PLAMONDON, F/L Joseph Marie Guy (J8921) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.198 Squadron - Award effective 5 September 1944 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 2373 dated 3 November 1944. Born 8 August 1919 in Quebec; home at St.Michel de Bellechase; enlisted in Quebec, 10 February 1941 and posted to No.4 Manning Depot. To No.1 WS, 4 May 1941. To No.3 ITS, 9 June 1941; graduated and promoted LAC, 15 July 1941 when posted to No.4 EFTS; graduated 1 September 1941 when posted to No.13 SFTS; graduated and commissioned 21 November 1941. Retained at No.13 SFTS as instructor. Promoted Flying Officer, 15 July 1942. To No.1 OTU, Bagotville, 29 January 1943. To “Y” Depot, 8 May 1943; to RAF overseas, 15 May 1943. Posted to No.193 Squadron. Promoted Flight Lieutenant, 21 November 1943. Later to No.198 Squadron, where he became a flight commander early in 1944. Given command of No.193 Squadron, August 1944 although rank of Squadron Leader confirmed only on 1 June 1945. . Shot down by flak on 28 October 1944 (Typhoon MN767, DP-C), force-landed near Merxem and returned to unit. Repatriated 23 July 1945; released 4 September 1945. DFC and Bar presented 1 March 1946. Awarded Queen\'s Coronation Medal, 28 October 1953 while retired and living in Quebec. RCAF photo PL-33121 (ex UK-14926 dated 18 September 1944) shows him relaxing beside Typhoon. Photo PL-33122 (ex UK-14297 dated 18 September 1944 shows S/L Guy Plamondon, DFC, W/C Gordon Raphael, DSO, DFC, and Lieutenant J.J. McDonald (Halifax, Canadian Army loaned to British and serving with an airborne division). Photo PL-35874 is a wartime portrait. Chris Shores, Those Other Eagles (Grub Street, London, 2004) provides a victory list as follows: 13 January 1944, one Ju.88 destroyed three miles east of Septeuil plus one Ar.96 destroyed with three others, near St. Cyr-en-Arthies (No.198 Squadron, Typhoon TP-W); 11 July 1944, one Bf.109 destroyed west of Caen (No.198 Squadron, Typhoon MN546, coded TP-S).
This officer has displayed exceptional keenness, great skill and unfailing devotion to duty. He has participated in numerous attacks on enemy shipping and, more recently, in the attacks against mechanical transport, military installations and other targets on the ground. He has displayed a high standard of courage and resolution throughout.
PLAMONDON, F/L Joseph Marie Guy (J8921) - Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross - No.198 Squadron - Award effective 19 February 1945 as per London Gazette dated 27 February 1945 and AFRO 625/45 dated 13 April 1945.
Since being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross this officer has led a large number of operational sorties against a wide variety of enemy targets, including enemy strong points and lines of communication and in close support of the Army. As commanding officer he has set a high standard and his brilliant leadership, courage, and determination have been reflected in the operation efficiency of his squadron which since June, 1944, has destroyed or damaged 200 enemy fighting vehicles. Squadron Leader Plamondon himself destroyed one Messerschmitt 109 in air combat.
PLANT, F/L James (C94065) - Mention in Despatches - No.58 Squadron - Award effective 24 December 1946 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 17/47 dated 10 January 1947. Born 24 February 1914 in Winnipeg; home there. Educated in Winnipeg, 1920 to 1930, Hoover High School (Glendale, California), 1930-1933. Worked at an Indian Residential School at Gleichen, Alberta. Joined RAF, 24 August 1937 as Acting Pilot Officer on Probation. Attended Sywell Civil Flying School, 24 August to 23 October 1937 as pupil pilot; at Station Uxbridge, 24 October to 7 November 1937; at Flying Training School, Sealand, 8 November 1937 to 7 June 1938; at Station Manston on navigation course, 21 June to 22 August 1938; confirmed as Pilot Officer, 23 August 1938; at Manston for parachute course, September 1938; with No.58 Squadron from September 1938 until shot down and taken prisoner, 20 June 1940 on his 19th sortie. Had been promoted to Flying Officer, 23 April 1940 and was promoted to Flight Lieutenant, 23 August 1941. Transferred to RCAF, 24 November 1944, while still in captivity. Repatriated to Canada, 7 July 1945. To No.3 Repair Depot, 20 July 1945. To No.7 Reserve Equipment and Maintenance Unit, 1 November 1945. To No.6 OTU, 6 December 1945. To Eastern Air Command Headquarters, 29 March 1946. To “K”, 3 May 1946; to No.1 Release Centre, 8 June 1946; released from RCAF, 13 June 1946. Served in postwar Militia (Royal Canadian Army Service Corps), 30 January 1948 to January 1969 1964, rising to rank of Major. On 10 April 1948 his wife wrote to the Minister of National Defence (without her husband\'s knowledge), asking for a citation. In this rare instance, Air Ministry provided one, requesting however that its contents should not be published. This was communicated to Mrs. Plant on 10 May 1948:
Flight Lieutenant Plant was forced to jump from his aircraft during a raid on Essen in June 1940. He was captured immediately. He worked on unsuccessful tunnels at Stalag Luft I (Barth) from November 1940 until April 1942, when he escaped with two other officers. One was dressed as a German guard and he marched the other two through the camp gate. Flight Lieutenant Plant was recaptured a few hours later. Shortly after this his camp moved to Sagan and he worked on tunnels there until January 1945. He was liberated at Lubeck in May 1945. Flight Lieutenant Plant aided another officer in a successful escape from Stalag Luft I and has been commended by a Senior Officer for his work on the escape organization.
NOTE: In applying for campaign medals he applied for Atlantic Star on the basis of work assisting Coastal Command, 16 January to 18 March 1940 (convoy escort patrols, commencing 20 January 1940 while based at Boscombe Down) and the Aircrew Europe Star on the basis of bomber sorties flown 19 March to June 1940 from Linton-on-Ouse (first sortie being against Oslo, 9 April 1940). On a form dated 2 July 1945 he claimed to have flown 150 operational hours and 400 non-operational hours.
The following statement describing his capture and captivity is from volume 3 of RCAF file 45-19-15A, “Prisoners of War - Escape of - Interrogations” (National Archives of Canada RG. 24 Volume 5373).
We arrived over our target, the Marshalling Yards at Essen shortly before midnight and made two runs over it. On the second run our port engine was knocked out by flak and the aircraft began to burn. We were ordered to abandon the aircraft and the observer, rear gunner, wireless operator and myself and the captain went out in that order.
I landed in a hayfield northeast of Essen; I had just released by chute when I was picked up by the crew of a flak battery who searched me and took me to their dugout near the guns. They asked if I had been hurt and gave me some food; I gave them only my name, rank and number.
I was shortly picked up by car and taken to Dortmund, where I was given a perfunctory search and met Sergeant Schofield, RAF, my observer; he was injured. We stayed in a house until about 7.00 o’clock in the morning and then [were] driven to a Luftwaffe Headquarters. We were told that our aircraft had crashed on the railway station at Dortmunf and had burned out. There I met my wireless operator, Sergeant Neary, RAF, and my rear gunner, Sergeant Holmes, RAF. They were both uninjured and had been picked up almost immediately on landing. The Germans told us they had found a body in the aircraft. This must have been false as all of the crew was later accounted for.
