Just a picture – Redux


This is from Joe of joeflyingforyourlife…

No. 6 Course 58 O.T.U. (Operational Training Unit) Grangemouth (UK), 12 May to 23 June 1941.

The man identified as “Bishop” is NOT Arthur, son of Billy Bishop. I’m 100% sure.

Looks nothing like him and he was not in the RCAF yet at that time

Back row 4th from the left is Johnny Plagis from Rhodesia. 100%

Back row 4th from the right is F. H. Belcher of Roblin, Manitoba. 100%

Middle row far left is Mike Sharun of Alberta. 100%

Middle row 3rd from right is probably Tom Holden, later with 411 squadron

Front row
Smith, McNair & Charlesworth I can confirm.

That’s all I know …

I think I’m done for the day,



This is the original post I wrote in November.

I was too excited and I posted this on the wrong blog!

Proceed with your reading anyway…

Bruce McNair just sent this.

Dad Rod number 6 course

With this personal message…

Hi Pierre,

I won’t tax you with mon francais fracturé here, so relax!  As you have been chatting about Rod and my Dad on your blog , I thought you might be i interested in this photo.  This was taken on graduation, Course Number 6.  They now knew how to fly!  The names are set out and I have blown up the relevant part, showing Rod on the left and Dad on the right.  It was all ahead of them- war, madness, scrambles, ramrods,  heart-ache and ultimately, victory.  Most didn’t make it to 1945.  Dad lived until 1971, Rod until 2002.



Just a picture?

Think again.

Dad Rod number 6 course close up

Click here to get redirected to my 403 blog.

June 16, 1944

Mario Fernandez Luis Perez-Gomez
Builder: Mario Fernandez (MaRiO FDZ)
Model: 1/48 ICM Spitfire Mk.IX
Details: RCAF 443rd Sqn., Louis Perez Gomez
I hope Mario will read my blog one day and write a comment.
He paid homage to Luis with this model of Luis’ Spitfire.
It took the picture on this Website.
This is taken from Walter Neil Dove’s logbook when he was an instructor in Uplands.
Wally Dove was also paying homage to LAC Perez-Gomez.

In search of Paul Cole Holden – Redux

Comment made about this post…

This reader has found a great link to the past.

I don’t know if you are aware of this, but I believe that Paul Cole Holden was an American, serving in the RCAF before transferring to the US AAF. Here is a link to a newpaper article (subscription needed to see the original) but you can read the text concerning Holden in the bottom half of the screen.
This article appeared in the Harrisburg Telegraph, 22 May 1944.


Lt. Holden Receives Medal and Cluster For Aerial Combat An Eighth AAF Fighter Station, England, May 22.

First – Lieutenant Paul C. Holden, 1829 Whitehall street, was recently awarded an Air Medal and one Oak Leaf Cluster for, meritorious service in aerial flight in the completion of twenty operational missions over occupied continental Europe,” at a ceremony held on his Eighth AAF Fighter Command air base, “Somewhere in England.”

A P-47 Thunderbolt fighter pilot, Lt. Holden, 30 years old, has been .flying on combat operations since this past winter. He received the medal from his commanding officer, Colonel James J. Stone, Jr., of Westfield, N. J. Lt. Holden’s group has now flown over 180 combat missions to the most heavily defended territory in the world, and has been “operational” since April of 1943. The group has accompanied American Flying Fortresses and Liberators to targets deep within Germany, France and a good section of occupied Europe, and has protected the huge bombers while they made their bombing runs, then ‘taken the B – 17′s and B – 24′s all the way back to English bases in the face of concerted attacks by hordes of German fighters. The group has now destroyed more than 175 German planes, and has maintained an impressive ratio of wins to losses since going into combat over here in England.

Recently Lt. Holden’s group has gone out as “Thunderbolt – dive bombers, hitting air fields in France while carrying 500 lb. bombs. Lt. Holden was a flying instructor prior to enlisting in the RCAF, He transferred to the U.S.A.A.F in December, 1943. His wife, Mrs. Menzenita E, Holden resides in Harrisburg and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. F. J Holden at 126 North Front street, Wormleysburg PA.

