April 5, 1945

CCF

Clarence Gillis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. GILLIS:

That was exactly what I was thinking of.

War Appropriation-Naval Services

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OP NATIONAL DEFENCE FOR NAVAL SERVICES
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LIB

Angus Lewis Macdonald (Minister of National Defence for Naval Services)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Kingston City):

I

will look into that.

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LIB

Thomas Vincent Grant

Liberal

Mr. GRANT:

In order to keep the record

straight I should like to correct a mistake that was made by the hon. member for Cumberland when speaking a few minutes ago. He said that Nova Scotia had contributed fifty per cent more men to the navy than any other province.

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NAT

Percy Chapman Black

National Government

Mr. BLACK (Cumberland):

No; fifty per cent more than the average for Canada.

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LIB

Thomas Vincent Grant

Liberal

Mr. GRANT:

I just wish to point out that according to the minister's own figures Prince Edward Island has contributed more men to the navy in proportion to population than any other province, including Nova Scotia. The hon. member for Cumberland covered up his remarks with such balmy and soothing eloquence that I almost overlooked his error.

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NAT

Percy Chapman Black

National Government

Mr. BLACK (Cumberland):

I am not

envious of Prince Edward Island because Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island have all through this war been running hand in hand together in their enlistments in the army, navy, and air force. They both have an equally honourable and creditable record. Their men have enlisted for.service in any theatre of war and I am very proud indeed to be associated with the members for Prince Edward Island in paying tribute to their record.

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NAT

Ernest Edward Perley

National Government

Mr. PERLEY:

Since there is a little boasting going on by the maritimers about enlistments I should like to put something on the record which the public of Canada ought to know. I think we all agree that the Canadian navy is doing a wonderful job and too much praise cannot be showered on the achievements of our men. According to the minister's statement appearing on page 404 of Hansard, of the

90.000 naval ratings over twenty-five per cent came from the prairie provinces and nearly

7.000 of them from Saskatchewan. A great many of these men who enlisted from our province hardly knew how to step into a rowboat, certainly not into a canoe, and had never seen as much water as would cover a ten acre surface until they joined the navy. But these men from the prairies have made a wonderful record for themselves. They seem to take to the sea kindly. They have done a wonderful job. Many of them have won promotion purely on their meritorious service in the navy. It is worthy of record that the three prairie provinces have contributed twenty-five per cent of the ratings in the Canadian navy. I just wanted to say a word of praise for the men wdio have enlisted from Saskatchewan and the other prairie provinces in the Canadian navy.

32283-29i

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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. ORUICKSHANK:

We have five

V.C.'s from British Columbia. Can you top that in the maritimes?

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NAT

John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. MacNICOL:

Can the minister tell

us where the eighty-seven men of the naval 'service were taken prisoner of war.

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LIB

Angus Lewis Macdonald (Minister of National Defence for Naval Services)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Kingston City):

Most of them were taken prisoner when the Athabaskan was sunk off the coast of France just before the invasion. There were one or two prisoners also taken in the Mediterranean.

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NAT

John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. MacNICOL:

Were these men of the

Athabaskan who were taken prisoner picked up by German submarines.

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LIB

Angus Lewis Macdonald (Minister of National Defence for Naval Services)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Kingston City):

They were picked up, I think, by German surface craft.

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NAT

John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. MacNICOL:

Has the minister a

break-down by provinces of the 1,498 who were killed on active service?

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LIB

Angus Lewis Macdonald (Minister of National Defence for Naval Services)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Kingston City):

I

can get that for my hon. friend.

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CCF

George Hugh Castleden

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

Has the department

any recruiting policy for obtaining officers and ratings for the permanent naval service in Canada, and, if. so, to what extent is recruiting proceeding?

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LIB

Angus Lewis Macdonald (Minister of National Defence for Naval Services)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Kingston City):

We discussed that at some length last night, when probably my hon. friend was not here. I said that we now have about 4,300 in the R.C.N., the permanent navy, whereas we aim at a post-war total of 9,000. So that there is room in the permanent navy for about 4,700 more. We have been taking some officers and also a few ratings into the permanent service. We have asked' those who are in the reserve-the naval volunteer reserve or the naval reserve-to apply, if they wish to transfer to the permanent navy. Some, though not a great many, have taken advantage of that; I think the majority are waiting to see how things are at the end of the war and then make up their minds. But we have had some transfers in that way, and also a few direct entries into the Royal Canadian Navy.

At six o'clock the committee todk recess.

After Recess

The committee resumed at eight o'clock. DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE FOR AIR

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LIB

Colin William George Gibson (Minister of National Defence for Air)

Liberal

Hon. C. W. G. GIBSON (Minister of National Defence for Air):

Mr. Chairman, it has been the custom for the Minister of National Defence for Air to provide the com-

War Appropriation-Air Services

mittee with a detailed and comprehensive statement of the condition and progress of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Hon. members will, I am sure, appreciate the hesitation with which I embark upon such a task. In the short time during which I have been connected with the air department I do not pretend to have mastered all its problems, or to have been able to make myself, familiar with all its activities.

