BOOMER, Kenneth Arthur Squadron Leader, Alaska, C1220 Air Medal (United States) RCAF Personnel Awards 1939-1949
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BOOMER, S/L Kenneth Arthur (C1220) - Air Medal (United States) - Alaska - Award effective 23 December 1942 as per AFRO 272/43 dated 19 February 1943. Born in Ottawa, 20 August 1916. Attended Hopewell Avenue Public School (1921-29); Glebe Collegiate (1929-33), Kempville Agricultural School (1933-35) and Ontario Agricultural College (1935-1939). Enlisted in Ottawa, 9 October 1939 and appointed Provisional Pilot Officer.. Posted to Trenton, 2 January 1940; to Camp Borden, 28 February 1940, earning wings 29 April 1940. To Station Ottawa, 19 June 1940; to Trenton, 10 August 1940; to No.1 BGS, 4 September 1940; to Ottawa, 12 September 1940. Embarked for overseas, 27 September 1940; arrived in Liverpool, 5 October 1940; to No.112 Squadron (RCAF), 27 September 1940; to No.1 (RCAF) Squadron, 12 November 1940. Slightly injured on 29 December 1940 while on patrol; he became lost, ran out of fuel at 700 feet looking for a forced-landing field, and approached a field covered with obstruction poles, one of which he struck at a height of 20 feet. He swung 180 degrees but landed right-side up, suffering facial abrasions (Hurricane V6671). Posted to No.411 Squadron, 28 June 1941; Sent overseas, September 1940, serving in Nos.112, 1 (C) and 411 Squadrons. Returned to Canada, 8 April 1942. To No.132 Squadron, 3 June 1942 (Rockcliff) and subsequently took it to Sea Island and Patricia Bay. With No.111 Squadron (Alaska), 17 August 1942-31 May 1943. To Western Air Command, 5 June 1943; to AF HQ (staff duties), 23 October 1943; to No.2 SFTS, 13 November 1943; to No.36 OTU, 14 January 1944. To “Y” Depot, Lachine, 9 April 1944. Embarked from Halifax, 9 April 1944; arrived in Britain, 7 May 1944; to No.60 OTU, 13 June 1944; to No.418 Squadron, 20 August 1944. Killed in action (Day Ranger), 22 October 1944. Took off in Mosquito PZ198 from St.Dizier airfield, France and failed to return. Shot down about 1643 hours at Brunnthal, 11.5 kilometres south of Munchen-Rosenheim. Credited with the following victories: 7 November 1941 one Ju.88 destroyed while with No.411 Squadron; 25 September 1942, one \"Rufe\" seaplane fighter destroyed (Aleutians); 22 October 1944, one unidentified enemy aircraft destroyed and one unidentified enemy aircraft damaged. Cited in this instance with F/O J.G. Gohl, P/O H.O.Gooding, and F/O R. Lynch. RCAF photo 4459 (ex UK-190) is captioned as follows: “Before taking off for a flight the pilots always double check their course so that there is no slip-up after they are in the air. The group in front of the Spitfire are, left to right, Sergeant W.S. Pavely of 588 Gladstone Avenue, Ottawa, F/L R.C. Weston , Saint John, N.B., F/L K.A. Boomer, Ottawa, and Sergeant R.M. Booth, 322 Celanese Road, Drummondville, Quebec. While Booth checks the weather, the other fliers retrace their route.” RCAF photo PL-4461 (ex UK-192) shows him in Spitfire cockpit. RCAF photo PL-4590 (ex UK-332) shows Prime Minister Mackenzie King and Flight Lieutenant Ken Boomer; on background are Air Commodore L.F. Stevenson, Squadron Leader P.B. Pitcher and G/C A.P. Campbell. See magazine Airforce, Volume VII No.2 (June 1983). On 25th September 1942, they voluntarily flew with United States Army combat pilots, accompanying heavy bombers in making a hazardous five hundred mile overwater flight in order to press home an attack on the enemy at Kiska Island, Alaska. Although the mission of protecting the bombing planes from anti-aircraft fire and enemy fighters was completed, the fighters returned to strafe all enemy installations with remarkable success. All planes returned safely to base. BOOMER, S/L Kenneth Arthur (C1220) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.111 Squadron (Canada) - Award effective 1 January 1943 as per Canada Gazette of that date and AFRO 55/43 dated 15 January 1943. This officer is in command of a fighter squadron on detached operations in Alaska. Inspired by his unflagging zeal and devotion to duty, his squadron has