Memorial page for those NATO 5615 trainees & instructors
known to have died

There is something special about all those who flew. You must know the poem “High Flight” written by Canadian Spitfire pilot John Gillespie Magee Jr. before he was killed in 1941 whilst fighting WW II in the UK, in a mid-air collision:

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, —and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of —Wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air…
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark or even eagle flew —
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

Of the fifty-nine pilots who graduated from Number 4 Flying Training School, Penhold, Alberta, as members of NATO Course 5615 we know of thirteen who have died either from accidents or illness. This page is intended to honour their memory and, where available provide some information concerning their fate. A fourteenth 5615 one-time pilot trainee, Tony Brown, is also included although he did not succeed in graduating from Penhold. The names are in alphabetical order by surname. Recently, course instructors are being added where information is available. A few individuals with close connections to the 5615 FTS course members are also included—for example, navigators who were on the same basic training courses with 5615 course members, or flew operationally with them.

Click on the thumbnail photographs for enlarged versions. Some links are also provided.

A number of instructors have died. Where I have details of their demise, they appear in the alphabetical listing along with 5615 course members, below. If anyone can provide details of instructors or course members who have died, and are not in the list, or only incompletely included, please let me know details/corrections/additions. In the meantime, Pete Fuller kindly gave me a list of instructors and brass who are no longer with us, as follows (and he also pointed out two errors on the instructor photo page, which have now been corrected—many thanks Pete):
Gerry Carscadden
Doug Clifton
Ralph D’Andrea
Monty Dumont
Al Ehman
Jim McConnell
Dick Neilson-Jones
Art Robertson
Gary Siegrist
Al Wallis
Group Captain Don Galloway (Commanding Officer RCAF Penhold)
Wing Commander Joe McCarthy (Officer Commanding #4 FTS, who flew in the Dambuster raids in the war.)

Linc Alexander (formerly Alexander Linkewich), Royal Canadian Air Force and Fire Bomber Captain

Linc Alexander in his DC-6 Fire Bomber as Captain

Linc Alexander flew as a bush pilot at age 19 before joining the RCAF on a short service commission where he served as highly competent instructor for six years, being one of our 'B' Flight instructors at Penhold. He then took up a career in fire bombing forest fires for 38 years. He wrote two of the original manuals on this hazardous occupation, as well as other books. In October 2011, at the Guildhall in London, UK, he was presented with the Sir James Martin Award for Safety and Survival, by the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators (GAPAN), in recognition of his important contributions to the practical aspects of air safety in this dangerous occupation. He was also awarded a Master Air Pilot Certificate. He died unexpectedly May 24th 2012. Here is a tribute, written by Linc's daughter Pamela.

Peter Britton, Royal Air Force, a.k.a Peter Lemesurier, Nostradamus Scholar

Peter Britton, Royal Air Force

Peter rowing on Sylvan Lake, Peter Viggers at the back

Peter golfing at Red Deer with Tom Cox & Peter Viggers

Peter in a tree by the 1A to Banff with David Hill and Tom Cox

Peter‘s dual, real forced landing

Peter Britton was a National Service pilot. After gaining his wings he attended St. John's College, Cambridge, obtaining a degree in Modern Languages, which included old French! After a spell as a teacher at secondary school level he became a successful author under the nom de plume “Peter Lemesurier”, and was a recognised authority on the French mediaeval seer, Nostradamus as well as a professional translator. He also wrote books on New Age subjects and spent time with the New Age colony at Findhorn, in Scotland, but became disillusioned with their approach and left. He moved to Pembroke, in Wales, where he remained for the rest of his life. He was a catamaran sailor as well as a jet pilot. He wrote his own reminiscences of his flying training days. An account of his authoring and related products can be found on his “Official website” He died on April 11th 2016 and his funeral took place on May 11th. From correspondence with Peter‘s executors:

“He had requested burial in a cardboard coffin in natural surroundings, and the ceremony took place in St. Daniels Churchyard, Pembroke which is a disused church with an unspoiled churchyard, allowed to be used for such purposes”.