But I think that anyone would be justified in feeling a full measure of pride in being able to speak on behalf of such a magnificent body as the R.C.A.F.

I can take pride without assumption, for I have had nothing to do with its achievements. If there is any one man who can take full credit it must be the hon. member for Quebec South (Mr. Power), who guided the expansion of the air force during the dark and difficult days of the war.

With the consent of the committee-and I am sure the members would not want me to take the time of the committee in reading it- I should like to table a statement of the cash estimates for the first five months of the 1945. 46 period, amounting to $453,876,000 and as a comparison the actual expenditures for the previous five months period ending 31st January, 1945:

Royal Canadian Air Force Estimates 1945-1946

1. Estimated cash requirements (5

months) $453,876,000

Consisting of:

Air training organization $ 95.555,000

Western hemisphere operations 103.290.000 Overseas war establishment... 254,985.000 Departmental administration.. 46,000

2. Actual expenditures (5 months

ending January 31, 1945).... $651,754,278

Consisting of:

British commonwealth air

training plan $151,567,745

Western hemisphere operations 80,507,952 Overseas war establishment... 419,635.856 Departmental administration.. 42,725

Note: There were extraordinary expenditures overseas amounting to approximately $150,000,000 during this period.

You have already been made aware that two objectives have dominated the Canadian policy in the air war against our enemies. The first objective-that of training sufficient aircrew to provide superiority over the enemy in the air-has been attained in abundant measure [Mr. Gibson.l

through the British commonwealth air training plan. The second objective-the creation of a strong fighting air force-also has been attained to an extent which has brought everlasting glory to this dominion.

The British commonwealth air training plan. It is the achievement of the first objective about which I should like to speak first. A great deal has been said and written about the British commonwealth air training plan but I have yet to encounter a single example of exaggeration.

Members of this house, I am sure, have followed with interest the course of the plan, through those half-forgotten days of peril when it was obvious that the British isles would be under constant and heavy aerial attack by the enemj'; and the broad farm lands and prairies of Canada, thousands of miles removed from possible enemy action, suggested themselves as ideal for the training of vast numbers of empire airmen.

I need not recall to your minds the fateful decision which had to be reached when France collapsed and a German invasion of the United Kingdom seemed imminent. The question to be decided then was whether or not to cast aside the British commonwealth air training plan and send every available R.C.A.F. aircrew and aircraft overseas to defend the British isles.

The long-range view was taken that it would be better to provide a larger number of trained aircrew at a later date than to send a token force to the defence of Britain, and the justification of that decision can be seen by the daily record of our aerial operations. The wisdom of this decision can be judged too, by the fact that there have been created reserves of aircrew sufficient to meet all anticipated requirements.

You will recall that at the spring sitting last year this house was informed that after a careful examination of the situation, it was possible to commence a gradual process of contraction of the training plan. The process of rolling up the great carpet which had been laid down across the dominion since December. 1939. has continued steadily.

Then last autumn the partners to the plan reviewed the situation and reached the conclusion that adequate provision had been made to meet all conceivable eventualities in the air, until the end of the war. Therefore the partners by mutual consent, decided that it would not be necessary to continue the training plan beyond the date at which the agreement would normally run out-March 31, 1945.

The last classes of students graduated at schools across this country on the 29th March, and ceremonies were held at that time to

War Appropriation-Air Services

mark suitably the completion of the first phase of Canada's biggest single contribution to victory.

I do not propose to bore you with a flood of statistics, but before proceeding to discuss the variety of circumstances which arise out of the conclusion of this phase of Canada's war effort, I should like to tell you that the plan graduated a total of over 131,000 trained aircrew. Of these, 72,729 graduates, or over 55 per cent, were members of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

In case anyone may gather the impression that the winding up of the British commonwealth air training plan is an indication that we are reducing our effort before negotiating the last laps in the race to victory, I should like to emphasize that the decision to allow the training plan agreement to run out on its normal date was solely the result of the fact that the training plan had accomplished its purpose.

In examining decisions with respect to the plan it must always be borne in mind that the intake and production of trained men under the training programme were planned and regulated, not to provide for immediate needs, but for the operational requirements of from eighteen months to two years ahead, as those requirements were estimated by the high command. Our training programme was never a hand-to-mouth scheme, such as it was in Germany. At any one time in Canada, men were being trained who could be expected to be required as much as two years later.

Training continues. Neither does the termination of the British commonwealth air training plan mean the end of training in Canada. The R.C.A.F. will continue to train men for its own requirements and we will continue to train additional aircrew for the Royal Air Force on a contract basis. For obvious security reasons it is impossible for me to indicate the numbers of men to be trained under this programme but it can be disclosed that for the training of R.A.F. personnel only, the R.C.A.F. will continue to operate three elementary flying training schools, four service flying training schools, one air navigation school, one central navigation school and a reconnaissance and navigation school.

In addition we will continue to maintain and operate six operational training units on normal training for the R.A.F. and R.C.A.F. as well as seven schools of various types to provide refresher and certain specialized training for the R.C.A.F.

