Remembering Michael Rico Sharun DFC

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 Chuck Charlesworth?

Is it him mentioned on this Website?

Weather clear and warm, visibility very good. Squadron took part in front line patrols again today without incident. This airfield was subjected to an attack by enemy anti-personnel bombs at approximately 1100 hrs. It is likely that only one large container of these bombs was dropped; there were two casualties among our pilots, W/O Gaudet received a slight cut on one arm which was treated immediately and this pilot cleared as fit; F/L H. C. Charlesworth was injured in the left arm and has been transferred to Casualty Clearing Station at Eindhoven for X-Ray to determine the extent of his injuries which at present are considered only slight. There were two other attacks later in the day but not in our immediate vicinity. P/O P.C. Bookman returned this evening with a replacement Spitfire for the Squadron. Personnel busily engaged in “digging-in” around their living quarters as only protection against enemy attack by missiles from the air.

Source

buzzing the airfield

Two Spitfires of 443 Squadron take off
at radio-mast height of flying control van in Holland.

 

Is it just another name popping out also on this Website…?

Course 17: January 4 – March 7, 1941

Group Captain Frank McGill presented wings and addressed the graduates.

“The army, navy and air force all have an equal job to do in winning the war and no service alone will achieve the victory.”

(J/4554) Douglas Bruce Annan (DFC, AFC), (J/4556) John Wylie Wood, Shawness, Alberta; (J/4557) Cyril Victor Mark – AFC, +(J/4560) Arthur Williams – 74 Sqn.; (J/4561) Roderick Illingsworth Alpine Smith – DFC & Bar – 126 Sqn.; (J/4562) John Eric Hockey – POW 434 Sqn.; +(J/4563) George Ketchen Graham, Belleville; +(J/4566) Warren Ainsley Roberts – 405 Sqn.; (J/4567) James Weir Clarke; (R/60421) Robert Clarence Pearson, (R/60522) Louis Rolston Babb, (R/74146) Robert Kennedy Storie, John ‘Jack’ Robertson, Hammond, Indiana; Arthur Pratt Harrison, Owen Sound; George L. Sprague, Ottawa; (R/71258) Francis Hugh Belcher – POW; Chuck McLean, Brockville;

Harold Clinton Charlesworth – 12/601/443 Sqns., Chemainus, B.C., +(R/74596 – J/15097)

Thomas Douglas Holden – 411 Sqn., Chilliwack, B.C., Charles A. Rainsforth – 198 Sqn., Edmonton; (J/18793) Michael Rico Sharun – DFC 416 Sqn., St. Paul, Alberta; J.G.K. Barrie, Edmonton; James Weir Clark, Hezenmore, Alberta; +(R/54314) William George Pavely – 615 Sqn., Ottawa; R.G. Smith, Chatham; James Cartwright Uniacke Bayly – 402 Sqn., Toronto; E. Heid, Toronto; Herbert Hugh Hinton, Streetsville; J.D. Marsh, Ft. William; J.W. Munro, Madoc; +(J/13467) William Robert Widdess – 198 Sqn., Peterborough; (R77007 – J/15970) William Frank Kenwood – 411 Sqn., POW 92 Sqn., Westmount, Que.; L.B. Madden, St. Laurent; +(J/23021) Walter Gerard O’Hagan – 402 Sqn., Montreal; +(J/13996) Arnold Ridgway, Outremont; M.A.C. Smith, Rougemont Station; (J/15056) Richard Attwill Ellis – DFC 412 Sqn., Montreal West; J.C. Marshall, Montreal; (R/74035) Joseph Bernard Marius Vilandre – POW 111 Sqn., Montreal; R.S. Bowker, Granby; (J/21668) Bernard Bryce Miller – DFC 428 Sqn., Carman, Manitoba

Not much information, but at least I know he did not get killed.

Footnote

After writing this article, I found more information about F/L Charlesworth on this Website.

