Sea King

F/O (Ret) P. F. Connell, DFM


PhilConnellP. F. CONNELL, DFM, a native of Saint John, N.B., had an outstanding record during the Second World War. Completing two tours of operational duty as an air gunner, he was a Charter Member of the Pathfinders Group. Mr. Connell was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal and commissioned in 1943. Phil returned from overseas in 1944 to take part in the Victory Loan Speaking Tour. A Charter Member of 250 (Saint John) Wing, he has progressively held executive positions at Wing, Group and National levels. He has served as a member of the Saint John City Council and has been a director of several Civic improvement organizations. These credentials bear elegant testimony to his election as National President of the RCAF Association at the 12th Annual Convention. The President’s Message DELEGATES to the Twelfth Annual Convention have done me great honour by electing me National President. I am pleased to have this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation for the confidence and trust placed in me. I wish to assure you of my desire to further, at all times, the aims and objectives of the Association. I expect that all members have now been advised as to the outcome of our national meeting in Halifax. This meeting must go down as one of the most successful, in all respects, that we have held to date. Never before has our Association attained such a lofty plane with respect to pagentry and conduct of business. All members of the Association will take pride in the manner in which their affairs were conducted on this occasion. It is my intention that all Wings be provided with a resume of the Halifax meeting so that all our resolutions and other matters of major concern can be communicated to Wing committees and members. The most urgent problem that faces us at the moment is our membership. This was brought to our attention forcibly at Halifax when we learned of the substantial deficit we are budgeting for this year. In order to defray our overhead costs we must boost our membership immediately to 15,000 members and eventually to 20,000 or 25,000 members. I hope that every Wing will make November, which is proclaimed as Membership Month, a success and a preliminary step to strengthening the fibre of our organization. It is a source of great pride to every member of our Association to hear, and see, the continuing activities of our Wings and Groups. Every phase of community endeavour is covered: sponsorship of Air Cadet Squadrons, foster children programmes, bon voyage and to many other projects so essential to our success as an Association. I commend you all for your interest and concern in these worthwhile community affairs. On behalf of all members of the National Executive Council, I wish to pledge to you all that sincere and earnest efforts will be directed to the conduct of the affairs of our Association during the coming year. CONNELL, PHILIP F. – The death of Philip Frederick Connell, DFM of Saint John, husband of Mary Kathleen (Daley) Connell, occurred on Sunday, February 11, 2007 at the Saint John Regional Hospital. Born in Saint John on July 7, 1923, he was the son of the late George and Jean (Alexander) Connell. Mr. Connell was a veteran of World War II, serving with the Bomber Command 83 Squadron of the R.C.A.F. He was a founding member of the Path Finder Force in 1942 and was wounded in action in 1943. He received the Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM) from King George VI at Buckingham Palace on February 29, 1944. In 1945 Philip joined F.J. Brennan Co. Ltd. Investment Finance, from where he began his long career as an Investment banker working with Nesbitt Thompson in various capacities, retiring as President in 1995 from McDermid Miller McDermid. Mr. Connell was National President of the R.C.A.F. Association, past member of Saint John City Council, past manager of Saint John Board of Trade, allied member of the New York Stock Exchange and member of the Vancouver Stock Exchange. He worked with the Founding Committee of UNBSJ, the Saint John Harbour Bridge Authority, Halifax/Dartmouth Bridge Authority, Quebec Hydro, the Province of New Brunswick, Alberta Telephone the City of Edmonton and assisted in founding the BC Municipal Finance Authority. Besides his wife, he is survived by his seven children, Mary Kathleen Ablett (Richard) of Ottawa, ON, Colleen Ablett (David) of Toronto, ON, Michael Connell of Halifax, NS, Susan Witiuk (James) of Winnipeg, MN, Anne Yatkowsky (Lawrence) of Vancouver, BC, Mary Raper of Peterborough, ON and Ellen Connell (Peter Johnson) of Victoria, BC, two sisters, Noreen Bennett of Montreal, QC and Eileen Duffley of Saint John, 