The Many “Shades” of Gray
-The Story of Two Members of the RCAF from Medicine Hat who during WWII Made the Ultimate Sacrifice for Love of Country
By William J. Anhorn K.C. ICD.D
Sqn Headquarters’ flight suit patch design has changed. The patch is round representing the RCAF Roundel. The contour is light blue representing the Sqn colours. The lower part of the logo is brown representing the ground. The middle display the search lights as found in the Gransden Stained glass Window representing our connection to the past and to the fact that “we will remember them”. The mighty Lancaster was replaced the CP140 Aurora.
My name is William J Anhorn K.C. ICD.D of Medicine Hat Alberta Canada and I am a writer, amateur genealogist and local historian. I am a Member of the Medicine Hat Genealogical Society and the Medicine Hat Historical Society. I came across your website while conducting a routine search of the 405 Squadron of the RCAF. I have written a story about two airmen from Medicine Hat who were members of the 405th and who unfortunately died following a night time raid or mission over Germany after departing from Gransden Lodge airfield. I thought I would share my story with you. I thought your members may find it of interest as it is a compelling story of courage and bravery by members of the RCAF during WWII. The article is entitled "The Many Shades of Gray-The Story of Two Members of the RCAF from Medicine Hat Who During WWII Made the Ultimate Sacrifice for Love of Country".
On the night of April 3 to 4, 1943, a large group of RAF bombers (348) took off from the English airfield at Leeming and the surrounding area in the center of England.
This also includes a Handley Page Halifax III, with an entirely Canadian crew, call sign LQ-V, Serial Number DT808 and belonging to the 405th Squadron.
The aircraft was part of a joint bombing raid and was hit by Major Werner Streib, stationed at Fliegerhorst Venlo, shortly before they were to fly to Essen to drop their bombs (2X1000lb + approximately 600 fire bombs).
The tactic used was Schräge Musik, where the bomber was attacked from below by the (night) fighter.
The two gunners were able to leave the burning aircraft in time.
Pilot - W/OII W.J. McAlpine, mil.reg. R/93277 PROFILE
Fl. Engineer - Sgt. H.J. McQueen, mil.reg. R/10748 PROFILE
Navigator - W/O II J.D. White, mil.reg, R/91819 PROFILE
Bomb aimer - F/Lt. F.E. Luxford, mil.reg. J/15434 PROFILE
W.op / airg. - W/O J.W. Halikowski, mil.reg. R/95419 PROFILE
M.U. Gunner – P/O E. Bradley, mil.reg. J/90044
R.U. Gunner – F/Lt. W.L. Murphy, mil.reg. J/15166
We will place an information board for this crew on Saturday, April 6, 2024 at 2 p.m. at the Lijnbraak / Vivarapro farm, on Vierlingsbeekseweg in Verlingsbeek.
Further messages about this will follow.
For reactions and/or comments:
(drawing made by Thijs Hellings)
405 SQN LANCASTER DT 808/LQ-V MEMORIAL PLAQUE UNVEILING
APRIL 6, 2024
The crest of 405 Long Range Patrol Squadron depicts an eagle's head facing to the sinister and holding in the beak a sprig of maple. Its motto refers to the fact that this was the first and only Royal Canadian Air Force Pathfinder squadron. The eagle's head which faces the sinister suggests leadership, is derived from the pathfinder badge