TWO STUKAS ARE CITY ACE’S ONE-DAY SCORE
F/L Don Gordon Registers Ninth Kill Supporting Canadians
in West Front Drive

9 Feb. 1945 – F/L Don C. Gordon, D.F.C., shot down two German Stukas Thursday, shared in downing a third, and brought his score to nine planes destroyed, at least four probables and at least nine damaged.

Son of Mr. and Mrs. R. D. Gordon, of 3812 West Sixteenth, he was flying in support of the Canadian offensive. The “kills” were made over the front southeast of Wesel.

Two other B.C. flyers, F/L Phil Blades, Victoria, and F/L H. C. Charlesworth, Chemainus, took part in the destruction of two locomotives and damaged two more southwest of Hamm.

They were part of a group of Canadian Typhoons and Spitfires who flew more than 300 sorties from dawn to dusk Thursday, striking German rail and road systems and border towns.

F/L Gordon, 25, flying with the Caribou Spitfire squadron, adopted by New Westminster, is a veteran of Channel dogfights, El Alamein and Ceylon.

His Distinguished Flying Cross award, mentioned in a report from London, is a surprise to his mother. She heard some time ago, however, that he had been recommended for the award.

F/L Gordon was born in Vancouver and educated at Kitchener, Point Grey Junior High and Lord Byng High schools. He enlisted in June 1940; went overseas in the summer of 1941. He was home on three weeks’ leave last summer after completing two tours of operations in three different theatres of war. He is now on his third tour.
A brother, F/O Merritt Gordon, is stationed at Dauphin, Man., and his sister, F/Sgt. Margaret Gordon, is with the R.C.A.F. overseas.

F/L Blades and F/L Charlesworth are both flying with the Red Indian Spitfire squadron. F/L Charlesworth is also a veteran of the North African campaign.

More here.

Waterdown Flyer Mentioned
Green, recently appointed flight commander, also saw fragments fly off the aircraft he attacked but lost sight of it later and could only claim it as “damaged.”

Other Canadians from the squadron who helped repel the Nazi attackers included Flight-Lieut. John P. McColl, Waterdown, Ont.; Pilot-Officers R.I. Alpine Smith, Regina; Jack Brookhouse, Montreal; Lloyd Stewart, Fair Hills, Sask.; Harold Charlesworth, Chemainis, Vancouver Island; Richard A. Ellis, Montreal; Warrant Officer J.D. Stevenson, Winnipeg; Flight-Sgt .Stewart Pearce, Toronto, and Sgt. W.F. Aldcorn, Gouverneur, Sask. Warrant Officers Francis MacRae, Montreal navigator, and Sgt. Pilot Albert Attwell, of Toronto, both agree “you’re safer in the air than on the ground.”

MacRae came back from a hazardous bombing trip to a French arms center. After reporting to the intelligence officer, he went to the officers’ mess for a hot drink before retiring. The mess floor had been freshly polished and as he walked in the door he slipped and fell and fractured his left knee.

Attwell also came through the perils of a bombing attack across the channel. Returning from St. Nazaire, his aircraft crashed into a hill in England and he suffered a fracture of the left leg.

The two Canadians share neighboring beds in the same hospital.

I have a feeling someday a relative of Chuck Charlesworth will write a comment or contact me like Paul Piché’s granddaughter did this week.


Update

Now what about Michael Rico Sharun from Alberta?

This group picture on the left was once shared by Buck McNair’s son. 

This picture is from Gordon McKenzie Hill’s collection.

This colorised version I did to thank Gordon Hill for sharing his collection of pictures…

More on “Mush” Sharun…

Michael Rico Sharun DFC

SHARUN, F/O Michael Rico (J18793) – Distinguished Flying Cross – No.416 Squadron – Award effective 23 March as per London Gazette dated 3 April 1945 and AFRO 765/45 dated 4 May 1945.

