P/O R. A. (Ron) Neil RNZAF

Not many people visit this blog.

But I don’t mind…

Someday, someone will write a comment about his grandfather who served in the RAF.

Remember P/O R. A. (Ron) Neil.

George Stewart who was 19 years-old in 1944 did.

George Stewart on nose

George Stewart

I sent George this little montage  I made with Paul Beaudet’s pictures shared by his daughter Diane…

Here’s George Stewart reply…

Indeed you do have Al’s pilot P/O Ron Neil.

Now we are getting somewhere to find P/O Ron Neil’s relatives.

Pilot Officer Neil was with the RNZAF.

Now we have identified three of the four airmen on this picture.

Berry, unknown, Beaudet and Neil…

Do you know the fourth one?

George does…

Who are these men?

Diane is lending me a helping hand with the pictures her father took during WW II.

Here’s one for the gipper…

Diane told me who these airmen were.

Top row: Roger Vincent A.G., Phil Roch B.A., Boyer M.
Bottom row: Charles Filion P., Roland Piquette W.A.G.

Who are these men?

To me it seems that they are the crew of a bomber.

With the abbreviations beside the names, I can figure out that Roger Vincent is the air gunner, Phil Roch is the bombaimer. I would venture to say that Boyer M. is M. Boyer and is also part of this crew. Charles Filion is the pilot and Roland Piquette the wireless-operator and an air gunner.

These airmen were not flying Mosquitos.

Who are these airmen?

I found someone named Maurice Boyer on the Virtual Canadian War Memorial…

In memory of
Pilot Officer
who died on March 24, 1944

Military Service:

Service Number: J/88343
Age: 24
Force: Air Force
Unit: Royal Canadian Air Force
Division: 425 Sqdn.

Could this crew have  flown on Wellingtons which had five airmen aboard?

Did Paul paid them a visit or did they visit him?

So many questions.

Flying Officer A.L. (Al) Berry

Do you have more information on F/O A.L. (Al) Berry?

Flying Officer  A.L. Berry was with the RNZAF.

He was a navigator in No. 23 Squadron of the RAF.

This is what George Stewart told me. He identified him also on the pictures sent to me by Paul Beaudet’s daughter.

Sometimes it only takes one clue to open many doors… So this is the first door.

F/O A.L. (Al) Berry

Are you related to him?

F/O A.L. (Al) Berry on the right, George Stewart is in the middle

This is another picture in Diane’s collection where we see F/O A.L. (Al) Berry.

Looks very much like F/O A.L. (Al) Berry. Look at his insigna. He is a navigator.

Want another picture?

This is what George said about F/O A.L. (Al) Berry when he saw this next picture I sent him…

This photo shows me with F/O A.L. (Al) Berry, a squadron navigator, whose pilot was P/O R. A. (Ron) Neil, both members of the RNZAF.

Could this be his pilot, P/O R. A. (Ron) Neil?

F/O A.L. (Al) Berry and P/O R. A. (Ron) Neil?

Try this montage…

Déjà vu…?

Are you related somehow to these airmen?

If so, write me a comment.

And the answers are…

I sent an e-mail to George Stewart this week after posting Monday’s article…

He answered back and he insists I call him George. I am not the kind of guy to argue with a Mosquito pilot…

George identified most of the airmen on the pictures that Paul Beaudet’s daughter sent me two weeks ago. Paul Beaudet was George’s navigator on all his 50 missions. They never suffered any injuries. I would venture to say that they were each other’s good luck charm.

Getting back to the photographs, I first believed that these pictures were taken at Luqa, Malta, but George told me they were taken in Alghero in Sardinia and also in Naples, Italy.

This is the first picture I posted last time.

This is what George Stewart wrote me…

His answers are in blue…

This photo shows my navigator F/O J. R. Paul Beaudet, beside F/L J. (Jackie) Curd, a squadron pilot who flew with his navigator F/S P.H.Devlin.

This photo shows me with F/O A.L. (Al) Berry, a squadron navigator, whose pilot was P/O R. A. (Ron) Neil, both members of the RNZAF.

The other officer on the left side of the photo escapes my memory for now, but I think he was our engineering officer. This shot was taken in Naples, and you can see Mount Vesuvius in the background. We landed here off the Italian cruiser Garibaldi, which sailed us here from Cagliary, Sardinia, after we found out that the squadron was going back to the U.K., in the spring of 1944. We sailed from here to Liverpool on the Strathnaver.

The picture shows a few of us in Sassari (Sardinia), a city close to our base at Alghero in Sardinia, (after we did a bit of shopping. I bought a lovely small oil painting, for 800 lire). In the dark battledress to my right, is F/O Ken Eastwood’s navigator F/L G.T.(Griff) Rogers. ‘Scappa’ W/O.K.V.Rann, a squadron navigator who flew with Lt. J.H.Christie, of the Dutch Airforce, is on my right, and Paul to his right.


I’m not sure about the chap in the top picture with his right arm around my navigator Paul, but it may come to me later; it may have been taken a the #1 B.P.D. tent camp in Algiers.


Paul Beaudet and the Vesuvius of course.

Al Berry again, likely taken the same day as the photo on page 1, in Naples.

With all these new articles on No. 23 Squadron, I would like to consider myself as being George’s navigator on the Internet…


No. 23 Squadron in Malta or Sardinia?

Here are more pictures of Paul Beaudet a navigator who served with No. 23 Squadron.

I know that the squadron was based in Malta to defend the island.

This is video I found on Google.

If I post these pictures, it’s to find more relatives of the airmen who served in this squadron.

I believe these were taken at Luqa, Malta but it could be also at these locations: Alghero, Sardinia and Blida, Sardinia.

Do you know any of the unidentified airmen?

Paul Beaudet on the left with…?


George Stewart in the middle

Paul Beaudet, …, George Stewart and… in Alghero (see comment below)

Paul Beaudet, …

Paul Beaudet


Paul Beaudet’s album

This is the start of a series of articles on unidentified airmen that belonged to No. 23 Squadron.

Diane gave me permission to post the pictures she had of her father on this blog.

I will first put this one.

This is her father.

Paul Beaudet DFC

Paul as you know was George Stewart’s navigator.

This is George.

George Stewart DFC

We are lucky to know their names.

Peter Smith kind of introduced me to Georges Stewart. Peter sent me part of his manuscript. In it he has some pictures of Paul Beaudet that George Stewart shared with him.

This is one of them.

Hey George… We’re a team!

Diane has this picture also and she has a lot more to share with you.

This is the first one.

I think I recognize George on the left. I don’t think Paul Beaudet is on the right.

I know No. 23 Squadron was posted on Malta and Sardinia. I don’t know if this picture was taken there.

What I know is that the island of Malta suffered a lot before the RAF could send planes to defend against the numerous attacks from the Luftwaffe.

See you next Monday for more pictures that seem related to Malta.

You are never too old…

When Eugène Gagnon came back to live in Bromptonville after being discharged from the RCAF, he went to see his mother first.

But the next day, he went to see Marcel Bergeron’s grandmother.

Odélie Trudel

You see, Eugène Gagnon was kind of an adopted son to Odélie.

Eugène asked her if she wanted a plane ride in a Fleet Finch. Some were still stationed at the Windsor Mills Flying School.

Fleet Finch (not Eugene in the picture)

Odélie Trudel was 92 years old at the time.

She said yes…

And she had the ride of her life.

Eugène would die in 1947 in a plane crash.


People kept this a secret.

Odélie died in 1948. She never expected to see her kind of adopted son sitting next to St. Pierre.