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Doubt, R H (Flying Officer)

Evader 1944-05-13

Male Head

Age:

Service
RCAF
Unit
426 (B) Sqn- Squadron
On wings of fire
Rank
Flying Officer
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
Service Numbers
J/26935

Took off from Linton-on-Ouse at 22:07 in Halifax Mark III (Sqn code: OW-E Bomber Command).

Crashed Londerzeel, Brabant

Squadron Leader Ross Dawson, a friend of Flying Officer Ross Doubt, wrote this narrative following Ross Doubt’s return to the UK September 8th, 1944

“They were just making their run in on the target at Louvain Belgium about 10 minutes past midnight when a night fighter caught up with them, blew up the S.O. [starboard outer] engine & set fire to the wing tanks. Old Blackie the pilot immediately gave orders to bale out & Ross was first out, the W/op [Wireless operator], bomb aimer, pilot & F/Eng [Flight Engineer] followed. The three remaining gunners crashed with the kite & were killed, the bomb aimers chute didn’t open & he was killed & Blackie was taken POW. The other three escaped . . . His [Ross Doubt’s] chute broke a strap on one side & the leg straps cut & bruised his legs quite badly. By hanging on to the broken strap he could remain upright ok but when he finally had to let go he turned upside down & floated head downward all the way down to the ground & landed that way too – what an experience! He apparently landed in a ploughed field, bundled up his chute & started to run when he heard a dog bark & the sound of voices. He later threw off his Mae West & spent the remainder of the night in the bottom of a deep wet ditch where he got very cold and wet.

At dawn he lit his first smoke which he had been dying for & wormed his way thru a flax field on his stomach until he could look out on a road. He watched various farmers cycle & walk past to work & then decided that, as he was going to have to ask for help some time anyway, he might as well do it then so waited until he saw one old guy coming along alone. He popped up out of the field & went over to talk to him while the old guy seeing his uniform immediately turned around with his eyes popping out & beetled back the way he had come. Ross thought then that everything was settled – the man had either gone off to get the soldiers or to get help. Before he could get back down in the field, two teenage girls came along on cycles & seeing him turned back & raced into a nearby farmhouse. Ross then settled down to await events & it wasn’t long before the girls’ brother, as he found out later, came into the field & found him & took him back to the farmhouse. There the old mother of the family wept all over him, much to his embarrassment & then they hid him in their Air raid shelter since several patrols of Jerrys were out on the prowl looking for members of the crew who they knew were in the vicinity. They got him to burn his clothes & chute etc. & dressed him in some old farmer’s overalls.

In the meantime, one of the girls had gone to town & contacted the leader of the local “Armèe Blanche” or underground movement. Within an hour or so he came out & visited Ross on a bicycle. Together they left the farmhouse since things were getting pretty hot & the Gestapo were searching all the homes in the neighbourhood. They walked about 5 miles then this man hid Ross in a woods while he went on to contact the bloke at the next town. This went on for about three more towns & then a bus ride into Brussels where he was taken to a house & bedded down for the night. From then on, all his movements were controlled by the Underground. Apparently, the Gestapo were hot on the trail of this particular organisation since he was moved about 8 different times just half a jump ahead of raiding parties. Several of the people who handled him were picked up just after he left and after about two months, he was thinking very seriously about giving himself up since so many of these people who were helping him were being caught & tortured & killed etc. & he felt himself more or less responsible.

He had many varied experiences while staying there – got a chance to visit his F/Eng who was also being hidden by a different underground organization, got his photo taken for his forged identification papers etc. He was getting a little jumpy living like this & all keyed up all the time never knowing from one minute to another what was going to happen next. The Germans had a vicious habit of putting a cordon systematically entirely around a city block & ransacking every house, apartment & hiding place in the whole area & he had several narrow escapes from these.

Finally, one night when things were approaching a climax, he heard a disturbing noise about 4:00 am. At the time he was staying with a married couple in a third floor flat in a narrow street in Brussels. He jumped up and looked out of the window just in time to see a long black sedan pull up right in front of their door & about six SS men armed with sub-machine guns get out. He was making plans about jumping out the window (third floor and all) rather than be captured when they walked over & went in the house directly across the street instead of his own. There were a few screams & shots etc. & they came out dragging three men & two women who were Polish refugees hiding out there. Nothing was ever heard of them again. They had been informed on by some traitorous Belgian woman who lived a few doors down the street. The Underground don’t fool in cases like this & 3 days later this woman’s head was cut completely off and stuck on a table drawn close up to the window with the curtains drawn back for all to see & as a warning to others who might have similar ideas.