Born 19 April 1915 in Mundare, Alberta; home in St.Paul, Alberta (clerk). Enlisted in Edmonton. Posted to No.2 ITS, 14 October 1940; graduated and promoted LAC, 15 November 1941; posted next day to No.2 EFTS; to No.2 SFTS, 4 January 1941. Graduated and promoted Sergeant, 17 March 1941. To Embarkation Depot, 18 March 1941; to RAF overseas, 29 March 1941.

Promoted Flight Sergeant, 1 October 1941; commissioned 2 August 1943. Promoted Flying Officer, 2 February 1944. Repatriated 6 February 1945. To Station Edmonton, 14 February 1945; to Northwest Air Command, 7 June 1945; to Release Centre, 11 June 1945; retired 14 June 1945.

RCAF photo PL-2713 shows Sergeants M.R. Sharun (St. Paul, Alberta), H.V. Peterson (Calgary), L. Smitten (Edmonton) and L. Bolli (Jasper, Alberta). Photo PL-7161 shows him inspecting tail of Spitfire.

Credited with the following aerial victories:

14 July 1944, one Bf.109 destroyed north of Lisieux;
28 July 1944, one Bf.109 destroyed near Caen;
28 August 1944, one Bf.109 destroyed near Forges.

This officer has now completed his second tour of operations. During his first tour he was engaged in fighter operations from Malta, proving himself to be a gallant and courageous pilot and leader. Since June 1944 he has served with his squadron from bases in France, Belgium and Holland and during the German retreat.

In August 1944 he destroyed more than 60 transport vehicles and nine locomotives. He has also destroyed three enemy aircraft.


RCAF Press Release No. 1495 dated 27April 1943, drafted by F/L Kenneth A. MacGillivray, Public Relations Officer, RCAF, Middle East. Malta

– Scrapping with a bunch of Me109s under ordinary conditions is a tricky enough business for any fighter pilot. But when he is trying to protect both himself and a pal floating in the sea below him in a rubber dinghy, it gets a bit complicated. Ask Sergeant Pilot M.R. “Mush” Sharun, of St. Paul, Alberta, one of a number of RCAF lads in a RAF fighter squadron in Malta. Sharun found himself in such a position a few weeks ago, after an English flying-mate had been shot down into the sea in a “dog-fight” off the island. “It was a bit tricky,” he recalls, “but it had its funny side –like a strange game of tag in the air. There were several of us trying to circle over the lad in the water, and the Runs kept attacking us, and then scooting off, as though they were trying to lure us away from the spot. But we didn’t fall for that, and soon our R.A.F. launch came out and picked up our pal. Then the Runs lost interest and went off.” Sharun, who, before the war worked at a mining job in the far northern Yellowknife District, has had 80 hours of fighter operations, of which he has put in 50 in Malta. In addition to fighter sweeps here, he has taken part in “train-busting” and straffing. Another Alberta lad flying fighters in Malta is Sergeant Pilot Gordon Cameron of 11010 – 87th Avenue, Edmonton, who by a coincidence also was in the Yellowknife District as a diamond driller before he joined the R.C.A.F. Furthermore, Cameron and Sharun both served on the same R.C.A.F. fighter squadron in Britain before coming to Malta. Cameron has had 60 hours of operations, including numerous sweeps and patrols, and finds Malta very much to his liking.

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This is post No.111

This blog has been dormant for quite a while.

It’s perfectly alright because it’s meant to be discovered by relatives of pilots who flew with 443 Squadron.

It would take you many hours to read all that I wrote about that squadron I never knew had existed before Nicole Morley wrote a comment on another blog.

This is how my blogs are created.

This is a great picture of Ivor Williams.

Nicole 001 Ivor Williams

Ivor gave it to Nicole and she scanned it.

When Nicole sent it I did not know where that picture was taken.

Now I know.

The unknown Spitfire pilot of Kanata

I knew Bernard Vilandre who is listed in photo in Course 6 and then shotdown by night fighter and POW until war’s end, Squadron  111. Bernard passed away 11/30/2005.  Thanks for his contribution and sacrifice. His gravestone makes no mention of him being a Fighter Pilot etc. He is buried in a small country churchyard on the March Road, Kanata, Ontario. I am so pleased to find a photo of him “Course 6″ as my personal photos of the two of us were lost due to fire.

