IN EXCELSIS VINCIMUS - "WE CONQUER IN THE HEIGHTS"
Honouring the courageous men of RCAF 434 "Bluenose" Squadron.
During WW II part of Canada’s contribution consisted of fifteen heavy bomber squadrons known as “RCAF 6 Group” combining with Britain’s “Bomber Command”. 434 Squadron was one of the 15 that were stationed at various airfields in the County of Yorkshire, England. Also known as the "Bluenosers” 434 was initially based out of Tholthorpe then Croft in the two years Overseas, 15th June 1943 – 9th June 1945.
This site contains hundreds images; aircraft, daily life at the airfields, ground crew, documents, along with the history of 434 Squadron. More importantly a collection of Aircrew photos, 1374 airmen volunteered for this squadron, tragically 347 made the ultimate sacrifice, their pictures and written memories are numerous.
Visit the Personnel Download page containing a PDF searchable database (Air Crew only). I estimate 600 individuals; airmen, ground crew, and WAAF's have their photo on this site. Majority are identified, images were obtained through NAC (National Archives Canada), private submissions, or discovered on the internet.
Sgt Tim Tyler crew 12 - A flight Engineer tells his story about operations with 434 Squadron, Flying in the Halifax Bomber during WW2.
Last Flight to Berlin - In this film (7 minute excerpt) Robert Linnell documents in a personal way his father's war story on film. Robert Linnell never knew his father. His father was the pilot of a heavy bomber and was was shot down on a night bombing mission to Berlin in Germany in 1944. Linnell was only 2 months old when his father died. In this short film Linnell includes historical footage, accesses historical documents, interviews with family and other pilots who survived, a visit the forest in Germany near Berlin where his father's plane crashed after being shot down by a German night-fighter. Incredibly, Linnell managed to track down the pilot of the German night fighter who shot down his father's plane. A moving and personal account.
Night Madness - Written by Richard Pyves
Sgt. Ron Pyves Rear Air-Gunner for Henry Crew 129
Night Madness chronicles the incredible story of Ron Pyves, a teenager who fought as a tail-gunner over the wartorn skies of Europe during those last deadly months to eliminate Hitler's hold over Europe. For 35 harrowing nights, Ron and his crew flew out from the Scottish coast, deep into the Rhineland. Despite skies dark with Messerschmitts and deadly anti-aircraft flak, they returned to home-base, only to face the fight, night after night.
Breaking all odds for a tail-gunner, Ron made it through the war physically intact, only to face a new battle on the home front -fighting Post Traumatic Stress Disorder caused by the memories of battle and his participation in the deadly bombing of Dresden.
Based on interviews, painstaking archival research, and a long-distance love affair captured in daily correspondence, Rick Pyves weaves together a touching love story and one man's very personal war.
Order at Chapters/Indigo
The Memorial (silver) Cross was created on December 1, 1919. It is a small medal that is presented to mothers and widows of Canadian soldiers who have died on active duty. The cross is engraved with the name and service number of the son or husband.
In 2006, a decision was made to present the Silver Cross to the husband of the first female combat officer to be killed in the line of duty.
“Lady Orchid” WL-O Serial # KB-895
Flown by F/O Ron Jenkins of Calgary - WW II
In consultation with Clarence Simonsen, Artist Duncan Parker has replicated in full size "Lady Orchid" on one of the few remaining Lancaster’s in the world. Near completion (requires Mid Upper Turret, repainting the prop spinners to a darker blue) the Aero Space Museum of Calgary will have the only RCAF WW II Lancaster Mk. X with authentic "Canadian replica nose art" and markings of No. 434 (Bluenose) Squadron. A magnificent tribute to the Squadron, F/O Ron Jenkins and all whom served in Bomber Command.
(Note: The Mynarski Lancaster VR-A is authentic and carried No. 419 Squadron nose art in WW II, but today carries a badge of Warplane Heritage).