Nov 11th/2017 This Remembrance Day I thought I'd pay tribute to one of Canada's airman and the father of my cousins husband, Mike Barr who was given the note below which his dad had written about his last flight as a gunner in WW11. Like many soldiers, Mike's dad never spoke about his wartime experiences and Mike only found out about it after his father's death. His dad was one of the fortunate few Canadian aviators to survive getting shot down and subsequent internment, eventually returning to Canada after the war.
Photo courtesy Mike Barr
Joseph James Barr
The official record shows Mike's dad flew in a Halifax Mark 3 that night, serial LK754, although in his letter Joseph recalled it was a MarkV
According to the daily operations record of the RCAF, the raid in which Mike's dad took part included:
25 Lancasters from 408 and 426 Squadrons were joined by 93 Halifaxes from 420, 424, 425, 427, 429, 432, and 433 Squadrons on an attack at Nurnberg. The crews were over the target at between 18,000 and 23,000 feet, releasing 98,000 lbs of high explosives and 396,000 lbs of incendiaries. According to reports, bombing was scattered due to many fighter attacks and some bombing fell on Schweinfurt due to a wind. This was a most terrible night for bomber command, as 108 aircraft were missing or destroyed in crashes .
The crew of the stricken aircraft included: F/O E. Reid RCAF and crew, flying Halifax III coded QO-Z, failed to return from this operation.
courtesy Mike Barr
Sadly, Mike's father's Halifax followed the same fate as most others (ie. shot down)-the only surviving Halifax which was also shot down, now resides in the air force museum in Trenton Ontario, where it forms the centrepiece of their museum and well worth the slight detour off the nearby 401 if you are ever in the area.Photos below.
Last surviving Halifax...
Rear view of NA337 2P-X