About ten in the morning the four of us were taken to Dulag Luft outside Frankfurt. We arrived in the early afternoon and were put into solitary confinement. When I was interrogated by a German named Abrahart who spoke fluent English they gave me a form for the Red Cross. I gave name, rank and number and they wanted to know several things, none of which I answered. The interrogator said it didn’t matter and filled out the form himself quite accurately, down to the name of my station commander. I found my captain, F/L G.E. Walker, ex-RAF and now RCAF, was next to me in solitary confinement.
After interrogation I was taken to the main camp and remained there for 48 hours after which about 20 officers including F/L Walker and myself were moved to No.9A, Sprangenberg.
I was there about two weeks and then I was moved with about 40 other officers to Stalag Luft I at Barth in Pomerania. This was a small camp and we were among the first arrivals. We soon started tunnel construction for escape. Our first tunnel was discovered in November 1940, and we worked on a number from then on until in April 1942 when F/L Casenvoe, RAF, approached me with a plan for escape.
F/L Casenvoe, myself and a F/L Leeson, RAF, who spoke fluent German, managed to pass through the inner compound gate on a fored pass. Leeson was dressed as a German soldier and acted as a guard taking us to the camp commandant outside the gates. We were dressed in British Army battle dress with civilian clothes underneath. Rather than go through the main gate we climbed a single wire fence behind the German Officers’ Mess in the outer compound and were thus free of the camp boundaries. This was about lunch time on Easter Monday. We separated from Leeson, having planned to meet at a point further away, and Canevoe and I started off by ourselves. We were making our way from the camp when we were stopped and questioned by a Gestapo road patrol late in the afternoon. Casenvoe almost convinced them we were Spanish workers, but we had no papers and the Gestapo were suspicious. They phoned the camp and although the camp said no prisoners were missing they asked that a check be made. The roll call showed three missing so we were taken back there. Leeson was picked up about a half hour later. We were put in solitary confinement for two weeks.
Shortly after our attempt to escape the camp was moved to Sagen No.3. This was the main Air Force camp and reached a maximum of about 10,000 personnel. In this camp we worked on tunnels for escape; nearly everyone in the camp knew about them and digging was well organized by the Senior British Officer. From time to time one would be discovered but the work continued. It was in March 1944 that a large escape attempt was made from this camp. It had been intended that about 200 men should go out through a tunnel which started from the hut in which I was living. Those to go were chosen by lot and I did not draw a ticket. A hitch allowed only about 80 men to leave on the night of March 24. Of these about four got back to England; some 50 of the escapees were shot by the Gestapo.
Following this escape the Senior British Officer gave instructions there were to be no more escape attempts. There was a purge in the Luftwaffe guards and a considerable shakeup in the camp personnel, the Gestapo taking over the camp. Taken by and large there were no German reprisals on the prisoners remaining in the camp.
In December 1944 a new tunnel was started from the camp theatre for two reasons, first to serve as a Headquarters for camp organisation and secondly as an eventual escape route.
We were apprehensive about the attitude of German civilian personnel and were afraid that if the camp might be left by the German military organization as a result of Allied advances German civilians might attack us. Into this tunnel we put our radio equipment and any other stores we were able to collect that might serve for defence purposes.
In late January 1945, the entire camp was moved to Spremburg. We marched there taking only what we could carry and were about two weeks making the trip. The Senior British Officer issued instructions there were to be no escapes attempted on the road. The German organization was badly shattered and we lived almost entirely on Red Cross parcels. The Germans served us only one hot meal during the entire march. When we arrived at Spremburg we were put into cattle trucks and taken by rail to Tarnstadt outside Bremen. The trip took over 36 hours. We were allowed out of the trucks at infrequent intervals and as many of the men had dysentery the trip was unpleasant.
Tarnstadt was a rundown, very poor camp and we stayed there until April when we were marched to Lubeck. The Senior British Officer, Group Captain Wray, RCAF, had thus march very well organized, and he was able to dictate to the Germans how it would be made, how far we would march a day and how we would be fed. He asked that there be no escapes attempted on the road but there were a few. Group Captain Wray went ahead to Lubeck to look over the new camp and refused to go in with the prisoner officers. He insisted that the Germans find accommodation outside Lubeck, which they did, and we went into the large estate at Trenthorst.
The war was nearly over and we were released from thus camp by the 2nd British Army on May 2, 1945.
Although conditions in the camps were never good from what I have hears of other camps I do not consider we were too unfortunate. Food was frequently short and without Red Cross parcels which we received quite regularly our condition at times would have been serious from a lack of nutrition.
PLANT, G/C John Lawrence (C140) - Mention in Despatches - Station Leeming - Award effective 14 January 1944 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 874/44 dated 21 April 1944. Born in Swansee, Wales, 20 August 1910 (see Canadian Who’s Who); educated in Victoria, British Columbia (high school 1922-1926) and University of British Columbia, 1926-1931 (graduated UBC, 1931, B.Sc. in mechanical engineering). Joined RCAF 4 June 1929 (Camp Borden). First term as P/P/O was 4 June to 31 August 1929; second term as P/P/O was 2 June to 31 August 1930. Commissioned 8 June 1931 on posting to Camp Borden. Awarded wings, 19 August 1931. To Trenton, 19 October 1931; Advanced Training, 1 November 1931 to 2 February 1932 (graded Average); to AFHQ (leave without pay), 30 April 1932; to Camp Borden, 9 January 1933 (had been promoted to Flying Officer, 1 January 1933 with effect from 6 July 1931). Army Co-Operation Course, 1 February to 31 May 1933; Instrument Flying Course, 1 June to 30 June 1933; Seaplane Conversion Course, 6 July to 29 July 1933; Squadron Armament course, 1 August to 22 December 1933; to Ottawa Air Station, 12 January 1934; Advanced Photographic course, 15 January to 8 March 1934; to Station Vancouver, 15 March 1934; Explosive course, 22 October to 5 November 1934; Flying Instructor course, 2 June to 6 June 1936 (graded Category \"B\"); Instrument Flying course, 22 June to 28 August 1936; to Camp Borden, 27 May 1936; to No.20 Detachment, Regina, 30 November 1936; promoted to Flight Lieutenant, 28 February 1937; Parachute course, 1 December to 11 December 1937; Flying Instructor test, 25 May 1938 (graded category \"A-2\"); promoted to Squadron Leader, 1 April 1939; to AFHQ, Ottawa, 17 May 1939. On outbreak of war he ferried aircraft to Bermuda.. To Station Rockcliffe, 16 September 1940; promoted to Wing Commander, 1 January 1941; to No.3 Training Command Headquarters, Montreal, 3 February 1941 (special duties aircrew); to Station Patricia Bay, 20 April 1941; to Western Air Command Headquarters, 28 December 1941; extensive Temporary Duty to United States, 28-31 December 1941 and 8 January to 13 February 1942. To RCAF Overseas Headquarters, 15 March 1942; commanded No.413 Squadron (20 March to 21 October 1942). Returned to UK to command Station Leeming. promoted to Acting Group Captain, 21 October 1942; at No.1 Repatriation Depot, Rockcliffe, 29 November 1943; to AFHQ, Ottawa, 5 December 1943; promoted to Air Commodore, 1 June 1944; Deputy Air Member for Air Staff, Ottawa Temporary Duty to Washington, 24 November to 2 December 1944. Commanded No.9 Transport Group, 1 June 1945 to 4 February 1946. Personally flew penicillin to Poland. To Western Air Command, 5 February 1946 as Air Officer Commanding. To command No.12 Group, 1 March 1947. To AFHQ, 6 November 1947 to be Air Member for Personnel; promoted Air Vice-Marshal, 1 December 1947. To NATO in Europe, 1951 and on 15 August 1951 assumed post of Assistant Chief of Staff, Logistics and Personnel, Allied Air Forces Central Europe Awarded Queen\'s Coronation Medal, 23 October 1953 while an Air Marshal (temporary rank while employed in Allied Air Forces Central Europe. On return to Canada he assumed post of Air Member for Technical Services, AFHQ. In July 1955 became Air Officer Commanding, Air Material Command. Retired from the RCAF, 1 September 1956, and had post-military careers with Collins Radio and Avro Canada, with a second retirement in 1970, after which he taught Math and Calculus at Royal Roads Military College. He was President and General Manager at Avro, and was remained bitter about the Arrow cancellation to the last. Inducted in Canada Aviation Hall of Fame, 1986. Died in Victoria, 7 May 2000. No citation to MiD.
