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IRVINE, John Alexander Flight Lieutenant, No.422 Squadron, J9908 Mention in Despatches RCAF Personnel Awards 1939-1949
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IRVINE, F/L John Alexander (J9908) - Mention in Despatches - No.422 Squadron - Award effective 14 January 1944 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 874/44 dated 21 April 1944. Born in Calgary, 12 April 1916; attended Haultain Public School and Calgary Commercial High. Royal Bank employee for six years. Enlisted in Edmonton, 5 May 1941. To No.2 Manning Depot, Brandon, 14 May 1941. To No.10 SFTS (guard), 7 June 1941; to No.4 ITS, 2 July 1941; graduated and promoted LAC, 17 August 1941 when posted to No.3 AOS, Regina; to No.2 BGS, Mossbank, 8 November 1941; graduated and promoted Sergeant, 20 December 1941 when posted to No.1 CNS (Rivers), commissioned 17 January 1942; to No.31 GRS, Summerside, 13 February 1942. To No.32 OTU, 14 March 1942. Attached to Ferry Command, 23 March 1942. Proceeded overseas, 27 March 1942 with Hudson FH300, arriving in Britain 2 April 1942. Promoted Flying Officer, 1 October 1942. Returned to Canada and on 6 November 1942 left Montreal with Catalina FP250, proceeding via Goose Bay to Britain (arrived 8 November 1942). Promoted Flight Lieutenant, 22 March 1943. With No.422 Squadron he delivered aircraft to Russia (recalls his first delivery involved flying at 150-200 feet with iceing conditions at 300 feet; duration, 18 hours); Bombing Leader with No.422 Squadron (squadron bombing leader); returned to Canada 25 February 1945; to “Y” Depot, 26 March 1945; to United Kingdom, 13 April 1945. Repatriated 2 October 1945; to No.10 Repair Depot, 10 October 1945; discharged in Calgary, 7 December 1945. Logbook lost in a fire while attending Empire Air Navigation School, but as of 30 December 1944 S/L W.M. French (Flight Commander, No.422 Squadron) reported that Irvine has flown 539 hours 25 minutes on operations (day) plus 175 hours 35 minutes on operations (night), 15 July 1942 to 26 August 1944, and assessed him as "an Above Average Navigator". Information supplied by Mr. Irvine, letter to H.A. Halliday, 6 April 1998. Postwar he obtained a BSc. (Chemical Engineering) and spemt 32 years in oil industry. Died in Calgary, 27 September 2012. RCAF photo PL-15863 (ex UK-3624 dated 12 April 1943) is captioned as follows: “The old sea flying concern of Limpert and Irvine, which has flown to Russia together, and has operated as a pilot-observer unit since the formation of their RCAF Sunderland squadron. On the left is F/L Leonard W.C. Limpert, captain and pilot, of Halifax, and F/O Jack A. Irvine, navigator, 512-20th Avenue West, Calgary.” PL-15866 (ex UK-3627 dated 12 April 1943) is captioned as follows: “Members of an RCAF flying boat squadron who participated in several trips to Russia in connection with important convoy work. Left to right, F/L L.W.C. Limpert, Halifax, pilot and captain, Sergeant W. McEwan, Glasgow, F/O Jack A. Irvine, navigator, Calgary, Sergeant Albert Dawson, South Shields, Sergeant E.N. Dewar, Creston, B.C. See also UK-3604).”