My search for a French-Canadian Mosquito pilot started in February 2010.
It is now ending with this picture sent to me by the son of another Mosquito pilot.
(Courtesy Tom Cushing via Peter Smith)
This is Eugène Gagnon in 1945, just below the nose of a Mosquito FB VI equipped with an ASH radar. I knew what was a Mosquito but I did not know some were carrying radars.
This picture was sent to me by the son of Tommy Smith, a No. 23 Squadron Mosquito pilot.
Tommy Smith’s story is amazing.
He served with Eugène Gagnon in December 1944 and January 1945.
Tommy Smith was shot down and taken prisoner. His navigator Arthur C. Cockayne was killed.
Image added in March 2013
Tommy Smith died in 2006.
His son knew little about his father’s service in the RAF. He had mostly talked about his fellow airmen.
This is the reason why his son is now in the process of writing a book on No. 23 Squadron and trying to contact people who knew either his father or fellow airmen.
As for Eugène Gagnon, I knew nothing him, or Gene as he was called, until I got an e-mail back in February 2010.
Eugène Gagnon DFC
The French-Canadian Mosquito pilot who is now less and less unknown in Bromptonville, Québec
I will tell you more next time.