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Thread: Canadian Connection for S/L David Douglas Pryde, DFC 39654 of 77 Sqn

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    Default Canadian Connection for S/L David Douglas Pryde, DFC 39654 of 77 Sqn

    Hello,

    In the following thread from awhile back (😀) in the forum, it was identified that there were 3 Pryde brothers who died in RAF service in WW2 http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...2112#post12112 .

    My primary interest lies in S/L David Douglas Pryde, DFC 39654 of 77 Sqn who was killed in action on 9 Jun 42. He is commemorated at Runneymede and at Anstruther Scotland in a family plot.

    Although I can find no easy connection to justify it, he is also commemorated in Canada in our virtual war memorial https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remem...detail/1804748 but not in our National Books of Remembrance. His 2 brothers are not so honoured.

    Is anyone aware of a Canadian nexus for S/Ldr Pryde?

    I’m aware that many Empire members joined the RAF and other services in the 30s and before.

    Mike
    Mike Anglin

    Barrie, Canada

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    Default Re: Canadian Connection for S/L David Douglas Pryde, DFC 39654 of 77 Sqn

    Mike,

    Hugh's entry on Pryde:

    PRYDE, F/O David Douglas (39564) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.77 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 11 June 1940. Home in Winnipeg. Appointed Acting Pilot Officer on Probation, RAF, 8 March 1937. Killed in action, 9 June 1942 (Bay of Biscay patrol). Public Records Office Air 2/4094 has original recommendation dated 1 June 1940. NOTE: Check newspapers for confirmation of Canadian connection; Commonwealth War Graves Commission records state he was the son of the Reverend John Marshall Pryde, BD and Jean Marshall Pryde of Kilreny, Manse, Anstruther. Pryde is not in original cards compiled by W/C Hitching and may be an Allison "find". Royal Air Force Personnel Management Agency, in a letter to H.A. Halliday dated 16 July 1999, stated that he was born in Crieff, Fifeshrire, Scotland in 1918.

    On the 20th May 1940, Flying Officer Pryde was detailed for a collaboration operation involving an attack on the communication centre at Hannapes. Conditions were difficult but he eventually identified his target from a very low altitude. The aircraft was then heavily hit at 800 feet but the captain continued his climb to 3,000 feet and there executed a successful bombing attack. His aircraft by then had caught fire but he continued flying it until height could no longer be maintained. All the crew had then to abandon aircraft by parachute.

    This example of courage and determination has come at the end of six months of war flying during which Flying Officer Pryde has completed 16 operational flights. Both as a second pilot and as captain he has shown courage and dash and the spirit in which he tackles his flights is an infectious stimulant to all who work with him.

    This was further refined for the Air Ministry Honours and Awards Committee to read as follows:

    On 20th May 1940, this officer was detailed for a collaboration operation involving an attack on the communication centre at Hannapes. Despite difficult conditions, he succeeded in identifying the target from a very low altitude. Although his aircraft was hit heavily, Flying Officer Pryde climbed to 3,000 feet and executed a successful bombing attack. His aircraft subsequently caught fire, but he continued flying and when height could no longer be maintained, the entire crew landed by parachute. Flying Officer Pryde has completed sixteen operational flights during six months of war flying and has displayed considerable courage and determination.

    Regards,

    Dave

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    Default Re: Canadian Connection for S/L David Douglas Pryde, DFC 39654 of 77 Sqn

    Thanks David,

    I was aware of the DFC citation and circumstances, but thank you for providing.

    He is in fact listed in Les Allison’s book with a synopsis notation about service with 77 and last op info and a note saying “address unknown”.

    The info you provided indicates a Winnipeg origin from Hugh’s info. Any idea where that city origin info came from?

    Mike
    Mike Anglin

    Barrie, Canada

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    Default Re: Canadian Connection for S/L David Douglas Pryde, DFC 39654 of 77 Sqn

    Using the BNA search engine, I can find a fair number of newspaper articles that mention this officer, but none of them even remotely hint at Canada.
    In fond memory of Corporal James Oakland AGC (RMP), killed in action in Afghanistan on 22 October 2009. Exemplo Ducemus.

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    Default Re: Canadian Connection for S/L David Douglas Pryde, DFC 39654 of 77 Sqn

    Some ancient history - During the war, F/L (later W/C) F.H. Hitchins, an RCAF historical officer, compiled card files on Canadians enrolled in the RAF (CAN/RAF), which were kept current to about early 1942, after which his work on the growing RCAF presence overseas took priority. Another card file (maintained throughout and after the war) dealt with awards to RCAF and CAN/RAF personnel.

    In the 1960s I began writing a book on the CAN/RAF contingent, but when Les Allison reported he was working on the same subject, I stepped aside, sending him copies of the CAN/RAF cards which I had transcribed. When he published his first book, “Canadians in the RAF” (with a supplement), he sent me a copy. I was appalled at its racism and returned it to him. In terms of basic facts, as found in the CAN/RAF cards, his contents were 90 percent accurate, but that 10 percent of exaggeration, line shooting, and unreferenced additions rendered it useless as a reference work.

    His second book, “They Shall Grow Not Old”, was much better (being biographical, it was free of his political editorializing). In compiling my awards data base I must have borrowed from Allison, though if you read my entry in the awards data base you will see my comments which qualified Pryde’s inclusion, including that he was not the subject of a Hitchins CAN/RAF card. Given current non-access to the Canadian Forces Directorate of History, I cannot say how or if Pryde somehow made his way into the awards card file.

    P.S, (ten minutes later) - Is it possible that Pryde had experience in Canada as a staff officer or BCATP instructor ?
    Last edited by HughAHalliday; 4th July 2020 at 11:57. Reason: reconsideration

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    Default Re: Canadian Connection for S/L David Douglas Pryde, DFC 39654 of 77 Sqn

    Even the International BC Centre states his country of origin as Canada:

    https://losses.internationalbcc.co.uk/loss/222963

    This does not appear to be correct. He was born in Crieff, Sootland, to Scottish parents. He was educated at Waid Academy, Anstruther, and joined the RAF in 1937 at the age of 18/19. His name is included on the Waid Academy War memorial.
    In fond memory of Corporal James Oakland AGC (RMP), killed in action in Afghanistan on 22 October 2009. Exemplo Ducemus.

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    Default Re: Canadian Connection for S/L David Douglas Pryde, DFC 39654 of 77 Sqn

    Thank you Jonny and Hugh,

    Much appreciated.

    My interest in him rests with a 77 Sqn Roll of Honour I created for Canadians who died during WW2 ( https://77squadron.org.uk/wp-content...Reduced-v8.pdf ) and whether he should be included.

    I had started with the Roll based on the Sqn Association list that they give credit to Roy Walker’s book: Some of the Few (pg 19-45),

    I then cross referenced that list with the Government of Canada’s Books of Remembrance and the Bomber Command Museum of Canada’s and IBCC’s lists. I was able to add an additional 4 Canadians to my Roll of Honour for a total of 101.

    I was left with 4 additional airmen whom I could not connect to Canada as citizens.

    I’ll touch base with DHH when the world returns to normal and see what they can provide.

    Thanks gents!
    Last edited by anglin.mj; 4th July 2020 at 14:29.
    Mike Anglin

    Barrie, Canada

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