I Wonder If…

Something to reflect upon…

Sometimes you get carried away when you are a blogger.

I wonder if many people can keep up with all this research going on on this blog about 23 Squadron that I started writing in 2010.

I wonder if you took a close look at the link I posted about George Atkinson yesterday.  

That George Atkinson is probably the same pilot who is listed on the logbook page and who flew three times with R.C. Harris to test Beaufighter Is on August 16, 1944.

51 OTU August 1944 Atkinson

Who really cares about all this information?

I wonder if you read the follow-up post left by Robert Dixon in the forum when he was replying to David

Hi David,

Your information is a little off on one or two points. George Atkinson joined the RAF from school as an apprentice and passed out there on August 16, 1934 as a metal rigger. He served overseas at Atbara and Khartoum with 47 Squadron. Flying training began in September 26, 1937. He joined 151 Squadron in 1938 and remained with it until October 1941. He did not fly operationally again during the Battle of Britain after he was shot down in August. He never flew Spitfires.

He was posted to East Fortune, Scotland, as an instructor on the Defiant, October 31, 1941. Later posted to 96 Squadron, Defiants. From October 15, 1943 he was posted to Canada as an instructor on the Mosquito and he remained there in that role until December 31, 1944. On his return he was posted to Chater Hall and it was from there that he flew his last flight and crashed into the grounds of Pallinsburn House. He did not, as far as I know, fly in Beaufighters and he took no part in the Mosquito raids. you should find a bit on here


His grave is in Blyth Cemetery, Links Road, not far from his home: which still stands.

Best Wishes,


If you tried visiting the link http://:norav.50megs.com he suggested then you found that there was nothing there because there was a typo in the address.

This is the proper link http://norav.50megs.com/about.html

You would have missed a lot about a little known part of the history of the Battle of Britain.


I know I would have missed a lot also…

Excerpt from the Website




   The words sound loud and clear over the radio: ‘OK chaps, help yourselves there’s no fighter escort.’ This was the raid on the North East of England during the Battle of Britain: Hollywood version, courtesy of the 1969 film ‘Battle Of Britain’. This was the only film that took the Battle of Britain as its subject matter. It was the film, that set out to show the ‘Battle’ as it really was, warts and all. Sadly, like all films, that set out to tell the true story, there were to be historical errors. The above ‘bloomer’ was to be one. However, for many this was the way it actually happened. It must have, they made a film about it. Had to be true then. Apart from the event happening the rest, where it concerns the north East, is artistic licence. Today many think this ‘faction’ is a true enactment. As recently as the year 2000 the updated version of the ‘bible’ on the Battle of Britain: ‘ The Battle Of Britain Then And Now’ states; ‘A major attack took place towards Newcastle with unescorted bombers’. So what really did happen on August 15, 1940? The operation was known as the ‘Northern Flank’. The day came to be remembered by the Germans as ‘Black Thursday.’

Robert Harris wrote me this message last week.

Hello again Pierre,

I expect you have a lot to do and I am sorry if I am inundating you with information.  I thought I had better let you have the Turbinlite section of the relevant log book.  This part of his story in the RAF comes between his time with RAAF 456 and RAF 535 – it is attached! 

Apart from re-scanning those ruined log book pages and the photos, I won’t send you any more information until you ask for it.  Perhaps you would then be kind enough to let me know which part of the “story” you would like to receive next.

Cheers – Rob

I hope Robert Harris does not think that he is inundating me with information because I would be missing a lot.

Robert was wondering about the faith of Ensign Grinndal and I was wondering about W/O Atkinson who were both pilots’ names on this logbook page.

51 OTU August 1944 Atkinson

But what about P.O. (Pilot Officer) Hutchinson who was the pilot of Beaufighter I serial number 4566?

I wonder if P. O. Hutchinson  was also with 151 Squadron before?

You never stop wondering when you start looking for people associated with someone. This is what got me started writing this blog in the first place in 2010 about 23 Squadron which I knew nothing about.

I just wanted to reach out for those who knew Eugene Gagnon because I wanted to know more about him while he was serving with this squadron.

Eugene Gagnon

I had little to go on…

Only his discharge papers!

Discharge papers page 1 Discharge papers page 2

Not much to go on…

But these documents were enough to find Peter Smith a few months later on a WWII forum where he was talking about his father Tommy Smith who knew Eugene Gagnon…

Peter Smith

To make contact in 2011 with George Stewart whom Peter Smith visited in Hamilton in 2010…

George Stewart and Peter Smith

To meet Ghislaine Laporte, Eugene’s fiancée, in May 2013.

Ghislaine Laporte

And finally, Eugene Gagnon’s navigator’s son who thinks he is inundating me with information. 

I hope Robert Harris does not think he is inundating me with information about his father Richard Craig Harris…

Let there be rain!

I wonder if I am overdoing this a little bit and inundating Robert with too much information about his father…


8 thoughts on “I Wonder If…

  1. Well, I’m tight on time, so I can tell you I don’t get to read all the posts, but enough, and no, I don’t think it’s too much. People can pick and choose the level of detail they want.

    One never knows what people will find interesting, but beyond that, I presume you enjoy or get satisfaction from doing this. Sometimes, that is enough.

    • I just wanted to give my readers some breather.

      The underlying message about this post is once you start finding about someone, hidden doors open up like the story about the Battle of Britain and the little known story about North East England.

      That Website is interesting but is hard to navigate through.
      Robert Dixon is using a Web Template and parts are unfinished.
      He started in 2006.

      Thanks for your comment.


  2. I appreciate your dedication in finding pieces of the puzzle. Some of us wouldn’t have the patience to follow the leads, dead ends–even though the story needs to be told and not forgotten. I feel as though everyone that fought for the Allies were part of the same “family.”

    • I also have a thought for the families of who were on the other side.
      War is hell for everyone who fought because of man’s insanity.
      Whenever someone needs a little help, I provide it always free of charge.
      This way we help to pay tribute to those who lost their lives… and left their loved ones.
      So many…

      I am not the only blogger to do this.

      • Good point, I’ve had the priviledge of talking to Germans that fought on the “other side”–one was on the Russian front. The Allies thought God was on their side, as did the Germans. My statement was not meant to be one of exclusion.

      • I did not think you were excluding the other side.

        Thanks for all your comments.


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