A little visit to a museum

Tara, Paul Piché’s granddaughter got quite a surprise when she visited the Comox Air Force Museum.

photo 1

A picture of her grandfather with his Spitfire.  She wanted to share with our readers the pictures she took which are related to RCAF 127 (F) Squadron which became later in the war RCAF 443 Squadron.

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What if…?

What if Luis had survived the dogfight and bailed out?
What if people in Sassy had helped him to escape the Germans?
What if Luis came back in 2005 to visit old friends in Sassy with Dorothy?

It was not meant to be.

Luis Perez-Gomez was just a strange name on a group picture found on a Website paying homage to RCAF 443 Squadron.

443 Squadron Pilots arriving in England in 1944

Source

I got curious as always.

50 some posts later Luis Perez-Gomez came back from the grave because someone shared all he knew about a pilot he is not even blood related to.

What if Michael had not found my blog?

There are so many what ifs that need to be explored on this blog about RCAF 443 Squadron…

“Thanks for creating this blog” – Redux

After writing my 50th post I thought it was a good time to reflect on what I have been writing on this blog paying homage to RCAF 443 Squadron pilots. I wish people related to ground crew would jump in and shared their pictures and or stories.

I told Michael I was going to give him a little background especially when he was gracious enough to share the pictures he took in 2005.

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I thought Luis Perez-Gomez was his uncle!

He told me he was not related. It does not matter because I am not related to any pilots who flew with 443 Squadron not even anyone related to RCAF 403 Squadron or RAF 23 Squadron.

This is what I wrote at the beginning of this blog.

This is how this blog was created on WordPress in the first place.

A simple comment posted from a reader in March 2013.

Hi,

My name is Nicole Morley and my Great Uncle Arthur James Horrell was in the 443 squadron. I don’t know if my Great Uncle ever knew William Irvine Gould but I imagine he probably did. I’m doing some research on my Uncle and was wondering if there was anyone who had pictures or information about the 443 squadron or anything related to my Uncle.

You can reach me at my e-mail address 

Thanks

This comment was posted on one of my other blogs about WWII.

I don’t have just this one.

That blog is about RCAF 403 Squadron, a blog I started writing in September 2011 when I first met Greg Bell whose grandfather was this Spitfire pilot.

Walter Neil Dove collection

Click here

How I met Greg is a very long story that you can read on the blog. Let’s just say for the record that I was going to Hamilton to meet a veteran Mosquito pilot who flew 50 missions during WWII.

paul-beaudet-and-george-stewart

Walter Neil Dove was a Spitfire pilot with RCAF 403 Squadron. The 403 and the 443 were squadrons part of 127 Wing which was part of 2nd TAF. TAF is Tactical Air Force.

Before September 2011, I knew nothing about 403 Squadron, 443 Squadron, 127 Wing, nor 2nd TAF.

But I knew who was Johnny Johnson seen here with 403 pilots at the end of March 1945.

Most of these pilots were identified.

Walter Neil Dove collection

I thought I knew a lot about WWII, but I knew nothing about that RCAF Squadron.

In fact I knew nothing about any RCAF Squadrons.

So I started getting interested with all those precious pictures Walter Neil Dove’s grandson had kept from his grandfather.

I told him we had to share those pictures with everyone so people would remember not only Johnnie Johnson, the RAF top ace, but also his grandfather and all his comrades-in-arms.

This is how I got to write more than 350 articles on RCAF 403 Squadron with people’s help and thus shared hundreds of exclusive pictures and many untold stories.

Click here. (You should click there…)

RCAF 403 Squadron blog evolved in February 2012 with this spin-off blog, RCAF 128 Squadron, because Greg and I found out that Walter Neil Dove was a pilot with an almost unknown squadron before being posted overseas.

Walter Neil Dove collection

Nicole, without suspecting anything, wrote that comment on the RCAF 403 Squadron blog and she found someone passionate enough to tell all about RCAF 127 Squadron which later became RCAF 443 Squadron.

No. 443 was originally known as No. 127 (F.) Squadron, one of several new fighter units formed in Canada as a result of Japan’s entrance into the war and the extension of German U-boat operations to the western shores of the Atlantic. It was originally planned to form No. 127 in April 1942, but the unit did not actually come into existence until the end of June, when Flt. Lt. W. P. Roberts was named commanding officer. Equipped with Hurricanes and Harvards, the squadron carried out training at Dartmouth until the middle of August. Then it moved to its “war station” at Gander, Nfld., where it completed a one-year tour of routine patrols on fighter defence of the great air base. As enemy raiders never appeared, most of the time was devoted to operational training varied with occasional searches for missing aircraft.

***

I got another comment this week…

From this pilot’s granddaughter.

443 group picture Louis Paul Émile Piché

Thanks for creating this blog.
Louis Paul Emile Piche is my relative.
What further information do you need?