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RCAF Fingal Base - Jun 1944

RCAF Fingal Base - Jun 1944

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Published by CAP History Library
Royal Canadian Air Force
Royal Canadian Air Force

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Published by: CAP History Library on Feb 23, 2011
Copyright:Public Domain

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01/31/2013

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-FingalObserver
JUNE,
1944\'
 
2
MISSINGLAUNDRY
I
DELAYS
G/(
KERR
G/CKerralmostdidn'tgetawayontime,andforarea-sonthateveryoneofuswillappreciate.Hehadhisclearancessigned.Hehadhisleaveinhispocket.
Buthislaundrywasn'tready,
thankstoyeoldeAylmerSteamCorporation.Fortunatelythisstoryhasa
happyending.Thelaundr-ygot
crackingandproducedthe
groupcaptain'sparcelinthenicotine.
E
MOTIONthatbroughttearstohiseyespreventedGroupCap-tainKerrfromfinishinghisfare-
welladdresstothestation,prior
toleavingforoverseas.Assembledontheparadesquare
onMay12,Fingalpersonnelsaw
himtaketheC.O.'sparadeforthe
lasttime.Aftertheensignhois
t-
ingtheCO.leaptontoatableand
beganspeakingintothemike.Hisvoicechoked
with
emotion.tearscameand
he
couldnotcarryon.Hebrushedhistearswithahand-kerchief,andwitheyesredfromcrying
he
tookthemarch
past.
Thatwashisofficialfarewell-surely,atributetoastationuniqueinairforcehistory.Thusended16monthsatthesta-tion
which
hemadeknownupanddownCanadaas"FriendlyFingal."LaterhetoldtheObserverthatitwasn't.theplacebutthepeoplethatgothim."Youdon'tcry.atleavingabunchoftemporarybuild-ings,"hesaid,"butwhenyo.usee1000peopleouttherewhoworkedsohardforyou,well,
it
doesthings
to
you.
III
wassohappytobeposted
overseas.
I
thoughtthatwould
overshadowmydeparture,but
ths
morningIsimplycouldn'ttake
Ii'."
T
HATday,theDailyObserverpublishedthislastcomrruniquefromthe"oldman":"Iwantedtosaya
WOt:
toyouthismorningaboutyourrrewe.O.,butunfortunately
r
dUn'tquitemakeit,He'sstillonI~ave,butatmyinvitationhecamedownforashortvisityesterday."Iwouldlikeyoutoknowt-h~tI'mabsolutelycertainthatyouviiifindhima'rightguy.'Hewentoverseastwoyearsagoas~ser-
geant-pi
lotandtodayhe's
a
wingcommander-andIbelievehe
)1
asearned
it.
He'sbeentriedinbattle(53tripsoverEurope)adasare-sulthewearstheDSQandDFC.Asfaras
I
couldsee
ke's
forgottenthathewearsthem.That'snotaneasythingtodow:)enyourealizethatthereare
001$
about
a
dozenDSO'sintheRCAF.."Heknowsth4ltthisisanewjobandiseagertolearn.
If
yougivehimthesameeackingthatyouhavegivenme,Fingalwillreallygoplaces.
I
~cussed
with
him
our
ideasofnznning'astationandheagrees.
So
I
amsurethatanychangesthataremadewillbeforthebetirer."Again,thanksandgoodlucktoevety.oneofyou"
A
CCOMPANIEDbyS/LArtSpruston,honorarypresident,Hepaidafarewellvisittotheser-geants'mess,wherehehadlunch
I
(fishandpolatoesandraisinpie).
I
OneHjgh~sergeantbecame
a
groupieforabout30secondswhenhetriedostheC.O.'shat.TheC.O.wasn'tlooking,
of
course,Theoccasionwasenlivenedwithahot-footlerW02ElmerBean.
"Ivould
liketosay
good-bye
toe\'efyoneonthestation,butmytireeisshort,"hesaid."Toallr~nks
I
wishtheverybestofevery-thing.OfallthestationI'vebeenon,Fingalisabsolutely
top,"
Atapartygivenbytheofficerandtheirwives,
GIC
Kerr
receivedapenandpencilset,and
Mr.