20 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren, several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by son-in-law, Douglas Raper, brother, Raymond, sister, Jean Cooke and an infant sister, Mary. Resting at Brenan’s Select Community Funeral Home, 111 Paradise Row, Saint John (634-7424), with visiting on Sunday 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Peter’s Church, Clarendon Street, Saint John on Monday, February 19, 2007 at 11:00 a.m. Interment in St. Joseph’s Cemetery. Remembrances to the Poppy Fund, Alzheimer’s Research or the charity of the donors’ choice would be appreciated. The Royal Canadian Legion will hold a tribute to a Veteran service on Sunday evening at 7:00 p.m. at the funeral home. CONNELL, FS Phillip Frederick (R126312) – Distinguished Flying Medal – No.83 Squadron – Award effective 1 July 1943 as per London Gazette dated 9 July 1943 and AFRO 1724/43 dated 27 August 1943. Born in Saint John, New Brunswick, 7 July 1923. Home there. Enlisted Moncton, 4 September 1941. To No.1 Manning Depot, 23 September 1941. To No.7 BGS, 16 January 1942; graduated and promoted Sergeant, 16 February 1942. To \”Y\” Depot, 17 February 1942. To RAF overseas, 12 March 1942. Promoted Flight Sergeant, 5 January 1943. Promoted WO2, 5 July 1943. Commissioned on 17 October 1943 (J19001). Wounded in 1943. Repatriated 12 March 1944. Promoted Flying Officer, 17 April 1944. To No.10 BGS, 22 April 1944. To No.9 BGS, 20 May 1944. To Pennfield Ridge, 18 July 1944. To Release Centre, 15 September 1945. Retired 22 September 1945. Award presented by King George VI 29 February 1944. Joined F.J. Brennan Co. Ltd. Investment Finance, from where he began his long career as an Investment banker working with Nesbitt Thompson in various capacities, retiring as President in 1995 from McDermid Miller McDermid. Died in Saint John, New Brunswick, 11 February 2007. For detailed account of sortie of 21/22 December 1942, see entry for P/O Alfred Dale Bouschard. This airman has completed a large number of operational sorties. He has taken part in attacks on targets at Essen, Dusseldorf and Munich. In December 1942, while employed as mid-upper gunner, Flight Sergeant Connell greatly assisted his captain to evade an enemy night fighter which attacked their aircraft five times on the outward journey to Munich and later when the enemy fighter eventually gave up assisted in putting out the fire caused by the enemy. On all occasions this airman has displayed great courage and helped to maintain a very high standard of morale. NOTE: Public Record Office Air 2/8964 has recommendation drafted 17 May 1943 when he had flown 39 sorties (201 hours five minutes). Sortie list and submission as follows: 13 July 1942 – GARDENING, Frisian Islands 25 July 1942 – GARDENING, Bordeaux 28 July 1942 – Saarbrucken 31 July 1942 – Dusseldorf 5 August 1942 -GARDENING, Bordeaux 6 August 1942 -Duisburg 24 August 1942 – Frankfurt 27 August 1942 – Kassel 28 August 1942 – Nuremberg 8 September 1942 – Frankfurt 10 September 1942 – Dusseldorf 13 September 1942 – Bremen 14 September 1942 – Wilhelmshaven 16 September 1942 – Essen 19 September 1942 – Munich 2 October 1942 – Krefeld 5 October 1942 – Aachen 6 October 1942 – Osnabruck 13 October 1942 – Kiel 6 November 1942 – Genoa 9 November 1942 – Hamburg 13 November 1942 – Genoa 15 November 1942 – Genoa 18 November 1942 – Turin 20 December 1942 – Duisburg 21 December 1942 – Munich 27 January 1943 – Dusseldorf 2 February 1942 – Cologne 3 February 1942 – Hamburg 7 February 1942 – Lorient 11 February 1943 – Wilhelmshaven 13 February 1943 – Lorient 14 February 1943 – Milan 16 February 1943 – Lorient 18 February 1943 – Wilhelmshaven 19 February 1943 – Wilhelmshaven 21 February 1943 – Bremen 25 February 1943 – Nuremberg 26 February 1943 – Cologne 11 March 1943 – Stuttgart 12 March 1943 – Essen This Non-Commissioned Officer has completed 39 operational sorties, of which 27 have been with the Pathfinder Force. He has taken part in two attaacks on Essen, three on Dusseldorf and two on Munich. In December 1942, as mid-upper gunner he greatly assisted his captain to evade an enemy night fighter which attacked five times on the outward journey to Munich. Cooperating with the rear gunner they maintained a running commentary during the whole time which the enemy fighter sought to engage them, and when the enemy aircraft eventually gave up the chase, Flight Sergeant Connell assisted in putting out the fire caused by the bullets of the enemy. Flight Sergeant Connell has displayed high courage and helped to maintain the highest standard of morale so essential in this kind of work. He is strongly recommended for the award of the Distinguished Flying Medal.