PLANT, A/C John Lawrence (C140) - Commander, Order of the British Empire - No.9 (Transport) Group, Canada - Award effective 1 January 1946 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 82/46 dated 25 January 1946.
This officer has shown outstanding ability as an Air Officer Commanding the recently formed No.9 (Transport) Group. Previous to his present appointment he has served in many responsible positions in the United Kingdom, South East Asia Command and in Canada. In all these appointments he has discharged his many duties in a most efficient and capable manner. He was selected as the best qualified officer to take the United States Army and Navy Staff College Course where he was reported upon as demonstrating ability and professional attainment of a high order and showing himself to be possessed of good judgement, common sense and initiative. The United States Army General Staff requested his services in the Southwest Pacific shortly thereafter, but he could not be spared from Royal Canadian Air Force Headquarters where he was then employed as Deputy Air Member for Air Staff. This officer\'s experience in Home War Establishment Commands in Canada, Coastal Command and Bomber Command Overseas, has admirably fitted him for his many responsible duties which he continues to discharge in an intelligent and exemplary manner.
PLANT, A/C John Lawrence, CBE (C140) - Air Force Cross - Western Air Command Headquarters - Award effective 13 June 1946 as per Canada Gazette of that date and AFRO 660/46 dated 5 July 1946. Governor General\'s Records (RG.7 Group 26, Volume 59, file 190-I, dossier 8) has recommendation.
Air Commodore Plant, while captain of a Fortress aircraft flying from Whitehorse, Yukon Territory to Vancouver, displayed superior airmanship throughout the entire trip, particularly during the approach and landing at Vancouver. As the aircraft approached the field the starboard undercarriage suddenly fell down and refused to lock in place despite several attempts to secure it, neither could it be raised automatically or by hand. While the port undercarriage was lowered by hand and locked in place, Air Commodore Plant circled the field mostly on instruments, due to the fact that the ceiling was poor. After advising all passengers of the situation and ensuring that all were in the best positions to withstand a possible crash landing, he made a second approach to the runway and landed the aircraft so lightly that no jar was felt. His skill in flying the aircraft undoubtedly prevented further serious damage and there is every reason to believe that had the landing not been so well executed, the aircraft might have been badly damaged and the passengers seriously injured. On another occasion, Air Commodore Plant was the captain of an aircraft loaded with penicillin and destined for Warsaw, Poland. The aircraft carrying the second load of penicillin to Poland crashed in Germany, killing all members of the crew. When the third shipment was ready, Air Commodore Plant captained the aircraft, flew it across the Atlantic and delivered it to Warsaw where its arrival was awaited with the greatest of concern, as the situation, due partially to the loss of the previous load, was critical. This trip was carried out in all types of weather and over unfamiliar terrain where air traffic was controlled by foreign agencies. More recently, while flying a Fortress aircraft of the mail-carrying service, he established a new non-stop record flight for the Royal Canadian Air Force of seven hours and twenty-six minutes on the east-bound flight between Vancouver and Ottawa. By his fine flying ability and keenness to handle every type of aircraft in Transport Group, Air Commodore Plant has built up and maintained the morale of No.9 (Transport) Group to a very high level during the period when discharges and retirements have adversely affected practically every unit in the Service.
PLATANA, F/O Daniel Dominique (J18616) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.156 Squadron (deceased) - Award effective 14 July 1944 as per London Gazette dated 25 January 1946 and AFRO 244/46 dated 8 March 1946. Born 25 September 1922 in Indian Head; Saskatchewan; home in Regina (farm hand and mechanic); enlisted there 21 May 1941 and posted to No.1 Manning Depot, Toronto. To No.1 Equipment Depot, Toronto, 6 July 1941. To No.4 WS, Guelph, 26 October 1941; promoted LAC, 25 November 1941. “Tried very hard but could not master the course” read assessment. Ceased training, and posted to No.1 Composite School, 28 February 1942; to No.4 BGS, 29 March 1942; graduated and promoted Sergeant, 11 May 1942. To “Y” Depot, 13 May 1943. To RAF Trainee Pool, 13 June 1942. Taken on strength of No.3 PRC, Bournemouth, 25 June 1942. To No.3 Air Gunner School, 31 July 1942. To No.19 OTU, 24 August 1942. Promoted Flight Sergeant, 11 November 1942. To No.1660 Conversion Unit, 5 January 1943. To No.425 Squadron, 5 February 1943 and went with them to North Africa; described on 24 February 1943 as “Very good air gunner, keen and conscientious.”. Promoted WO2, 11 May 1943. Commissioned 11 August 1943. To No.2 BPD, 1 September 1943. Arrived back in Britain, 8 October 1943. To No.29 Group, 25 October 1943. To No.11 Air Gunner School, 26 October 1943. There he was considered keen but not qualified to be an instructor; as of posting out he had flown a total of 370 hours, ten while at the unit. To No.23 OTU, 1 February 1944. Promoted Flying Officer, 11 February 1944. To No.11 Base, 16 February 1944. To No.156 Squadron, 25 February 1944. Killed in action 14/15 July 1944 (Lancaster PA984); buried in France. Medal presented to widow at Government House, 7 November 1949.
Flying Officer Platana, as air gunner, has completed numerous operations against the enemy in the course of which he has invariably displayed the utmost fortitude, courage and devotion to duty.
Public Records Office Air 2/9276 has recommendation dated 19 June 1944 when he had flown 46 sorties (265 hours ten minutes) with both a sortie list and a slightly more detailed text.
21 November 1942 - Anti-sub patrol, Atlantic
23 November 1942 - Anti-sub patrol, Biscay
25 November 1942 - Anti-sub patrol, Biscay
28 November 1942 - Anti-sub patrol, Biscay
1 December 1942 - Anti-sub patrol, Biscay
4 December 1942 - Anti-sub patrol, Biscay
9 December 1942 - Anti-sub patrol, Biscay
12 December 1942 - Anti-sub patrol, Biscay
14 December 1942 - Anti-sub patrol, Biscay
11 February 1943 - GARDENING
13 February 1943 - Lorient
14 February 1943 - Wilhelmshaven
16 February 1943 - Lorient
19 February 1943 - Wilhelmshaven
19 June 1943 - Pavellier
26 June 1943 - Sicily
28 June 1943 - Sicily
2 July 1943 - Villacidro, Sicily
8 July 1943 - Catania
9 July 1943 - Syacuse
12 July 1943 - Enna
14 July 1943 - Naples
15 July 1943 - Reggio de Calabria
17 July 1943 - Battipaglla
19 July 1943 - Naples
22 July 1943 - Salerno
1 August 1943 - Millazo, Sicily
4 August 1943 - Messina
5 August 1943 - Messina
7 August 1943 - Messina
10 August 1943 - Messina
13 August 1943 - Messina
14 August 1943 - Pizzo beaches, Italy
17 August 1943 - Pizzo beaches, Italy
20 August 1943 - Villa Literno, Italy
24 August 1943 - Naples
26 August 1943 - Taranto
9 April 1944 - Lille
11 April 1944 - Aachen
3 May 1944 - Montdidier
11 May 1944 - Hasselt
19 May 1944 - Cap Gris Nez (special)
27 May 1944 - Rennes
28 May 1944 - Mardyck
14 June 1944 - St.Pol
15 June 1944 - Lens
Flying Officer Platana has had a varied operational career of 46 sorties. He has completed nine sorties with the Pathfinder Force.