Heading Out

by Peter Britton 1956

Man sits but short upon the throne of time
Short as a gull's call on the long grey shore—
A cry upon the wind;

A cry amid the mists that shroud the past,
Where men that lived and laughed and had renown
Lie silent in the tomb—

Proud kings and soft-voiced minstrels, mighty seers
And sages, dead for all their wise old lore—
So young and splendid once;

Their women too, roses whose brittle blooms
Lured many a man's heart to impale itself
Then, with the dew, were gone.

And we were young, and we are splendid still.
Must we, like them, entrust the falling years
To flesh we have not seen?

For day on livelong day goes slipping past,
And though we seek to stem the flowing tide,
Will nevermore return.

And boyhood's laughter is already dead,
Already friends and faces that were loved
No more than memories.

Our days indeed are numbered, and our youth—
Though even sins, men say, may be redeemed—
Our youth, once spent, is gone.

But what lament is this? Does not the light
That shone of old shine all as bright today?
Are days, then, at an end?

See! Happiness lives on; days still shall be
When summer shadows sleep upon the grass,
And nights still full of stars!

Let us then feast our eyes, with this our faith
Upon the present, live, and laugh, and then
Turn down time's empty glass!

And die. For all things die. A timescape none
Has seen, except in death, shall hood the moon
And turn the sun to blood;

And man, if he would gain his journey's end,
Must plant his feet on surer ground, and seek
To ford time's flowing stream.

For Truth alone, that rides the burning heavens,
The Truth that stirs within the soul of man,
Can cross the dusts of time,

And fill the sunset of the world with peace
Till in the dusk there steals the beat of wings
Upon the evening air—

The fleeting soul that passes, with a cry,
Homeward upon its way, and heading out
Into eternity.

Tony Brown, Royal Air Force

Tony Brown, Royal Air Force

David Hill, Peter Viggers, Tony Brown, and Peter Britton with their car “Mebbe” at Centralia

Tony Brown on the flight line at Centralia

Tony Brown ceased training as a pilot during the PFTS course at Centralia. He was allowed to switch to navigator training after agreeing to stay in the RAF some extra time, after which he was due to go to Oxford University to read theology before pursuing a career in the Church of England. After qualifying, he flew as a navigator on Gloster Meteors and was killed in a crash. No details are available. This information was supplied by Peter Viggers and Peter Britton (thanks to both Peters).

G.L.P. “Leo” Christmas-Moller (LEO) Royal Danish Air Force

G.L.P. “Leo” Christmas-Moller (LEO) Royal Danish Air Force

In recent times Leo went by the name "John" and spelt "Moller" "Moeller". After leaving the RDAF John pursued a career in Radio communications and was an expert in this field for the Danish FAA. His daughter, Pia Christmas-Moeller, is a member of the Danish Parliament for the Conservative Party. LEO died suddenly of a stroke in 1988. This information was provided by Ole Berg (thanks Ole).

Anders Dalland, Royal Norwegian Air Force

Anders Dalland, Royal Norwegian Air Force

A. "Anders" Dalland: Anders was killed in a flying accident during an air exercise over the North Sea shortly after returning from his flying training in Canada. This information was provided by both Tom Harrison and Otto Samuelsen (thanks Tom & Otto).

P.J.L.R.J. "Paul" Duprez, Royal Belgian Air Force

P.J.L.R.J. "Paul" Duprez, Royal Belgian Air Force

Paul left the RBAF and became a successful distributor (company and product unknown). He was also a keen fisherman. He died of natural causes 4-5 years ago. Gary Vermeulen kept in touch with him till his death, and was the source of this information (thanks Gary).

R.E. “Ron” Ehrne, RCAF

R.E. “Ron” Ehrne, RCAF

Ron Ehrne was born and raised in Mission, B. C. He joined the RCAF in 1956. Following FTS at Penhold, jet school at Portage, and CF-100 OTU at Cold Lake, he was posted with his navigator Denis Rogers to 416 Squadron, St. Hubert. He completed his sevice tour in 1961, and then joined 401 Air Reserve Squadron. Ron was killed in an Otter aircraft crash on 2 May 1971 at Petersville, New Brunswick, aged 33. An obituary with a little more information appears here, where an alphabetical list of departed members appears. Thanks to Malcolm Cromarty for researching this information.

