Ripples in the water – Stanley Ernest Messum and George Aitken

Remembrance Day 2020 continues with what George Aitken’s daughter has shared.

Her father had written this about his friend Stanley.


STANLEY ERNEST MESSUM

Stanley Ernest Messum, son of Mr. Mrs. H.C. Messum of Lloydminster. Stan attended Camrose Normal School and after teaching first at North Home School, located near Dewberry and at Trimble Ville School, north of Isley, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in Edmonton in 1940.

I first. met Stan at Dauphin, Manitoba, where we took our Service Flying Training. We graduated on the same day, 8th August, 1941 and found ourselves on the same “Overseas” posting. Our friendship did not flourish until the time that we were both destined to be posted to the Middle East. At the last moment, we were both taken off this posting and instead transferred from #416 RCAF Squadron then located at Peterhead in Scotland to #403 RCAP Squadron, stationed at North Weald. We usually got time off together, and he would invite me to visit, with him, some relatives who lived in London.

Whilst I was away from the Squadron, on leave, Stan was on an Operational trip and “shot down”. Fortunately, he was rescued and by the time I returned from “leave” he was of course flying again.

Stan was then posted to the Middle East. He was in Malta, at the time that George “Buzz” Beurling, a Canadian in the RAF and who had also flown with #403 RCAF Fighter Squadron at North Weald. Stan saw service in the Middle East and for a time flew with an Air Delivery Unit between Lagos and Cairo.

Stan had an exceptional sense of humor and his cheerfulness always made friends for him easily.

Stan returned to Canada in 1944 for a short rest period and we met in Edmonton to renew our acquaintance as I too had returned to Canada and was at the time stationed at Shepard, just south of Calgary, Alberta. We discussed the War and we both agreed that it would soon be at an end. He had requested to be returned “Overseas” to Operations and he told me that he had found a young lady in England, who he intended to marry as soon as he got back. His wish was granted and he did return Overseas and was married.

It seemed only a short time later when we read in our papers that he was reported “missing” in air operations. At this time he was flying with the Hornet Squadron out of Eindhoven. The date, April 9, 1945. By this time Stan was but 28 and he had served in the ranks of Sgt/Pilot, F/Sgt/Pilot, then commissioned as Pilot Officer and at the time of him being reported as “missing held the rank of Flying Officer.

It was later confirmed that he was “killed in action”.

GDA

****Stan is mentioned in the book “RCAF Overseas Fifth Year”


Photos shared by George Aitken’s daughter

“They Shall Grow Not Old”

Messum Stanley Ernest F/0 (P) J19447/R76772 Lloydminster, Sask. KIA April 6, 1945 age 29

443 Squadron

Spitfire MS670 hit by flak N/W Solingen, Germany.

Messum reported by R/T that he was going to get out. Not seen to do so. Spitfire was seen to crash by the roadside south of Mendersum.

F/O Messum was buried in a field adjacent to the crash. Exhumed and reburied Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Kleve, Germany.

Ripples in the water – Stanley Ernest Messum

Remembrance Day 2020 will start this week with this photo shared in 2014 by Jim O’Toole whose father was J. W. O’Toole.

 Jim had shared this information…

Stan Messum is pictured on top of plane was killed in later April.

Stanley Ernest Messum is seen sitting on the propeller of a Spitfire. Most of these young men have long been forgotten. In 1945 they were posing for posterity so one day we might remember them on Remembrance Day.

I wish I could remember them all…

In fact Maureen did help in 2014…

Hi there…

Yes dad and I have been looking at that photo off and on and he has a few names for the folks in the photo… He also is unsure on some of them…

The picture was likely taken in later March or early April 1945 as Stan Messum pictured on top of plane was killed in later April.

So from top to bottom and left to right: Stan Messum on top

Standing Left to right: Terry Watt, Art Sager, Unsure, Unsure, Possible Lloyd Hunt (maybe Monty Clow), Possibly Peewee Dalton, Charles Stephens, Cecil Grant, Percy Gomez, Charles Charlesworth

Kneeling bottom row: Gerry (Gouty) Gould, T (Ted or Terry) Green, Unsure (fellow in middle between front row and those standing), Possibly Dodds, James O’Toole (my dad), Olar Dodson.

