Leeside 432 Squadron RCAF, 6 Group Bomber Command, Eastmoor, Yorkshire

for a much bigger photo (221k) click here

This was my first Canadian Squadron, Les and crew without me got shot down (re bio). Les Lauzon and all of the crew are in that picture, I just don't know where. Using the vertical fold as a datum point, I am 5 from the left standing, my head is between 5th and 6th officer standing and 3rd and 4th officer sitting , you will also note that the officer sitting 4th from the right of the whole picture is a member of the USAAF. The ground staff are all on the wings and officers in the front so Les will be there somewhere, us NCOs will be scattered all over the place. The "Cookie" at the center front is  a cheap bomb to explode on impact where ever the wind took it certainly no guided weapon!! But able to knock things over. It was a 4,000 pound bomb. It has "Leeside Squadron" written on it.  The reason Leeside was chalked on the bomb was because that was the name of the Squadron 432 RCAF , usually a name of something pertaining to the squadron or the place of it's "birth". I do not know why it was called Leeside. 420 Squadron I went to afterwards was called Snowy Owl, which I think is a national emblem of Canada or perhaps one of it's states.

The buildings behind are very quickly errected brick and iron ones for all the flight activities, briefing rooms , parachute packing, offices for each of the flight OC's and leaders of each of the crew types, nav, wop, gun, pilot, eng, bom, Sky pilots(clerics) and the multitude of odds and sods who need an office.

In the right background you will see a row of bicycles. Bicycles were the usual transport for aircrew from billets to other parts of the 'drome, messes, briefing etc, transport was provided to take us to and from the aircraft, usually the same WAAF drove us and we became special to her.While on this subject, some crews or a well heeled member of a crew, would own a motor car, usually a very sick M.G. or even a Lagonda or similar large beast. These were passed on to other crews in the event of non return from an operation, fuel, oil  ( lots of this one required) and other bits were obtained by various underhand methods, not many were taxed or insured as they only left the drome to roar overloaded to the nearest liquor outlet (pub) A similar hand on was quite normal for girls and dogs!!

This plane certainly flew again with just a little pre-flight ground test!

(Curator's Note: I Have this photo in a larger image in two sections where faces can be somewhat made out, if you think you or family member are in same I will email to you on request)

Reg Miles



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