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Old 7th October 2019, 21:16
Leendert Leendert is offline
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W/Cdr L.S. Ford - CO 402 RCAF Squadron - ORB 4 Jun 1943

Wing Commander Leslie S. Ford was killed when his Spitfire AA980 was shot down by German E-boats off the Frisian Islands on 4 June 1943.

I wonder who can help me with the text for 402 RCAF Squadron in the ORB of 4 June 1943?

Remarkably his CWGC grave on Vlieland Island says his age was 22. Surely this must be 23 (30 Dec 1919-4 Jun 1943)? but even so, much too young...

Thanks for info.

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Leendert
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Old 7th October 2019, 22:31
dp_burke dp_burke is offline
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Re: W/Cdr L.S. Ford - CO 402 RCAF Squadron - ORB 4 Jun 1943

Have you tried the online ORB on the Canadian LAC microfilm?

https://www.dropbox.com/s/5sxry9e0yn...1_06.xlsx?dl=0
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Old 8th October 2019, 09:13
Leendert Leendert is offline
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Re: W/Cdr L.S. Ford - CO 402 RCAF Squadron - ORB 4 Jun 1943

Dennis,
Will keep that website in mind for a next occasion! Was not aware of it.
Meanwhile another forum member has mailed me the pages I was after from the ORB, for which my thanks as well.

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Leendert
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Old 10th October 2019, 22:18
Allan125 Allan125 is offline
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Re: W/Cdr L.S. Ford - CO 402 RCAF Squadron - ORB 4 Jun 1943

Hello Leendert

The CO of 402 Squadron RCAF from May 1943 - June 1943 was S/Ldr L V Chadburn DFC, and from June 1943 - July 1944 was S/Ldr G W Northcott DFC, single engined squadrons were commanded by a Squadron Leader at that time, and Wing Commander L Ford would have been, most probably, a Wing Leader, at Digby, where 402 Squadron was operating from between March to August 1943, or perhaps a visitor who got unlucky!

I would be interested in how it is reported in the ORB.

Cheers

Allan
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Old 11th October 2019, 16:13
Leendert Leendert is offline
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Re: W/Cdr L.S. Ford - CO 402 RCAF Squadron - ORB 4 Jun 1943

Allan,
Indeed, W/C Ford became Wing Leader of the Digby Wing rom mid-April 1943, I later found out and not CO of 402 Sqdn. Confusion was because on 4 June 1943 he flew a mission with 402 Sqdn, but this evidently not as a pilot of this unit but in his capacity of the Digby Wing Leader.


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Leendert
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Old 11th October 2019, 19:09
Frank Olynyk Frank Olynyk is offline
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Re: W/Cdr L.S. Ford - CO 402 RCAF Squadron - ORB 4 Jun 1943

You might also try to locate a copy of Stephen J Nickerson's bio of Ford: Traded for 22 Spitfires. It is on Amazon.com at https://www.amazon.com/Traded-Twenty...3&unfiltered=1
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Old 24th October 2019, 10:22
Allan125 Allan125 is offline
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Re: W/Cdr L.S. Ford - CO 402 RCAF Squadron - ORB 4 Jun 1943

Thanks Leendert,

W/C Ford might have been flying a Spitfire marked with his initials, as Wing Leader, or simply been flying a Spitfire marked with the normal 402 code's, and he might have been leading 402 at the time, or simply flying with them.

Even if it had been his "personal" aircraft it's service card would show which Squadron had taken it on charge.

Both Chadburn and Northcott later became Wing Leader's, Chadburn being killed in a collision with F/Lt Frank Joel Clark of 421 (Red Indian) Squadron RCAF (127 RCAF Wing), who also died, shortly after D-day, and Northcott surviving the war.

Allan
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Old 24th October 2019, 15:53
Leendert Leendert is offline
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Re: W/Cdr L.S. Ford - CO 402 RCAF Squadron - ORB 4 Jun 1943

Allan,
ORB of No 402 Squadron raises a little puzzle for 4 Jun 1943. W/C Ford was reportedly flying AA980 when shot down, but ORB has P/O C.A. Graham for this a/c for both the morning and afternoon mission...

W/C Ford is only mentioned in the Details of the Mission ('Red 1') and is not listed among the assigned squadron a/c and pilots for that day. Perhaps Graham replaced by Ford at last minute, but no indication in report to that effect. Even more, Graham is mentioned in mission report as 'Green 1', with F/S Peters as 'Green 2'.



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Leendert
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Old 24th October 2019, 17:41
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
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Re: W/Cdr L.S. Ford - CO 402 RCAF Squadron - ORB 4 Jun 1943

Leendert

All sources point to the fact that AA980 was lost during the afternoon on the 4th.

All to often there are mistakes in the ORB. In this case we have a clerk who simply assumed the same pilot of course would use the same aircraft during the afternoon as he had done during the morning.
Your own theory sounds very plausible, and if Graham actually went along on the mission, he then must have used a different aircraft, which then went unrecorded.

In cases like this I doubt very much the aircraft's record card is at fault.

Cheers
Stig
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