By this time Ross had been hiding in a single room for 8 weeks without poking his nose out the door & was going nearly crazy for something to do. Also the Gestapo were getting closer & closer all the time so it was decided he would be moved out to a chateau in the country north of Mons. He had his false papers by now, said goodbye to all the friends he had made and set out for the big escape by train. He was led through the streets by 3 agents two walking at intervals in front & one walking behind. They had a system of signals arranged such as scratching, hat lifting etc. to be prepared in case they got stopped since occasionally the Germans would stop everyone in a whole street & inspect papers & question people etc. Ross could speak French well enough by this time to get along [his wife Suzie was francophone] but had such a terrific accent that he was done for if anyone talked to him. They finally reached the train station, had his ticket bought for him & when it at last started to move he was just starting to breathe easily again when in walked a Gestapo officer on the carriage & started inspecting identity cards & questioning the passengers. Ross couldn’t decide what to do as the guard progressed nearer & nearer & was watching his underground friends dispersed in different seats in the carriage for some sign as to what to do next. However, as luck would have it, when he came to Ross he just looked at his card, grunted once & handed it back to him without saying a word for which everyone concerned was duly thankful.

The rest of the journey was made without incident & Ross got settled down in this big Chateau with a man & his wife and their two children. He had a nice room of his own, could wander around the grounds at will & generally lived like a king. The allies by this time were getting closer & closer & the Germans retreating in streams by the front door of the Chateau. One morning there was loud pummelling on the door & on peeking out the door they beheld two or three German soldiers wanting in. Ross jumped out a window & hid in some bushes in the garden while there was frenzied clearing of dishes etc. so they wouldn’t know there had been a fifth at breakfast. It turned out that these soldiers were commandeering a room & office in the Chateau for a high German officer as his H.Q., of all places, they took Ross’s very room & settled down

.

In the meantime, Ross had moved to the granary in an adjacent house & stayed there for the next week with the German HQ operating right from the same building – all kinds of DR’s and trucks dashing in & out & soldiers all over the place. By this time the American column was only a few miles away & they heard about Ross thru their intelligence service & sent four tanks, two jeeps & a couple of truck-loads of soldiers to gather him up. They did so in fine style, fought their way out again and took 50 prisoners into the bargain.

Ross’s experiences were not yet over however since the Americans were so busy advancing, they couldn’t get time to send him back so he tagged along with them for a few days & went through a couple of battles. Finally, he got a chance to get back with a truckload of prisoners to guard – the driver & Ross with a gun each & 70 German prisoners packed in the back like sardines. They travelled for 9 hours straight & since there were 70 prisoners with only himself as guard, he couldn’t take a chance on letting them out even to relieve themselves so there they stood for the whole trip. He finally arrived back at Paris & at last flew over in a Dakota to London & 14 days leave – what an experience.” Ross Doubt returned to Canada following his capture and escape and remained in the RCAF. The two Rosses continued their correspondence until the end of the war.

Museum Diary of A Ross Dawson, courtesy CWM

Crew on Halifax B.Mk.III LK883

Handley Page Halifax

(RAF Photo, 1942)(Source Harold A Skaarup Web Page)A Royal Air Force Handley Page Halifax Mk. II Series I (Serial No. W7676), coded TL-P, of No. 35 Squadron, RAF, based at Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire in the UK, being piloted by Flight Lieutenant Reginald Lane, (later Lieutenant-General, RCAF), over the English countryside. Flt Lt Lane and his crew flew twelve operations in W7676, which failed to return from a raid on Nuremberg on the night of 28/29 August 1942, when it was being flown by Flt Sgt D. John and crew.

The Handley Page Halifax is a British Royal Air Force (RAF) four-engined heavy bomber of the Second World War. It was developed by Handley Page to the same specification as the contemporary twin-engine Avro Manchester.