Ralph

image

Arrival in Liverpool, January 1944 Redux

I had started this blog with what I could find about 443 Squadron.

I had found this information on the Internet…

On the morning of December 23, 1943, the advance party of No. 129 Squadron arrived to take over No. 127’s duties at Dartmouth and a happy band of officers and airmen boarded a train to take them home on embarkation leave. So ended No. 127 Squadron’s tour in Canada. The squadron’s flying personnel now included: S/L H. W. McLeod, F/Ls D. M. Walz and M. V. Shenk, P/Os E. H. Fairfield, A. J. Horrell, A. Hunter, G. F. Ockenden and C. E. Scarlett, P/Os W. A. Aziz, S. Bregman, L. B. Foster, W. A. C. Gilbert, T. G. Munro, L. Perez-Gomez, L. P. E. Piché, W. I. Williams and L. H. Wilson, W02 D. F. Bridges, F/Ss P. G. Bockman, P. E. Ferguson and G. E. Urquhart, and Sgt H. W. Summerfeldt.

 

The squadron’s flying personnel now included:

S/L H. W. McLeod,

F/L D. M. Walz

F/L M. V. Shenk,

P/O E. H. Fairfield,

P/O A. J. Horrell,

P/O A. Hunter,

P/O G. F. Ockenden

P/O C. E. Scarlett,

P/O W. A. Aziz,

P/O S. Bregman,

P/O L. B. Foster,

P/O W. A. C. Gilbert,

P/O T. G. Munro,

P/O L. Perez-Gomez,

P/O L. P. E. Piché,

P/O W. I. Williams

 P/O L. H. Wilson,

WO2 D. F. Bridges,

F/S P. G. Bockman,

F/S P. E. Ferguson and

F/S G. E. Urquhart, and

Sgt H. W. Summerfeldt.

 

Little did I know back then that this blog would generate some interest among my readers.

In this message, Tara, Paul Émile Piché’s granddaughter wants to know who is the unknown pilot in this picture?

new identification 443 January 1944

I have been trying to figure out who the “unknown” pilot in the first row of the picture is. I have also changed the pilot identified as “Ferguson” in the far right, back row to “unknown” since P.E. Ferguson has been identified.

On Mr. McManus’ website, he identifies the members of 443 Squadron before they left Dartmouth. I put this information in a table to help us identify the “unknown” pilots in the photo.  McManus tells us that there were 23 pilots in 443 Squadron but the photo only has 18 people in it. When I cross-reference the pilots from McManus’ website, I find that six people are not accounted for in the photo:

F/L D.M. Walz

P/O E.H. Fairfield

P/O S. Bregman

WO2 D.F. Bridges

F/S G.E. Urquhart.

Sgt. H.W. Summerfeldt.

If this photo is only of the pilots, can we assume that the two unknown airmen are Fairfield and Bregman?
Would you be able to double-check my work to see if this might be a possibility? I think it is important to put a name to these men. To that end, I would also like to put their full names where possible instead of just initials. Somewhere, someone knew them as “Bill” or “Len” etc. and by giving them a name instead of initials, we make their life more real.
Thanks,
Tara

This is the original picture taken from the archives of the DND.

Squadron photo Jan 1944

I used it to make different montages.