This officer is a keen operational gunner with a zest for operations. He is cool and consistently reliable, and his alertness has been largely responsible for many successful evasions of enemy aircraft. His coolness and determination in carrying out his duties and his high sense of devotion to duty make him very worthy of the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.
The website “Lost Bombers” gives the following on his last sortie. Lancaster PA984, No.156 Squadron (GT-Q), target Revigny, 14/15 July 1944. This was a Mark III, delivered to No.156 Squadron in June 1944. No other raids traced. When lost this aircraft had a total of 52 hours. Airborne at 2201 hours, 14 July 1944 from Upwood to attack rail facilities and operating as Deputy Master Bomber. In the vicinity of the target, hit by cannon-fire from a night-fighter and broke into two sections before crashing 0157 hours, 15 July 1944 near Ancerville (Meuse), 20 km SW of Bar-le-Duc. Crew consisted of S/L G.G.Davies, DSO (POW), F/O F.C.G.Debrock (Belgian national, killed), F/O H.Coker (killed), F/L K.Stevens (POW), F/O F.Holbrook, DFC (killed), F/L H.G.M.Robinson, DFC, RAAF (killed), F/O F.J.Lockwood, DFC (killed), F/O D.D.Plantana, DFC, RCAF (killed).
Air Gunner Training: Course at No.4 BGS was 13 April to 11 May 1942; flew in Battle aircraft (19 hours 35 minutes). Scored 7.71 percent in Beam Test, 2.73 percent in Beam Relative Sepped Test, 5.27 percent in Under Tail Test. Fired 700 rounds on ground, 200 air-to-ground and 3,290 air-to-air. Scored 57 percent on written test and 68 percent in practical and oral tests. Graded 186/250 in “Ability as Firer.” On 9 May 1942 he was described thus: “This man is a hard worker but learns slowly. It was necessary to give him two weeks extra instruction. During this time he showed considerable improvement.”
PLAYFORD, F/L John Dennis (J11966) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.100 Squadron - Award effective 23 November 1945 as per London Gazette dated 4 December and AFRO 212/46 dated 1 March 1946. Born 31 December 1921 in Kitchener, Ontario; home in Toronto (clerk); enlisted Hamilton 23 July 1941 and posted to No.1 Manning Depot. To No.1 BGS, 9 August 1941 (guard duty). To No.5 ITS, 25 September 1941; graduated and promoted LAC, 22 November 1941 when posted to No.7 EFTS; graduated 31 January 1942 when posted to No.14 SFTS; graduated and promoted Sergeant, 5 June 1942; subsequently commissioned with effect from that date. To Trenton, 20 June 1942; to No.1 SFTS to instruct, 8 August 1942. Promoted Flying Officer, 5 December 1942. To “Y” Depot, 10 January 1944. Taken on strength of No.3 PRC, 21 January 1944. Promoted Flight Lieutenant, 5 June 1944. Repatriated 5 August 1945; retired 17 September 1945. Medal presented in Toronto, 30 November 1949. Living in Kitchener in 1950. RCAF photo PL-44398 (ex UK-21678 dated 24 May 1945) is captioned as follows: “Two RCAF officers from the same street in Waterloo, Ontario have completed a tour of operations with an RAF Lancaster squadron and headed for Canada. Left is F/L J.D. Playford, pilot, centre is his air bomber, F/O W.J. Elrick. Right is F/O J.E. Menagh, navigator, Smith Falls, Ontario. In more than 30 trips they never saw an enemy fighter.” Photo PL-44399 is same men trying on hats in preparation for “civvy street” - Plauford on left with bowler, Elrick at the right hands him a checked cap, Menagh in centre. No citation other than \"completed...numerous operations against the enemy in which [he has] invariably displayed the utmost fortitude, courage and devotion to duty\". Public Records Office Air 2/8772 has recommendation dated 31 May 1945 when he had flown 30 sorties (193 hours) as follows:
* denotes daylight trip
11 November 1944 - Dortmund
18 November 1944 - Wanne Eickel
27 November 1944 - Freiburg*
29 November 1944 - Dortmund
4 December 1944 - Karlsruhe
6 December 1944 - Merseburg
12 December 1944 - Essen
26 December 1944 - St.Vith*
28 December 1944 - Munchen Gladbach*
28 January 1945 - Stuttgart
2 February 1945 - Ludwigshaven
13 February 1945 - Weizebaden
13 February 1945 - Dresden
14 February 1945 - Chemnitz
21 February 1945 - Leuna
1 March 1945 - Mannheim
13 March 1945 - Benzol plant*
15 March 1945 - Misburg
21 March 1945 - Buchstrasse
23 March 1945 - Bremen
27 March 1945 - Paderborn
4 April 1945 - Lutzkendorf
9 April 1945 - Kiel
10 April 1945 - Plauen
14 April 1945 - Potsdam
18 April 1945 - Heligoland
22 April 1945 - Bremen
25 April 1945 - Berchtesgaden
27 April 1945 - EXODUS (Brussels)
30 April 1945 - MANNA
Flight Lieutenant Playford, a Canadian officer, has completed his first operational tour, which includes attacks against such heavily defended and distant targets as Leuna, Chemnitz and Dresden. He has carried out his tour in a fine offensive manner, and his courage and keenness to press home his attacks has been an inspiration to the whole squadron.
On one occasion when attacking Plauen, his port inner engine failed and he was forced to feather the airscrew while more than 200 miles from the target. Undaunted, this skilful pilot carried on to this distant target even though he was unable to climb within 5,000 feet of his briefed bombing height. This attack was carried through with good results.
Flight Lieutenant Playford has always shown an exceptional devotion to duty, and the manner in which he has carried out his tour has been an example to all. In recognition of this officer\'s courage, fortitude and splendid offensive spirit, I strongly recommend him for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.