maintained a consistently high standard of efficiency under difficult and trying conditions. He has displayed great qualities of courage and determination in seeking out the enemy and his flying skill has been responsible for the excellent work done by his squadron on coastal patrol duties in action against the enemy. He was the first RCAF pilot to make direct contact with the enemy and in so doing gave an exceptionally good account of himself. His services on fighter operations have been invaluable. This award was recommended on 8 December 1942 by G/C A.D. Hull, Senior Air Staff Officer, Western Air Command. Submission read: This officer has displayed energy and keenness in fitting his squadron for operational work and on September 25th 1942 he and three of his pilots formed part of a U.S. Fighter formation acting as escort to a Bomber operation from Fort Glenn to Kis ka in the Aleutian Islands. This officer was credited with shooting down one 0of the two enemy aircraft destroyed during this operation. In addition he has destroyed one German aircraft in operations overseas and assisted in the destruction of another. As of 1 December 1943 his flying times were as follows: single-engine solo (day), 433 hours; single-engine solo (night), 6.40; single -engine dual (day), 38.20; multi-engine as captain (day), 49.10; multi-engine dual (day), 33.05; multi-engine as captain (night), 3.00; multi-engine dual (night), 3.35. His assessments indicate that in training he was considered average. However, once with No.1 (Canadian) Squadron he was counted as “above average” On 14 June 1941, S/L A.D. Nesbitt wrote: An excellent pilot who has had considerable experience. In my opinion he is capable of flight command from the point of view of both ability and experience. Excellent type of officer. By February 1942, however, he was showing signs of boredom and fatigue. He had sought a posting “East” (presumably to Malta) and this had been granted, then cancelled. It was suggested that he needed a change, and was thus posted back to Canada. Here he blossomed: on 15 September 1942, W/C G.R. McGregor wrote: Ideally suited for present employment. Conscientious, reliable and energetic. Takes a pride in his unit and works hard to improve it. Has wide fighter experience. Has judgement and balance beyond his years, and a most likeable personality. Late in 1942 and early 1943 he was on non-flying lists (sinus problems) but by April 1943 he had resumed his duties. There was some consideration of employing him on training duties, which seems to have been the reason he was sent to No.2 SFTS for refresher flying. On 2 December 1943 he wrote a letter to Director of Postings and Careers, saying, in part: After approximately three weeks refresher training on Harvard aircraft at No.2 SFTS I am fully convinced that I am not of the necessary temperament to make a suitable service training instructor. Three years of solo fighter work flying hours developed numerous operational characteristics to my flying . These are not only extremely difficult to ov ercome but would be most detrimental to any student under my instruction, who would be required to pass the precision standard of service flying. The syllabus of service flying training is so thoroughly laid down, that I am certain I have nothing to offer in respect of my operational experience. I am extremely desirous of returning to operational flying, preferably overseas or, failing that, to the Home War Establishment. I have had a nine-months rest from my last operational tour and have been boarded medically fit for all flying. I have already had considerable twin-engine experience, the most recent being on P.38 Lightnings. The conversion period, therefore, would be exceptionally fast, particularly to Mosquitos whose characteristics are practically the same as the P.38. If given the opportunity to attend a Mosquito OTU I could easily and quickly qualify for either day or night intruder work. In my 27th year I am well within the age limit for any of these types of operations. May these reasons be considered, Sir, in respect to a conversion to multi-engined operations.