W.G. “Bill” Ferguson, RCAF

W.G. “Bill” Ferguson, RCAF

Bill "Fergie" Ferguson was born and raised in Oshawa, Ontario. He joined the RCAF in 1956 and played rugby with the Penhold team whilst training at FTS. He was a serious athlete. After jet school at Portage, wings, and CF-100 OTU at Cold Lake, he was posted with his navigator Bob Gillet to 416 Squadron, St. Hubert. In 1960, he was posted to his old FTS at Penhold, Alberta, as a Harvard flying instructor. Bill died in a Harvard crash in February 1962 during a training mission. An obituary with a little more information appears here, where an alphabetical list of departed members appears. Thanks to Malcolm Cromarty for researching this information.

Dave “Crusher” Ford, Royal Canadian Air Force

Dave Ford, Royal Canadian Air Force

Dave died of natural causes on June 9th 2014. This brief obituary was provided by Dave's son-in-law and friend, Dan Harper

Warren Maybee flew in the front seat on their many missions together. Warren wrote: “He and I went through a lot together and developed a closeness that I expect can only be shared by crew mates. He was a great back seater (good at his job and absolutely fearless) and fed my ego by telling me he felt the most confident that we would get home because I was flying the aircraft. I guess in sum I miss him being in my life.”

Major (Squadron Leader) John Greatrix, Royal Canadian Air Force

Squadron Leader, Royal Canadian Air Force

(To Viggers & Hill) "Where've you two hoods been?"

Major (Squadron Leader) John Edward Greatrix, our “C” Flight Commander at Macdonald, died peacfully aged 86 on June 15th 2015 in Winnipeg.

John was born on February 25, 1929 in Peterborough, Ontario. He enlisted with the RCAF in 1948, receiving his pilot wings in 1949. He married the love of his life, Carmel Fraser, in 1952 after meeting her while stationed at the Chatham, New Brunswick air base. They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in 2012 shortly before Carmel died. John served with the following squadrons: 421 Red Indian, 430 Silver Falcon, 441 Silver Fox and 429 Transport Squadron. He served with the NATO forces in France and Germany flying F-86 Sabres and CF-104 Starfighters. After receiving an honourable discharge in 1975, he became a Civil Aviation Inspector with Transport Canada until his retirement in 1989. John received the Canadian Forces Decoration, the NATO Service Medal and a Certificate of Recognition from the Canadian Government for 41 years of public service.

Link to the Glen Lawn Memorial Gardens & Funeral Home web entry for John.

The information above was kindly provided by John's son-in-law Robin Chase, who married John's eldest daughter and first-born Cheryl Marie. Robin told me that he introduced John to this web-site and that John got a lot of pleasure from it despite his worsening health, especially the quote “Where’ve you two hoods been”, uttered as Peter Viggers and I returned miraculously from our overdue flight.

Les Hackett, Royal Canadian Air Force

Les Hackett, Royal Canadian Air Force, sleeping in the trainee mess lounge

Les (centre) horsing about with Larry Barton (left) and Paul Leon (right)

Entry for Les in the Penhold Graduation memoirs

Les (3rd from left), with wife Edna (2nd from left), at the September 14th 2007 reunion lunch in the U.K. House of Commons dining room

From the course contact information
Les/Red spent 9 years in the old fraternity of the RCAF—four years in Marville France, three of which were spent on F86s at 441 Sqn., one in Wing Ops. He met and married his wife Edna, a civilian nurse at the base hospital, in 1960 and their son was born in France. Red returned to Portage La Prairie (where their two daughters were born) to instruct until he resigned in 1965 after Hellyer’s 500. He saw that Dave Steeves had joined Qantas and so that Dave would not be lonesome, Red and several others joined the airline. Things did not work out with Qantas so they returned to Canada signing on with Air Canada. He spent 32 years with this great company flying Viscounts, Vanguards, 22 years DC9, & the last 5 years 747 Classic and retired in 1998. They built a home in Port Charlotte, Florida to escape the Canadian winters and spend November to April there each year. Red was hopeful that his golf game would improve with this move, but he says it has only slightly helped his game and now he just enjoys the flora and fauna. He attends many RCAF reunions and always feels so fortunate to belong to such a great fraternity with contacts/friends around the world. They were able to visit with the McQueens and the Harrisons at our F86 reunion last summer (2005 or 2006) in Ottawa along with 600+ other Sabre vets.