PLEASANCE, W/C Wilbur Provence (C1395) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.419 Squadron - Award effective 19 May 1944 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 1296/44 dated 16 June 1944. Born Port Arthur, Ontario, 2 March 1909; home in Calgary. Educated in public schools and Canadian Institute of Technology and Art. Stock clerk, 1925-1926. Machinist apprentice, 1926-1931. Salesman for a Calgary bakery, 1931-1936. Employed as commercial pilot by Calgary Aero Club, 1936 to 1939, having obtained both Private and Commercial flying licenses at Calgary. The president of the Calgary Aero Club described him (13 June 1938) as “thorough, willing, and showed an aptitude for study.” Applied to join RCAF as early as July 1939. Enlisted in Calgary, 1 November 1939 and commissioned with effect from that date. To Trenton, 20 January 1940. Qualified to wear pilot badge, 19 February 1940, having been posted to Camp Borden as of 12 February 1940. Promoted Flight Lieutenant, 1 February 1941. To No.10 EFTS, Mount Hope, 26 February 1941. Promoted Squadron Leader, 15 September 1941. To AFHQ, 30 November 1942. To Conversion Training Squadron, Rockcliffe, 1 December 1942. To “Y” Depot, 19 January 1943. To RAF overseas, 2 February 1943. Disembarked in Britain, 13 February 1943. To No.3 (Pilots) AFU, 2 March 1943. Attached to No.1515 Beam Approach Training Flight, 16-23 March 1943. To No.23 OTU, 20 April 1943. To No.1659 Conversion Unit, 11 August 1943. To No.431 Squadron, 5 September 1943. To No.419 Squadron, 23 October 1943. Promoted Wing Commander, 16 February 1944. To RCAF Overseas Headquarters, 21 August 1944. To No.6 Group Headquarters, 1 September 1944. To No.61 Base, 2 September 1944. To No.62 Base, 7 January 1945. Promoted Group Captain, 21 September 1945. Repatriated 10 October 1945. To No.1 Instrument Flying School, 9 November 1945. Reverted to Wing Commander in postwar RCAF, 1 October 1946 (service number 19513). To War Staff College, Toronto, 15 February 1946. To Station Rockcliffe, 19 August 1946 for staff with No.9 (Transport) Group. To Air Transport Command, 1 April 1948. To AFHQ, 14 August 1949. To No.405 Squadron, 1 October 1951. To Station Torbay, 30 June 1953. To AFHQ, 24 August 1956. Promoted Group Captain, 13 January 1957; posted 14 January 1957 to UNEF, Capodichino. Returned to Canada, 29 January 1958 and posted to Calgary. Retired 6 July 1958. DFC and Bar presented at Buckingham Palace, 11 August 1944. Photo PL-28846 (ex UK-9942 dated 29 April 1944) shows him reading note that accompanied a large shipment of “comforts” from Kamloops (adopting city); he is at right as others unpack the boxes. RCAF photo PL-29076 (ex UK-9920 dated 22 April 1944) shows “welcoming party” for new Lancaster X; W/C W.P. Pleasance is in right foreground; others are (left to right) P/O M.D. McGill (Homewood, Manitoba), F/O L.A. Rotstein (Toronto) and F/L Jim Stewart (Montreal). RCAF photo PL-29078 (ex RCAF UK-9922 dated 22 April 1944) shows WC W.P. Pleasance (left) and F/L Jim Stewart (right). RCAF photo PL-29079 (ex UK-9923 dated 22 April 1944) taken on delivery of Canadian-built Lancaster X to No.419 Squadron; under the wing are F/O Lorne Rotstein (Toronto, left), W/C W.P. Pleasance (Calgary, centre) and F/L Jim Stewart (Montreal, right). Photo PL-28393 (ex UK-9096 dated 22 March 1944) shows him talking to members of No.419 Squadron on return from operations. Photo PL-32668 (ex UK-13668 dated 26 August 1944) shows him. Photo PL-33472 (ex UK-15987, 26 October 1944) shows F/L Real St. Amour, G/C Wilbur Pleasance and Cardinal Villeneuve during the Cardinal’s visit to No.425 Squadron and a war bond sales drive. RCAF Photo PL-43859 (ex UK-21164 circa 3 May 1945) taken during base visit by Canadian High Commissioner Vincent Massey shows Massey talking to G/C H.P. Pleasance (Calgary) and Sergeant Pat Seccombe (Toronto, working in operations section); RCAF Photo PL-43863 (ex UK-21168, circa 5 May 1945) taken on the occasion of a visit by Canadian High Commissioned Vincent Massey to “Beaver Base” in No.6 Group, showing G/C W.P. Pleasance, YMCA Superintendent Irving Wismer and Vincent Massey. RCAF photo PL-44610 (ex UK-22087 dated 13 June 1945 shows G/C W.P. Pleasance, Officer Commanding the base that housed Goose and Thunderbird squadrons, demonstrating an 8,000 pound bomb to Lord Mayor Harold C. DeBurgh and High Sheriff J.H. Kaye during an open house for civilians prior to dissolution of the Canadian station. PL-440651 (ex UK-22053 dated 12 June 1945) taken during visit of Colonel W. Woodward, Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia to Beaver Base; left to right are G/C W.P. Pleasance, DFC (Calgary), Colonel Woodward, A/C J.L. Hurley (Ottawa), and Mr. Gromack (secretary to Woodward).
This officer has displayed high powers of leadership, great skill and determination, qualities which have contributed in a large measure to the high standard of operational efficiency of the squadron he commands. Wing Commander Pleasance has taken part in very many sorties, including a number of mine-laying missions which he has completed with great success. His example has proved most inspiring.
PLEASANCE, W/C Wilbur Provence, DFC (C1395) - Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross - No.419 Squadron - Award effective 25 July 1944 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 2052/44 dated 22 September 1944. Cited with P/O Morley D. McGill (RCAF, awarded DFC), which see above for citation.
PLEASANCE, G/C Wilbur Provence, DFC (C1395) - Mention in Despatches - Linton-on-Ouse - Award effective 14 June 1945 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 1395/45 dated 31 August 1945. AFRO gives unit only as \"Overseas\"; DHist file 181.009 D.1725 (PAC RG.24 Vol.20607) has list of MiDs this date with unit. DHist file 181.009 D.1722 (PAC RG.24 Vol.20606) has recommendation dated 3 February 1945 from A/C J.L. Hurley, OC No.62 Base. Enlisted 1 November 1939; had been 27 months in Canada, 24 months overseas.
After a most successful tour during which Group Captain Pleasance was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar, he has served in turn as Station Commander at RCAF Stations Tholthorpe, Wombleton and is now Station Commander at RCAF Station Linton. During the time that this officer has been under my command, I have found him most loyal, tactful and co-operative. He has been diligent and attentive to his work and has carried out all orders and instructions to my complete satisfaction. Since coming to Linton this officer has shown the ability to organize and improve many sections of the station. His ability along these lines is producing excellent results.
Notes: Involved in forced landing at Woodbridge of Halifax JD459, 2357 hours, 20/21 January 1944. Night operational flight; fluctuating RPM indicator and drop in oil pressure. One engine feathered and a normal landing made at emergency field. Examination of engine revealed cracked reduction gear casing. He had 125 hours on type at the time, 1,700 hours all types.
As of 31 December 1956 he listed his aircraft types and hours as follows: Oxford (150.00), Anson (150.00), Wellington (100.00), Halifax (150), Beech (202.15), Lancaster (334.30), Battle (100), miscellaneous training aircraft (968.45), Bell S-55 (11.50), T-33 (two hours).
Selected Assessments: “Keen, efficient, hard working officer. Very shortly this officer will be considered as suitable for accelerated promotion if present good work continues. Recently categorized as an A-2 Flying Instructor. Professional and all other. Relatively above average.” (4 December 1940).
“Employed as Chief Supervisory Officer at No.10 EFTS. An excellent instructor and CSO and is carrying out his duties in a most satisfactory manner.” (Air Commodore G.E. Brookes, 23 May 1941).
“An excellent operational squadron commander.” (G/C F.A. Sampson, 22 June 1944).
