Ottawa flyers at Kiska

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Ottawa flyers at Kiska - to a Anglo-Soviet Ottawa, District Role in...
to a Anglo-Soviet Ottawa, District Role in 'Softening Up' Kiska AN ADVANCED R.CA.F. BASE IN THE ALEUTIANS. June 21. (CP) Canadian pilots participating' in aerial offensives to soften the Japanese in the Aleutians are getting the best possible preliminary combat ex perienceNand enhancing the high regard won by the Dominion's flying men on other fronts. United States officials In charge of combat operations in the North Pacific praise the R.C.A.F. pilots for their resourcefulness and speed in adapting themselves to the most treacherous flying con ditions in the worrsW . Four Ca nadian airmen were awarded the American Air Medal soon after beginning operations. Year' in Action. Since late last Summer R.CA.F. pilots have been taking part In raids on the Japanese stronghold at Kiska, first from the Ameri can Army Air Force base at Urn nak and later from the new A lied springboard at Amchitka. They went to these attack bases in groups from R.CA.F. stations further east in the Aleutians. The Canadian pilots who bomb ed Kiska from fighter 'planes met practically no fighter opposition from the enemy and little anti aircraft fire, and probably be cause of these conditions regard their action in the Aleutians as only a taste of combat before go- in to Euro dc. All of them say they want to go overseas to get into tough air combat for which they have been training so long. Tbey realize they have a job to do in the Aleutians but to them it's not the real thing. The Japs are hold Ing Kiska merely as a forward position from which to oppose possible Allied raids on Japanese Asiatic bases.' The enemy is not on the offensive in the North Pacific. Softening Is Objective. But in expressing these senti ments the Canadians are likely minimizing both the value and the dangers of their job. The objective of their attacks is to pummel the Kiska Japanese so the inevitable American ground force landing Will find as little resistance as possible. The chief danger In the North Pacific theatre is the weather the toughest in the world for fly ing. Snow, rain and sleet storms come and go In minutes. Fogs roll down from the -snow-cover ed volcanic mountain cones to blot out a landing strip in less than a quarter of an. hour.' Wu liwaws strong . winds that blow straight down or In a vertical clrcle-T-make flying more dan gerous. . 'We get four seasons in five minutes", said FO. Ronnie Cox, of Winnipeg. PO. Keeling Barrie, of Edmon ton, reported seeing a fog follow a. 'plane so rapidly down a land- ng strip that visibility was zero in a matter of seconds after the 'plane was In the air. The field had been clear' when the 'plane began its run to take off. Fit. Lf. Ha! Gooding, of Ottawa, (old of a wllliwaw trick. A pilot got out of his machine and walked a few yards to talk to the ground crew. When he turned around a few minutes later the machine was. upside down. The wind had picked up the 'plane, turned . It over, and set It down almost noise lessly. . "After flying here you can fly any. place , commented WO.l George Schwalm, of Tottenham. Ont. ; Another hazard faced on every raid by Canadians is that the Japs' land-based Zero fighters are more manoeuvrable than the Allied 'planes because of their lightness and lack of armor. However, 'Japanese interception rare and no Canadians have been lost in combat Most of the Flyers Play Big Canadian casualties have been caused by the weather. The first attacks by Canadians on Kiska were carried out from Umnak and it was for a 500-mile flight over water from there to Kiska and return that four of them were awarded the American Air Medal. They made the 3Vfc-hour hop in fighter "planes with a four-hour ranger The raid surprised the Japanese and ws successful, y' It was during this operation that 8Qdn. Ldr. Ken Boomer, D.F.Ci of Ottawa, shot down' a float-type Zero the first Jap-snete fighter to be destroyed. . by a Canadian In the Aleutians. Those winning the Air Medal were Boomer, -Gooding, Fit. Lt. J. G. Gohl. of Bolsaevaln. Man., and FO. Bob Lynch, of Winnipeg. Airborne time for an attack on Kiska was shortened after an Allied base , was established last February at Amchitka, about 70 miles from the Japanese base. . Each Canadian makes his first mission as part of an American squadron but as soon as possible an R.CA.F. unit files together. They usually fly to Kiska at high level, power dive, and drop their bitT bombs, then run back and forth sprinkling fragmentation bombs on enemy installations. Most of the pilots in the Canadian fighter and bomber squad rons have been on raids against Kiska, but the ground crews have had no taste of action. Canadian ground crews are left behind when pilots go "down the chain" to op erate from United States -Army air force bases where American crews handle the ground duties. Because the ground crews don't get so close to action, they be come "browned off" faster than pilots but even the flyers are anxious to get to England on the chance of more action than in the Aleutians, where weather often stops -operations for days at a time. Canadian Raiders. R.CA.F. pilots who have taken part in raids on Kiska include Boomer; Walker; Fit. Lt D. W. Wakeling, Brantford, Ont; Fit. Lt. J. A. C. Crimmins, Montreal; FO. A. W. Roseland, Calgary; Gooding; Gohl; FO. G. A. Stiles, Cornwall, Ont; Lynch; FO. O. J. Eskil, Iron Mountain, Mich.; FO. D. F. Engljsh, New Westminster, B.C.; Fit Sgt Archie Clarke, North Bay. Ontf WO. 1 E. A. Merkley, SWltal. Man.; WO. 1 G. R. Weber. Killarney, Man.; WO. 2 A. A. Watkins, Aylesbury, Sask.; WO. 2 C W. Hicks, Credi-ton, Ont; WO. t F. R. F. Skelly, Klrkland. Ont: WO. 2 N. Stusiak. Bonny Ville, Alta., and WO. 2 F. J. Crowley, Brockvllle, Ont Fit. Sgt Clarke was the first N.C.Cv in his squadron over Kiska and scored the first two hits made by his unit in one of them on an oil-Storage depot - Yank Sewed Sleeves On King s Jacket In Emergency WITH THE ROYAL PARTY IN TUNISIA, June 18. (Delayed) The King, receiving an enthusi astic welcome In Tunis today, wore a long sleeved bush jacket instead of a shortsleeved one, as on the previous day. For . this there were two reasons. One was the African sun, which had burned his arms. The other was an American soldier,. Private Dominic Albonizio. Albonizio used to be a tailor before the war. And he showed he used to be a good one by the job he did when he was called upon to help the King in emer gency.' . A annrrh nf th hparimiartjtra

Clipped from
  1. The Ottawa Journal,
  2. 21 Jun 1943, Mon,
  3. Page 22

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  • Ottawa flyers at Kiska

    billeull – 11 Sep 2013

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