As an insurance against an unfavourable turn in the progress of the war a further nine

schools are being retained on a care and maintenance basis under a "shadow" organization, pending final disposition. These are capable of being reopened, if necessary, on short notice.

All schools in which training is suspended and which are not included in the new "shadow organization" continue on a "care and maintenance" basis until their final disposition is decided. Later on I will make reference to the methods of disposing of surplus assets.

Transfers to Army. There is another aspect of the consequences of winding up the training plan in which hon. members are vitally interested. It is obvious that a large number of men who have been engaged in operating the training programme-instructors, administrative officers, clerks and ground crews-became surplus to requirements. Some of them were required for replacements overseas, but it was possible to release many from the service. Some of these men, as you know, became eligible for call-up under the National Resources Mobilization Act and for a time they were released from the air force and then the normal call-up procedure followed. Recently, however, new regulations were put into operation which make personnel who are to be discharged from the R.C.A.F., and who are eligible for call-up, immediately available to the army as reinforcements.

Men in this category are being medically examined by an army medical board prior to discharge from the R.C.A.F. and if they are physically fit they receive a call-up notice which becomes effective, after any period of leave to which they are entitled, as soon as discharge from the R.C.A.F. is completed.

Aircraftmen and leading aircraftmen, on enlistment in the army for general service, receive credit for their service in the R.C.A.F. in determining their initial army rate of pay; that is up to 4 months service, SI.30 per day; 4 to 6 months, SI.40 per day and over 6 months, $1.50 per day.

In addition, an arrangement has been concluded between the army and the air force under which airmen of non-commissioned rank, including W.O.'s II, although enlisted with the rank of private, receive pay of their R.C.A.F. rank at standard rates during retaining in the army, and for six months thereafter, with a maximum of ten months. At the expiration of that period it is anticipated that many of the men concerned, by reason of their already recognized ability, will have obtained the equivalent rank in the army.

All gratuities and clothing allowances will be carried over and will become payable when military service has been completed.

War Appropriation-Air Services

This arrangement does not, of course, affect qualified aircrew personnel or any. personnel who have served overseas.

Reserves. With respect to aircrew a different situation prevails. When, last autumn, it was decided that the training plan could be allowed to run out, we were in a position of having considerably more aircrew than were immediately required. And many more have become available as final classes graduated. It is true that we had more aircrew than could be usefully employed at once, but at the same time we had to be cautious. . It was decided, therefore, that as men graduated they should be transferred to the R.C.AJF. reserve, subject to recall. They were free to enter civilian occupations but they constituted sound insurance against any eventuality.

That eventuality appeared within recent weeks. The stepped-up tempo of the air assault against the enemy on the western front resulted, not in higher casualties, but in aircrew completing their operational tours considerably more rapidly than formerly. Men who had been making one or two trips a week against enemy targets were suddenly flying almost every day, and even, in cases of some short trips, twice a day.

In order to provide replacements for these men as their tours expired1, it became necessary to recall some categories from our reserve. The warning call has gone out to some members of all categories except pilots, and navigators "W", of whom there is still an adequate surplus in the service. Here again it is impossible for security reasons, to supply figures, but I can give you positive assurance that our reserve of trained aircrew is quite sufficient to cope with any situation which is likely to arise.

There is another category of R.C.A.F. personnel who are being released and transferred to the reserve. They are the "tour-expired" men who have returned from overseas. All of 'hem have completed one or more tours of operations against the enemy, and, in addition, have completed periods of instructional or other duties.

All members of aircrew who complete an operation tour are entitled to 30 days leave in Canada before undertaking a second tour.

On the completion of a first tour aircrew are usually required to complete a non-operational tour before returning on leave, but leave to Canada is granted before a second tour is commenced.

Not all aircrew personnel are required to undertake a second operational tour, but the skill and experience of some of those who

have completed a first tour are required in our overseas squadrons in order that they may act as leaders for less experienced crews.

Members of aircrews who have completed one or two tours, or on completion of three years' overseas service, if surplus to overseas requirements are returned to Canada. After a period of leave they may be posted to general list duties in Canada or appointed to non-flying list duties. Provided they are not in certain restricted categories, those who desire to retire may be transferred to the reserve, subject to recall later if their services should be required.

I would like to make it clear that in no cases are aircrew personnel who have completed two operational tours reposted overseas except on a strictly voluntary basis.

With respect to other members of the R.C.A.F. officers on the non-flying list, ground-crew and members of the Women's Division, after the completion of three years' overseas service they may elect repatriation, or retention overseas for a further period. If they elect repatriation it is arranged as soon as a replacement is available, and if they elect to remain overseas they are retained, if they can be suitably employed.

You will agree, I am sure, that with this policy there can be no quarrel. These men and women have done their appointed tasks. But their number has not yet reached a very considerable total. It will increase fairly rapidly from now on, but in January, for instance, only 185 officers and 224 other ranks on the flying list who had seen service overseas were discharged, retired or resigned.