Other names that may be here include: Dobson, RA Hodgins, D Walz, WG Conway, RD Marsh, J Collins, GA McDonald, CJ Grant, JC Turcott, W Kroeker, Gordon Ockenden

Hope that helps…

Maureen

 

Remembering Michael Rico Sharun – RCAF 416 Squadron

About Michael Rico Sharun

RCAF 416 Squadron

Note: I had written this post on another blog about RCAF 443 Squadron. Michael Rico Sharun’s niece found what I had written, and she wrote this very interesting comment.

I don’t know if anyone will see this. Michael Rico Sharun was married to my aunt at the time of his death in 1945 (?) I have a photo album that belonged to him, along with two of his medals. His is a very interesting story!


Original post

I found Michael Rico Sharun’s name on this post I wrote about Paul Piché a few years ago.

The post was titled Paul Piché Killed.

The original post follows…


I had never noticed this before on these two pages sent by Arthur Horrell’s grandniece Nicole…

One picture is missing from this page of Art Sager’s pictures of the men under his command.

443photo3_0001

In fact two pictures are missing.

443photo1

I wonder who was…

View original post 1,709 more words

About Bill Bentley

Someone commented on the latest post.

Hi,
Thank you for the invite. So pleased that you are recognising the veterans of 443 sqn. I’m related to William Bentley who was KIA whilst in Normandy serving on 443 Sqn. Bill stayed with my grandfather when he was billeted in the UK. I have done quite a lot of research around him and his service. Bill’s sister Betty, is a very active lady and still lives in Toronto, she was Bill’s youngest sister and very fond of Bill. She may be interested in your event. I will speak to her. I live in the UK so unlikely to be able to make it in person. I am planning to revisit Normandy in August and pay respects to Bill and visit B2 and B3 airfields along with the Canadian museum at Juno beach. Please pursue Bill’s Facebook page where I have collated all my information.
Out of interest are there any Veterans who served in 1944? Anyone remember Bill? I would love to meet them.
Kind regards
Alex.

Please free to use Bill’s photos.
https://www.facebook.com/billbentleyrcaf/
[https://scontent-sea1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-1/p200x200/22814503_1907633296220122_7225026451654330281_n.jpg?_nc_cat=103&_nc_ht=scontent-sea1-1.xx&oh=6f35afa577e7699909aae9957539e286&oe=5CBD6F23]

William John Bentley. RCAF – KIA 1944. – Home | Facebook
William John Bentley. RCAF – KIA 1944. 20 likes. This has been created both in memory of, and to aid further research into a relative who served an pilot…

________________________________

Message from Nicole Morley

The current Squadron 443 in Victoria BC is hosting a celebratory dinner on June 6, 2019 to honor the original 443 members.

The dinner itself will be held at the Westin Bear Mountain Resort. I don’t know if anyone is aware but this year marks the 75th anniversary of the forming of the original squadron. Me and Tara have been busy reaching out to as many original 443 members families as possible (at least the ones we have e-mails or addresses for).

If there is anyone who had someone associated with the original Squadron 443 or was associated in some way with them please feel free to e-mail me at nickymorley23@bell.net This dinner is probably one of the best ways we can give thanks to all those 443 members who put their lives on the line.

Nicole Morley (grandniece of Arthur James Horrell)

Arthur Horrell

History

443 Squadron traces its roots to No. 127 Fighter Squadron RCAF, one of several fighter squadrons of Canada’s Eastern Air Command, formed in the early months of 1942. Equipped with Canadian-built Hawker Hurricanes, the Squadron conducted air defence operations while stationed at Gander, Newfoundland and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

With the diminished threat to North America and in preparation for the invasion of continental Europe, No. 127 (F) Squadron, along with a further five RCAF home-based squadrons, transferred to the United Kingdom and re-designated as 443 (F) Squadron RCAF (to fit within the Air Ministry’s designation convention) in February 1944 and equipped with the Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX. 443 Squadron, along with its sister squadrons 441 and 442, commenced flying operations with 144 (F) Wing RCAF, W/C Johnnie Johnson commanding, of the 2nd Tactical Air Force just prior to the Normandy Invasion. 144 (F) Wing RCAF was the first Allied air wing to operate from French soil. These operations continued until August 1944. The Squadron then hop-scotched across France, Belgium, and Holland with 126 and 127 (F) Wings RCAF until “VE” Day, continuing to serve with the British Occupation Forces until disbanding in March 1946.