Official obituary from the “Smith’s Funeral Home” web page for Les:
Leslie Hackett passed away peacefully at The Joseph Brant Hospital, Burlington, with his entire family by his side, on Sunday, November 2, 2014 at the age of 76. Beloved husband of Edna Hackett. Loving father of Dale (Patricia), Kimberly Petrie (Alistair), and Linda Nicolas (Leonard). Cherished grandfather of Michael (predeceased), Marc and Matthieu. Dear brother of Gary and predeceased by brothers, Don and William and sister Pat Opie. Les was a F-86 Sabre fighter pilot serving with the RCAF from 1955-1965. He then joined Qantas Airlines from 1965-1966 moving to Air Canada from 1966 until his last B-747 flight in 1998. Private cremation has taken place. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. For those who wish, donations in memory of Les to the charity of choice would be sincerely appreciated by the family.

Comments from course members
Gerhard Kennedy: Sadly we have lost a unique friend and course mate. In addition to our 5615 and F-86 OTU days, following the Air Div years I was fortunate to serve with Les at 2AFS Portage where he was a staunch colleague. Some years later (!) during my only other stint in Trg Comd, Les’s son, Dale, was with me at 2CFFTS Moose Jaw. A first-tour ‘pipeline’ Tutor instructor, Dale became a highly effective Standards Officer before being selected to join the Snowbirds.

Tom Harrison: I’m having trouble imagining a world without him. He was the life of every party he ever atttended, and I’ll hear his dirty little chuckle forever. “In excelcis vincimus”

Arne Hals, Royal Norwegian Air Force

Arne Hals, Royal Norwegian Air Force

Arne Hals was killed in a flying accident while in the Royal Norwegian Air Force a few years after returning home from the course. This information was provided by Otto Samuelsen (thanks Otto).

M.N. “Mort” Holm (HOL), Royal Danish Air Force

M.N. “Mort” Holm (HOL)
Royal Danish Air Force

Morten Nielsen Holm
in retirement

Mort passed away on January 10, 2009 at 73 years of age. Born in Denmark, served as a fighter pilot in the RDAF. Emigrated to Montreal in 1967 to join Air Canada as a pilot where he served for 29 years. In retirement he enjoyed woodworking computing, golfing and most of all spending time with family and friends. He is survived by his wife, a wonderful family and great friends. Memorial celebration will be held at the Hudson Community Centre, 394 Main Road, Hudson, on January 16, 2009 from 4 to 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Royal Victoria Hospital Foundation would be greatly appreciated.

Alain “Joe” Jarry, Royal Canadian Air Force

Alain “Joe” Jarry at Penhold,
Royal Canadian Air Force

Alain sporting his “Wings”
at Portage La Prairie

Alain, Vice-President
Bank of Montreal

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Alain Jarry on January 13, 2017 at the age of 78. Over the past 5 years and up until the very end of his life, he demonstrated tremendous courage and concern for the well-being of his loved ones as he battled against idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a relatively unknown and misunderstood lung disease. He died serenely and peacefully surrounded by his family. Alain will be dearly missed by his loving wife of 54 years, Marcelle Grenier; his 2 sons, Bruno (Marie-José Bodson) and Daniel (Chantal Rose); his 3 beloved grand-daughters: Caroline, Annick and Catherine, as well as Natacha Brind’Amour (Pierre-Alexandre Décary); his brother Gilles (Hélène Johnson), his sisters-in-law: Fernande (the late Martial Lemonde), Janine (Guy Lemonde), Pauline (Claude Désilets); as well as numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, friends and former colleagues from Bank of Montreal. Alain led a highly successful career in banking, serving over 38 years with Bank of Montreal, including several years as Vice-President, Corporate Banking, Vice-President, Montreal Region and Vice-President, Real Estate. Alain was also a member of the Chambre de Commerce de Montréal, the Chambre de Commerce Française du Canada and the Hong Kong – Canada Commercial Association. He was also a member of the board of directors of Douglas Hospital, Jeunesse J’écoute and the Château Ramezay. World traveler, former RCAF pilot, respected businessman, loving husband and father, but his greatest pride and joy was being a grand-father to his 3 girls. Alain left us feeling grateful for the wonderfully happy and fulfilling life he led, proud of his accomplishments, and asked only that we continue to love and care for each other. Alain requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Montreal Chest Foundation ( in order to fund research and in gratitude to doctors, nurses and staff of the MUHC's Royal Victoria Hospital who supported him and his family throughout this difficult time. The family will receive condolences on Friday, January 27, 2017 from 2-5pm and from 6-8pm, as well as on Saturday, January 28, 2017 from 2-4pm, followed by a celebration of Alain's life and cocktail in his honour at: Complexe funéraire Rive Sud Yves Légaré, 2750 boul. Marie-Victorin Est, Longueuil, Québec J4G 1P5

