The Biggs' Boys

By Ken Stofer

Copyright 2001 Ken Stofer, All Rights Reserved

Biography of Allan Tregellas

Aircrew, 204 Sqdn, 95 Sqdn, RAF/RCAF

    I worked in Victoria, B.C., before the war at Victoria Brass and Iron in Esquimalt. One day I saw a write-up in the Colonist with photographs of fellows leaving to join the RAF.

    I contacted Captain Biggs at his home and discussed the possibility of joining the Royal Air Force. He suggested that I travel with a group, but I took off on my own. I can't to this day remember what Biggs looked like or all that was said, but I do remember him telling me not to sign up for general duties. (G.D.)

    I think I paid $150 to go over there via Seattle down through the States, Minneapolis-St.Paul, Chicago and then to Montreal where I laid over for a day. I took a boat train to St. John and went aboard one of three sister ships (can't remember the name) the first week of November, 1938.

    I arrived in Liverpool, England, the 12th of November, 1938 on a Sunday morning. I had to wait until Monday for the recruiting office to open. I Joined up at #79 Lime Street, Liverpool, as a Flight Mechanic, on the 13th of November. From there I went by train to West Drayton, then to Cardington for square-bashing. Next stop Henlow and then to Weston Super Mare, Locking, for the mechanics course. When it was completed I was posted to North Wales working as ground crew on Fairy Battles - Avro Ansons.

    I took an air-gunners course in March, 1942, at Stormy Downs, flying Hudsons, Oxfords, for air-to-air firing at drogues. Then I was posted to Inverness, North Scotland O.T.U. on Sunderlands as an A.G. F.M.E. and after crewing up posted to Pembroke Dock. Six months later I was posted to West Africa (Bathhurst) 204 and 95 squadrons.

    On July 17, 1943 due to engine failure we had to ditch and in the process the co-pilot broke a leg in two places. The plane sank in less than five minutes. One wireless operator drowned. After drifting in a dinghy for two days we were picked up by a Spanish fishing boat which took us to neutral Los Palmas, Canary Islands.

    For having to make use of our dinghy, each of our crew were later issued with a membership in the Goldfish Club and had a small cloth flying goldfish sewn under the flap of our breast pocket.

    After a couple of weeks we made our way to Casablanca, Gibraltar, and then to England for another aircraft, finishing up at Pembroke Dock.

    When my tour was finished, in the Spring of 1944, I was posted to an airfield near Birmingham as ground crew on a Mosquito O.T.U.

    I transferred to the RCAF in 1944, at Lincolnsfield, London.

    I took my discharge in Vancouver on June 12, 1945, with the rank of W.O. 1.

    I worked for B.C. Hydro for 36 years and four months and retired to Victoria, British columbia, on April 1, 1981.

----- Allan Tregallas

[Mr. Tregallas is now deceased]

Copyright 2001 Ken Stofer, All Rights Reserved


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