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Cote, Joseph Francois Xavier Alfred (Warrant Officer)

Prisoner of War 1944-November-19

Birth Date: unkown date (age unknown)

Home: Ottawa, Ontario

226 (MB) Sqn- Squadron (RAF)
Non Sibi Sed Patriae For country not for self
B.50 Vitry-en-Artois, France
Warrant Officer
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
Senior AircraftmanSAC
Leading AircraftmanLAC
Aircraftman 1st ClassAC1
Aircraftman 2nd ClassAC2
Air Gunner
Service Numbers

November 1944 Allied High Command assigned the Mitchells and Bostons of 137 & 139 Wings RAF the job of destroying the bridges at Venlo, Holland to stymie the German retreat.

The two Wings attacked the bridges seven times damaging, but not destroying them. The Germans quickly repaired the damage and continued moving troops and equipment.

WO Cote RCAF was a Wireless Air Gunner in one of the Mitchells and experienced one of the most unique life escapes of the war

His aircraft was hit by flak on the run in and broke in two just ahead of the upper turret. The starboard (right) wing also broke off from the fuselage and the three parts spun violently down. Cote was strapped in to his seat on the MUG. The spin continued for for several thousand feet before settling into a fluttering motion like a falling leaf. which it did to the ground, landing in an orchard. The farmer helped Cote from the tail section after a fall of 11500 feet suffering various injuries, the most serious being a broken leg. All other crew were killed.

Killed: Squadron Leader Gilbert Campbell DFC RAF pilot KIA Jonkerbos War Cemetery grave 20. A. 7. Flying Officer Douglas Gerald Farquhar DFC RAF (Amer.) KIA Jonkerbos War Cemetery Joint grave 20. A. 8-9. Flying Officer John Lawry Halliday RAF KIA Jonkerbos War Cemetery grave 20. A. 6. Pilot Officer William Hodson RAF KIA Jonkerbos War Cemetery Joint grave 20. A. 8-9. Pilot Officer Wallace Edgar Osmond RAAF KIA Jonkerbos War Cemetery grave 20. A. 5.

POW: Because of his injuries the farmer had to inform the Germans. They splinted his broken leg, but 3 weeks later it still hadn't been set. Many days and many moves later an Australian doctor (and also a POW) was allowed to break and re-set the leg and place it in traction until it was healed. Cote was then returned to the general population. There is no record of where Cote was a POW.

He was liberated by the US Army in April 1945 and flown back to England to his wife Winifred (Howell), whom he had married in 1943, and his daughter Carolyne, born in Sept. 1944. They moved to Ottawa, Ontario to live with his mother, Ida Cote.

Excerpts from 'Survival Miracle from 11,500 Feet' by David Poissant

Google MapOttawa, Ontario

North American Mitchell B-25 B-25D B-25J

North American B-25J Mitchell Mk. III
Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum

The North American B-25 Mitchell is an American medium bomber that was introduced in 1941 and named in honor of Major General William "Billy" Mitchell, a pioneer of U.S. military aviation. Used by many Allied air forces, the B-25 served in every theater of World War II, and after the war ended, many remained in service, operating across four decades. Produced in numerous variants, nearly 10,000 B-25s were built.

The North American B-25 Mitchell was flown by the RCAF during and after the Second World War. The RCAF flew the B-25 Mitchell for training during the war and continued flying operations after the war, in Canada with most of 162 Mitchells received. The first B-25s had originally been diverted to Canada from RAF orders. These included one Mitchell Mk. I, 42 Mitchell Mk. IIs, and 19 Mitchell Mk. IIIs. No 13 (P) Squadron was formed unofficially at RCAF Station Rockcliffe in May 1944 and flew Mitchell Mk. IIs on high-altitude aerial photography sorties. No. 5 OTU (Operational Training Unit) at Boundary Bay, British Columbia and Abbotsford, British Columbia, operated the B-25D Mitchell in a training role together with B-24 Liberators for Heavy Conversion as part of the BCATP. The RCAF retained the Mitchell until October 1963.

No. 418 (Auxiliary) Squadron received its first Mitchell Mk. IIs in January 1947. It was followed by No. 406 (Auxiliary), which flew Mitchell Mk. IIs and Mk. IIIs from April 1947 to June 1958. No. 418 Operated a mix of Mk. IIs and Mk. IIIs until March 1958. No. 12 Squadron of Air Transport Command also flew Mitchell Mk. IIIs along with other types from September 1956 to November 1960. In 1951, the RCAF received an additional 75 B-25Js from USAF stocks to make up for attrition and to equip various second-line units.. Wikipedia and Harold Skaarup web page

YouTube Mitchell Bomber

Wkikpedia Wikipedia Mitchell Bomber

General Harold A Skaarup Web Page

CASPIR Aircraft Groups:
RCAF On Strength (164), Canadian Aircraft Losses (73), Canadian Ferried (5)
last update: 2021-09-23 15:53:49

Mitchell Mk II FW146

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