M.A. “Mike” Karczmarczyk, Royal Canadaian Air Force

Mike Karczmarczyk, Royal Canadian Air Force

Mike flew with the 414 Black Knight Squadron, until he left the RCAF in 1965, to take over the family farm in St. Lina, Alberta. He married Beverly Gale in 1962, after meeting her when he was stationed in North Bay, Ontario. They had 5 children (Michael, Eva, Peter, John, and William). In 1979, Mike became ill with a blood disease similar to Myelofibrosis, which his oncologist believed may have been from radiation exposure (the RCAF refused to release his TLD—thermoluminescent dosimetry—readings, so we don't really know). He passed away in June of 1985. Although he enjoyed farming and was very successful at it, I think a part of him never left the Air Force, and he remained fascinated with flight. Mike looked upon his days in the Air Force as the best of his life. This information was provided by Eva Kryzanowski, his daughter (thanks Eva).

Mike surveys the remains of his rolled car

Whilst at Penhold, Mike endured a spectacular roll-over accident in his very nice automobile. Fortunately, no-one was hurt. The car was a write-off!

B.G.P. “Paul” Leon, RCAF

B.G.P. “Paul” Leon, RCAF

Paul married Octavia. John Allen was in touch with Paul until 1960 when Paul, then aged 23, was killed piloting a CF-100 out of Uplands RCAF base in a mid-air collision over Northern Quebec on Wednesdy December 7th 1960 between CF-100s 18610 and 18571. His navigator was F/O J.E. McCarthy aged 25. The crew of the other plane were F/O J.L. McLean (pilot) and F/O J.S. Reid (navigator). All were in 428 (Ghost) squadron, a night-fighter squadron based at Uplands which was re-formed on 21 June 1954 following earlier post-war disbandment. No. 428 AW(F) Squadron was disbanded again on 31 May 1961. Al Pearce provided the information which allowed me to obtain more information from Fred Aldworth at the Air Force Association as well as the newspaper cutting shown as the first image below (thanks Al and Fred).

Newspaper clipping concerning Paul Leon's mid-air collision

Paul during FTS training at Penhold

Larry Barton and Paul Leon harassing Les Hackett at Penhold

Howard Aldridge, Tom Cox & Paul Leon at Penhold

Copy of newspaper article text in first image above

Caption below the four newspaper photographs
These four airmen were involved In the collision of two jet planes over northern Quebec last night. Left to right: FO B.G.P. Leon, 23, of Halifax, pilot of one of the planes; FO J.E. McCarthy, 25, of South Nelson, N.B., his navigator, FO M.L. McLean, 26, of Kelliher. Sask., pilot of the second plane; and FO J.S., Read, his navigator, from Ottawa.—CP Wirephoto from National Defence

Missing RCAF Planes On Interception Practice

Canadian Press Staff Writer

OTTAWA (CP)—Two RCAF CF-100 jets were flying a course for collision—deliberately—when they meshed in a screetch of steel Wednesday night over Northern Quebec.

The four aircrew involved are missing in what the air force described as a routine interception exercise.

