Historical Aircraft

February 1945


Thursday, February 1, 1945

Duff weather prevented us from doing any flying to day, so it was spent in the mess playing bridge and other card games.  Some of the boys went into Brussels to the Turkish Baths in the afternoon.  F/L’s Tosh and Todd proceeded on leave, Todd to England and Tosh to the French Alps.

Friday, February 2, 1945

Two shows today, the first one an armed recce to the Munster Rhine area.  The weather was very poor and the show uneventful.  The second was an area cover to bombers over the Euskrichen area.  F/L E.A. Fleming was posted to the Squadron to fill a Flight Commander vacancy, so used by F/L Dick Reeves before being posted non effective sick.  We also welcome a new pilot to the Squadron in the person of WO1 Boudreau.

Saturday, February 3, 1945

Our one and only do today, target cover to bombers in the Dahn area.  Just after take off, F/O Tegerdine’s A/C engine cut while he was over Brussels and having no place to put his kite down, landed on the roof of an apartment house.  He wrote off the kite completely but came out of it with a couple of cuts and bruises.   Lucky Tegerdine.

Sunday, February 4, 1945

No flying today, weather was very poor mostly rain squalls and low cloud.  F/L ‘Red’ Thompson finished his second tour of operational flying, having completed his first tour on Malta.

Monday, February 5, 1945

Poor weather again prevented us from doing any flying.  Another new pilot was posted to the Squadron, F/S Arsenault.  Nothing much exciting doing at all, the boys paid another visit to the Turkish Baths in Brussels.

Tuesday, February 6, 1945

One big show today when the whole Wing, comprising 44, aircraft did area cover to bombers in the Berg Gladbach area.  It proved very uneventful and the boys were glad to get back to base.

Wednesday, February 7, 1945

Duff weather today prevented us from doing any flying.  F/L Tosh and Todd are back from leave today, ‘Stew’ Tosh looking very tanned and fit after spending seven days leave in the French Alps skiing and skating.

Thursday, February 8, 1945

Very uneventful flying today, escort to bombers, no flak, no fighters, no nothing, this war gets less exciting every day.  F/L Reg Morris and P/O Bob Shannon proceeded on leave today, Morris to England and Shannon to the French Alps.  Our CO, S/L Collier, was given powers of subordinate commander in order that he may try the airmen of the attached Echelon and the Squadron for disciplinary offences.

Friday, February 9, 1945

F/O Tegerdine returned to unit today after a week in hospital following his remarkable escape on the third, looking none the worse for his experience of crash landing on a roof in Brussels.  Very uneventful flying today.

Saturday, February 10, 1945

An armed recce in the Lingen Zwolle area proved to be very uneventful, nothing much seen to shoot up.  F/O Tegerdine off to England on seven days sick leave.  The Squadron Orderly room became the proud owners of a mobile orderly room today.  It’s about time we had something for the Orderly room of this nature as previously they’ve set up house keeping in any old place at all and the disused ambulance that they fell owners to, just suits the job swell.

Sunday, February 11, 1945

One show today and it almost washed out one of our most popular members of the Squadron.  Just after take off, F/L Wally Dove’s aircraft engine cut and he was forced to make a crash landing in a nearby field, luckily he managed to get clear of Brussels before having to land.  There’s been quite a bit of trouble lately with aircraft engines, owing to a new grade of fuel being used and extra boost added.

Monday, February 12, 1945

No flying again today.  The Squadron Orderly room set up housekeeping,or Orderly Room keeping, at the dispersal area again.  Quite like old times again, the last time the Squadron Orderly room was located at dispersal was at Tangmere in England early this year.  The Adjt and his clerks seem well satisfied with their latest piece of scrounging.

Tuesday, February 13, 1945

Word was received today that the Adjt will soon be tour expired and will be leaving us, his tour of service overseas finished.  Guess it will be a bowler hat for you Adjt when you get back home.

Wednesday, February 14, 1945

Three shows today, weather very good over base but not quite so good over enemy territory.  Eight ME262’s seen and we tried to engage them but Jerry wasn’t having any and dived for the nearest cloud cover.  The boys went into town tonight to the usual hang out.  Rumours of another move in the very near future.

