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