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  1. #1
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    Default Canadians with FFAF

    G'day

    Is anyone aware of Canadians who may have served with Free French Air Force bombers squadrons during the Second World War.

    Cheers...Chris

  2. #2
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    There must have been some - a sample of two or three recipients of awards suggests that others were present:


    BOTTERILL, WO Milton Agars (R187809) - Croix de Guerre (France) - No.342 Squadron (AFRO gives unit only as "Overseas") - Awarded as per AFRO 1619/45 dated 19 October 1945. Born 17 September 1922 in Windsor, Ontario; home there; enlisted there 13 October 1942. On strength of No.1 Manning Depot, Toronto, 26 October 1942 to 22 January 1943. To No.4 WS, Guelph, 22 January 1943; promoted LAC, 23 February 1943; graduated 6 August 1943 when posted to No.4 BGS, Fingal; graduated and promoted Sergeant, 20 September 1943 but not posted to No.4 AOS, London until 26 September 1943; graduated 28 January 1944 when posted to No.31 OTU, Debert; to No.45 Group, Dorval, 20 May 1944; to No.1 "Y" Depot, Lachine, 15 August 1944; struck off strength to overseas, 29 August 1944. Posted to No.13 OTU, 5 December 1944; to No.2 GSU, 28 February 1945; to No.88 Squadron, 15 March 1945; to No.342 Squadron, 6 April 1945, serving with that unit until 30 May 1945. Repatriated to Canada, July 1945; released 10 September 1945. Died 19 December 2005 in California. Rank progression as follows: AC2, 13 October 1942; LAC, 23 February 1943; Sergeant, 20 September 1943; Flight Sergeant, 20 June 1944; WO2, 20 December 1944. Public Records Office Air 2/9031 has recommended citation.

    After being posted to No.342 Squadron, this young RCAF Wireless Operator/Air Gunner carried out several operations against objectives in Western Germany. During these operations he showed a first-class fighting spirit and a high standard of professional skill. He particularly distinguished himself on the 18th and 19th April 1945, when he contributed much to the success of important missions, and on the 25th April 1945 during a mission in which his formation was subjected to accurate enemy anti-aircraft fire.

    NOTE: On 9 July 1945, on repatriation, he filled out a document which gave his flying time as 40 hours ten minutes (operational, 16 sorties, the last being on 1 May 1945) and 35 hours (non-operational). He gave overseas flying as being 50 hours on Boston A-20 and 25 hours ten minutes on Mitchells.


    TYLEY, F/L Kenneth (J14835) - Croix de Guerre (France) - No.342 Squadron (AFRO gives unit only as "Overseas" - Awarded as per AFRO 1619/45 dated 19 October 1945. Born 28 September 1919 in Peoria, Illinois; home in Chicago; enlisted in Toronto, 7 October 1941. Trained at No.5 ITS (graduated 11 April 1942), No.20 EFTS (graduated 20 June 1942) and No.1 SFTS (graduated 6 November 1942). Attended Flying Instructor School, Trenton, 7 November to 29 December 1942; served at No.6 SFTS, Dunnville, 30 December 1942 to 3 November 1943; to No.1 GRS, Summerside, 4 November 1943; to No.31 OTU, Debert, 29 January 1944; to "Y" Depot, Lachine, 21 May 1944; to No.45 Group, Dorval, 23 May 1945; to "Y" Depot, Lachine, 6 August 1944; embarked Halifax, 29 August 1944; arrived in UK, 5 September 1944; at No.21 (P) AFU, 7 November to 5 December 1944; at No.13 OTU, 5 December 1944 to 28 February 1945 when posted to No.2 GSU; to No.88 Squadron, 15 March 1945; to No.342 Squadron, 6 April 1945, serving with that unit until 30 May 1945; repatriated to Canada, July 1945; released 10 September 1945; appears to have remained in Canada. Wartime ranks as follows: AC2, 7 October 1941; LAC, 11 April 1942; Pilot Officer, 9 October 1942; Flying Officer, 9 Ail 1943; Flight Lieutenant, 9 October 1944. Award sent by registered mail 22 July 1946. Public Records Office Air 2/9031 gives citation.

    This pilot of the Royal Air Force, although of an unassuming nature, has not been able to hide from his colleagues his first-class professional ability and fighting spirit, which he has constantly shown. Since his posting to No.342 Squadron he has carried out a series of operations against objectives in Western Germany and under all circumstances has shown unquestionable skill and leadership. He particularly distinguished himself on the 18th and 19th April 1945, when he contributed much to the success of important missions and on the 25th April 1945, when the formation in which he was flying was singled out by the enemy for intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire.