In 1951, 443 (F) Squadron (Aux) was reformed at Sea Island, Vancouver, as a Day Fighter Squadron in the RCAF Auxiliary, first flying P-51 Mustangs and eventually F-86 Sabres. In 1958, with the RCAF Auxiliary assuming the roles of Civil Defence, Search and Rescue and Light Transport, 443 (Aux) Squadron was re-equipped with the C-45 Expeditor and later the DHC-3 Otter and performed these roles until its second disbandment in March of 1964.

A decade later, in Shearwater, Nova Scotia, the Royal Canadian Navy’s only ship-borne helicopter squadron HS 50 (HS is the NATO designation for a Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron) was successfully meeting the needs of the Navy. However, to better administer HS 50 Squadron, it was split into HS 423 and HS 443 in September of 1974. Each squadron was tasked with continuing to provide the Commander of Maritime Command with operational Sea King Helicopter Detachments.

In response to the ever-growing need for ship-borne helicopter assets in the Pacific, HS 443 Squadron was transferred to Victoria International Airport at Pat Bay, British Columbia, in July of 1989 where it now provides the Commander of Maritime Forces Pacific with Helicopter Air Detachments. Early in 1995, HS 443 was re-designated as 443 Maritime Helicopter (MH) Squadron to better fit the ever-changing geopolitical situations and the increasingly diverse roles of maritime helicopters and the ships they support.

Source of the history
http://www.rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca/en/squadron/443-squadron.page

 

UPDATE

Hi,
Thank you for the invite. So pleased that you are recognising the veterans of 443 sqn. I’m related to William Bentley who was KIA whilst in Normandy serving on 443 Sqn. Bill stayed with my grandfather when he was billeted in the UK. I have done quite a lot of research around him and his service. Bill’s sister Betty, is a very active lady and still lives in Toronto, she was Bill’s youngest sister and very fond of Bill. She may be interested in your event. I will speak to her. I live in the UK so unlikely to be able to make it in person. I am planning to revisit Normandy in August and pay respects to Bill and visit B2 and B3 airfields along with the Canadian museum at Juno beach. Please pursue Bill’s Facebook page where I have collated all my information.
Out of interest are there any Veterans who served in 1944? Anyone remember Bill? I would love to meet them.
Kind regards
Alex.

Please free to use Bill’s photos.
https://www.facebook.com/billbentleyrcaf/
[https://scontent-sea1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-1/p200x200/22814503_1907633296220122_7225026451654330281_n.jpg?_nc_cat=103&_nc_ht=scontent-sea1-1.xx&oh=6f35afa577e7699909aae9957539e286&oe=5CBD6F23]

William John Bentley. RCAF – KIA 1944. – Home | Facebook
William John Bentley. RCAF – KIA 1944. 20 likes. This has been created both in memory of, and to aid further research into a relative who served an pilot…
http://www.facebook.com

________________________________

Remembering “Chuck” Charlesworth

Michael Rico Sharun

Last time I wrote about Michael Rico Sharun. Little did I know that someone would write me today about Chuck Charlesworth seen in the front row. He is the first one the right.

This is the original photo sent by Bruce McNair.

Dad Rod number 6 course

Bruce McNair has shared a lot about his father. So much so I had created a special blog to honour him.

Click here.

That blog has been dormant since August 2017. This one has also been dormant. I just write to share and wait and sit for someone to write me about mostly unsung heroes like all these fine young men…

443photo1443photo3_0001

 

I guess the time is right to write about Harold Clinton “Chuck” Charlesworth.