Excerpt from letter dated 20 August 1941 (S/L A.J. Snetsinger, No.1 Training Command, to AFHQ), suggesting promotion to Acting Squadron Leader. “It is desired to point out that during the months of February and March this School [No.10 EFTS] had 90 pupils on courses as it was necessary to reduce the intake of No.9 EFTS. St. Catharines, too 24 due to the aerodrome condition there. It was purely due to the effort of Flight Lieutenant Pleasance that this increased intake was carried out efficiently, and the courses were completed on schedule.”
“This officer’s personality and the intimate interest he takes in the welfare of his men, both aircrew and groundcrew, have established him as a good leader of men. He lacks administrative experience of units greater than a squadron but should make a satisfactory station commander.” (Air Commodore R.E. McBurney, 8 September 1944).
“Is fully qualified to command an operational squadron in Bomber Command. He has had several years flying experience and was previously employed as a flying instructor. Ability to fly with operational and training types is a considered above average. Exercises good judgement and common sense in the operation of his aircraft and commands respect from all ranks and maintains a goos standard of discipline within his unit.” (G/C F.A. Sampson, Middleton St. George, 20 September 1944).
Letter, C.S, Booth (Representative of Canada to International Civil Aviation Organization) to C,M. Drury (Deputy Minister of National Defence), 2 October 1951, re W/C W.P. Pleasance, RCAF liaison officer, 1 August 1949 to 30 September 1951: “I believe that you would wish to know that he has done a thoroughly satisfactory job here, not only in regard to his primary responsibility of keeping RCAF fully informed of all ICAO matters likely to be of interest to RCAF but also his additional assignment to assist me in matters in the economic field. I know he has followed very closely all the discussions on technical subjects and he has been particularly helpful to me in connection with the work of the Joint Support Committee, in connection with the arrangements for the joint financing of Air Navigation Facilities and Services in Iceland, Greenland, etc. Wing Commander Pleasance has worked conscientiously and effectively and has displayed considerrable initiative and capacity in a field of work with which he had not previously been familiar.”
“Wing Commander Pleasance continues to do a very good job, both as Senior RCAF representative in Newfoundland and as Station Commander. His duties bring him in daily contact with the American element of Torbay and the staff of the Commander, Northeast Air Command, also with Army and Navy staffs. He manages to maintain excellent relations with the various Service and civilian authorities in Newfoundland, at the same time running his station efficiently. He can be depended uupon to work intelligently and consistently without supervision.” (Air Commodore M. Costello, Maritime Air Command Headquarters, Halifax, 28 March 1955).
PLEDGER, P/O Thomas Oswald (J9694) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.78 Squadron - Award effective 6 August 1943 as per London Gazette dated 17 August 1943 and AFRO 2005/43 dated 1 October 1943. Born 25 February 1917 at Palmers Green, London. Educated at public schools in Winnipeg and Toronto. Laborer in Toronto, 1936-1938, radio station announcer with CHML, Hamilton, early 1938; salesman with Hamilton and Toronto stores, 1938 to 1941. Home in Toronto; enlisted there 27 January 1941 as Wireless Operator (Ground) and posted to No.2 Manning Depot, Brandon. To No.1 Manning Depot, Toronto, 1 March 1941. To No.4 Manning Depot, Quebec, 25 April 1941. To Station Sydney, 4 May 1941. To No.1 WS, Montreal, 20 July 1941 on remuster to air training. Promoted LAC, 21 August 1941. To No.6 BGS, Mountain View, 9 December 1941; graduated and promoted Sergeant, 5 January 1942; subsequently commissioned with effect from that date. To “Y” Depot, 7 January 1942. To RAF overseas, 24 January 1942. Taken on strength of No.3 PRC, Bournemouth, 20 February 1942. To No.5 Signal School, 18 March 1942. To No.1 (Observer) AFU, 3 May 1942. To Station Kinloss, 4 May 1942. To No.78 Conversion Flight, 11 August 1942. Involved in a flying accident at 0025 hours, 23 August 1942, Halifax L9601 (no details). To No.78 Squadron, 25August 1942. Promoted Flying Officer, 1 October 1942 as per Appointments, Promotions and Retirements Order dated 20 November 1942. To No.22 OTU, 3 July 1943 to instruct. Promoted Flight Lieutenant, 5 January 1944. To No.617 Squadron, 17 January 1944. To No.1666 Conversion Unit, 20 February 1944. To No.408 Squadron, 9 March 1944. Killed in action with No.408 Squadron, 12/13 June 1944 (Lancaster DS772); buried in France. Medal presented by Governor General to next-of-kin, 27 June 1945.
Pilot Officer Pledger has completed a large number of operational sorties, many of them attacks on the enemy\'s most heavily defended targets. A most efficient wireless operator, he has always displayed the utmost coolness in the face of intense enemy opposition and a refusal to be distracted from his duties. This, combined with his technical skill and personal qualities, have made this officer a most valuable member of air crew.
The website “Lost Bombers” gives the following on the loss of aircraft. Lancaster DS772, No.408 Squadron (EQ-T), target Cambrai, 12/13 June 1944. DS772 was delivered to No.408 Squadron 30 August 1943, loaned to No.426 Squadron 15 October 1943, returned to No.408 Squadron 10 April 1944. DS772 took part in the following operations: with No.426 Squadron, Hannover, 18/19 October 1943; Berlin 18/19 November 1943; Berlin 23/24 November 1943; Berlin 26/27 November 1943; Berlin 2/3 December 1943; Berlin 16/17 December 1943; Berlin 29/30 December 1943; Berlin ½ January 1944; Berlin 27/28 January 1944; Leipzig 19/20 January 1944; Berlin 24/25 March 1944; Nuremburg 30/31 March 1944. With No.408 Squadron, no major operations until Cambrai on 12/13 June 1944. When lost this aircraft had a total of 362 hours. DS772 was one of three No.408 Squadron Lancasters lost onthis raid; others were DS688 and DS726. Airborne 2201 hours, 12 June 1944 from Linton-on-Ouse to bomb rail and transport systems in support of the Normandy Landings. Crashed at Avesnes-les-Aubert (Nord), 11 km ENE of Cambrai. Crew (all killed) were F/L H.C.McIver, RCAF, Sergeant D.M.Russell, F/O J.H.Wyatt, Flight Sergeant W.H.Goodwin, RCAF, F/O T.O.Pledger, DFC, RCAF (Squadron Signals Leader), F/O C.A.G.Hangar, F/O A.J.G.Dulait. The last two were Belgians serving in the RAF.
Training: Course at No.1 WS was 20 July to 7 December 1941. Flew one hour in Flying Classroom as First Operator, three hours in Flying Classroom on listening watch and four hours in two-seat aircraft as sole operator. Graded “average” in the air. Ground courses in Theory (34/50), Radio Equipment (183/250), Morse (200/200), Procedure (188/200), Signals Organization (130/150), Armament (55/100) and Drill and PT (41/50). Graduated 32nd in a class of 139.
Course at No.6 BGS was 8 December 1941 to 5 January 1942. Flew in Battle aircraft (six hours 15 minutes plus two hours five minutes as passenger). Fire 610 rounds on ground, 400 rounds air to ground, and 1,340 rounds air-to-air. Scored five percent in Beam Test, eight percent in Beam Relative Speed Test and 8.5 percent in Under Tail Test. Scored 83 percent in written exam, 74 percent in practical and oral tests; ability as firer graded at 161/250. Placed 17th in a class of 41. “His air firing results are satisfactory and he will no doubt be a capable and reliable air gunner.” (F/L D.V. Thomas, 5 January 1942).