Holden died in 1986.


Original post

Nicole Morley 001

Paul Cole Holden was a Flying Officer with 443 Squadron. Nicole Morley whose uncle was Arthur Horrell had this card in her possession. She wants to find this pilot’s relatives.

Please use this contact form to contact me.

I visited his grave site in 2005 and have photos I can share

I was looking for the comment made by Michael.

I found it.

I can now share what he sent me with this message:

Dear Pierre,

Greetings from Sacramento California. Where are you located?
The following are photos of my trip to Sassy France in October of 2005. I met with Maire Bernard Levavasseur and presented him a proclamation to people of the  city of Sassy. The proclamation thanked the city and people for burying Luis Perez Gomez as one of their own.
We met a local citizen who in 1944, was a 21 year old farmer. He witnessed the aerial fight between Luis and a German fighter. Luis crashed and after a few days of guarding the crash site the Germans allowed the citizens of Sassy to bury Luis. In the small maire’s office there is a book with mementos of Luis and Dorothy Pratt. The book included the pilot wings he earned and gave to Dorothy before he went to England. Also a heart necklace that Luis gave to her.

The people of Sassy France were very nice and pleasant. An article was also written in a local French newspaper.

 Michael Perez
League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)


Michael with the mayor of Sassy…


The crash site…


A witness of the dogfight…


The grave of Luis Perez-Gomez


Mementoes of Luis Perez-Gomez


Michael Perez, the mayor, and an unidentified man

Sassy newspaper clipping

Newspaper clipping (to be translated in English later)


Road sign


View of Sassy


Sassy paying homage to Luis Perez-Gomez


Sassy cemetery


Place Perez Gomez

Luis Perez-Gomez – Redux

This pilot’s name is found on three posts on this blog that pays homage to fighter pilots of RCAF 443 Squadron.

This is post no. 49 on this blog which evolved from a blog about RCAF 403 Squadron.

RCAF 403 Squadron has more than 300 posts.

I don’t think for a second that someone would read all that I wrote about that squadron I did not know had ever existed before I met the grandson of a Spitfire pilot on my way to meet in Hamilton a Mosquito pilot who flew 50 missions with 23 Squadron a little known Mosquito squadron stationed at Little Snoring.

That’s quite a long sentence isn’t it?

I told Michael Gomez I was going to talk about this pilot once again on this blog and give him a little background on how I found out about this pilot in the first place. I will post later the pictures he sent me yesterday with a message.

It was as if Michael Gomez had found a bottle in the sea with a message in it about Luis Perez-Gomez…


This is how he found my blog and wrote me.

I only write when people write me.

Next time, I will show you all that Michael sent me about Luis.

Luis Perez-Gomez

I just want to be sure I have the green light to do it.

buzzing the airfield

William Irvine Gould 1921-2008

This post was writing in February 2012 before I knew I would create later on a blog about 443 Squadron with Nicole Morley’s precious contribution.

RCAF No. 403 Squadron

Greg sent me these pictures.

They were taken in Uetersen, Germany in 1945.

The war is over.

I told Greg when we met in September that I wanted to reach out and find relatives of each person whose name would appear in his grandfather’s photo album.

Two pilots were identified by his grandfather in these latest pictures.

The first one is Billy Gould who I strongly believe is William Irvine Gould.

I found this pilot’s obituary on the Internet.

William Irvine Gould 1921-2008

William Irvine Gould, son of the late Fred and Ruby (Kaine) Gould, born July 31, 1921 in Marysville, NB and died November 2, 2008 at the Veterans Health Unit in Fredericton.

Survived by his wife of 53 years, Doreen (Boone) Gould, sons Fred (Calgary), Bill Jr. (Gail) (Fredericton) and Douglas (Donna) (Dartmouth), five grandchildren, Andrew, Nicholas, Samantha, Brittany and Daniel as well as one great grandchild Jeremy.

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