Rehabilitation Services. To prepare for the transition of our personnel from service to civilian life a series of release centres have been established across the country. Here they have their final medical examinations, and move on to the care of the Department of Veterans' Affairs. But long before they actually reach a release centre, and while they are still serving, members of the R.C.A.F. can commence preparation for their return to civilian life.

In the early days of the war the air force devised e, highly efficient system of personnel selection, a system which was later accepted as a model by the United States. It was a system of choosing the right man for the right job.

Now, when we are preparing to return men1 to civil life, the system is being reversed so that we may choose the right job for the man; and to assist him educational services have been provided to prepare the man for the job.

War Appropriation-Air Services

Out of the air force's personnel selection organization there has been created an organization for what is known as "personnel counselling".

As a result we have a highly effective team composed of the personnel counsellor and the education officer. The personnel counsellor is trained to guide and assist members of the force who often have very hazy ideas as to what to do after the war. The education officer assists members to undertake training or studies, and by means of correspondence courses, directed reading and trade classes, opportunities are provided for men and women to continue their formal education, to improve their general knowledge or to secure vocational training.

Through the facilities of the Canadian Legion educational services more than 150 courses are available, many of them carrying credits recognized by Canadian departments of education and universities.

As an example I will mention the case of a Plight Lieutenant who required a pass in trigonometry to complete his senior matriculation. The education officer provided all possible help with the result that he completed his course of studies during his operational tour. Then he was told of the place and time of his examination. He returned from an operation against the enemy early one morning; flew 100 miles to write the paper, but found that he could not remain for the full time allowed for writing the examination since he had to go on operations again that evening. However, he completed the paper; flew on operations that night that won him the Distinguished Flying Cross, and learned some time later that he had also passed his examination.

Many thousands of our men have taken advantage of these educational opportunities and I think I can safely say that in the midst of waging war, the R.C.A.F. is, at the same time, doing everything possible to prepare its men-and women-for peace.

Disposal of surplus. I mentioned a few moments ago that I should like to discuss briefly another circumstance arising out of the winding up of the air training plan-the disposal of surplus assets.

The major portion of R.C.A.F. surpluses have been referred to the crown assets allocation committee for disposal through War Assets Corporation. As units close down, some of their equipment is required by other units of the R.C.A.F. and the balance is reported for disposal. Furthermore stocks held in equipment depots are progressively and systematically reviewed in the light of future R.C.A.F. requirements, and any surpluses discovered are reported for disposal.

Large numbers of aircraft have, of course, become surplus to our requirements and these are reported for disposal by the allocation committee which has been charged with the task of disposal to the best national advantage.

The accumulation of large amounts of surplus equipment has necessitated the formation of a number of reserve equipment maintenance units to store equipment required for future R.C.A.F. needs, and a number of surplus equipment holding units in which are placed the surplus awaiting disposal through the War Assets Corporation. In some cases War Assets Corporation will take over the entire site together with all stocks stored in the buildings. As of March 1, 1945, the Department of National Defence for Air has cancelled 232 leases and has declared 94 properties to the crown assets allocation committee as surplus to requirement.

Up to the end of February there had been sent to crown assets from the B.C.A.T.P. alone, surpluses valued at $131,630,138. In addition some $30,000,000 of surplus equipment from our western hemisphere operations has been made available for disposal.

Operations. I come now to discussion of what, in my opening remarks, I referred to as our second great objective

the creation of a strong, fighting air force. This subject, naturally, I should like to discuss at great length, and in the most complete detail. But there are imposed upon me the security restrictions which prevent my giving any details or particulars that would be of benefit to the enemy.

I am sure that hon. members will not require any words from me to inform them of the magnificent work that members of the R.C.A.F. are doing both in our Canadian units and in formations of the R.A.F. The stcy of their achievements is being told daily in the newspapers but there are a few points which I might mention to assist the committee in appreciating the superlative accomplishments of our fighting airmen.

One of the best indications of the outstanding nature of the services provided by members of the R.C.A.F. is the fact that up to the end of January last, a total of 5,166 honours and decorations had been awarded to R.C.A.F. personnel. Of these, 2,372 were Distinguished Flying Crosses and 433 were Distinguished Flying Medals.

At the close of my remarks I should like to table a list which provides a summary of these honours and awards for the information of the committee.

War Appropriation-Air Services

I will also table, with the consent of the committee, a list giving the names and addresses of those who have been awarded decorations for gallantry since the last list was tabled in the house.

As an example of the brave acts for which these decorations have been awarded, I will read the citation foir the award of the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (Flying) to Flight Sergeant W. E. Crabe of Fingal, Ontario. I chose this example at random and because it was recent. It is typical of many scores of others:

Flight Sergeant Crabe was the mid-upper gunner of an aircraft detailed for a sortie one night in February. They bombed their objective but soon after leaving the target, the aircraft sustained severe damage. The rear gun turret was wrecked. Flight Sergeant Crabe went at once to attend to the rear gunner. Assisted by another member of the crew, he cut away the side of the turret and then, tying a rope around himself, Flight Sergeant Crabe climbed into the wrecked turret. He was completely exposed to the slipstream, in imminent danger of falling and was not wearing his bulky parachute. Heedless of the danger and despite the intense cold, Crabe toiled until he succeeded in freeing the gunner and getting him back into the fuselage. Unfortunately the gunner was dead, but although Flight Sergeant Crabe's efforts were in vain, his brave and determined bid to save his co-gunner were worthy of the greatest praise.

