    Sergeant Deschaine - Bomb Aimer
    Sergeant Faux - Wireless Operator
    Sergeant Cook - Mid-Upper Gunner
    P/O Cartwright - Rear Gunner

    At 0050 hours on 12th June 1943, 5 Group Lancaster Mark III aircraft E of 619 Squadron was approximately 16 miles south of Rotterdam on route to Dusseldorf - course 100̊ and approximately true air speed 220 m.p.h. Visibility good, moon on starboard bow. No apparent searchlight pointers. No IFF in use. Mid-Upper Gunner saw unidentified single-engine aircraft on port beam down which came straight in. Pilot did a diving turn to port losing 1,200 feet and Mid-Upper Gunner fired a sgort burst when enemy aircraft was in to 200 yards. Enemy aircraft wemt away to port bow above and was not seen again. No hits claimed. Enemy aircraft did not open fire.

    British National Archives, Kew (AIR 50/281/217) have the following “Report on Loss of Aircraft on Operations” covering incident in which he was in crew:

    Aircraft: Lancaster EE106 - “E” of 619 Squadron.

    Date of Loss: 16/17 September 1943

    Cause of Loss: Lack of fuel followed by ditching; probable navigational error.

    Target: Anthor Viaduct

    Information from all members of the crew:
    Pilot: F/L Jones, S.E.J., captain
    Navigator: F/O Holding, A.D.
    Wireless Operator: Flight Sergeant Faux, R.G.
    Flight Engineer: Sergeant Brooks, H.E.
    Bomb Aimer: Sergeant Descaine, E.
    Air Gunner, Mid-Upper: Sergeant Cook, C.S.
    Air Gunner, Rear: F/O Cartwright, A.W.E.P.

    Briefed Route: Selsey Bill - Cabourg - 47.35N 00.45E - 45.12N 05.42E - Cap Ferrat - Antheor Viaduct - St. Raphael - 46.30N 01.00E - 46.30N 02.30W - 46.15N 05.50W - Predannack.

    Narrative:

    1. GEE was unsatisfactory on the outward journey up to about 4̊ E when it came on and was serviceable as far as approximately 6̊ E when it again became unserviceable. GEE showed the aircraft to be about 30 miles north of the track and the course was corrected. The Met forecast gave winds of 30-40 m.p.h. on the outward journey and light and variable at the target, but it was estimated that the wind was backing from westerly to southerly and increasing to 70-80 m.p.h. The speed was kept at 155 I.A.S. as instructed for the outward journey and the compass was checked.

    2. The aircraft crossed the coast at Cap Ferrat and circled the rendevous island until the squadron had assembled. E/619 was due at the renndevous at 00.30 hours and the E.T.A. was 00.40 hours. The aircraft was the last to bomb the target at 1.20 hours from 300 feet, the target being identified visually. A small amount of light flak was encountered but no damage was noticed at the time. Delayed action bombs were used and no results were observed.

    3. Height was gained over the sea to 6,000 feet and the compass was checked (method not given). Course was set 288̊to allow for an estimated 60 m.p.h. southerly wind. There is some possible confusion here, in the story as told as to whether courses were “True” or “Magnetic”. The Navigator sais “True” while the pilot at first said “Magnetic” but they finally agreed that “True” was correct. The aircraft climbed to 12,000 feet for the homeward journey and entered cloud at 8,000-12,000 feet, flying in cloud continually until the descent was made later at the estimated position of the French coast. GEE was unserviceable and the navigation was all by dead reckoning. As the winds to the north has been westerly and lighter on the outward journey, course was altered to 295̊ between Long. 2̊and 3̊E. At the outward position by D.R. of 46.30N 01.08E course was altered to 270̊ at an estimated time of between 03.45 hours and 04.00 hours.

    4. At the E.T.A. French coast (04.15 hours) they descended and broke cloud at 6,000 feet, expecting to cross the French coast. Instead they found themselves over a lighted town which they thought must be in Spain and it was realized for the first time they were off track. Course was altered to 330̊ for about 50 minutes and an M.F. fix was then asked for (approximately 05.05 hours). As Plympton was unable to plot they they were given a Q.T.E. of 200̊ from Plympton (05.30 hours). At this time they were still inland. The coast was crossed at 05.50 hours and an S.O.S. fix was asked for. No reply was received except letter “K” reported. It is noted here that the last was heard of E/619 by the home base was a fix at 05.55 hours, position [mutilated word] 43.N 06.17E which E/619 did not receive.

    5. The upper sky cleared and they were able to get an Astrofix 120 miles W.N.W. of Santander. (Black plotting from this would indicate that the course to the lighted town may have been about 50̊ off the briefed route).

    6. The Flight Engineer checked the petrol and it was found to be only sufficient to reach approximately 48̊ N. Latitude, near the Brest peninsula. The captain decided that, rather than be forced down in enemy waters, it was preferable to proceed in the direction of Gibralter, though he did not hope to reach it. As they had no map of Spain they followed round the coast about five miles off.

    7. About 12 miles north of Operto (time approximately 07.00-07.15 hours), it was decided to land and, as there was a heavy ground haze over the land, it was considered preferable to come down on the sea. The electrical apparatus was destroyed (V.H.F., I.F.F., GEE and MONICA) and the aircraft was put down on the sea about 200 yards off shore. The crew took to the dinghy but were picked up and taken to shore by some Portugese fishermen.

    8. The aircraft was washed ashore and some light flak damage holes were found in the port mainplane, probably from the Viaduct defences as the crew did not think they were fired vat over Spain. The crew were soon taken in charge by the authorities and removed, but as far as they are aware no attempt at salvage was made by the Portugese authorities and they presume that the aircraft was allowed to lie and be broken up by the sea.

    9. The following additional information was obtained from the crew. Prior to the operation the aircraft had been on a three-day inspection and compass check, and had not been flown since. The fuel load was 2,150 gallons. Three runs were made over the Target Area at high boost and high revs. No other use of high boost or hot air was made. There was no excessive climbing apart from that planned and only slight hoar frost on the windows was observed.

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