Assessments: “Hard working and enthusiastic officer who has done well since coming to this unit.” (W/C D.E.L. Wilson, No.78 Squadron, 13 June 1943, noting that he had flown 428 hours 30 minutes, of which 150.25 were in previous six months.
“An average instructor. Could be smarter in general bearing.” W/C J.K.M. Cooke, No.22 OTU, 17 January 1944, noting he had flown 540 hours, 93 in previous six months).
PLISHKA, F/O William Mitchell (J89324) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.424 Squadron - Award effective 8 September 1945 as per London Gazette dated 25 September 1945 and AFRO 1768/45 dated 23 November 1945. Born 22 March 1920 in Myrnam, Alberta; home there; seasonal farmer. Educated at Myrnam and Vermillion School of Agriculture (1940-1941). Enlisted Edmonton, 8 August 1941. To No.2 Manning Depot, 20 September 1941. To No.5 BGS, Dafoe, 4 January 1942 (guard). To No.7 ITS, Saskatoon, 1 March 1942; graduated and promoted LAC, 24 April 1942 but not posted until 7 June 1942 when he went to No.6 EFTS, prince Albert. Ceased training and posted to Composite Training School, Trenton, 2 July 1942; to No.7 AOS, Portage la Prairie, 30 August 1942; ceased training as navigator and posted to Composite Training School, Trenton, 30 December 1942; to No.8 BGS, Lethbridge, 4 April 1943; graduated 26 June 1943 and posted next day to No.2 AOS, Edmonton; graduated and promoted Sergeant, 6 August 1943. To “Y” Depot, 21 August 1943. Embarked from Halifax, 26 August 1943. Disembarked in Britain, 1 September 1943 and posted to No.3 PRC, Bournemouth. To No.9 (Observer) AFU, 26 October 1943. To No.23 OTU, Pershore, 29 November 1943. To No.61 Base, 15 March 1944. To No.22 OTU, 15 March 1944. Attached to Battle School, Dalton, 15 March to 22 April 1944. Promoted Flight Sergeant, 6 May 1944. Attached to No.1659 Conversion Unit, 22 April to 19 May 1944. To No.424 Squadron, 19 May 1944. Commissioned 4 September 1944. Attached to Bomb Aimer School, 29 September to 4 October 1944. To No.63 Base, 20 November 1944. Attached to Empire Air Armament School, Manby, 25 November 1944 to 6 January 1945. To No.424 Squadron, 6 January 1945. Promoted Flight Lieutenant, 4 March 1945. To No.76 Base, 4 May 1945. Posted same date to No.6 AC School (whatever that is) as instructor. Repatriated 24 September 1945. To No.7 Release Centre, 30 October 1945. Retired 6 November 1945. RCAF photo PL-28581 (ex UK-9303 dated 1 April 1944) shows him at the Beaver Club (London) while on leave. Died in Vancouver, 3 July 1989 as per British Columbia Vital Statistics. No citation other than \"completed...numerous operations against the enemy in the course of which [he has] invariably displayed the utmost fortitude, courage and devotion to duty.\" DHist file 181.009 D.1741 (RG.24 Vol.20608) has recommendation dated 17 April 1945 when he had completed 32 sorties (153 hours 30 minutes) between 25 July 1944 and 1 November 1944. Claim for Operational Wing (11 February 1945) said 32 sorties, 159 hours, 19 May to 2 November 1944.
Pilot Officer Plishka has been screened upon completion of his first tour of 32 sorties against the enemy, the majority of which were against heavily defended targets. This officer\'s courage and skill on operations have been outstanding and his devotion to duty has at all times been an example to others. His coolness and devotion to duty has at all times been an example to others. His coolness and attention to detail on hazardous mining sorties particularly earned the admiration of his captain and crew. Pilot Officer Plishka has taken, and continues to take, a leading part in the training of new crews.
Notes: A report from No.7 ITS noted, “Tendency to be over-confident in his ability, common to his foreign type. Reactions good, cheerful and alert. Should make aircrew without trouble but for his own good over-confidence in ability should be watched closely.”
The ITS report dated 24 April 1942 stated that he had an Observer brother overseas. This would seem to be F/O L. Plishka, Nav/B, killed in action with No.617 Squadron, 17 November 1943. Our man’s parents were Mike M. Plishka and Helen Lysowa.
Progress report from No.6 EFTS read, “Progress test revealed this airman’s flying ability to be below average. It is considered that unlimited dual instruction would be necessary to bring him up to a safe standard for solo flying. It was necessary to assist with take-offs and landings. Air flying was very rough. It is recommended that he be re-selected as a navigator, as progress in navigation at this school was very satisfactory. Conduct very good.”
Progress report from No.7 AOS read, in part, “Failed in course of instruction at this station. Ground work is below average and air work lacks organization and accuracy required in Navigation. This airman is over-confident and fails to realize his limitations. Recommended as an Air Bomber.” Nevertheless he was described as “cheerful, cooperative and even-tempered.”
Report from No.9 (Observer) AFU covered course from 26 October to 29 November 1943. This gave his flying (on Ansons) as 22 hours ten minutes - 12.40 on daylight map reading, 3.10 on daylight combined exercises and 4.15 on daylight bombing plus 2.05 night map reading. Described as “keen”. Carried out three bombing exercises (18 bombs). Ground school marks in Map Reading (238/400), Aircraft Recognition (90/100), Bombing Revision (104/150) and Signals (30/50); Air Work marks in Map Reading by Day (340/400), Map Reading by Night (240/300).
The report of his time at No.23 OTU(29 November 1943 to 14 March 1944) is very interesting. He flew in Wellingtons. By day he flew on “local bombing” (5.15), “cross country exercises” (23.55) and was “at controls” (22.20). By night it was “local bombing” (2.50), “cross country exercises (13.00) and “at controls” (6.30). DAY Bombing exercises were in High Level (one exercise, seven bombs), Medium Level (one exercise, eight bombs), Simulation by Photography (six exercises, two passed). NIGHT Bombing exercises were one High Level (eight bombs), one Medium Level (seven bombs) and two simulations with infra-red. Ground School courses were Bombing Theory (37/50), Bombing Drill and Panel Manipulation (183/200), Map Reading (160/200), Photography (38/50), Operational Bomb Loads (39/50), Pyrotechnics (47/50) and Air Sighting (75/100). Air work marked under Day Bombing (135/150), Night Bombing (125/150), Map Reading by Day (175/200), Map Reading by Night (150/200), Photography by Day (79/100) and Photography by Night (83/100). “A very keen bomb aimer who has shown good results for his hard work. Not recommended for a commission.” (16 March 1944, looks like a W/C J.H. Cook).
At No.1659 Conversion Unit he dropped 18 practice bombs by day (average error, 190 yards) and twelve by night (average error 177 yards). Involved in four night infra-red photography attempts. Using GEE he spent five hours on ground, 7.30 in air; in Astro Work he took 28 ground sightings and 17 air sightings. Spent three hours on gunnery exercises. No second pilot training but did spent 25 minutes in Link; also completed eleven hours of Night Vision Training.
On repatriation he stated he had flown 12 hours (non-operational) in single engine aircraft, 363 hours non-operational on multi-engine aircraft, and 161 hours ten minutes operationally on multi-engine aircraft. Types listed were Anson (22.45), Wellington (88.35), Halifax II and IV (40.10), Halifax III (203.20) and Lancaster (12.30).
