Bob Braham’s picture was in the Gosling family collection. I had to find who he was. I did. I did not know he was the top RAF night fighter ace.

Lest We Forget

I wanted to find some information about a pilot since I knew nothing about him.

Someone just sent me this picture he had in his family collection.

23 Squadron crew original Bob Braham

Gosling family collection

This is the edited version.

Wing Commander Bob Braham is on the right. Squadron Leader Sticks Gregory, a good jazz drummer, is on the left.

WC Bob Braham and SL Gregory

Gosling family collection

This is what I could find about him here on the Internet.

This is the introduction.

John Randall Daniel ‘Bob’ Braham DSO & Two BarsDFC & Two BarsAFCCD, (6 April 1920 – 7 February 1974) was a British pilot and one of the most highly decorated airman of the RAF in World War II. He claimed 29 enemy aircraft destroyed, probably destroyed one more, and damaged 6 in 318 operational flights. He was the top scoring RAF ace flying twin-engined fighters and was fifth among…

View original post 81 more words

Advertisements

What about this?

What about this?

23 Squadron Group Picture

Gosling family collection

Eugene Gagnon is on that picture, but not under the nose this time.

close-up

23 Squadron Group Picture Eugene Gagnon

Ted Gosling in on the left and Eugene Gagnon is sitting on the tarmac.

Gosling and Gagnon

The picture is fuzzy but I could find Eugene in a haystack.

These pictures were taken in July 1945. 23 Squadron was disbanded in September 1945.

Here are some more pictures from the Gosling family collection.

23 Squadron end of the war 2

Mosquitos

23 Squadron end of the war 3

Tony Marks beating up the airfield on the day it was disbanded

23 Squadron end of the war 1

More Mosquitos

Tony Marks?

Who is Buzzing Tony Marks from 23 Squadron?

I will have to look it up. Meantime, I wonder if Robert Harris can find his father in the Gosling family collection?

I have…

Déjà Vu?

23 Squadron Group Picture A Fight

Gosling family collection1945

Wing Commander Russell collection via Tommy Cushing via Peter Smith

What about this?

23 Squadron Group Picture

Gosling family collection

A member of the Gosling family sent many pictures of 23 Squadron and is willing to pay homage to Flight Lieutenant Gosling.

23 Squadron Gosling Memorial

Gosling family collection

As much as this blog serves as a memorial to Flight Lieutenant Eugène Gagnon, this blog is opened to all who wants to share their precious mementos.

You share and I share.

23 Squadron Crest

Gosling family collection

Another View From His Grandad Mossie

Marten is this navigator’s grandson.

Click here to get reacquainted.

Marten wrote back to contribute more to this blog.

Hi Pierre

It’s great to continue to read about the squadron, so keep up the good work! I have attached a better quality scan of the photo my grandfather took, as well as a scan of the 23 squadron entry from Martin Streetly’s ‘Aircraft of 100 Group’. I will get around to photographing my model, I promise.

Regards

Marten

This is a very picture of a Mosquito equipped with the ASH radar.

Grandad Mossie

page from book

About St. Chris…

1943-1944_Plane (bike)

We all know who flew St. Chris don’t we…Paul Beaudet and George Stewart 1About Marten’s grandad picture… I did a little touch-up.

ASH Radar

ASH Radar notes

Eugène Gagnon DFC 1941-1945 RCAF: part IX

Note:

This post was written back in September 2011, but it was never published.

laporte2 001

This Mosquito pilot was unknown back in 2010. This is the reason why I wrote this blog in the first place. 

I wrote Eugène Gagnon DFC 1941-1945 RCAF: part VIII in February 2012.

It’s about time I continue with this story now that Hector Goldie’s and Norman Conquer’s story is now well known thanks to Peter Smith. 

Eugène Gagnon  was TOS (Taken on Strength) at No 3 PRC Bournemouth.

The following is taken from a forum on WWII.

The following is either a direct quote or paraphrase from McCarthy’s “A Last Call of Empire”:

The function of the PRC was to orientate aircrew as they arrived, to organise refresher courses and various other attachments, and to act as an agent for the air ministry in arranging postings. The main role was really to keep aircrew employed until they could be utilised.

From this and additional sources there was, more specifically:

…would have been medically checked out, briefed on his responsibilities and forthcoming duties, taken in lectures given by experienced aircrew, issued his battle dress and flying gear, and, finally, assigned his next posting.

Eugene would arrive at Little Snoring with No. 23 Squadron late November 1944.

Wing Commander Sticky Murphy was still alive.

 

Sticky would be shot down and killed on December 2, 1944.

Eugène would fly his first mission, his Freshman mission, on December 5th. He would go on to fly 32 more missions with the same navigator F/O R.C. Harris. 

Many relatives of Eugene’s comrades in arms have written me, but none related to F/O R.C. Harris who we see here in a close-up.

This is the group picture courtesy Tommy Cushing via Peter Smith. It was part of Wing Commander Russell’s collection.