Kerrreceivedabouquetofroses.Inhisremarks,theretiringe.0.saidthatundertheterms
of
K.R.(Air)hewaspreventedfromac-cepting
a
gift,buthewastakingthepresentona99-yearloanbasis,withthepromise
of
writingto
one
messmembereverythreemonths.Priortothepresentation,F
IL
ErnieWeavertriedtomakeafewremarksonthedepartingAmer-icans,whichweunderstand
FlO
Patonwasnotpresenttohear.ofunsuspectingairmencantestify.Hisimprovementshereweremany,includingtheswimmingpool.'canteen,bowlingalleys,drillhallRoar,snackbar,Finga1Forum,gensessionsforgroundcrew....tomentionafew.Whileheinitiatedtheseproject.hegivescredittotheairmenandairwomenwhodidalltheworkandwhoprovided
all
themoneyfromcanteenprofits.Hewassorryhecouldn'tbeheretoseethesportspavilioncompleted
and
the
WD's
beachdubinoperation.HealwaysgavewholeheartedbackingtotheFingalObserver,anditwasduringhistermthattheObserver
was
citedasthebestcampnewspaperinCanada.
A
dailyeditionwasinaugurated
Feb.1,
withhisapprovalandsupport.
.On
mattersofurgentnewsinterest,heinstructedtheObserverstafftotelephonehimdirect.Beforeleav-ingheacceptedanappointmentasanObserverwarcorrespondent
overseas.
Afarewellvisittothesergeants'
It
himselfabowlofdelicioussoup
I
withseveralseniorNCO's,includ-messwasmadebyG/CKerr.on(advt.)attheself-servecounter.ingW02(now
PIO)
T.
B.
Fawcett,hislastdayhere.LEFT:HeladlesRIGHT:Attheluncheontable
I
whowascommisoionedthatday.
6/(KERR,TEARSINEYES
j
BIDSUSFONDFAREWELL
N0W
35,
G/C
KerrleftGlebecollegiateinOttawaattheageof18toattendRoyalMilitaryCol-legeforfouryears.Duringholi-dayshewasaprovisionalpilotof-beerandfortwomonthseachsum-merheflewatCampBorden.Duringhisthirdsummer,inAug-ust,
1930,he
wonhiswings.
In19.31
hetookapermanentforcecornnus-sionasa
P/O.
HewenttoCampBordenforfourmonthsandthen
to
Trentonforanadvancedtrainingcourse.Hedidarmy
CO-Of>
workandspentthreeyearsas
a
Ayingin-structor.InallhewasfivetimesatBordenandthreetimesatTrenton,begin-ninginitsmud-holedays.Asa
F/L
hewenttoHamilton,On
I.,
asadjutant
01
119thbombersquadron,whichhehelpedorg~n-ize.HewastherefotayearWIththeweek-endflyerswithoutwhom,hesaid,theRCAFwouldbebehindtheeight-balltoday.
In1938
hereturnedtoTrentonasC.1.andsupervisedEFTSandSFTStraining,bothgivenatthatunit.WhenNo.1SFTSwasform-edatBordeninMay,1939,hewentthereas
olc
or
initialtrainingsquadron.InSeptember,1939,themonthwarbrokeout,hewaspro-motedtoS/L.InJuly,1940,heleftBordenwithA/V
/M
S.F.McGill,thenC.O.ofBorden,toopenUplands,,yhereheremaineduntilJanuary,1941.Nowhewas
W/C
Kerr..
H
ISnextjobwasorganizingsix.SFTS's.HewasdetailedtopickfourofficersandorganizeaU(Continuedonpage13)
PostedOverseasAfter16MonthsatStationHeMadeOneofCanada'sBest-ExpectstoCommandanOperationalUnitinGreatBritain
OURFRONTCOVER
S
UCCEEDINGW/CD.D.Find·layonJan.19,1943,G/CKerrarrivedintheworstblizzardin78years.Hewasaninstanthit,andwe'renotgivingyoutheusualbusi-nesswhenwesaythathewasper-sonallypopularwithall
On
thesta-tion.Duringhistermhere,hebuilt'areputation
asa
squareshooterandas
a
manwhoknewhisbusiness.
He
kneweverycornerofthe'
sta-
tionandreaUygotaround,asaJotAwarmsmileandawarmhandclaspgreetedournewcom-mandingofficer;W./CW.H.Swetrnan,DSO,DFC.ashesteppedout
of
aBeecher-aftforhisfirst
vrsrt
toFingalonMay11.He
IS
picturedwith
G/C
J.
G.Kerr,AFC,ourC.O.for16month~,whoisnowoverseas.-c-PhotographbyCpl.RuthRalston
 