    NOTE: On 2 July 1945 he filled out a form outlining his overseas flying. He described this as 50 operational hours (16 sorties, last sortie on 25 April 1945) plus 70 non-operational hours. His overseas types had been Oxford (40 hours), Boston (60 hours) and Mitchell (20 hours).


    And maybe this one:

    BOWLES, FS William Horace (R74651) - Croix de Guerre (France) - No.342 Squadron (AFRO gives unit only as "Overseas") - Awarded as per AFRO 1619/45 dated 19 October 1945. Born in Winnipeg, 18 January 1920. Home in Victoria; served in 3rd Battalion, Canadian Scottish, August-September 1940. enlisted Vancouver 2 October 1940. Throughout his wartime career he was an Airframe Mechanic, and there is no record of him ever being posted anywhere near No.2 Group (much less No.342 Squadron) so how this award came about (especially in view of the PRO record cited below) is something of a mystery. Attended No.2 Wireless School, Calgary, 5 October to 17 November 1940; with No.4 Training Command Headquarters, Regina, 18 November to 17 December 1940; at Technical Training School, St.Thomas, 17 December 1940 to 14 May 1941; at No.12 SFTS, Brandon, 17 May 1941 to 16 November 1942; to "Y" Depot, Halifax, 17 November 1942; to RAF Overseas, 11 December 1942; to No.428 Squadron, 3 January 1943; to No.9428 Servicing Echelon, 1 January 1944; to No.64 Base, 27 June 1944; to No.63 Base, 7 June 1945; repatriated 23 July 1945; released 2 October 1945. Wartime ranks as follows: AC2, 2 October 1940; AC1, 10 May 1941; LAC, 1 October 1941; Corporal, 1 March 1942; Sergeant, 20 April 1944. Served in postwar RCAF, 26 March 1947 to 27 March 1967. His postwar trade was Airframe Mechanic to 4 January 1956 when reclassified Air Maintenance Superintendent; ranks were LAC (26 March 1947), Corporal (1 April 1949), Sergeant (1 August 1951), Flight Sergeant (1 April 1955) and WO2 (1 April 1966). Major postings were Station Vancouver (26 March to 7 October 1947), Station Centralia (8 October 1947 to 1 December 1950), Station Gimli (2 December 1950 to 4 April 1956 including time with FTS and FTTU); 3 Wing, Zweibrucken (5 April 1956 to 18 May 1958, principally with No.427 Squadron); No.1 Air Division Headquarters (19 May to 26 June 1959), No.4 OTU, Trenton (27 June 1959 to retirement) Died in Abbotsford, British Columbia, 18 March 2000. Public Records Office Air 2/9031 has recommended citation.

    Flight Sergeant Bowles is a young RCAF Air Gunner who has shown himself to be brave and devoted to duty yet entirely unassuming. He has carried, with No.342 Squadron, a series of offensive operations against objectives in Western Germany, in the course of which his crew have received invaluable assistance from his experience and courage. On the 18th and 19th of April 1945 he contributed greatly towards the success of important bombing missions and on the 25th April 1945 he particularly distinguished himself when the formation with which he was flying was subjected to accurate enemy anti-aircraft fire.

    NOTE: The mystery of his award is heightened by correspondence indicating that he was presented with the Croix de Guerre (with Silver Star) at a garden party held in Vancouver for this purpose, 27 July 1946. Colonel H. Mesmet, French military attache made the presentation; Bowles was the only recipient. A newspaper photograph shows him wearing Flight Sergeant stripes, no aircrew badges and tending to baldness.

  3. #3
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    Hi Chris and Hugh,


    -BOTTERILL : 6 ops- maybe 7 (must to be checked on 27/04/1945/HAMBOURG/cancelled/1720-2020) missions with 342 between 18/4/45 and 2/5/45. Only on Mitchell.

    -TYLEY : 7 ops missions with 342 between 16/4/45 and 2/5/45. Only on Mitchell. Was the pilot of crew BOTTERILL and BOWLES

    -BOWLES : 5 ops missions with 342 between 18/4/45 and 2/5/45. Only on Mitchell

    Bertrand

  4. #4
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    G'day Hugh and Bertrand

    Thank you very much for the information. It is much appreciated.

    Cheers...Chris

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