Thursday, February 15, 1945

After a very good day for flying yesterday, the weather closed in again today and flying became abortive.  The day was spent in the mess playing cards etc.

Friday, February 16, 1945

Our CO, S/L Collier, finished his second tour today or should we say was taken off because of being tired.  He had 132 hrs completed on his second tour, tough luck Skipper.  Our new CO is F/L H.M.P. Zary DFC of 416 Squadron.  Welcome new CO, we hope you’ll be as good as Jim Collier.

Saturday, February 17, 1945

The boys are feeling quite sorry to see our former CO, S/L Collier, go.  He was without a doubt the most popular CO we’ve had since S/L Bob Buckham.  Jim Collier had a knack of knitting together a bunch of lads into a formidable fighting team, of holding their interest and getting things done.  We feel that it will be some time before we have another CO as good as he.

Sunday, February 18, 1945

No flying again today, poor weather with low cloud prevented us from getting off the ground.  More and stronger rumours of another move nearer the German border somewhere in the vicinity of Venlo.

Monday, February 19, 1945

Poor weather again today for flying, so the day was spent in the mess playing the usual games of bridge etc.  Arrangements are being made for a farewell party for our old CO, S/L Jim Collier, tomorrow night in Brussels.

Tuesday, February 20, 1945

And still the weather is against us for flying today.  Tonight, the Squadron went to the RAF Officers Club in Brussels to say goodbye to S/L Jim Collier, and what a party it turned out to be.  It broke up around 2300 hrs and there wasn’t a sober person in the crowd.  Good Luck Jim Collier in your future flying.

Wednesday, February 21, 1945

The day dawned bright and clear and that meant that there would be bags of flying, which is exactly how it turned out.  The effects of the previous night’s party did not affect the boys in the slightest as they were all anxious to get into the air after almost a week of no flying.  There was no opposition from Jerry and only some half hearted flak.

Thursday, February 22, 1945

Another grand day for flying and we lost one of our most popular members over enemy territory.  F/O Tegerdine, he of the roof landing fame earlier on in the month, had to bale out over enemy territory when his engine packed up.  He was last seen to land on the ground and start gathering his parachute.  Tough Luck Teg, hope to be seeing you soon though, as this war won’t be so long now before it’s finished.

Friday, February 23, 1945

Today was another grand day for flying with bright and cloudless skies.  S/L Collier departed today for England.  We move to Petit Brogel near Eindhoven on March the first, some fifty miles nearer the front, and a lot of the boys are going to be sorry to leave Brussels as, according to all reports, they’ve made some pretty good friends with the Brussels people.

Saturday, February 24, 1945

Another Saturday with bags of flying although the weather over the front wasn’t any too good.  Opposition was practically nil and flying uneventful.

Sunday, February 25, 1945

Poor flying weather, but we carried on with front line patrols all day.  With our next move coming up within the next few days, we busied ourselves in our spare moments getting things packed and organized.

Monday, February 26, 1945

Duff weather, with rain and low cloud made it impossible to fly at all today.  Early in the afternoon, the Squadron was released and the boys headed for Brussels for one last fling before heading for the sticks on our next move.

Tuesday, February 27, 1945

Nil flying again today due to poor weather.  The day was spent in packing and loafing around the mess in the hopes that the weather might clear sufficiently for us to fly in the afternoon.

Wednesday, February 28, 1945

One bombing effort this morning which was aborted due to dense cloud over the target, was all the flying that was done until late afternoon as the weather closed in shortly after we landed and did not clear again until late afternoon.  Tomorrow the ‘A’ party of the Echelon move to our new Airdrome.

The Health of the Squadron remains at its same high level.

Total number of sorties for the month of February 1945     –  301

No. 403 Squadron Strength and Flying Times for the month of February 1945

Officers Flying    26            Officer Ground     2
Airmen Flying        3            Airmen Ground    12    RCAF
2    RAF

U.S.A. Personnel:    NIL.        Our Casualties for Month:
F/O O.R.M. Tegerdine   Missing

Enemy Casualties for Month:                                 Nil

Flying times for Month.
Operational Hours        477:15
Non operational Hours     11:45
Total     489:00