As told by: Barry
A little background first. Although I was trained as a pilot by the Canadian Air Force, I received my wings
Now about the 424 connection. It has been a bit of a search to get information about my wife’s Uncle Don. As I mentioned, he was KIA in March, 1945. Here is what I have on him.
Donald was reported missing in action on his first operational mission
overseas, seven days after joining 424 Squadron in 1945 with only 2 months of
wartime left. The Royal Canadian
Air Force official casualty list "1296 - Overseas Previously Missing, On
Active Service, Now Presumed Dead" was published in the Toronto Daily Star
"Standfield, Donald Arthur F/O (BA) J39910.
Squadron (Castigandos Castigamus)
Missing during a night operation against
F/Os T.L. Foley, D.W. Robinson, T.S. Lawrence, Sgt. J Klem, F/S
evader or was taken POW. Flying
Officer Bomb Aimer Standfield
is buried in the war cemetery at
From "The RCAF Overseas, The Sixth Year:"
(P137/138) Raid on
From: March 1945 Daily
Operations, 6 Group Bomber Command www.rcaf.com/6group/March45/Mar7
F/O T. Foley RCAF and crew, flying Lancaster I NG-457 coded QB-C, failed to return from this operation. Crew: Sgt J. Klem RCAF, F/O D. Robinson RCAF, F/O D. Standfield RCAF, F/O T. Lawrence RCAF, F/Sgt S. [Sam] Rosu RCAF, Sgt K. Seaman RCAF (POW). All were killed except the rear gunner.
Don's younger brother Fred Standfield wrote on
As an aside, Fred was too young to fight, but the eldest brother, “Rod” was
an artillery officer and had a number of narrow escapes fighting his way through
5. There is also reference to Flying Officer Donald Standfield in the web pages of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission at: Casualty Details
6. I scanned a photo of Uncle Don into my computer last year. My father-in-law has the original print. Here it is.
My wife and I visited Skipton-on-Swale about 5 years ago. You can still see the ruins of some of the buildings and two of the concrete runways. The perimeter road runs around the base but is in terrible repair. The property is in use for a mix of light industry and agriculture. We bought six bottles of beer from a micro brewery located just off the old perimeter road. Out from the main gate, if you turn left you very quickly arrive at “The Busby Stoop”, a pub which has been at the intersection of the road to Thirsk for at least a couple of hundred years. We had lunch there, thinking that even if Don had only been on Squadron for 7 days, he probably had the chance to hoist a pint there.
There is a story about a chair at the pub, which had been the favourite chair of a customer many years before. The man was accused of murder, tried and hanged. From that time, many who had used the chair at the pub, died shortly after. The chair has been removed to a museum in Thirsk. It makes you wonder though, if some of the fellows in those bombers might have used that chair before going off on their missions.
Thank you for the chance to add my little bit of scrounged information about my wife’s Uncle Don and his contribution to 424 and the war effort. He and those others who sacrificed everything they had to preserve our freedoms can never be thanked enough.