Squadron photo Jan 1944 Paul Emile Piché

Paul-Émile Piché

Squadron photo Jan 1944 Art Horrell

Arthur James Horrell

Squadron photo Jan 1944 Luis Perez-Gomez

Luis Perez-Gomez

Squadron photo Jan 1944 Alex Hunter

Alex Hunter

Squadron photo Jan 1944 C E Scarlet

C. E. Scarlet

Squadron photo Jan 1944 Ferguson

Percival Edward Ferguson

Squadron photo Jan 1944 Gordon Frederick Ockenden

Gordon Frederick Ockenden

Squadron photo Jan 1944 Henry Wallace McLeod

Henry Wallace McLeod

Squadron photo Jan 1944 Ivor Williams

Ivor Williams

Squadron photo Jan 1944 L H Wilson

L. H. Wilson

Squadron photo Jan 1944 M V Shenk

M. V. Shenk

Squadron photo Jan 1944 P G Bockman

P. G. Bockman

Squadron photo Jan 1944 T G Munroe

T. G. Munroe

Squadron photo Jan 1944 unidentified pilot

unidentified pilot

Squadron photo Jan 1944 W A Aziz

W. A. Aziz

Squadron photo Jan 1944 W A C Gilbert

W. A. C. Gilbert

This is Tara’s worksheet about where she stands right now in her search.

Rank 127 Squadron – December 1943

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

(From: http://www.mcmanus.ca/02CofC/443history_files/history1.htm)

23 pilots, 3 airmen and 1 medical officer

January 31, 1944

Liverpool, England

(From: photo edited by Ivor Williams)

First and middle names? Notes
S/L H.W. McLeod Henry Wallace McLeod   Took over leadership of Squadron from Paul Gilbertson Dec  1943
F/L D.M. Waltz     One of original 13 pilots of 127 Squadron
F/L M.V. Shenk M.V. Shenk Vince? Joined squadron  in July 1943 now back in Dartmouth
P/O E.H. Fairfield     Not sure when he joined 443
P/O A. J. Horrell Arthur James Horrell   Joined squadron at Gander in May 1943
P/O A. Hunter Alex Hunter   Joined squadron  in Sept.  1943 now back in Dartmouth
P/O G. F. Ockenden Gordon Frederick Ockenden   Joined squadron at Gander in April 1943
P/O C.E. Scarlett C.E. Scarlett   Joined squadron at Gander in April 1943
P/O W.A. Aziz W.A. Aziz Bill? Joined squadron at Gander in June 1943
P/O S. Bregman     Joined squadron at Gander in June 1943
P/O. L. B. Foster Les Foster   Joined squadron at Gander in Dec 1942
P/O W.A.C.Gilbert William Alonzo Cramner Gilbert   Joined squadron  in Nov. 1943 now back in Dartmouth
P/O T.G. Munro T.G. Munro   Joined squadron  in July 1943 now back in Dartmouth
P/O L. Perez-Gomez Luis Perez-Gomez   Joined squadron  in Nov. 1943 now back in Dartmouth
P/O P.E. Piche Louis Paul Emile Piche   Joined squadron  in July 1943 now back in Dartmouth
P/O W. I. Williams Ivor Williams   Joined squadron at Gander in Dec 1942
P/O L. H. Wilson L.H. Wilson Len? Joined squadron  in Nov. 1943 now back in Dartmouth
WO2 D.F. Bridges     Joined squadron at Gander in Dec 1942
F/S P.G. Bockman P.G. Bockman (Vickers)   Joined squadron at Gander in Nov 1942
F/S P.E. Ferguson Percival Edward Ferguson   Joined squadron  in July 1943 now back in Dartmouth
F/S G.E. Urquhart     Joined squadron at Gander in Nov 1943
Sgt. H.W. Summerfeldt     Joined squadron at Gander in June 1943
December 23, 1943 – Jan ? 1944  Embarkation Leave

Depart Lachine on ship, “Pasteur” on Jan 20, 1944

 Arrive Liverpool, England January 31, 1944

Once in England they were joined in approximately March 1944 by:
F/S R.A. Hodgins      
F/L W.A. Prest      
Further joined in approximately April 1944 by:
F/L I.R. MacLennan      
DFM Hugh Russell      
  E.B. Stovel      
F/O J.R. Irwin      
F/O G.R. Stephen      
P/O R.B. Henderson      
“A” Flight – Ian MacLennan “B” Flight – Bill Prest