The Halifax has its origins in the twin-engine HP56 proposal of the late 1930s, produced in response to the British Air Ministry's Specification P.13/36 for a capable medium bomber for "world-wide use." The HP56 was ordered as a backup to the Avro 679, both aircraft being designed to use the underperforming Rolls-Royce Vulture engine. The Handley Page design was altered at the Ministry to a four-engine arrangement powered by the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine; the rival Avro 679 was produced as the twin-engine Avro Manchester which, while regarded as unsuccessful mainly due to the Vulture engine, was a direct predecessor of the famed Avro Lancaster. Both the Lancaster and the Halifax would emerge as capable four-engined strategic bombers, thousands of which would be built and operated by the RAF and several other services during the War.

On 25 October 1939, the Halifax performed its maiden flight, and it entered service with the RAF on 13 November 1940. It quickly became a major component of Bomber Command, performing routine strategic bombing missions against the Axis Powers, many of them at night. Arthur Harris, the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Bomber Command, described the Halifax as inferior to the rival Lancaster (in part due to its smaller payload) though this opinion was not shared by many of the crews that flew it, particularly for the MkIII variant. Nevertheless, production of the Halifax continued until April 1945. During their service with Bomber Command, Halifaxes flew a total of 82,773 operations and dropped 224,207 tons of bombs, while 1,833 aircraft were lost. The Halifax was also flown in large numbers by other Allied and Commonwealth nations, such as the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), Free French Air Force and Polish forces. Wikipedia

YouTube Halifax Heavy Bomber WWII

General Harold A Skaarup Web Page

Wkikpedia Wikipedia Halifax Bomber

Museum National Air Force Museum of Canada

CASPIR Aircraft Groups:
RCAF On Strength (5), RCAF 6 Group (1596), RCAF 400 Squadron (1443), Canadian Aircraft Losses (1562), Canadian Museum(2)
last update: 2023-12-08 20:34:11

Halifax B.Mk.III LK883

OWRAF RoundelE

Used by No. 426 (B) Squadron, RCAF, from Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire, coded "OW*E". Failed to return from attack the rail yards at Louvain on 12/13 May 1944. 3 killed, 1 POW, 3 evaded.
1944-05-13 Failed to Return Failed to return from attack the rail yards on Louvain. 3 killed, 1 POW, 3 evaded. 2019-08-20

426 (B) Sqn- Squadron On wings of fire ("Thunderbird")

History of the Squadron during World War II (Aircraft: Wellington III, Lancaster II, Halifax III, VII, Liberator VI, VIII:)

426 Squadron was formed at Dishforth, Yorkshire, UK on October 15, 1942 as the 24th RCAF squadron and seventh bomber squadron to be formed overseas in WWII. Originally it was a member of No 4 Group, RAF Bomber Command, flying Vickers Wellington Mk III aircraft with the squadron code OW as part of the strategic bombing of Germany. On January 1, 1943 it became part of No 6 (RCAF) Group, while remaining at Dishforth until June 1943. On June 17, 1943 it moved to Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire. , as part of No 62 (RCAF) Base, at the same time re-equipping with Avro Lancaster Mk II aircraft. In April/May of 1944 , it again re-equipped, this time with Handley Page Halifax Mk III and VII aircraft, which it flew until the end of hostilities in Europe. At that time, to meet a need for long range transport in support of the proposed Tiger Force to attack Japan, it was re-designated as a Transport squadron in May 1945 and converted to Consolidated Liberator C Mk VI and VIII. After the surrender of Japan before the Tiger Force became operational, between October and December 1945 the squadron ferried troops from and around Egypt, India and the Far East. The squadron was disbanded at Tempsford, Bedfordshire, UK on January 1, 1946.