At Empire Air Armament School, Manby, he seems to have been taking an instructor course. Flew nine hours 25 minutes as Bomb Aimer. Graded as follows: Bombing Theory (76 percent, suitable as instructor), Bombing Instruction (84 percent, suitable as instructor), Bombing Comps (80 percent, suitable as instructor), Instructional Technique (58 percent) and Air Training (78 percent). “A keen officer who reached a very good standard of technical proficiency without proving in any way outstanding. His lecturing ability, although adequate, leaves room for improvement. Bombing results were fairly good and his analysis showed much thought and care. He should prove to be a capable instructor.”
PLOMMER, F/O Robert Le Lorme (J23469) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.432 Squadron - Award effective 1 September 1944 as per London Gazette dated 19 September 1944 and AFRO 2373/44 dated 3 November 1944. Born March 1922 in Princeton, British Columbia; home in Vancouver; served in COTC; enlisted Vancouver 29 September 1941. To No.3 Manning Depot, 28 December 1941. To No,.4 EFTS (non-flying duty), 14 March 1942. To No.7 ITS, 25 April 1942; graduated and promoted LAC, 19 June 1942 but not posted to No.6 EFTS until 15 August 1942; ceased training 7 September 1942 and posted elsewhere; to No.7 AOS, 10 October 1942; graduated and commissioned, 5 February 1943. To “Y” Depot, 29 February 1943; to RAF overseas, 8 March 1943. Promoted Flying Officer, 5 August 1943. Promoted Flight Lieutenant, 5 February 1945. Repatriated 27 September 1945. Retired 9 November 1945. Medal presented 29 January 1947. No citation other than \"completed...many successful operations during which [he has] displayed high skill, fortitude and devotion to duty.\" DHist file 181.009 D.5557 (RG.24 Vol.20668) has recommendation dated 18 June 1944 when he had flown 27 sorties (153 hours 40 minutes), 20 January to 14 June 1944.
This officer has shown a high degree of skill as a navigator on his total of 27 trips over enemy territory without failing to complete a mission successfully. The majority of these trips have been over heavily defended targets in Germany, including Berlin (five times), Frankfurt, Essen, Dusseldorf, Stettin, Stuttgart, Schweinfurt, Magdeburg and Brunswick. His co-operation, coolness and devotion to duty contributed in a large measure to the success of these operations. His cheerful confidence, reflected in the high standard of morale in his crew, has inspired the whole unit. For his devotion to duty and high degree of navigational ability, this officer is strongly recommended for the Distinguished Flying Cross.
The sortie list was as follows:
20 January 1944 - Berlin (7.22)
21 January 1944 - Magdeburg (6.42)
27 January 1944 - Berlin (8.54)
28 January 1944 - Berlin (7.50)
30 January 1944 - Berlin (6.16)
24 February 1944 - Schweinfurt (8.00)
1 March 1944 - Stuttgart (8.05)
6 March 1944 - Trappes (4.20)
7 March 1944 - Le Mans (4.50)
15 March 1944 - Stuttgart (8.20)
18 March 1944 - Frankfurt (5.20)
22 March 1944 - Frankfurt (5.40)
24 March 1944 - Berlin (5.14)
26 March 1944 - Essen (6.47)
18 April 1944 - Noisey le Sec (4.45)
22 April 1944 - Dusseldorf (4.40)
26 April 1944 - Essen (4.45)
27 April 1944 - Montman (4.00)
1 May 1944 - Ghislain (3.50)
7 May 1944 - Valerie-en-Caux (3.35)
11 May 1944 - Boulogne-sur-Mer (3.30)
19 May 1944 - Le Clipon (3.15)
31 May 1944 - Mont Couple (2.55)
5 June 1944 - Houlgate (4.20)
6 June 1944 - Coutrances (4.40)
8 June 1944 - Mayenne (5.50)
14 June 1944 - St. Pol (3.45)
PLOTKINS, P/O Leon Joseph (J92986) - Distinguished Flying Cross - No.625 Squadron - Award effective 5 April 1945 as per London Gazette dated 17 April 1945 and AFRO 918/45 dated 1 June 1945. Born March 1923 in Calgary; home there (bookkeeper); enlisted Calgary 8 June 1942. To No.3 Manning Depot, 6 July 1942; to No.2 ITS, 25 September 1942; graduated and promoted LAC, 5 December 1942 but not posted to No.2 EFTS until 27 December 1942; ceased training and posted to Composite Training School, 28 January 1943; to No.8 BGS, 1 May 1943; graduated 24 July 1943 when posted to No.2 AOS; graduated and promoted Sergeant, 3 September 1943. To “Y” Depot, 17 September 1943; taken on strength of No.3 PRC, 8 October 1943. Commissioned 8 December 1944. Repatriated 9 February 1945. To No.2 Air Command, 26 February 1945. To No.7 BGS, 9 April 1945. Promoted Flying Officer, 8 June 1945. To No.7 Release Centre, 27 Junr 1945. Recalled to service with No.2 Air Command, 3 July 1945. To No.7 Release Centre, 8 October 1945. Retired 16 October 1945. Medal presented 9 July 1949. No citation other than \"completed...numerous operations against the enemy in the course of which [he has] invariably displayed the utmost courage and devotion to duty\". Public Records Office Air 2/9060 has recommendation dated 15 January 1945 when he had flown 30 sorties (155 hours), 5 August to 15 December 1944.
5 August 1944 - Pauillac
7 August 1944 - Fontenay le Marmion
10 August 1944 - Oeuf en Ternois
11 August 1944 - Douai
14 August 1944 - Fontaine le Pin
18 August 1944 - Vincley
25 August 1944 - Russelsheim
29 August 1944 - Stettin
5 September 1944 - Le Havre
6 September 1944 - Le Havre
10 September 1944 - Le Havre
20 September 1944 - Calais
23 September 1944 - Neuss
26 September 1944 - Calais
3 October 1944 - West Kapelle
5 October 1944 - Saarbrucken
7 October 1944 - Emmerich
12 October 1944 - Frederik Hendrik
14 October 1944 - Duisburg
19 October 1944 - Stuttgart
2 November 1944 - Dusseldorf
4 November 1944 - Bochum
9 November 1944 - Wanne Eickel
16 November 1944 - Duren
18 November 1944 - Wanne Eickel
21 November 1944 - Aschaffenburg
27 November 1944 - Freiburg
31 October 1944 - Cologne
12 December 1944 - Essen
15 December 1944 - Ludwigshafen
Warrant Officer Plotkins is the Canadian air bomber in a Lancaster crew and has now completed a very successful first operational tour consisting of 30 sorties comprising 155 hours operational flying.
This Warrant Officer has delivered his bombs with great accuracy on targets which include Stettin, Saarbrucken, Stuttgart, Cologne and Duisburg, at the same time always showing a complete disregard for his own personal safety in spite of enemy opposition.
The accuracy with which Warrant Officer Plotkins has delivered his bombs has been exceptional, and the close co-operation which he has maintained with his captain has enabled them, as a team, to obtain the most successful results which have been time and again proved by the photographs they have obtained of the targets they have been detailed to attack.
His accuracy in his work and the success he has achieved have now become a by-word in the squadron in which he serves, and for his fine record of achievement, his outstanding ability and strong sense of duty he is strongly recommended for an award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.