There is one other exploit which may already have come to the attention of hon. members which illustrates so well the quality of courage that is common to all ranks, from the highest to the lowest, and from all parts of Canada.

In this case, awards were made to an air commodore, a flight sergeant, a corporal and two leading aircraftmen, all of whom distinguished' themselves in the same exploit.

Air Commodore Arthur Dwight Ross,

O.B.E., of Toronto and Winnipeg, the commanding officer of a large R.C.A.F. bomber base, was awarded the George Cross, the empire's highest award for gallantry, other than in the face of the enemy.

Four airmen who aided in the rescue, also were honoured:. The George Medal was awarded to Flight Sergeant Joseph Marcel St. Germain of Montreal, and to Corporal Maurice Marquet of Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan. The British Empire Medal (Military Division) was awarded' to LAC Melvin Muir McKenzie of Tehkummeh, Ontario, and LAC Robert Rubin Wolfe, Toronto, Ontario.

The joint citation accompanying the awards was: [DOT]

One night in June, 1944, an aircraft, while attempting to land, crashed into another which was parked in the dispersal area and fully loaded with bombs. The former aircraft had broken into three parts and was burning

furiously. Air Commodore Ross was at the airfield to attend to the return of aircraft operations and the interrogation of aircrews. St. Germain, a bomb aimer, had just returned from an operational sortie, and Corporal Marquet w'as in charge of the night ground crew, whilst LAC McKenzie and LAC Wolfe were members of the crew crash tender. Air Commodore Ross, with the asistance of Corporal Marquet, extricated the pilot who had sustained severe injuries. At that moment, ten 500-lb. bombs in the second aircraft, about eighty yards away, exploded, and this officer and airman were hurled to the ground. When the hail of debris had subsided cries were heard from the rear turret of the crashed aircraft. Despite further explosions from bombs and petrol tanks which might have occurred, Air Commodore Ross and Corporal Marquet returned to the blazing wreckage and endeavoured in vain to swing the turret to release the rear gunner. Although the port tail plane was blazing furiously, Air Commodore Ross hacked at the perspex with an axe and then handed the axe through the turret to the rear gunner who enlarged the aperture. Taking the axe again, the air commodore, assisted now by Flight Sergeant St. Germain, as well as Corporal Marquet, finally broke the perspex steel frame supports and extricated the rear gunner. Another 500-lb. bomb exploded which threw the three rescuers to the ground. Flight Sergeant St. Germain quickly rose and threw himself upon a victim in order to shield him from flying debris. Air Commodore Ross's arm was practically severed between the wrist and elbow by the second explosion. He calmly walked to the ambulance and an emergency amputation was performed on arrival at station sick quarters. Meanwhile, Corporal Marquet had inspected the surroundings, and seeing petrol running down towards two nearby aircraft, directed their removal from the vicinity by tractor. LAC McKenzie and LAC Wolfe rendered valuable assistance in trying to bring the fire under control and they also helped to extricate the trapped rear gunner, both being seriously injured by flying debris. Air Commodore Ross showed fine leadership and great heroism in an action which resulted in the saving of the lives of the pilot and rear gunner. He was ably asisted by Flight Sergeant St. Germain and Corporal Marquet who both displayed courage of a high order. Valuable service was also rendered by LAC McKenzie and LAC Wolfe in circumstances of great danger.

"Courage of a high order". "Worthy of the greatest praise". Surely this restrained language of official citations may be applied equally to the thousands of members of the R.C.A.F. who operate over Europe, the Mediterranean, India, Burma and the lonely waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans.

The enemy threat to our own shores has been removed but it has been none the less essential to maintain adequate western hemisphere operational units and, of course, there has been no relaxing of our campaign against the U-boats. The R.C.A.F. is responsible for convoys and anti-submarine patrols in the western half of the north Atlantic and much of the credit for the frustration of the U-boats