Overall, the squadron flew 268 bombing missions involving 3233 individual sorties, for the loss of 88 aircraft. 8997 tons of bombs were dropped. There were 242 Transport sorties. The squadron members were awarded 2 DSO's, 130 DFC's and 2 Bars to DFC, 1 CGM, 25 DFM's1 DFC(USA) and 13 MiD's. [Possibly, the most heroic act realized by a member of the squadron during the war took place on October 20, 1943, when Flight Sergeant Stuart (the pilot) and his crew were sent to bomb Leipzig. During the mission he was engaged by enemy fighters, Messerschmitt Bf 109 and Junkers Ju 88, initially managing to shake them off but not before having his aircraft rendered almost unfit to fly, leaving it with shattered cockpits and gun turrets; holes in the fuel tanks, damaged hydraulics and no navigation instruments. Against all odds Stuart decided to continue the mission and successfully bombed his target before guiding his crippled aircraft home. He was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal.] Battle Honours were: English Channel and North Sea 1943, Baltic 1943, Fortress Europe 1943-44, France and Germany 1944-45, Biscay Ports 1943-44, Ruhr 1943-45, Berlin 1943-44, German Ports 1943-45, Normandy 1944, Rhine, Biscay 1943. Wikipedia, Moyes, Kostenuk and Griffin

Squadron History (Bomber Command Museum PDF)

Maps for Movements of 426 Squadron 1942-46

MAP 1: 426 Squadron Movements 1942-46 (right-click on image to display enlarged in new tab)
MAP 2: 426 Squadron Movements 1942-45 (detail of Map 1)
MAP 3: 6 Group Bomber Bases 1943-1945

426 Squadron History Summary 1942-46

426 Squadron History Summary 1942-46 Page 2

History of the Squadron Post-WWII (Aircraft: Dakota, North Star, Yukon, Hercules)

The squadron was re-formed as a Transport unit at Dartmouth, Nova Scotia on 1 August 1946 from the Dartmouth portion of No. 164 (Transport) Squadron. It moved to Dorval (Montreal), Quebec in March 1947 and was re-equipped from Dakota to four-engine North Star aircraft for long-range transport duty. From July 1950 to June 1954 the squadron was detached to McChord Air Force Base in Washington, USA , from where it was employed on the Korean airlift (Operation “Hawk”) and made 600 round trips across the North Pacific between Vancouver and Tokyo, logging 34,000 flying hours and carrying 13,000 personnel and 7,000,000 pounds of freight and mail without mishap. A typical Korean Air Lift route for 426 Squadron aeroplanes was a physically and mentally demanding fifty-hour round trip flight from McChord to Japan and back with stops at Elmendorf Air Force Base (Alaska), Shemya (Aleutian Islands), Handed and Misawa Air Base (Japan). In 1956 it airlifted United Nations Emergency Force personnel and equipment to the Middle East and, in 1960-62, to the Belgian Congo. The unit moved to Trenton, Ontario in September 1959, and in January 1962 to St Hubert (Montreal) Quebec . The squadron was disbanded on 1 September 1962.

It reformed again as 426 Transport Training Squadron on May 3, 1971, at Uplands, Ontario . The squadron moved to Trenton in August 1971 where it remains today, conducting training on the CC-130 Hercules.The squadron has carried out many tasks since the end of Korean War, including casualty evacuations, Royal tours and other VIP transport, and United Nations air lift operations. Thunderbird has worked in many places: the Arctic, the Middle East and Europe, the Congo and Japan.

426 Transport Training Squadron carries out classes of different courses every year to generate operationally effective air mobility aircrew and technicians in support of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) operations. The squadron also has dedicated personnel assigned to provide operational test and evaluation and system support to Air Mobility fleets. In 1995, the Squadron’s school underwent extensive renovations and acquired state-of-the-art computerized training aids. In spring 2000, the Squadron completed an upgrade to its OFS-130H flight simulator. The changes included a new motion base, new visual system and upgraded avionics equipment. The Squadron also opened a new building housing the Cargo Compartment Trainer for the CC-130H Hercules. Anticipating the future needs of the Air Mobility community and the newly procured CC-130J Hercules, the school expanded its facilities in 2012. The Air Mobility Training Centre (AMTC) was designed and built to accommodate the latest in aircrew and technician simulation, making it one of the most advanced training facilities in the world. The building serves as the home of 426 Squadron staff, whose job it is to train and prepare aircrew, technicians and aeromedical personnel for employment on the CC-130J, CC-130H, and CC-150 Polaris aircraft. Wikipedia, Kostenuk & Griffin, and www.canada.ca/en/air-force/corporate/squadrons/426-squadron.html

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