This section is meant to be an online Memorial for Phillipe Bédard, who was my mother’s uncle and a crew member aboard a Wellington bomber. Since he was an air observer, the picture above may be showing the kind of view he had in his turret. He died on October 24, 1942, at age 26, when the aircraft he was on, and that had suffered damage over Germany, crashed on the way to its nest near Beverley, Yorkshire.
I have gathered and scanned these documents in order to have them preserved somewhere safe in cyberspace. If you wish to create an online memorial for someone who died during World War 2, feel free to contact me using the appropriate button of the nav bar on the left.
On June 25, 1942, the 425th Bomber Squadron was created at Dishforth in England, as a heavy bomber squadron. During wartime, it served in the U.K, North Africa and RCAF’s Debert Station, Nova Scotia, where it was disbanded on September 5, 1945.
Re-formed at RCAF’s St-Hubert Station on October 1st, 1954, as an all-weather fighter squadron, it spent a short time at RCAF’s Station Namao (from October 1961 to July 1962) as the CF-101 Operational Training Unit before moving to its present home at Bagotville. Upon unification of the forces, the 425th squadron was a French language squadron equipped with the CF-101 Voodoo interceptor.
In the early 80′s, the squadron was re-equipped with the CF-18 Hornet.
The badge is derived from the squadron nickname “Alouette”, and the motto comes from a French Canadian folk song.
- First Operational Mission in WWII: 5th/6th October 1942 – 4 Wellingtons bombed Aachen & another Wellington bombed what was “believed” to have been Aachen.
- Last Operational Mission in WWII: 25th April 1945 – 18 Halifaxes bombed gun batteries on island of Wangerooge.
Philippe Bedard in Sainte-Hélène de Bagot, Canada, before the war. The picture on the far right was taken in Quebec City, in front of the Frontenac castle, probably not long before his departure.
Below, the telex my great grand parents received in November 1942, announcing the death of their son.
Crashed Wellington overhanging quarry at the end of Luqa airfield (click the picture to see a larger version).
This Wellington cutaway shows how the aircraft was manned and the different systems operated by the crew members. Click on the thumbnail to see a larger version.
For those looking for additional information, here’s one of the most comprehensive site on World War 2: The Second World War Encyclopedia.