Course for collision is the method used in making interceptions. Day and night, out of hearing of earthlings, RCAF CF-100 crews practice this tactic seven miles up.

Interceptions are made on a collision course—normally, a right angle—as the fastest and most efficient means of destroying a hostile bomber.

In other words, there is no time, as there was in the Second World War, for tail chases. Canadian ace George (Buzz) Beurling, like Billy Bishop in the First World War, was able to run a big score mainly because he, didn’t have to get behind his quarry. He was deadly accurate with his deflection shots from all kinds of angles.

Plane “Locks On”

Collision course also overcomes the possibility of the quarry outrunning the interceptor. This is especially important, RCAF officers say, because the CF-100 now is old.

This is how course for collision works:

Ground radar warns the interceptor that a hostile plane is approaching and gives it a course to steer to put it within range.

About 25 miles from the target, the CF-100’s own radar takes over and the observer “locks on” the target. This means that whatever the other plane does it can’t escape the CF-l00’s radar.

When the interceptor’s radar is locked on the target, a dot shows in a scope in front of the pilot. It is the pilot’s job to keep the dot in the centre of the screen. The dot represents the hostile plane.

The closing speed between the two planes in such an operation is awesome—it may be 1,000 miles an hour or more. In daylight, when the two planes can be clearly seen, it is a hair-raising sight.

When the CF-100 is within firing range, its radar automatically fires rockets. At the same second, the dot on the scope is replaced by a large X.

Death Lies Waiting

This is the signal for the pilot to break away immediately to avoid the collision which would result if he continued on the intercept course.

On some interceptors—but not the CF-100—break-off is done automatically.

In the CF-100 break off, death lies in wait for the pilot who merely blinks an eye at the same moment the x appears on his screen. If his attention is distracted for even a fraction ot second, his reaction on the stick may be too late to avoid a collision.

A malfunction in the radar system can be fatal for the pilot and his navigator.

K.A. “Ken” McLeod, RCAF (retired)

“Ken” McLeod, RCAF
Outside 'B' Flight, Penhold, Alberta, Summer 1957

Ken joined the RCAF in February 1946 and enjoyed along and successful career as a fighter pilot, flying Sabres, CF 100s, CF 101s and CF 104s on five different squadrons, in addition to his time in Training Command (as a 'B' Flight instructor at Number 4 FTS Penhold). An official obituary for Ken appears here

D.H. “Don” Myles, RCAF

D.H. “Don” Myles, RCAF,
As seen by his students

The real D.H. “Don” Myles, with his F-86

1952 Course 38A Basic Training: Claresholm,AB
1954-56 F-86 North Luffenham, UK and Marville, France.
1957-59 4 FTS Penhold;AB
1959-62 Central Flying School, Saskatoon, SK
1963-68 CF 104 Baden-Soellingen, West Germany
1968-69 Staff College, Toronto, Ont
1969-71 CFS Gypsumville, MB (Radar Station)
1971-73 Nuclear Ops. SHAPE HQ Mons, Belgium
1973-75 CF104 SQDN Baden-Soellingen, West Germany
1975-77 SASO 1 CAG HQ Lahr, West Germany
1977-80 NDHQ Ottawa, Ont.
1980-84 A/Dep Operations 25th NORAD Region, McChord AFB, Tacoma,WA
1984-87 D/Comd Back Up Facility, Peterson AFB, Colorado Springs, CO
1987- Retired to North Saanich, BC.
2010 - November 16th. launched his last flight after a short, courageous battle with cancer.

