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Spooner, Kenneth Gerald GC (Leading Aircraftman)

Killed in Flying Accident 1943-May-14

Birth Date: 1922-May-24 (age 20)

Born: Smiths Falls, Ontario

Son of late Gerald and Irene Mary (nee Majerison) Craig of Smiths Falls, Ontario. Brother of Gordon, Lloyd, and half brother of Douglas and Isabel Craig.

Home: Smiths Falls, Ontario

Enlistment: Montreal, Quebec

Enlistment Date: 1942-07-31

Decorations: GC


George Cross
Service
RCAF
Unit
4 AOS- Air Observer School
Rank
Leading Aircraftman
Marshal
Air Chief MarshalA/C/M
Air MarshalA/M
Air Vice MarshalA/V/M
Air CommodoreA/C
Group CaptainG/C
Wing CommanderW/C
Squadron LeaderS/L
Flight LieutenantF/L
Flying OfficerF/O
Pilot OfficerP/O
Warrant Officer 1st ClassWO1
Warrant Officer 2nd ClassWO2
Flight SergeantFS
SergeantSGT
CorporalCPL
Senior AircraftmanSAC
Leading AircraftmanLAC
Aircraftman 1st ClassAC1
Aircraftman 2nd ClassAC2
Position
Navigator
Service Numbers
R/179314
4 Air Observer School, London, Ontario. Anson aircraft 7064 crashed in Lake Erie one half mile south of Portbruce, Ontario. Sgts W. Brown and a Nelson were also killed. The deeds for which the George Cross was awarded to the late LAC K.G. Spooner (Smith's Falls, Ont.) are thus officially described in an announcement from Government House, Ottawa:- GEORGE CROSS (POSTHUMOUS) R179314 VAC Kenneth Gerald Spooner (Deceased), No. 4 Air Observer School. This airman, a student navigator with no pilot training, displayed great courage, resolution and unselfishness in the face of harassing circumstances when the pilot of the aircraft fainted at the controls. While other crew members were vainly trying to remove him from his seat he temporarily regained consciousness and froze at the controls, causing the aircraft to lose altitude rapidly. Immediately after the pilot became indisposed, L/AC Spooner, with extreme coolness and courage, assumed charge and ordered the remainder of the crew to bail out while he took over the controls and endeavoured to keep the aircraft at a safe height. Three members of the crew bailed out as instructed, and shortly after, the aircraft crashed, carrying the unconscious pilot and L/AC Spooner to their death. The crash occurred approximately one hour after the pilot had lost control. This airman, with complete disregard for his personal safety, and in conformity with the highest tradition of the Service, sacrificed his life in order to save the lives of his comrades. Leading Aircraftman Navigator Spooner G.C. Addendum: SPOONER, LAC Kenneth Gerald (R179314) - George Cross - No.4 AOS - Award effective 28 December 1943 as per London Gazette dated 7 January 1944 and AFRO 166/44 dated 28 January 1944. Trained at No.5 ITS and No.4 AOS. Incident occurred 14 May 1943, 1845 hours. In fact, there were three fatalities, not two as suggested by citation. Crew was: PILOT - Sergeant D.A. Nelson (R137915), missing. WOPAG - Sergeant W.J. Brown (R132466), missing. AB UNDER TRAINING - LAC J.A. Curtis (R151200), uninjured. NAV UNDER TRAINING - [AC K.G. Spooner (R179312), missing. NAV UNDER TRAINING - LAC R.H. Bailey (R179709), uninjured. Detail provided by H. Halliday, Orleans, Ontario.

Canada Source Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Commonwealth War Graves Commission Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Canada Primary Source Library and Archives Canada Service Files (may not exist)

Crew on Anson Mk. I 7064

Avro Anson

Avro Anson Mk. V
Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum
The Museum's Anson Mk. V was built by MacDonald Brothers in Winnipeg in 1944. It flew with No. 7 Photographic Wing and No. 414 Squadron in Ottawa on photo survey work until the late 1940s. In 1956, it was purchased by INCO and used for mineral surveying until 1980, when it was donated to the Museum. The exterior is painted in the yellow colour common to all BCATP trainers and is in its same wartime RCAF markings.

The Avro Anson was known by a number of nicknames including "Faithful Annie" or "Flying Greenhouse". It was the first aircraft to be flown by the Royal Canadian Air Force to have a retractable undercarriage, which was a comparative novelty in 1936. In 1940, a Canadian government owned company, Federal Aircraft Limited, was created in Montreal to manufacture the Anson for Canadian use. Nearly 3,000 Anson aircraft were produced and, in the early days of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP), the Anson was the standard trainer for many pilots, observers (navigators), wireless operators and bomb aimers. More than 20,000 aircrew received training on the Anson. In Canadian service, the aircraft was substantially re-designed with the substitution of North American engines and many other airframe and equipment changes. Harold Skaarup web pages

General Harold A Skaarup Web Page

YouTube Avro Anson History

YouTube Avro Anson Construction

CASPIR Aircraft Groups:
RCAF On Strength (4404), RCAF 400 Squadron (6), Canadian Aircraft Losses (257)
last update: 2022-02-22 21:45:24

Anson Mk. I 7064

Ex RAF AN834. Delivered to stored reserve. To de Havilland Canada on 6 April 1942, probably for erection. Assigned to No. 1 Training Command on 16 November 1942, delivered on 5 January 1943. To No. 6 Repair Depot on 29 July 1943 for scrapping.
1941-10-23 Taken on Strength No. 12 Technical Detachment 2019-08-20
1943-May-14 Accident: 4 Air Observer School Loc: Lake Erie Names: Bailey | Brown | Curtis | Nelson | Spooner
1943-10-20 Struck off Strength Struck off, reduced to spares and produce 2019-08-20

4 AOS- Air Observer School (4 Air Observer School)

Air Observers were later called "navigators". For recruits in this stream, the training path after ITS was 8 weeks at an Air Observer School (AOS), 1 month at a Bombing & Gunnery School, and finally 1 month at a Navigation School. The Air Observer schools were operated by civilians under contract to the RCAF. For example, Nos. 7, 8, and 9 were run by CP Airlines. However, the instructors were RCAF. The basic navigation techniques throughout the war years were dead reckoning and visual pilotage, and the tools were the aeronautical chart, magnetic compass, watch, trip log, pencil, Douglas protractor, and Dalton Navigational Computer. They trained in the Avro Anson.
NO3 EFTS London 1942

The School was established at London, Ontario. The former school is now the London, Ontario International Airport.

More information on the RCAF Station at London can be found at
  • RCAF Roundel RCAF.Info - RCAF Station London ON

  • 1940-11-25 Primary Location London ON Canada Now site of London Airport CYXU

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