I know one day a relative of F/O R.C. Harris will find my blog and write me just like so many people did since 2010.

He Went in for a Second Pass…

I never got around to post this back in 2011. Now I think the time is right

This is what happened when Tommy Smith was shot down.

Tommy Smith

This is what George Stewart told me.

George told me a lot of things during our little five-hour chat. We were sitting side by side just like in a Mosquito.

Mossie in flight 23 Squadron

Unlike the crew of a Mosquito, I was sitting on the left and George was on the right. His lovely wife had prepared some snacks. I did not have time to grab a bite. I was too enthraled by what George was telling me.

Everything is in my head. I would have wished I could have taped the conversation. I had my tape recorder but it never crossed my mind to use it or I did not have the guts to ask him.

We talked about Paul Beaudet, George’s navigator.

Hey we're a team

George had just kind words for him. Paul is now deceased, but his memory still lives on with his daughter Diane and his granddaughter Sonya.

Sonya is the one who found my blog Lest We Forget two years ago… just like Robert did this week.

If you can read French…

Souvenirs de guerre

Ghislaine Laporte n’a jamais oublié son premier amour, Eugène Gagnon

 laporte3 001

Texte de Jacques GAGNON

«On n’oublie jamais son premier amour», déclare d’emblée Ghislaine Laporte avant même de commencer à parler de son fiancé Eugène Gagnon, qui se tua dans l’écrasement de son avion, le 21 octobre 1947.

numérisation0015

Ils devaient se marier quelques jours plus tard.

Pour la majorité de ceux qui s’intéressent à son glorieux passé de pilote de Mosquito pendant la Deuxième Guerre mondiale, Ghislaine Laporte, c’est la fiancée. Sauf ses proches, rares sont ceux qui en connaissent davantage au sujet de celle qui s’apprêtait à unir sa destinée au héros de Bromptonville.

Je suis le neveu d’Eugène Gagnon. Je rencontrai Ghislaine à quelques reprises au cours des dernières années. J’allai chez elle, elle vint chez moi avec son dernier mari, Roger Charest. Ma femme Colette l’avait rencontrée lorsqu’elle était étudiante dans la même classe que sa sœur…

View original post 2,779 more words

Almost Three Years Now…

First post on this blog about 23 Squadron written on April 5, 2010.

Read it carefully.

I could have waited until April 5, 2013 before posting it again, but my unexpected virtual meeting with R. C. Harris’ son changed my planned mission. His son is willing to share what he has on his father so we will pay homage to both Eugène Gagnon and Richard C. Harris.

Eugène died in a plane crash in 1947. Robert told me his father died in 1969. I don’t believe they contacted each other after the war. But maybe they did.

I hope R.C. Harris’ son will find out in what he kept of his father’s souvenirs during the war.

Presentation

You will not find much information on the Internet about this RAF squadron that operated in Little Snoring.

This blog is dedicated to the men of No. 23 Squadron of the RAF that were stationed in Little Snoring, in England, from 1944 to 1945.

One of these men is Eugène Gagnon who flew 33 night missions over Germany.

Eugène Gagnon was a French-Canadian born in Bromptonville, a small town north of Sherbrooke, in Quebec, Canada.

He is even less well known than No. 23 Squadron, but trust me on this, he will become as famous as Pat Rooney who drew his caricature at Little Snoring.

Eugène Gagnon DFC

“Only the best pilots flew the Mosquito.”

This blog will pay homage to him, to Tommy Smith another Mosquito pilot shot down over Germany and everyone I can find who flew or served in this squadron.

You can share with me and my readers what you know about No. 23 Squadron.

Just add a comment and I will get in touch.

Lest we forget

R. C. Harris

I found a relative of Eugène Gagnon’s navigator!

Richard Craig Harris.

No. 23 Squadron Aircrew 1945 R. Harris

Hi!

Amazed to find all this information about 23 Squadron! My father was R. C. Harris – he flew with Eugene Gagnon on 33 missions out of Little Snoring. Sadly my father died young at the age of 51 in Wellington Somerset UK

I finally found a relative after three years.

All this effort writing about 23 Squadron was all worthwhile.

1945

Click below for Eugene’s and R.C. Harris’ missions

GAGNONops

Eugene’s fiancée

This picture was given to Eugène’s nephew by Eugène’s fiancée.

laporte2 001

Jacques Gagnon has been meeting Ghyslaine Laporte and she is now telling him her part of the story behind this Mosquito pilot. I am just waiting for final approval to publish what Jacques wrote about it here.

Meantime, Peter Smith has sent Richard Cooper some of his notes on his father-in-law following Richard’s comment.

My father-in-law is Theodore Griffiths DFC. He was a Mosquito pilot with 23 Squadron and his navigator was a Rick Maude. Any memories copies of photographs would be much appreciated. Theo suffers from Alzeimers and vascular dementia but is still able to recall his time with the squadron.

Richard Cooper