Fin~alObserver
No.4BombingandGunnerySchool,FriendlyFingal,Ont.,Jwne,1944
DAUNTlESSLEADERTWICEDECORAlED
CourageandDevotiontoDutyanInspirationToAllDFCCITATION"F/LSwetrnan,aboldandreso-
lutecaptain,hasinspiredtheconfi-
denceofallcrewswithwhomhehasflown.HehasparticipatedinattacksontheRuhrareaandother
targetsbothinGermanyandGer,'man-occupiedterritory.'I'hrough-outhisoperationaltourhehasper-
formedexcellentwork."
He'sNowOurWarCorres-pondentWithRCAFOverseas
W/C
"Bill"SwetmantriesouttheC.O.·schaironhisfirstvisitto
FingalinMay.CETRE:Inflying
logs
overseas.RIGHT:OnhisreturntoCanada,hewasphotographedwritingoutawiretohismother.
DSOCITATION
"T'hisofficerhascompletedtwo
toursofoperations,duringwhichhehasattackedmostoftheenemy's.heavilydefendedtargets
in
Ger-many,includingsixonthecapitalcity.Hehasalwaysendeavoredtopresshomehisattackswiththe
greatest
determination
andhisex-
ampleofcourageanddevotiontodutyhasinspiredall-W
IC
Swet-
manisadauntlessleaderwhoseableanduntiringeffortshavebeenreflectedinthefinefightingquali-tiesofthesquadronhecommands."
.
G/CKERRTOWRITEFORTHEOBSERVER
GroupCaptain
J.
G.Kerr,
AFC,
hasacceptedanappoint-mentaswarcorrespondentfortheFingalObserver,attachedtothe
RCAF
overseas.TheObserverthusbecomestheonlyservicenewspaperinCan-adawith
a
groupcaptain
011
itsstaff.ThedepartingC.O.waskeen
On
takingthejobandhaspromisedusregulardispatchesbyairgraphorbombermail,typedanddouble-spaced.HisfirststorywillappearintheJulyissue.
A
TWICE-DECORATEDoperationalveteran,whoistheyoungeststationcommanderinCanada,isFingal'snew
c.o,
He'sWingCommanderWilliamHerbertSwetman,24,wholeftschoolnotquitefouryearsagotoenlistinOttawaasapilot.Justovertwomonthsagohewasstillonops.
AftertheusualperiodofwaitingandJoe-jobsatfanningPoolhewent
throughNO.1
lTS,
tookhiselementaryatCrumlinEFTSandgothiswingsatDunnville.Hewentoverseasasasergeant.
Following
his
O.T.U.hewas
postedtothefirstCanadianbomb-ersquadron(No.405)inAugust,1941.OperatinginWellingtons,hedid
13
tripsasasergeantandwascommissionedinJanuary,1942.Half-waythroughhisfirsttourwasformedhewasoneofitsflightcommanders.Afteraperiodonthestaffofan
R~F.
groupheadquarters,inthetrainingbranch,hewenttoCana-diangroupheadquarters.Then,lastJune,hereturnedtoopsasaflightcommanderintheThunderbirdsquadron,whowertconvertingfromWimpystoLanes,thefirst
Canuck
squadrontodoso.LastAugusthe.became
e.O.
ofthatsquadronwiththerank
of
wingco.Hedid
20
tripswiththeThunderbirds,
0t
theendofhissecondtour,twoweeksbeforehecamehome,hewas.awardedtheDistinguishedServiceOrder.His.operationalhoursnowtotalled
330.
I
NTERVIEWED
onhisfirstvisithereMay11,hehadsomenicethingstosayaboutFingal.
"I've
heard
a
lotaboutFingalbe-foreIevencame,"hesaid"andIthinkit'saveryfinestati~n.I'mlookingforwardtothejobandhopetodoasmuchflyingaspos-sible.includingtrainingtrips.SinceIcannotdoanymareoperationalflying,IrealizethatFingalisprcb-(Continuedon
pai"
4)
YOUNGEST
C.O.
INCANADAARRIVESDIRECTFROMOPS
TriptoFrankfurtonMarch22WasHis53rdandLastRaidBeforeComingHome-WentOverasaSergeantThreeYearsAgo
WEWARNRICHARDSBEWAREOFNEWC.O.
In
additionto
a
swellstation,
W
Ie
Swetrnan
hasinheritedtheprideand
jOyof
Fingal-thebussituation.G/CKerrdiscussedthebusser-vicewithhimduringhisfirst.visithere,andtheObserverunderstandsthatthenewC.O.willtakeupthebattlewheretheold
e.O.
leftoff.Andwith330operationalhourstohiscredit,VI/
IC
Swetmanisjustthemantodirectablitz
On
Rich..ards.of
33
tripstheyconvertedtoHali-faxes.After14monthsheleftthesquadroninOctober,1942.BythenhewasS/LSwetman,DFC.withanoperationaltriptothepalacetobegongedbytheKing.ForashorttimehewaswiththeGoosesquadron,whereheformedaconversionflight,fromHarnp-denstoHallys.Whenthefir-stCan-adian(No.1659)conversionunit

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