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A'PR'IL 4, 1945


War Appropriation-Air Services must go to those men who day after day, in the foulest kind of weather, fly these long, lonely, arduous patrols which take them frequently to mid-Atlantic and often all the way across. Opportunities to strike at the enemy are few and far between but our men have had their "incidents" as they call them. I hardly need recall to members of this house that the late Flight Lieutenant Hornell, the only member of the R.C.A.F. to be awarded the Victoria Cross in this war, was flying an aircraft attached to an R.C.A.F. squadron stationed at Iceland, when he flew to attack a submarine in complete disregard of his own safety. Flying from the United Kingdom there are other R.C.A.F. squadrons engaged in an equally relentless warfare on the U-boats. Bomber Groups.-Then in the United Kingdom there is our own R.C.A.F. bomber group, of bomber command, which shares with the R.A.F. and the air forces of the United States the proud credit for hastening the day of victory. Air Vice Marshal McEwen, who commands the group, was in Canada recently, and, as an indication of the extent of the R.C.A.F. contribution to the aerial offensive, members of the committee will be interested in knowing that he reported that last October the Canadian group dispatched the largest force of 4-engine bombers ever sent against any target by any group in the history of bomber command. In 1943 our bomber group flew 7,355 sorties and dropped 13,639 tons of bombs. Last year the group flew 25,353 operational sorties and dropped 86,503 tons of bombs. And this was accomplished with the lowest loss percentage of 4-engine aircraft in the whole of bomber command. With the invasion of Normandy the character of the group's operations changed to some extent. Previously it has been engaged exclusively in strategic bombing by night. But with the landing of troops, the group took tactical bombing in its stride. Between the dusk of June 5 last and the dawn of June 7, aircraft of the group flew 478 sorties with the loss of but a single aircraft. Since then the R.C.A.F. group has continued to play its full part in support for the army as well as continuing to share in the strategic strikes against the enemy's war potentials-its industrial and rail centres. Fighter units.-Then across the channel there is another phase of R.C.A.F. activity. There, the R.C.A.F. comprises a major part of the 2nd tactical air force which provides close support for the First Canadian and Second British Armies. This year up to the 15th March, Spitfires and Typhoons of R.C.A.F. fighter and fighter-bomber squadrons had flown 10,575 sorties during which sixty-one locomotives were destroyed and 165 damaged; 648 railway cars were destroyed and 228 damaged; 214 motor vehicles destroyed and 413 damaged; 395 railway cuts were made and 124 enemy aircraft were destroyed and eleven damaged. I mention aircraft last, and for a good reason. Shooting down aircraft has long ceased to be a priority job with our fighter pilots. They have long ago subdued the hun in the air. Their mission has been to shoot him off the ground. They have done that with phenomenal success, not only with their cannon, but with rockets, and they have blasted him with bombs. The figures I quote here are all the more noteworthy, for they have been accomplished during a period when operational flying has been curbed by weather conditions. Never in warfare has an air force operated so close to the enemy's line as these fighter-bomber boys of the invasion spearhead flew last summer. That aerial umbrella, the R.A.F.'s most outstanding single engine group, was then composed of 60 per cent Canadian pilots, and the first airfield in Europe, an R.C.A.F. one, was operating on D-day, plus 4. I will cite one day during the German collapse in Normandy, when all roads towards the Seine were cluttered with German disorder. That was August 18, when this fighter-bomber group accounted for 1.074 vehicles destroyed, 1,929 damaged, in addition to seventy-three tanks destroyed, ninety-one damaged. One Canadian Spitfire wing headed all others that day, just as it did on frequent occasions, both in air and ground destruction. It alone destroyed 230 vehicles, damaged 445 others, in addition to four tanks destroyed with Spitfire cannon, and nineteen damaged. That will give you some idea of the job our fighter-bomber squadrons are doing on the other side, carrying on in Holland and into Germany what they inaugurated on that narrow Norman beachhead last June. They have never let up. They are harrassing and disorganizing the enemy at his most vital points immediately behind the lines at which our ground forces are steadily thrusting. Then too there are night fighter, night intruder and artillery spotting squadrons, there is a fighter squadron in Italy and two transport squadrons in India; and there are the thousands of R.C.A.F. personnel serving in R.A.F. units in widely scattered theatres of war-all of them daily adding lustre to the wings of the R.C.A.F.