D.H. “Don” Myles, RCAF,
published obituary

E.S. “Ted” Portlock, RAF

Ted Portlock, RAF,
with his Harvard, at Penhold 1957

Ted Portlock, RAF,
with Penhold room-mate Barrie Hall

Emmanuel College Boat Club Logo

Ted Portlock, just “bumped” St. Cat's
Emmanuel College 1st VIII 1960

Emmanuel College Boat House

Ted was educated at St. Peter's School, York, UK, where he had a distinguished career. Here are excerpts from the school magazine of at that time and later:
St. Peter's School, “The Peterite” May 1956, Vol. XLVIII, No. 342: E.S. Portlock was Head of School and Head of The Rise. The “houses” were Grove, The Manor, Queen's House, School House, and Temple. Ted was a member of the debating society. The motion for the second meeting [this year]:—“This House believes that there is no scope for the Pioneer Spirit in the Modern World”apparently did not appeal to the majority of the School. In choosing the platform speakers it was necessary to fall back on four “old faithfuls” in the persons of R. G. Le Pla and T. G. Stephenson proposing and E. S. Portlock and R. D. Beckitt forming the opposition. The motion was rejected by 35 votes to seven, with seven abstentions. … Portlock stressed the necessity of the pioneer spirit in the breaking of speed records and in the pursuit of modern-style progress.
RAF section Flying Scholarships have been awarded to Warrant Officer Portlock and Leading Cadet Bytheway. We congratulate them, and wish them success in their training.
Interhouse athletics Senior 100 Yards : 1. Portlock (R.); 2. Fish (G.); 3. Irvin (R.) ; 4. Sparham (T.). Time: 10.6 sec. Senior 220 Yards : 1. Portlock (R.); 2. Fish (G.); 3. Pfluger (G.); 4. Irvin (R.). Time : 25.2 sec.
“The Peterite” February 1960, Vol LII, No. 353: Then there is E. S. Portlock, a boater who rowed well enough to have a University trial this term, and a crusader who campaigns vigorously for “human rights” and against pea soup. At this point it is pleasant to record the success of E. S. Portlock in being in one of the Cambridge Trial Eights and lasting there until it was finally disbanded, leaving the two “Eights” which raced in the Trial Eights Race at Ely. This is indeed an honour for Portlock and the School.
“The Peterite” 1984-85, No. 402: Finally it only remains to mention Ted Portlock (R. '51-'56) who has coached successive Emmanuel [College, Cambridge] First Lent boats. This year he was chiefly responsible for the fine display of cups at the Boat Club dinner.

Brief biography supplied by Ted's son, Chris Portlock

• Born in Hereford on 10 March 1937 and schooled at St Peters School in York, where he became Head Boy
• It was at St Peters that he first became involved with two passions that would stay with him throughout his life— rowing, where he competed for the school boat club, and aviation, where he flew Tiger Moths as schoolboy air force cadet.
• Did his national service in Canada as part of the RAF Flying Training Program
• Then read Land Economy at Emmanuel College, Cambridge where he was once again active for the college boat club, forging a link that was never severed—after graduating, he continued to return to Emmanuel at least once a year to coach the college’s crews for the “bumps” races each Spring (the “Lents” and the “Mays”)
• After university, he followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the Forestry Commission where he spent most of his working life, working on the land agency side of the business
• His job took him from Scotland, to Hampshire, Suffolk, Cheshire and finally to South Wales
• But once in Cheshire (1980), he never moved the family home away from Chester, choosing to commute to South Wales on a weekly basis
• In Chester he returned to competitive rowing, becoming part of a successful veterans squad at Royal Chester Rowing Club, winning many trophies in the process
• While working away during the week in South Wales during the early 1990s he met Lorna and when a shoulder injury led to early-retirement from the Forestry Commission, Lorna relocated to Chester where they lived a very happy life, finally marrying in November 2012
• Dad continued to be involved with rowing, returning to Cambridge to coach at Emmanuel College, and regular attendance at Henley Royal Regatta, until the last few years when a debilitating back injury curtailed his mobility
• But was always able to muster the energy to get to his favourite place of all—the pub!
• Never happier than with a pint and took great pride in having been one of the earliest members of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale)
• Survived by his wife Lorna, sons Nick and Chris, and step daughters Jackie and Clare

N.J. “Norm” Shruiff, RCAF

N.J. “Norm” Shruiff, RCAF,
at Penhold while training

N.J. “Norm” Shruiff, RCAF

N.J. “Norm” Shruiff, RCAF,
on F-86 Sabres,
Baden-Soellingen, Germany

Norm was posted to 422 Sqn, No. 4 (F) Wing, Baden Soellingen, Germany. Shortly after being posted, he was killed in an auto accident, near Baden, in 1959. This information was provided by both Gerhard Kennedy and Al Pearce. The latter also provided the second photo above as well as the following cuttings concerning Norm’s accident (thanks Gerhard and Al). Warren Maybee provided the third photograph in October 2013 (thanks Warren). He obtained it via Al Pearce from an ex-member of 422 squadron whose name I do not know.

Canadian Press report

Second report of Norm’s death

METZ—(CP)—F.O. Norman John Shruiff, 24, a Sabre jet pilot with the 422 Squadron based at Baden-Soellingen, Germany, was killed in a car accident, Sunday.
His parents, of 75 Humewood dr., Toronto, are to fly to France for the funeral, Thursday, at the RCAF cemetery, Choloy, France.

Ever since he was a youngster, Norman John Shruiff wanted to fly.
At eight he was a model airplane builder, at 12 the keenest of the plane spotters outside Malton. At 18 he was spending all his spare time with the RCAF Reserve; when he left high school in 1956 he went straight into the RCAF.
Early in 1958 he won his “wings” and six months later he was in a Sabre jet squadron at Baden Soellingen, Germany. “It was everything he ever wanted,” said his twin brother, Arthur, yesterday.
On Sunday Flying Officer Norman Shruiff, 22, was killed in a car accident.
Yesterday John Shruiff, a chef, and his wife Leta, of Hunewood Dr., Toronto, were flying to their son’s funeral.
He will be buried Thursday in an RCAF cemetery in France.

Jack Milner pointed out in December 2011 that the original year—1958—given for Norm's death was in error. Many thanks Jack.

The official record of his death in the Casualty Listing Report for the RCAF Choloy War Cemetery at Meurthe-et-Moselle, France, reads:

(not known)

There's a photograph of 422 Squadron members taken at Baden-Soellingen. Norm is second from the right, in the front row.

Otto Samuelsen (Royal Norwegian Air Force)

Otto Samuelsen in the winning Penhold Soccer team

Otto in Penhold Air Force Day parade

Otto and Bibbi Samuelsen at the course reunion in 2007—Shoreham (UK) Battle of Britain Air Show)

Otto Samuelsen, a 5615 course member seconded from the Royal Norwegian Air Force, died in the last week of March, 2018, after being ill for some time. I have no other details yet, but he is survived by his wife Bibbi, and daughter Sissi (Timon Arra) the latter two reside in British Columbia.

Roy Smith (Royal Canadian Air Force)

Roy Smith caricatured in the course granduation booklet

Roy Smith, who was an 'A' Flight instructor at Penhold, died on March 24th 2018. This is what his eldest daughter, Kim Meunier, wrote to me:

Roy (Dad) has taken his last flight.
He died today, under his terms at 0900 hrs.
It was very peaceful, he joked with the doctor and nurses until the end … it was so much like Dad.
He tried to compose an email to friends and family - but couldn't find the words or energy to say goodbye. Personally, the last few days he had been in pain and was taking pain meds both morning and evening. As he said, it was time. there is no ceremony, he will be cremated … Mom will be taking his ashes to Kirkland Lake later on this year.

“Mike” Watkins (Royal Air Force, Group Captain, retired)

“Mike” Watkins, Royal Air Force (Group Captain, retired)

Mike Watkins attended Eastbourne College and gained a flying scholarship as a member of the Combined Cadet Force (CCF), and gained other honours before joining the RAF for National Service and training as a navigator. He then attended Cambridge University, where he read economics and law. Whilst at Cambridge, he joined the Cambridge University Air Squadron and retrained as a pilot. He was granted a permanent commission in the RAF and went on to a distinguished career, rising to the rank of Group Captain. After retirement he continued his very active contributions, including time as Learned Clerk to the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators and Appeals Secretary to the Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn. He made generous bequests to his old school. A full obituary published by his old school is available here

Tor Wilmann, Royal Norwegian Air Force

Tor Wilmann, Royal Norwegian Air Force

Tor Wilmann: Tor passed away in August 2006. He left the air force and flew for several airlines before retiring to the island of Tenerife, one of the seven Canary Islands. Information supplied by his daughter Turid —thanks Turid.)

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Page created 21 November 2006
Last modified: Wed May 2 13:46:43 PDT 2018