War Appropriation-Air Services In the recent crossings of the Rhine, one R.C.A.F. transport squadron was employed in dropping parachutes, as well as supplies and equipment. All told, in addition to the thousands of Canadians serving with the R.A.F., there are more than 45 R.C.A.F. squadrons on service as units overseas. Overseas mail squadron. There is one aspect of R.C.A.F. operations, not quite so familiar to members of the committee, to which I would like to make specific reference; that is, the operation of an overseas air mail service. You will recall that in December, 1943, the air force undertook to assist in carrying the armed forces' mail to the various theatres of war. The first Flying Fortress converted for this job took off from Rock-cliffe loaded with mail on December 15, 1943. In January, 1944, the load carried by the squadron totalled 11,600 pounds. Twelve months later the load totalled 469,638 pounds for one month, and in the intervening twelve months the service had been extended so that, aircraft of the squadron were flying 9,923 miles of regular routes, as compared with 3,500 miles at the beginning of 1944. In addition to the transatlantic service to the United Kingdom, local service has been provided to the Canadian armed forces in the Mediterranean area and a daily service is provided from the United Kingdom to Canadian forces on the western front. A regular service is also provided to Goose Bay and Iceland. The squadron has completed 235 transatlantic crossings and the whole service has been carrying more than 400,000 pounds of mail per month. The future. Some hon. members may have noticed that, because the B.C.A.T.P. had fulfilled its purpose, and because it was possible to release some of our personnel, there was a disposition in some quarters to suggest that with the end of the war in sight we were resting on our oars. Nothing could be further from the truth. The R.C.A.F. will play its full part to the end and while, because of altered circumstances, our requirements at home have grown less, it is no indication that our blows at the enemy grow weaker. Even when the fighting in Europe is finished, the R.C.A.F. will be represented in the occupation force. It is not possible to inform the committee at this time what the exact nature of our representation will be, but I can say that units-that is squadrons-of the R.C.A.F. will be included in the aerial police force which will be required for the occupation of Germany. In addition, discussions have been in progress for some time and are continuing with regard to the extent of our air force's participation in the second phase of the world conflict-the war to defeat Japan. It may be stated that R.C.A.F. squadrons will be operating in cooperation with the R.A.F. against the Japanese in the Pacific, but the number and composition of our units have not yet been definitely decided. Certain squadrons will be detailed for service in the Pacific, but the wishes of the squadron personnel will be considered before being detailed for such service. They have already volunteered for the duration of the war for service anywhere in the world, but it is inevitable that a certain number of the personnel will wish to be replaced before the units embark for service against Japan. All personnel who may be selected for such service will have a period of leave in Canada before proceeding on operations in the Pacific. I know I have succeeded in painting only a rough picture, but I think it is sufficient to convey to the members an impression of the efficiency of the R.C.A.F. as a striking force. I think we can say, without being in the slightest degree boastful, that in the air war, Canada, in proportion to her size, is making a contribution as great as any member of the commonwealth or any of the united nations. When all that can be said i3 said, and all that can be written is written of our great plans and our broad achievements, it is the individual achievements of our men that will live in the hearts of our people. Those boys who have made the B.C.A.T.P. and the R.C.A.F. a success, came from families in every walk of Canadian life, from rich and poor alike, from the farm and from the city, from high school and university. The least professional of soldiers, they are the most gallant of citizens. Coming from different atmospheres of a nation of widely divergent views, they found a common patriotism and a common purpose. Their selfless endeavour, their common patriotism and their unswerving purpose are a grand example to us in our Canadian task. I want to place on Hansard list of honours and decorations awarded to members of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Victoria Cross Number-Rank-Name Address J7594 F/L Hornell, D. E., ]9 Harbord St., Toronto, Ont. Awards jor Gallantry-Air Services George. Cross J19379 F/O Gray, R. B„ 337 Home St., Winnipeg, Man. Clll A/C Ross, A. D., OBE, 92 Golfdale Rd., Toronto. Distinguished Service Order J25399 F/L Anderson, J. A., 367 Scotia St., Winnipeg. J10503 A/W/C Avant, A. F., 1012 Aird St., Saskatoon. J15248 A/S/L Bennet, G., DFG, 396 Home St., Winnipeg. C 1009 W/C Chapman, C. G. W., Woodstock Rd., Fredericton, N.B. J24086 A/F/L Curtis, R. E., DFM, 8 Water St., Albion, Pa., U.S.A. J15042 F/L Dale, R. G., 84 Woodlawn Ave. E., Toronto, Ont. C325 G/C Davoud, P. Y., Rigi Apts., 495 Prince Arthur St. W., Montreal. J11265 F/O Denomy, B. C., Drawer B., Te-miskaming, P.Q. J5691 A/S/L Dow, J. R., 1111 Wolseley Ave., Winnipeg. J11442 S/L Elhvood, G. B., DFG, Box 673, Portage La Prairie, Man. J27659 A/F/L Foote, W. L., Penticton, B.C. J3701 A/W/C Godefroy. H. C., 120 Oriole Parkway, Toronto, Ont. J39394 F/O Hay, C. M., 409 Linton St., Winnipeg. J15707 A/F/L Hay, H. B., DFG, 67 Canada Rd., Edmundston, N.B. J12324 S/L Hayward, R. K., DFG, 129 Gower St., St. John's, Nfld. J4771 A/S/L Ingalls, R. B., DFG, 4217 Kensington Ave., N.D.G., Montreal. J6494 S/L Kallio, O. C., DFG, R.R. No. 2, Box 76, Iron wood, Michigan. J5022 A/W/C Keefer, G. C. Jr., 167 Euston St., Charlottetown, P.E.I. J7548 A/S/L Keillor, H. G., Mitchell, Ont. J6002 F/L Kerrigan, H. F., DFC, 387 Roslyn Ave., Westmount, P.Q. J4743 A/S/L Kipp, R. A., 359 Nicola St., Kamloops. B.C. J8441 A/S/L Koester, G. D. S.. Finca "Seamay" Senahu A.Y.. Guatemala, C.A. J19973 F/O McGillivray, D. A., 15 Gilmour St., Ottawa. J19268 S/L MacKinnon, L. L., DFG, Box 65, Ponoka, Alta. J7978 A/S/L McDonald, J. R., 631 Longford St., Victoria, B.C. J4912 A/S/L McLeod, H. W., DFG & Bar, 2311 Garnet St., Regina, Sask. J4745 A/W/C McNair, R. W„ 1462 Edward St.', North Battleford. Sask. J22754 F/O Moore, K. O., 2645-5th Ave. W., Vancouver. J4898 A/W/C Morrison, H. A., DFG, 3790 Ontario St., Vancouver, B.C. J15088 S/L Northcott, G. W., DFC & Bar, R.R. No. 1. Box 47, Minnedosa. Man. J5125 A/S/L Olmsted, W. A., DFC, 15 Chedoke Ave., Hamilton. J9192 A/S/L Perry, J. W.. Woodbridge, Ont. C1319 A/W/C Russel. B. D„ DFC & Bar, 807 Clarke Ave.. Westmount. P.Q. C871 A/W/C Ruttan, C. G., 9 Ridley Ave., Belleville, Ont. J12483 F/O Shulemson, S. S., 5150 Decarie Boulevard. Montreal, Que. C1999 A/W/C Somerville, J. D., 33 Victoria Crese., Box 814, Parrv Sound. Ont. C823 A/F/L Stephen, W. M-, 62 King St. W., Gananoque, Ont. 32283-30J | J24504 F/O Strange, M. S., 7 Rosehill Ave., Apt. 7, Toronto. J9783 S/L Sweany, G. A., Apt. 5, 314 Lonedale Rd., Toronto. J15176 A/W/C Swetman, W. H., DFC, % A. M. Dewar, Metropolitan Bldg., Toronto, Ont. J7343 A/S/L Wilson, H., DFC, 17 McCallum Blk., Regina, Sask. C1697 S/L Trainor, H. C., Bedford, P.E.I. J15603 S/L Vanexon, W. C., DFC, 402 Winston St., Ottawa, Ont. J16644 F/L Walker, H. A., Shawville, Que. J19885 P/O Webb, J. L., 74 Mayflower Ave., Hamilton, Ont. J6650 A/S/L Westerman, C. F., DFG, 1263 Athol St., Regina, Sask. J6991 S/L Williams, D. J., DFC, 1874 W. 10th Ave., Vancouver, B.C. Distinguished Flying Cross J36330 F/O Abell, J.- W., Elgin Ave., Goderich, Ont. J27509 F/O Adams, D. A., 415 E. 10th Ave., Vancouver. J17235 A/F/L Adams, W. E., 732 Agnes St., New Westminster, B.C. J55979 F/O Adamson, A. C., Vegreville, Alta. J17646 F/O Agrios, J. E., Camrose, Alta. J7460 F/O Aikrnan, A. F., 178 Albertus Ave., Toronto. C28055 A/F/L Ainslie, T. E. C., Comber, Ont. J88596 P/O Ainsworth, G. W., 355-3rd Ave., Verdun, Que. J14793 F/O Albert, E. T., Emerson, Man. J17224 A/F/L Alberts, E. J., Melville, Sask. J25825 F/O Aldred, E. M., 2221 Montague St., Regina, Sask. J5766 F/L Aldwinckle, R. M., Varna. Ont. J15543 A/F/L Alexander, E. S., DFM, 3519 W. 26th Ave., Vancouver, B.C. J19255 F/O Allan, G. I., Box 10, Imperial, Sask. J19586 F/O Allan, J. L.. Box 299, Tisdale. Sask. J89062 P/O Allard, B. L. P., 157 Patrick Ave./ The Pas, Man. J21435 F/O Allen, E. 2nd, 215 S. Normandie Ave.. Los Angeles. J87111 F/O Allen, R. P., 141 Sackville St., London, Ont. JC173 F/L Anderson, R. A., 26 Steadman St., Moncton, N.B. J25309 F/L Anderson, J. A., 367 Scotia St.. Winnineg. Man. J16379 P/O Anderson, P. M., Union Point, Man. J89?4 A/S/L Anderson, W. B., 367 Scotia St., Winnipeg, Man. J24471 A/S/L Anderson, W. J., Bedford St., Westport, Ont. J24423 F/L Andrew, E. W., Box 313, Colling-wood, Ont. J87068 P/O Andrews, D. R., 70 Holmstead Ave., Toronto, Ont. JSSO^ P/O Angell, G. E. L„ 315 B.C. Mining Bldg., Vancouver, B.C. J22435 F/O Angus. A. G., 392 McIntyre St. W.. North Bay. Ont. J88535 P/O Annesley, G. W.. 10649-124 St.. Edmonton. J85881 A/F/O Anthony. R. F„ % Mrs. G. Branch. R.R. No. 1, Beamsville, Ont. J26004 A/F/L Appleton. C. A. P., 15 Burnaby Blvd.. Toronto 12. Ont. J17202 F/O Arbuekle, W. M., 103 Lakeshore Rd.. Lakeside. P.Q. J23445 A/S/L Arbuekle, G. F.. 930 Queen St. E.. Toronto. Ont. J26495 F/O Ardis. B. D., Friendship, New York. TT.S A. F/O Armstrong, S. W.. 605 Agnes St.. Winnipeg. Man. T180«fi P/O Armstrong. W N.. Box 137. West Summerland. B.C.


April 5, 1945